In Economic Trends, Finance Highlight, News and Trends

SURVEY: 3 in 5 accountants make errors every month

A new survey from Gartner reveals that most accountants (59%) make errors every month as increased regulatory complexity and economic volatility place growing demands on their time and energies. 

Sluggish economic growth in recent years is also to blame for the rise in errors, as accountants must spend more time on managing cash flow and monitoring the health of company balance sheets. 

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Accountants predict 2024 will be challenging

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants has released a new report capturing its predictions for the worldwide economy this year. The report indicates that slow growth and high uncertainty will characterize the year ahead, especially for the U.S. 

While overall global GDP growth will be relatively healthy at 2.9%, much of this growth will be driven by emerging economies, with growth in the U.S. topping out at just 1.5%.

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Strategies for small-business survival during instability

Access to capital is a concern for 77% of small-business owners. This article suggests three things that every business owner can do right now to strengthen their financial resilience at a time when the economy is slowing and credit is harder to access.

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Feds: Interest rates set to hold steady or decline

Meeting minutes from the U.S. central bank, released February 21st, indicate that interest rates have likely reached their peak. 

Officials voted to keep rates steady at 5.25% to 5.5%, which is the highest level since 2001. They left room to reduce the target range for federal fund rates at some point, although they generally did not think this should happen until there was greater confidence that inflation was moving sustainably toward 2 percent.

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Are banks just being conservative, or is an economic crisis coming our way?

Based on data from 92 US banks, credit trends, including net charge-offs, appear to be normalizing, with most banks reporting lower provisions for credit losses in Q4 of 2023.  This suggests that consumers and businesses alike are seeing more financial resilience, but many depositories continue to grow provisions and build their rainy day war chest. Which is right?.

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