Survey: CFOs in South Bend Region Optimistic in the New Year

The fourth quarter 2019 Michiana Benchmark Business Index (BBI), compiled by the certified public accounting and consulting firm of Kruggel Lawton CPAs, held steady from the prior quarter. The overall fourth quarter BBI was 54.71 out of a maximum possible score of 100. This was essentially unchanged from the third quarter BBI result of 54.78.

Kruggel Lawton conducts this confidential survey of CFOs in for-profit companies in the South Bend/Elkhart region on a quarterly basis. The survey tracks changes in companies’ revenue, profitability, and employment levels compared to the same quarter of the prior year, along with CFOs’ perception of the business outlook for their companies. Participating CFOs’ input on these four metrics is combined into the overall Benchmark Business Index to provide a barometer of the Michiana-area business climate.

Noteworthy fourth quarter survey results include:

“Throughout much of the fourth quarter of 2019, trade-related turmoil and political issues (impeachment, Brexit, etc.) received a substantial amount of press, leading many to worry about the adverse impact of higher risk and uncertainty,” said Terry Bush, a director at Kruggel Lawton CPAs. “In light of that, the fact that the overall BBI result held steady from the third quarter may be a positive indication. We like to monitor the CFO Outlook metric, given CFOs’ unique insights into the financial strength and near-term prospects for their companies. For that reason, the sizable jump in CFO optimism heading into calendar year 2020 is an encouraging sign.”

If you are a CFO in a Michiana area for-profit organization and would like to participate in this survey, please contact Terry Bush at or call 574-289-4011, ext. 205.

With office locations in South Bend, Elkhart, and Goshen Ind., St. Joseph, Mich., and Knoxville, Tenn., Kruggel Lawton CPAs is a full-service accounting and business consulting firm offering assurance services, tax consulting, estate planning, business valuation, and business accounting services. Kruggel Lawton also has national and international capabilities as an independent member of the BDO Alliance USA.


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