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Personal Finance Shopping Spending Surveys

Annual Holiday Survey: More Consumers Shopping Mobile and Local

Deloitte Annual Holiday Survey: More Consumers Shopping Mobile and Local

Smartphone ownership rises to 61 percent of consumers; Two-thirds of Americans plan to shop small businesses or independent retailers

NEW YORK, Nov. 6, 2013, Increasing smartphone ownership is taking more consumers down the digital shopping route, while many shoppers plan to frequent local small businesses when visiting stores this holiday season, according to Deloitte’s 28th annual survey of holiday spending intentions and trends.

Overall, smartphone ownership has risen to 61 percent of respondents from 42 percent just two years ago.  Women, younger generations and households earning less than $100,000 annually showed the most significant leaps in smartphone ownership, expanding the base of shoppers that retailers can access via mobile devices. For example, nearly six in 10 (59 percent) of women surveyed own smartphones, up from 46 percent last year, and 79 percent of consumers ages 18-24 own a smartphone.

Among smartphone owners, nearly seven in 10 (68 percent) plan to use their devices for holiday shopping.  These consumers will primarily use smartphones to search for store locations (56 percent), check and compare prices (54 percent) and obtain product information (47 percent).

Consumers that use smartphones to assist in holiday shopping will likely help retailers’ registers jingle this year, as these shoppers plan to spend 27 percent more on holiday gifts than non-smartphone owners.

The survey also found a significant number of consumers expecting to shop using their tablets.  Among the 38 percent of respondents that own tablets, nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of these owners indicate they plan to use it for holiday shopping this year, with “shop or browse online” ranking as the No. 1 activity.

“Tablets are a two-way street for retailers,” said Alison Paul, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP, and retail & distribution sector leader.  “They have opened up an entirely new consumer touchpoint, where shoppers can view multiple retailers’ products regardless of their location – from their couch to the point of purchase.  Retailers can also put tablets to work in their stores, providing both their sales team and customers with a broader lens into merchandise selection.  Now that the majority of consumers also own smartphones, these two devices have altered the way they interact with a brand, while also yielding a higher spend per customer.”

Shoppers stay close to home

This year, two-thirds (66 percent) of shoppers plan to shop locally at small businesses, independent retailers or boutique shops which are not part of national chains.

The survey indicates that one-third (34 percent) of consumers’ budgets will be spent at local stores. Among the reasons for shopping locally, consumers cite desire to support the local economy (60 percent), to find one-of-a-kind gifts (53 percent) and because it is more convenient (44 percent). Nearly one-third (30 percent) report having greater loyalty for the local store over national chains.

Stores still make consumers’ spirits bright

While the Internet ranks as the top shopping destination for the 2013 holiday season, 37 percent of respondents still prefer shopping in a physical store rather than online for holiday products. Service levels continue to influence respondents’ willingness to give a retailer their business.

More than half (54 percent) of shoppers say that knowledgeable store associates will lead them to making an in-store purchase, and 32 percent of shoppers feel store associates can provide customers a better shopping experience when equipped with the latest mobile technologies.  Yet, nearly six in 10 (59 percent) shoppers feel they are better connected to consumer information, including coupons, competitive pricing and product availability, than store associates.

“In the store, retail associates can be engaged to drive loyalty rather than just complete a transaction,” continued Paul. “The most successful retailers are empowering their associates to become devoted brand advocates who are knowledgeable, connected online, have the authority to price match and are aware of products available through other channels.”

Retailers also benefit from providing shoppers with self-help technology in the store. Nearly six in 10 (58 percent) of shoppers will use self-help technologies – the most common being price checkers (60 percent) and self-checkout payment lanes (57 percent).

About the Survey
The Holiday Survey was commissioned by Deloitte and conducted online by an independent research organization between September 13 and 23, 2013. The survey polled a national sample of 5,018 consumers and has a margin of error for the entire sample of plus or minus one percentage point.

About Deloitte’s Retail & Distribution Practice
Deloitte is a leading presence in the retail and distribution industry, providing audit, consulting, risk management, financial advisory and tax services to nearly 75 percent of the Fortune 500 retailers.  With more than 1,400 professionals, Deloitte’s retail & distribution practice provides insights, services and solutions assisting retailers across major subsectors including apparel, grocery, food and drug, wholesale and distribution and online. For more information about Deloitte’s retail & distribution sector, please visit www.deloitte.com/us/retail-distribution.

As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

SOURCE:

Deloitte
http://www.deloitte.com/us

 

Categories
Finance Personal Finance Savings Surveys

New Financial Habits Survey

New Survey Finds Millennials Rely on Friends’ Financial Habits to Determine Their Own 

AICPA and Ad Council release results of national survey as they launch new ads and website encouraging young adults to ‘feed the pig’

Contacts: AICPA, Kristin Vincenzo, 212-596-6138, kvincenzo@aicpa.org, Ad Council, Ellyn Fisher, efisher@adcouncil.org, 212-984-1964

New York, October 30, 2013 – Doing alright financially? The answer, if you’re 25 to 34 years old, depends on your friends, according to a new survey from the American Institute of CPAs and the Ad Council. They released the results today to coincide with a new series of national public service advertisements and a redesigned website for their Feed the Pig financial literacy campaign.

The national poll found that three quarters of young adults, or 78 percent, use their friends’ financial habits to determine their own. The vast majority, 66 percent, wants to keep pace with their peers on where they live; 64 percent say the same thing about what they wear. Nearly two-thirds experience pressure to keep up with the types of places they eat and the gadgets they carry.

At the same time, in the past year alone, almost half of those in the age group had to use a credit card to pay for necessities like food or utilities and more than a quarter missed a bill payment or were contacted by a bill collector. Sixty-one percent still get financial help from their family.

“As the old saying goes: Be careful about the company you keep,” said Ernie Almonte, CPA, chair of the AICPA’s National Financial Literacy Commission. “Many young adults are building financial foundations with the wrong blueprints. They need to make sure they’re modeling the best behavior for their long-term financial stability.”

The new series of PSAs, developed pro bono by kirshenbaum, bond, senecal + partners (kbs+), taps into millennials’ desire for belonging and its impact on their financial well-being in a light-hearted way.  The PSAs are designed to remind this demographic that they need to forge their own path to financial security. The television PSAs feature scenes of over-the-top spending contrasted by financial achievement. In one ad, for instance, a college graduate celebrates paying off her student debt while a friend, lounging in a formal dress, surrounded by designer shoes and feeding a pet horse, complains that she can never save enough money to get ahead. Earlier this summer, the campaign released print, outdoor, radio and digital PSAs, urging viewers, “When it comes to financial stability, don’t get left behind.”

“Young adults are in the midst of making critical financial decisions about family and careers and are establishing the spending and saving patterns that often last throughout their lives,” added Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council. “Our new PSAs tap into the insight that this generation is strongly influenced by their peers when it comes to lifestyle purchases, but our goal is to extend that peer pressure to also include saving for the future.”

The PSAs direct viewers to www.feedthepig.org, which was relaunched this month. In addition to a myriad of money management tips and tools, the new website features personal finance calculators and short-, mid-, and long-term action plans for achieving goals like buying a house, starting a family or paying off debt. The campaign also directs young adults to Facebook and Twitter to ask questions and engage with financial experts.

“The AICPA cares about the financial literacy of 25 to 34 year olds and they wanted to communicate to them that understanding your finances is crucial at a young age. To do this, the AICPA, the Ad Council and kbs+ created a campaign that humorously brings to life the poor financial decisions that many young adults make every day,” added Will Bright, kbs+ creative director.

The AICPA and the Ad Council first launched the Feed the Pig financial literacy campaign in 2006. To date, the campaign has received over $277 million in donated media support. Per the Ad Council’s model, the new series of PSAs will be distributed to over 33,000 networks nationwide and continue to run in airtime and space donated by the media.

The AICPA and the Ad Council commissioned the new nationwide online survey earlier this month of employed adults between the ages of 25 to 34. It was administered by the Ad Council, conducted by LightSpeed Research and reached a representative sample of men and women. The survey also found:

·         For 70 percent, financial stability means paying all the bills each month.

·         Women feel more financially stable than men.

·         Men find it more important than women to keep up with their friends.

Source:

AICPA

http://www.aicpa.org/

Categories
Real Estate Surveys

Median Price of Homes Purchased Rose 2.3 Percent

Median Price of Homes Purchased Rose 2.3 Percent to $110,000, 2011 American Housing Survey Finds

WASHINGTON, July 11, 2013, Homeowners in the U.S. paid a median price of $110,000 for their homes, according to a 2011 American Housing Survey profile released today. This is an increase of 2.3 percent from the $107,500 reported in the 2009 survey. The median purchase price of homes constructed in the past four years was higher at $235,000, down 2.1 percent from the $240,000 reported for new construction in 2009.

The profile released today provides information on the nation’s housing costs, mortgages and a variety of other physical and financial characteristics about housing in the U.S. The statistics come from the American Housing Survey, which is sponsored by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, and is the most comprehensive housing survey in the United States. National data are collected every odd-numbered year and metropolitan area data are collected on a rotating basis. The Census Bureau also released profiles for 29 selected metro areas.

“The last five years remind us how central housing is to each of us personally, to the fiscal health of our cities and counties, and the national economy. For 40 years, the American Housing Survey has provided a unique set of data that connects the detailed characteristics of who is living in homes to the detailed characteristics of the homes themselves,” said Kurt Usowski, HUD’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs. “From the American Housing Survey, we can see why people chose to move, how often homes need repairs, and the extent to which housing costs are outpacing income growth. All this information can help inform policymaking around continued recovery in the U.S. and in metropolitan areas around the country.”

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to collaborate with HUD on these profiles,” said the Census Bureau’s Arthur Cresce, Jr., Assistant Division Chief for Housing Characteristics. “Analysts in government and business study the nation’s housing very closely and the AHS yields a wealth of information that can be used by professionals in nearly every field for planning, decision-making, and market research.”

Some highlights for the U.S. include:

Physical Characteristics

  • The median year occupied homes were built in the U.S. was 1974.
  • Nationally, piped gas was the most prevalent home heating source, used by 50.4 percent of occupied homes. Electricity was used by 35.3 percent.
  • Among owner-occupied homes in the U.S., 46.3 percent had working carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Among all U.S. homes, 72.5 percent of owner-occupied units had central air.

Financial Characteristics

  • Median monthly expenditures for homeowners in the U.S. totaled $151 for real estate taxes, $121 for electricity and $58 for property insurance.
  • Among U.S. owner-occupied homes, 65.4 percent had a regular and/or home equity mortgage and 23.4 percent had a refinanced primary mortgage.
  • The median monthly mortgage payment for homeowners was $1,015 in 2011.

For a complete set of tables from the American Housing Survey, definitions, sample design, and more, see <http://www.census.gov/housing/ahs/>.

U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development

U.S. Census Bureau

Brian Sullivan

Robert Bernstein

Office of Public Affairs

Public Information Office

202-402-7527

301-763-3030

brian.sullivan@hud.gov

pio@census.gov

CB13-125
Press kit

SOURCE:

U.S. Census Bureau
http://www.census.gov

 

Categories
Accounting Surveys Taxes

Survey Demonstrates Top Global Tax Concerns

KPMG Survey: Corporate Tax Leaders Say U.S. Business Tax Reform And Transfer Pricing Environment Are Top Global Tax Concerns

Survey Results Issued In Connection With KPMG’s U.S. Tax Summit

NEW YORK, June 4, 2013, The potential for U.S. federal business tax reform and the rigorous pursuit of transfer pricing adjustments by foreign countries are the top global tax concerns facing senior U.S. tax professionals, according to a survey issued today by U.S. audit, tax and advisory firm KPMG LLP in connection with its 2013 U.S. Tax Summit this week in Orlando, Fla.

“It’s clear from our survey that tax department leaders are focused on how to manage in the persistent and active regulatory environment in transfer pricing and are also devoting increasing attention to how changes in U.S. tax legislation will affect their global operational decisions,” said Jeffrey C. LeSage , vice chairman of KPMG’s U.S. Tax practice. “We believe that these and other key tax issues will present U.S. companies with challenges and opportunities as the global business landscape continues to evolve.”

The survey of almost 250 U.S. senior tax professionals — conducted prior to KPMG’s 2013 U.S. Tax Summit, taking place June 3-5 — also polled companies on tax cloud initiatives, the tax impact of import and export activities, sustainability, and legislation on taxation of Internet sales.

According to the survey, 26 percent cited the pursuit of transfer pricing adjustments as their greatest global tax concern, while 24 percent pointed to the potential for U.S. federal business tax reform. Other top concerns included the increasing number of countries aggressively pursuing ‘permanent establishment’ as an approach to asserting a jurisdiction’s taxing authority and the lack of a uniform approach by countries (15 percent) and challenges related to obtaining meaningful data that enables a company to project its annual effective tax rate with confidence (12 percent).

Tax Not Adequately Involved With Cloud

The survey also revealed that just 12 percent of tax departments are involved in early-stage  discussions around cloud-related business transformation and almost one-third (30 percent) said when it comes to decisions on cloud-enabled business transformation their department is still being left out of the decision-making process.

“The feedback related to cloud business activities is particularly eye-catching,” said Laura Newinski, national managing partner-Tax at KPMG, “because we’ve seen that many companies that leave tax departments out of early cloud-related discussions also leave money on the table when it comes to the ultimate return-on-investments (ROI) of their cloud projects.”

In another interesting finding, 4 in 10 tax executives had not yet evaluated the potential impact of the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013, despite the Senate’s recent passage of the bill, which would allow states to require online and other out-of-state merchants to collect and remit sales and use taxes on products and services they sell.  Only 5 percent said they had evaluated the legislation and believe it will have a significant impact.

“Companies that may be affected by the potential changes to the taxation of online and remote sales need to pay close attention to the legislation and new tax compliance obligations that may be imposed on them,” KPMG’s LeSage said. “If passed, the bill could be the most significant game changer in U.S. state and local tax in years.”

Legislative & Regulatory Impact on Trade & Customs

When asked what new regulatory, legislative or policy development has had the most impact on their company’s global import and export activities, nearly one in four respondents (21 percent) cited aggressive enforcement of customs valuation laws associated with related party pricing and the ‘dutiability’ of  royalties.

And with regard to tax’s role in a company’s sustainability strategy, more than one-third (37 percent) of respondents report that they have no significant role as a tax executive in implementing that strategy for their companies.  Rather, 28 percent said their role involved strategic implementation to managing the overall after-tax return of sustainability projects.

“As all of these issues spotlight, the challenge for tax departments in the future will be to stay out in front of developments and make the case that their insights can add value to their company’s overall business and bottom line in light of rapidly evolving needs,” said LeSage.

The KPMG “pulse” survey, conducted May 16-23, reflects the responses of 242 senior tax professionals including tax directors, tax managers, vice presidents of tax, chief tax officers and tax analysts.

About KPMG LLP

KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm (www.us.kpmg.com), is the U.S. member firm of KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”).  KPMG International’s member firms have 152,000 professionals, including more than 8,600 partners, in 156 countries.

Contact:

Robert Nihen/Bridget Carroll

KPMG LLP

201-307-8296/201-505-6501

rnihen@kpmg.com;   bccarroll@kpmg.com

SOURCE:

KPMG LLP

Categories
Employment Finance Financial News Surveys

Survey Reports on Financial Services Hiring Environment

Robert Half Global Survey Reports on Financial Services Hiring Environment

Recruiting Difficulties, Retention Concerns Emerge as Common Themes

  • Nearly nine in 10 (89%) financial services executives surveyed globally find it either somewhat or very challenging to find skilled financial services professionals
  • Globally, 83% of institutions are either somewhat or very concerned about losing top performers to other opportunities
  • Demand is strongest for financial services professionals with accounting and finance expertise, operations support experience

TORONTO, April 30, 2013, Already faced with a changing regulatory landscape globally, the financial services sector may have yet another challenge: finding and keeping good employees. In a recent Robert Half study, nearly nine in 10 (89 percent) executives surveyed in seven countries reported recruiting difficulties, and 83 percent said they are concerned about losing top performers to other opportunities.

The survey was developed by Robert Half, the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm, and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on responses from 1,100 financial services executives, including finance directors, chief financial officers and chief operations officers, across seven countries: Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States.

“While some areas within financial services institutions have seen cutbacks, other more profitable product lines are receiving further investment which has resulted in additional hiring,” said Neil Owen , global practice director of financial services recruitment for Robert Half . “This is creating challenges in finding the requisite staff to capitalize on emerging opportunities. Competition for the industry’s top talent continues to intensify for middle-office and support roles, particularly accounting and finance, as well as operations positions.”

Recruiting Challenges

Eighty-nine per cent of executives surveyed said it is very or somewhat difficult to find skilled financial services professionals today. Talent shortages are especially acute in Hong Kong, where 95% of respondents cited difficulties. Even in France, which had the lowest level of difficulty, 82% of executives reported recruiting challenges.

When asked how challenging it is to find skilled financial   services professionals

Very
challenging
Somewhat
challenging
Net
challenging
All countries 33% 56% 89%
Hong Kong 38% 57% 95%
Singapore 49% 45% 93%
Germany 36% 55% 91%
UK 29% 62% 91%
Canada 28% 62% 90%
US 30% 54% 84%
France 15% 67% 82%

Added Owen, “Institutions around the world need staff who can manage fundamental business needs, drive profitability and ensure compliance mandates are met. Building a team with these skills has become increasingly difficult as firms face situations in which the demand for skilled professionals often outweighs the supply”.

Employers’ Retention Worries

With the hiring environment improving for financial services professionals who can fill roles in areas such as accounting and finance, operations support, revenue generation, and risk and compliance, employers around the globe are worried about losing their best and brightest to other opportunities. Eighty-three percent of financial services executives are at least somewhat concerned about their ability to hang on to top performers this year, the survey found.

The greatest worries appear to be in Hong Kong and Singapore, where 93% and 92% of respondents, respectively, cited concerns about losing good employees. In the seven countries surveyed, at least 76% of respondents expressed some level of concern.

When asked how   concerned they are about losing top performers
Very
concerned
Somewhat
concerned
Net
concerned
All countries 31% 52% 83%
Hong Kong 40% 53% 93%
Singapore 50% 42% 92%
Germany 21% 66% 87%
Canada 22% 62% 84%
UK 24% 59% 83%
US 29% 48% 77%
France 21% 55% 76%

“A combination of factors, including heightened demand for skilled specialists in financial services, the growing need for regulatory expertise and operational changes taking place in the sector, may exacerbate current retention challenges,” Owen said. “Employers will need to focus on competitive compensation, progressive perks and rewarding career paths to keep their best people.”

About Robert Half
Founded in 1948, Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company has more than 350 staffing locations worldwide and offers online job search services on its divisional websites, all of which can be accessed at www.roberthalf.ca. Follow Robert Half on Twitter at twitter.com/RobertHalf_CAN, and gain insights on the latest financial hiring and salary trends at www.roberthalf.ca/salarycentre.

SOURCE:

Robert Half Canada