get product from? Holy mackerel, we’re going to have to redo our entire supply chain!’”
Several well-known retailers recently closed
stores and intensified other their cost-cutting
measures. Retailers and consumer product
companies, Iler adds, “are going to need a lot
of procurement and sourcing expertise.”
TECHNOLOGY: Stricter immigration restrictions, such as scaling back the H1B visa
program, would pose talent management
challenges to many technology companies.
Other changes could provide opportunities,
however. The possibility of a tax break for
repatriating overseas profits would help
many of the largest technology companies.
Start-up and smaller, fast-growing tech firms
that passed on public offerings in recent
years may find initial public offerings (IPOs)
more lucrative as public-company regulations lessen, taxes decrease and more capital
is available. “I would assume that we’re going to see more IPOs,” Iler says.
DEFENSE: During the election, candidate
Trump indicated that he would do away with
defense-spending cuts originally implemented during the 2013 federal budget sequester.
Protecting U.S. borders marked perhaps his
central campaign message. “[I]ncreasing
defense funding and securing our borders
will be top priorities of the administration,
which will benefit the defense industry and
its suppliers,” DeLoach notes. “Increasing
the size of the Army, expanding the Navy
fleet, adding more combat jets, and preparing
for cyber warfare are likely to be on the list.”
While the Trump presidency seems to bode
well for the industry, the President has sent
some mixed signals to defense contractors.
“Mr. Trump took to the 21st century bully
pulpit—Twitter—to attack the cost of Lock-
heed’s F- 35 fighter jet, and after that, the
sector went nowhere,” noted The Wall Street
Journal’s James Mackintosh while reporting
on the up-then-level performance of defense
stocks in two months following election day.
SERVICES DEMAND: THINK
SMALL, GROW ORGANICALLY
Consulting firms with industry practices in the
areas described above should be busy this year.
Other consulting offerings also seem poised to
flourish. A repeal/replacement of the ACA along
with tax reform would be highly favorable to
small business. “If Obamacare and other regulations are scaled back, I see small businesses hiring and really trying to grow,” says Iler. Throw
tax reform into the mix, and small- to mid-sized
companies will be poised for significant growth.
If that occurs, Iler believes that second-tier and
regional accounting and consulting firms, in
particular, would benefit.
The safest forecast for 2017 consulting services calls for a nearly 100 percent chance of
increasing investment and interest in digital
transformation, new technologies (e.g., block-chain, machine learning and robotics), data
analytics and cybersecurity. “Regardless of the
election, the common denominator for PwC as
a consultancy going into 2017 is technology,”
Kande reports. “These new technologies are going to continue yielding new products and services, new forms of customer engagement and a
platform upon which unique experiences can be
built. So for us, looking at each of these differ-