Our industry focus is designed to provide insight to our clients and anticipate their business needs

Power and Utilities

People use electricity every day — to charge phones, to power computers, to turn on lights, to cook dinner, and to brew that morning cup of coffee. Electricity is the flow of electrical charge. Homes, buildings, and businesses get electricity through an interconnected system that generates, transmits, and distributes electricity – also called the grid.

Generation: Electricity is produced when certain forces (mechanical, magnetic, heat, or light) interact with energy resources — sunlight, wind, water, natural gas, coal, oil, nuclear. Various processes convert the potential energy from these resources to electric current (the movement of charged particles). Texas produces more electricity than any other state, generating almost twice as much as Florida, the second-highest electricity-producing state. Texas leads the nation in wind-powered generation and produced about 28% of all the U.S. wind-powered electricity in 2019. Texas wind turbines have produced more electricity than both of the state's nuclear power plants since 2014.

Transmission: Electric current then moves to an interconnected group of power lines and other equipment. These lines move electricity from their source, often transmitting high voltage electric current across great distances.

Distribution: Devices called transformers then reduce the voltage of the electricity and move it to another set of lines and equipment that connect directly to the homes and businesses in your community.

Power suppliers can sell the power they generate or transmit in wholesale power markets. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regulates this wholesale sale of electricity. FERC encouraged transmission infrastructure owners to hand over operations (of transmission facilities) to regional transmission organizations (RTOs), also called independent system operators (ISOs), to increase transmission access to buyers and sellers. These RTOs/ISOs provide interstate transmission services and operate wholesale power supply markets. Not all regions of the country have a system operator, and there are variations in regional power supply and transmission markets.

Texas is the largest energy-producing and energy-consuming state in the nation. The industrial sector, including its refineries and petrochemical plants, accounts for half of its energy consumed.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is a nonprofit organization that ensures reliable electric service for 90 percent of Texas.

The Public Utility Commission of Texas regulates the grid operator.

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Professional Services

The traditional professional services industry will be radically different in ten years. Changing client demands, employee expectations, rapid technology developments, and other external factors will change the nature of work and skills required in the future. Digital technology developments are the leading disrupter, fed by social, mobile, cloud, big data, artificial intelligence, and growing demand for “anytime-anywhere” access to information.

Professional services like accounting, legal, and consulting are all impacted by these technological developments, and signs are that the industry is at the gates of a digital transformation process. The most significant impact might not just come from new ways of organizing and delivering professional services. The very nature of the “practical expertise” that professionals deliver is being challenged.

There will continue to be skill shortages. Technology will replace much of the hard work of discovery, analysis, and comparison of information mainly done at the low end. Furthermore, low-end services can be replaced by robotic process automation or self-service platforms, especially when technology enables direct tapping into client data flows as needed.

Accounting firms and professionals will face new challenges caused by new technology, new platforms, new services, and changing customer expectations. Some services may be automated, commoditized, or will be done in-house by the client itself due to recent technological ways for clients to make sense of their own financial data, which data, in the end, is not much more than a registration of its business transactions.

While the legal profession went through some changes in recent decades, we expect significant changes across the legal industry over the next ten years. The legal industry’s transformation will likely be radical due to rapid technological developments, shifts in global workforce demographics, changing client demands, and the need to offer clients more value for money. Within four years, we expect a tipping point for individual firms which will impact the competitive landscape and the role of human resources.

The same external factors impacting accounting and legal will affect the consulting industry’s shape and form for the consulting profession. However, part of this sector may also benefit from this disruption age. As a result of the disruption, clients are rethinking their purpose and business models. Therefore, there will be an increased demand for technology-based strategy consulting, and this will likely go hand-in-hand with new parties entering into strategy consulting.

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Nonprofits

A nonprofit organization serves the public interest and is exempt from federal income taxes. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) classifies nonprofits with specific codes based on their purpose. In general, tax-exempt organizations are classified as 501(c) organizations. The objectives that nonprofits have varied widely. Their mission may be charitable, religious, educational, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering international or national amateur sports competitions, or preventing cruelty to animals or children. The IRS lists 26 different types of nonprofit organizations.

A charitable organization is a 501(c)(3) organization and is defined as “charitable” because its purpose benefits the broad public interest and not just its members. Nonprofits may be incorporated or unincorporated, with the difference being that the IRS will not grant 501(c)(3) status to unincorporated nonprofits. Also, donations to 501(c)(3) organizations are tax-deductible. In Texas, more than 90,000 nonprofits employ over 5% of the state’s workforce. The bulk of Texas nonprofits are 501(c)(3) public charities.

The charitable sector provides millions of people with powerful, independent, and voluntary methods for addressing the issues and expressing the most important values (to them).

Simply put, a nonprofit is a tax-exempt organization that benefits the broad public interest. However, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) defines more than 25 categories of tax-exempt organizations. The most common nonprofit is classified as a 501(c)(3), including public charities or private foundations. The majority of Independent Sector members are 501(c)(3) organizations. These organizations include large national organizations such as the American Red Cross, as well as your local soup kitchen, community hospital, and places of worship.

Good governance is a crucial element of successful nonprofits. The role of governance has a dual focus: achieving the organization’s social mission and ensuring it is viable. Both relate to fiduciary responsibility that a board of trustees (sometimes called directors, or Board, or Management Committee—the terms are interchangeable) has concerning the exercise of authority over the explicit actions the organization takes.

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