The story pitch from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business makes clear change is afoot in business: “The latest Duke University CFO Survey found [Donald] Trump’s win has prompted the sharpest increase in CFO optimism we’ve seen in years.” And a jump in optimism usually means more jobs as well as economic growth.

The survey, published Wednesday, finds that chief financial officers “expect regulatory and tax reform, and some have already increased spending plans as a result.”

From skepticism and worry to outright optimism – what a difference a few months makes in the quarterly Duke University survey of corporate financial executives. More than 1,000 finance executives around the globe were interviewed after the election for the survey, which has been published for 83 consecutive quarters.

“For the last five quarters, the Duke University/CFO Global Business Outlook Optimism Index has hovered around the long-term average of 60 (on a 100-point scale),” Duke noted. “This quarter, post-election, the index jumped to 66, the highest level in nearly a decade. The proportion of CFOs becoming more optimistic outweighs those becoming more pessimistic by 4 to 1. Historically, a jump in the optimism index has predicted strong employment growth and rising GDP over the next year.”

CFOs are expecting a better business climate, yet there are concerns. What will the specific details be of the Trump plan after it emerges through work with Congress and executive orders regarding regulations?

WRAL TechWire checked in with Duke professor of finance John Graham, who is director of the survey, about what’s happening.

“They expect improvements in the business climate (lower taxes, less regulation) but there is a lot of uncertainty about the exact details,” Graham, who teaches at the Fuqua business school.

“So, for now, they are optimistic about the future in general terms … but not sure how their firm will navigate the new terrain, or even what that terrain will be like exactly. Hence, own-firm optimism is up only slightly (less than general optimism about US economy).”

Graham agrees that regulatory reform could benefit companies – at least initially.

“Yes, in the short run, less regulation will be less expensive to deal with,” hex plained. “Regulations have increased in recent years, yes.

“Some would say that these regulations are good, to reduce the odds of the next financial crisis (or negative ecologic event), and hence might be good for the economy in the long run. Others would say that the regulations are blunt tools that stunt growth without necessarily fixing the problem.”

And a reduction in taxes would boost companies’ bottom lines.

“Yes, if taxes are cut in half, then the government gets less, and the company keeps more, boosting the bottom line,” he noted.

“Of course, the government must eventually raise revenue from somewhere.”

Interestingly, the Duke survey did NOT ask CFOs about the impact of having an experienced business person and entrepreneur as president.

As for impact of Trump beyond U.S. borders, “businesses outside the US don’t benefit from lower US taxes and regulation, so Trump winning is not a plus for non-US businesses.”

But other pro-business leaders have had an impact, Graham pointed out in a statement about the latest findings.

“We’ve seen this pattern before, such as when Prime Minister Abe was elected in Japan and when Dilma Rousseff was forced out in Brazil,” he said. “The CFOs are telling us that they anticipate pro-business policies to be enacted in the near future – but until specific policy details are known, many are waiting to see how their own firms will navigate the new terrain.”