​Dear Mr Lemon, someone has stolen your data

By Fergus Lemon, PWC

‘On Wednesday night, law enforcement officials contacted our offices and alerted us that hackers had sought and gained unauthorized access to some of our customers' data.

Accessed information included usernames, email addresses, mailing addresses, phone numbers, and encrypted passwords. As a precaution, we strongly recommend that you change the password of your account, and other accounts where you use this password.’

This is an extract from an email I received in February 2014, over a year on and it is still one of the things that I associate most with the company in question. Fortunately for that company,...

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On In 60 Seconds

By Fergus Lemon, PWC

A minute is not a very long time, sixty seconds fly by; we don’t get much done in a minute. Or do we?

An infographic published by DOMO in 2014 – Data Never Sleeps 2.0 – revealed some mind boggling stats about how much data we share online every minute. For example:

Google receives over 4 million search queries;Facebook users share nearly 2.5 million pieces of content;Twitter users tweet 277,000 times; and72 hours of new video are uploaded to YouTube.

We now have access to more data on individuals and businesses than ever before and when this data is processed, structured and analysed it can be very useful for making decisions. In the context of finance, the ability to make better de...

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PWC Review the Nesta AltFi Industry Report

By Fergus Lemon, PWC

The alternative finance industry is quickly becoming an important part of the UK economy. An innovative, technology led approach by many in the sector has improved access to finance for SMEs and it seems to be having a positive impact on social and charitable enterprises. 

We are therefore delighted to be supporting Nesta and the University of Cambridge's UK Alternative Finance Industry Report 2014: in our view the most comprehensive research on the industry to date.

Industry report

The report by Nesta and the University of Cambridge (supported by PwC), UK Alternative Finance Industry Report 2014, estimates ...

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The Cloud, Business and Finance

By Suzanne Houghton, My Financepartner

Cloud technology is nothing new. Since internet protocols were agreed files could be saved from local, internet-connected devices to hosted servers. These servers – resident somewhere on the Internet – became known as ‘the cloud’ to differentiate from servers only accessible from local area networks.

However, it’s only fairly recently that cloud based services became available to businesses. These services quickly started adding lots of rich functionality on top of basic remote file storage. Messaging technologies embraced by consumers (e.g. email, instant messaging and micro-blogging) soon became commonplace in businesses too, dragge...

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From Start-up to Scale-up

By Suzanne Houghton, My Financepartner

We’ve all heard of start-ups. But what exactly is a scale-up business?

According to Sherry Coutou, Co-Founder of SVC2UK, rapidly scaled-up businesses produce the lion’s share of jobs and economic growth. The UK, she argues, creates as many start-ups as the US. The problem is that too few of these companies (in the UK) turn into the fast-growth employment powerhouses that we need for economic growth.

Coutou outlines a number of reasons why startups fail to scale. For example, hubris could be one – startups simply grow too fast because sometimes, after they obtain some funding, they might just spend most of it on headcount growth and expensive ...

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Account Management - The Best Place To Start!

Suzanne Houghton of PwC’s My Financepartner outlines the challenges of business growth.

Growing a business is never easy. Some say that the difficulty of creating the processes necessary to be able to sustain a business beyond say 10 or 20 employees explains why so few companies make it. There are many, many micro businesses – but fewer small ones, even fewer medium sized businesses and very, very few large companies. However, cracking the nut of the processes necessary to sustain a business up to 100, 200 or 20,000 employees means that large companies can become very large indeed. In short, turning a small business into a big one is ...

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