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Glossary Of Terms

Some definitions obtained from Wikipedia.

  • Adaptability – the ability to change or vary your ideas or behaviour so that they are suitable for different conditions in order to deal with new situations or outcomes successfully
  • Ambiguity – due to a lack of knowledge or understanding
  • Asset- a resource controlled by the entity as a result of past events and from which future economic benefits are expected to flow to the entity
  • Background Checks – A background check or background investigation is the process of looking up and checking criminal records, employment history, the verification of qualifications and memberships, reference checks, the checking of commercial records and/ or the financial records of an individual or an organisation.
  • Best practice – a tried and tested, most effective, desirable and most widely accepted way of performing a task or work procedure which becomes a standard for that process
  • Break even – the point where revenues equal variable costs plus fixed costs
  • Business continuity – the process whereby a business continues to operate as close to normal as possible irrespective of the circumstances it finds itself in as a result of unexpected events
  • Business philosophy – the systems and principles for the conducting of the business
  • Buy-sell agreement – is a legally binding agreement between co-owners of a business that governs the situation where a co-owner dies or is otherwise forced to leave the business, or chooses to leave the business
  • Capacity – the extent to which a business can increase the level of output from its existing resources without having to increase the level of investment or resources in the business
  • Cash flow – the movement in the businesses cash balances over a period of time
  • Cash generation – the businesses ability to generate cash from the sale of goods or the provision of services or collection of debtors
  • Client touch points – those areas of a product or service offering that are most likely to attract the attention of customers
  • Climate change – on-going change to the climate as a result of the impact by humans
  • Compliance – the extent to which the business meets and satisfies regulatory requirements
  • Concentration – over exposure to specific aspects such as customers, markets, risk, currencies
  • Contagion – the process whereby certain events, circumstances or situations have a knock-on impact or effect or trigger events in other areas or markets with similar characteristics e.g. emerging markets, countries with high current account deficits or those with high inflation
  • Cost drivers – those costs currently having or likely to have the biggest impact on the cost or expense base of the business
  • Cost dynamics – the mix of costs and the way the costs behave and react to volumes or usage
  • Credit extension – the extension of credit, whether knowingly and willingly or inadvertently to a customer or third party
  • Critical mass – the optimum level of activity before costs increase
  • Cross border – the undertaking of business activities outside the jurisdiction of South Africa
  • Crypto currencies – bitcoin, ethereum, factom, maidsafe, ripple
  • Curation – the process of “smart” aggregation by connection and patterns of both electronic and other content by a human
  • Computer crime, or cybercrime, is crime that involves a computer and a network. The computer may have been used in the commission of a crime, or it may be the target.
  • Cyber Threats – Cyber threats or cyber security risk can be defined as the risks originating from an organisation’s technology systems (e.g. the network, servers, the eCommerce platform, accounting and CRM systems) that result in a financial loss, disruption or damage to the reputation or some other adverse impact on an organisation as a result of security breaches or deliberate attacks by third parties.
  • Debt – loans to the business that invariably attract a rate of interest and which have to be repaid together with the interest over an agreed period of time.
  • Debtors – A debtor is a company or individual who owes money for products supplied or services rendered. Trade debtors are customers who owe you money for products or services provided, but if the debt is in the form of a loan from a financial institution, the debtor is referred to as a borrower. A debt in the form of securities, such as bonds, the debtor is referred to as an issuer.
  • Direct costs – those costs that can be directly attributed to any one specific function , product or area within a business
  • A disaster recovery plan (DRP) is a documented process or set of procedures to recover and protect a business IT infrastructure in the event of a disaster.Such a plan, ordinarily documented in written form, specifies procedures an organization is to follow in the event of a disaster.
  • Disintermediation – is generally the process of removing the middleman or intermediary from future transactions. An example would be the impact of technology in bringing buyers and sellers together in a new e-commerce platform in which traditional agents, brokers or facilitators are excluded from the value chain.
  • Disposable/discretionary income – the money which consumers have at their disposal after essential expenses, tax and the repayment of debt and creditors.
  • Disruptive Technology – A Disruptive technology (e.g. new product) is one that displaces an established technology and shakes up the industry or a ground-breaking product that creates a completely new industry. An example would be the impact of digital cameras on the makers of photographic film.
  • Disruptors – external factors, technology or environmental changes that will fundamentally and permanently impact the business or organisation
  • Drawings – amounts taken out of the business by the business owner
  • Due diligence – an exercise to check the accuracy and factualness of figures, claims and statements
  • Economies of scale – the ability to achieve efficiencies and savings from volumes off a largely fixed cost base
  • Embedded value – the book value of assets plus the value in existing contracts
  • Enterprise risk management (ERM or E.R.M.) in business includes the methods and processes used by organizations to manage risks and seize opportunities related to the achievement of their objectives.
  • Equity returns – the return generated on the equity invested in the business
  • Equity – the amount of money or net assets invested, injected or deployed into the business by the owners. Equity is the residual interest in the assets of the entity after deducting all its liabilities
  • Ethics – moral principles and the rules of conduct of the businessExit strategies – the process around how the owner/s of a business disposes of their interest in a business or of its operations
  • Facilities management – the management of elements such as health and safety, fire safety, security, maintenance of assets and vehicles, lifts/elevators, parking, space planning and allocation, cleaning, waste removal, pest control, recycling, power supply, heating/air-conditioning, telecoms, signage, storage of stock and records, ablutions and amenities, refreshments/catering/canteens, meeting rooms, company transport and business continuity, aligned to the underlying business operations
  • Financial Discipline – refers to the processes and procedures adopted and followed by your organisation to ensure accurate and timely record keeping, the adherence to strict policies (e.g. in procurement) to prevent financial fraud and strict controls over spending to ensure that you stick to budgets, so as to achieve your financial goals or targets.
  • Fixed costs – those costs that remain the same irrespective of business activity
  • Free cash flow – the amount of cash left over after all operating and trading expenses have been met
  • Gated content – content can range from white papers, e-books to templates and check-lists with access only granted upon registration or provision of personal details
  • Gearing or debt equity – the level of debt-normally interest bearing relative to the owner’s/shareholders funds or equity
  • Going concern – a business that remains solvent, operational and sustainable
  • Gone concern – a business that has all but ceased trading, exhausted its resources and as a result is unable to meet its liabilities and expenses
  • Good business practice – those business practices that are accepted as being tried and tested best practice
  • Good governance – a process of managing a business that positively improves its operation, performance and effectiveness
  • Governance – relates to consistent management, cohesive policies, guidance, processes and decision-rights for a given area of responsibility, and proper oversight and accountability. Good governance is seen as strict compliance with the law and regulations and a system focused on high levels of accountability and good citizenship.
  • Gross profit – the difference between revenue and the core costs of generating this revenue
  • Hedge – an instrument or position to limit downside risk or to fix an obligation or receipt
  • Indirect costs – those costs that cant be directly attributed to any one specific function , product or area, and which are then shared or apportioned on some basis to all areas of a business
  • Innovation – the continual introduction of new ideas or novel thinking
  • Integrity – behaviour that meets an accepted level of honesty and openness
  • Intellectual property – the know-how and intellectual capital of a business. This can range from patented or copyrighted products or processes, to registered designs or business trade secrets to your domain name
  • Interest rate cover – the level of profit relative to the level of interest payable on interest bearing debt and loans
  • Key result areas (KRA’s) or “dashboard performance measurements” – these are specific aspects or key measures and customised frameworks for the measuring and monitoring of the performance of a business. They can comprise a number of financial and non-financial factors and can be in a wide variety of formats that are viewed or extracted on a daily or ad hoc basis
  • Key person insurance, also commonly called keyman insurance and key man insurance, is an important form of business insurance. There is no legal definition for “key person insurance”. In general, it can be described as an insurance policy taken out by a business to compensate that business for financial losses that would arise from the death or extended incapacity of an important member of the business.
  • Liability – a present obligation of the entity arising from past events, the settlement of which is expected to result in an outflow from the entity of resources
  • Liquidity – the ability of the business to meet immediate obligations
  • Logistics – the management of resources, raw materials, supplies and finished goods to ensure their availability as, when and where required
  • Marginal cost – the change in the total cost that arises when the quantity produced changes or increases by one unit
  • Mark up – the amount, normally a percentage, that is added to the cost of an item or service to generate a profit
  • Minimum Viable Product (MVP) – the version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort
  • Mitigate – the process whereby risk or the severity of an issues or situation is reduced or moderated
  • Money laundering – the process of moving money so as to change its identity and ownership so as to legitimise its origin
  • Moore’s Law – the observation that, over the history of computing hardware, the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit has doubled approximately every two years. Moore’s law describes a driving force of technological and social change, productivity, and economic growth in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries
  • Operating costs – those costs that are or which have to be incurred in order for the business to trade and produce revenue
  • Operating margin – the net operational profit often expressed as a percentage of turnover
  • Operating Environment – Also known as the external environment, the operating environment is the combination of the political, social, regulatory, legislative, economic, cultural and natural environmental factors that may affect the business.
  • Opportunity cost – the cost in time, use of resources or monetary terms for taking a specific decision
  • Overtrading – the situation where an under capitalised business grows at a rate that it is not able to sustain or finance due the rapid growth in its stock and/or debtor levels
  • Payback period – the time period required for the return on an investment to equal the initial amount invested
  • Performance Measurements – Performance measurement or performance management (in HR) is the management of employees, departments, and organizations to ensure that goals and objectives are being reached efficiently and effectively. Performance measurement is part of human resources management, and aims to ensure that employees perform as agreed or expected.
  • Price elasticity – the impact on demand for a product as a result of price increases in the product
  • Procurement – the process around the acquiring of goods, services or suppliers for the business
  • Profits – Profit is a financial benefit that is realised/ achieved when the amount of revenue gained from a business activity exceeds the expenses/ costs. Gross profit is the profit after deducting cost of sales from revenue, whereas net profit/ operating profit is the profit after deducting all other operating expenses.
  • Regulatory requirements – the framework of rules, laws and statutes which are formally promulgated and legislated and which a business or society is required to comply with. These range from the Constitution, Acts of Parliament to local regulations and bylaws.
  • Reputation – what the public generally believe about the business or its owners
  • Resources – the level of capital, cash, human resources, time, skills and equipment available to the business owner
  • Return on investment/return on capital – the return in terms of net profit on either the amount invested in an initiative or investment or the return on the total capital/ shareholders /or owners funds invested in the business
  • Revenue drivers – those factors currently contributing or likely to contribute the most to the businesses revenue such as-product mix, volumes, quantities, capacities and values
  • Revenue dynamics – the mix of revenue streams that contribute to and dictate the revenue
  • Revenue – amount earned from the sale of goods or services
  • Revocable or irrevocable transactions – transactions or undertakings that are either capable of reversal or cancellation or aren’t
  • Risk capital – the amount of capital that a business owner is prepared to put at risk for a desired return from a business venture
  • Risk free return – the return that can be earned on capital for little or no risk or the level of price volatility relative to zero. The risk is often equated to the return/yield on US 10 year government bonds. This figure is used as a hurdle rate that all risk free investments should achieve and which investments with a higher risk profile should exceed
  • Risk mitigation – the processes whereby a business reduces the risks facing it
  • Rule of 72 – number of years of investment at a rate for money to double
  • Run rates – forward projections of current expenses and revenues to highlight trends and anticipated amounts
  • Scalability – the ability to replicate the business model and grow a business, its volumes and revenues across markets from a solid platform i.e. revenues must be capable of growing faster than costs
  • SEO – (search engine optimisation)-the use of words, tags or headings to maximise the potential number of hits, views or enquiries across the web and social media
  • Separation of duties  – Separation of duties (SoD) (also known as Segregation of duties) is the concept of having more than one person required to complete a task. In business theseparation by sharing of more than one individual in one single task is an internal control intended to prevent fraud and error.
  • Servicing of debt – the ability, requirement and extent to which a business is able to or is required to meet interest charges
  • Shareholders Agreement – is an agreement amongst the shareholders of a company to govern the relationships amongst the shareholders and those between the shareholders and the company
  • SMME – small- and medium-sized enterprise or business
  • Social media – online interaction where people create, share and exchange content, information, ideas and opinions across various platforms
  • Socio-Economic – The potential impact of factors related to society (e.g. employment levels or education) and economics (e.g. economic growth or inflation) and how these interact to have an effect on the operating environment.
  • Solvency – the extent to which the assets of the business exceed its liabilities
  • Spear-fishing – form of targeted cyber attack
  • State capture – a type of systemic political corruption in which private interests significantly influence a state’s decision-making processes to their own advantage through unobvious channels, that may not be illegal
  • Stealthflation – hidden price inflation when instead of raising a product’s nominal price, manufacturers cut product sizes or reduce product quality
  • Store of value – gold, bitcoin, ease of exchange, divisible, fungible/interchangeable, rare
  • Sunk costs –  those costs that have already been incurred irrespective of business volumes
  • Supply chain – all the parties and components that are required to be co-ordinated in order to produce the finished product or service and deliver this to the end customer
  • Sustainability – the ability of a business to keep operating and trading as a viable concern, maintaining its infrastructure into the future without exploiting natural resources and inflicting, directly or indirectly, irreparable damage to the environment
  • SWOT analysis – review of the businesses strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
  • Systemic risk – isolated events or decisions that in turn trigger a series of other events or outcomes which can have far-reaching consequences and implications. These can in turn give rise to further knock-on consequences and repercussions
  • Unlocking value – getting the full value for the assets of the business and the cash and profits they can generate
  • Value at risk – the financial risk of trading assets
  • Value proposition –  the promise of value to be delivered and the belief from the customer that value will be experienced i.e. the factors that when taken together help a business communicate to its customers why they are better, different and worth purchasing from
  • Variable costs –  those costs that vary with volume and the level of business activity
  • Viability – the analysis of an opportunity, product or idea  to test or ensure feasibility and that the expected or anticipated outcomes will be positive
  • Volatility – movements in markets and prices due to variables such as risk, fundamentals, sentiment, demand and supply
  • Wilful acts – those acts carried out knowingly or intentionally irrespective of required compliance or prevailing regulations
  • Working capital – the capital needed/available to fund day-to-day operations. It’s the cash on hand plus short-term liabilities less debtors and stock on hand