The first steps of my journey


Well, where do I start? Hi! I guess that’s a good starting point. Thank you for stopping by.

It’s currently 10:20am on a Saturday morning, after an extremely busy week at work. I have been through a few ups and downs this week juggling the additional hours at work, completing the readings for week 1, adding questions into Peerwise and answering as many as I can. I’ve been watching the lecture online and writing my first assignment and now here I am building my blog.

You could say I’m exhausted, and I would have to agree. But I keep thinking about this as a journey. How many of us have set out on a journey and come back more tired than when we started? How many times have we said, I need a holiday after my holiday? But do we complain? If we set out on a journey, experience something new and learn from it, do we focus on the pain and hard work or is it the destination and experience we’ve gained? So this is where I am! I am at the start of my journey and I know I am not alone. I am excited, anxious, open and ready for what lies ahead .


Bye for now,


Economic profit, say what??

Economic profitI would first like to start with the fact that I am not surprised by my economic profit. IPPlus was once a profitable business however over the last few years it had dramatically declined. At the end of 2015 IPPlus changed its name and sold off most of the business to focus solely on the Payment Card Compliance industry. By doing this you can see in the 2016 number the business had made a dramatic improvement on its economic profit. 

NOALooking at the key contributors of economic profit. I first focus on net operating assets (NOA). Each year was fairly consistent. Even in 2015 when I look at the figure to me it does not stand out to be the biggest contributing factor for driving the large negative number.

RNOAWhen I look at the return on net operating assets (RNOA) you can clearly see this is a contributing reason for the negative economic profit for 2015 and the positive economic profit in 2013. It doesn’t necessarily explain 2016 and 2014.

Profit marginNext to look to see if it is a key driver is PCI-PAL’s profit margin (PM). Again, very clear for 2015 and 2013. Whereas 2016 and 2014 are again similar, although still a very small profit margin.

ATOThe asset turnover (ATO) has been fairly consistent throughout the four years, which would not make this a big contributor to the negative economic profit.

When I look at the four key contributors I can see PCI-PAL are moving in the right direction. The decision to focus solely on the PCI industry has helped the business return to where they were in 2014. What is interesting to see is the NOA was almost £1,000,000 more in 2014 compared to 2016 although PM, ATO and RNOA were similar. I believe this was driven by the operating income (OI) not having as big of a difference each year as the NOA has.

I would love to hear what you think of economic profit and have you noticed anything different with your own company?

Bye for now,


Rationalising Ratios

Okie dokie, where do I start? We have spent the last 10 weeks playing around with the numbers we found in our company’s annual statements and now we need to make sense of them all. Up until now I have had most of my fun in the spreadsheet linking cells and creating mathematical equations. But now I am left with a whole lot of info and I am not sure where to start. Hence this post – As I reach out for help and to start the discussion happening!

When I am looking at the numbers this is what I am getting so far.

PCI-PAL was previously known as Ipplus. In late 2015 Ipplus change its name and sold off a lot of it business to only focus on PCI systems. Now offering a product that integrates into other business systems to offer compliance peace of mind while not disrupting the customer experience. By doing this it is clear to see from 2015 to 2016 there has been a major improvement across all aspects of the business, however still not all in the black.

But let me break it down to what I think I know.

Profitability Ratios:Profitibility ratiosBoth net profit margin and return on assets have improved dramatically from 2015. This is a result of the fact that there was a profit in 2016 whereas in 2015 there was a considerable loss. This is also a result of the decision to only focus on the PCI-PAL component of the business rather than multiple areas, reducing the trade administration costs dramatically while sales increased.

Efficiency (of asset management) Ratios:Efficiency ratioI couldn’t put a figure on the days of inventory line as my company is a service/computer software. So, there is not inventory as such. What my total asset turnover ratio is telling me is that PCI-PAL is making £1.95 to every £1 of assets. This is back to where it was prior to 2015.

Liquidity Ratios:Liquidity ratioThis ratio helps me to understand the ability of PCI-PAL to pay back their short-term debt. Looking at the current ratio, PCI-PAL is in an okay spot with greater current assets than liabilities. Giving PCI-PAL the ability to quickly call on it assets if it was required to pay out the liabilities.

Financial Structure Ratios:Financial ratioI found these two quite interesting. I understand the debt/equity ratio shows that PCI-PAL has £1.09 to every £1 or equity. This is not necessarily very good, however when I googled it was recommended to find an industry average. I would be interested to see what other people in the unit have for theirs? On it states Amazon INC has a debt/equity ratio of 274%. That’s huge! But I am a little unsure to what the equity ratio is telling me. Any ideas?

Market Ratios:market ratioWell first glance at this, it’s pretty poor. Shareholders of PCI-PAL are not making any money, well only minimal. I had to show more decimal points for the earnings per share and dividends per share otherwise both were showing as a zero.

Ratios Based on Reformulated Financial Statements:restated ratiosReturn on equity (ROE) is the amount of net income returned as a percentage of shareholders equity. This shows me PCI-PAL has improved a lot here, it is almost back to where it was in 2014. But still I would think is a low number. Same as return on net operating assets (RNOA) PCI-PAL has improved dramatically, but is still not where it was in 2013. I am not sure what the Net borrowing cost (NBC) is telling me. It’s something to do with the cost of PCI-PAL’s debt. But how does the percentage work? Thoughts? I might need to watch the lecture again and see how Maria explains it. I think by this stage in the lecture my head was spinning a little. The profit margin is easy, I’m glad to see PCI-PAL are making a profit again, I would be keen to see what others in the unit’s profit margins are. I’m assuming 2% is quite low. With saying that, you wouldn’t see a business with a huge profit margin, would you? You would want to see them reinvesting the profits? Asset turnover (ATO) is an interesting one, although PCI-PAL were in the negatives for a lot of 2016 this figure didn’t seem to be affecting. Again, I’ll be interested to see others and find similarities, as I can’t quite put my finger on what this means for PCI-PAL. Now that leaves only the grand finale economic profit, I won’t go into here as I will do a whole blog about this one on its own, so watch this space!

Please comment below if you want to chat further! You can also head over to my ASS #2 tab to see my company spreadsheet.

Bye for now,


Journey into the unknown

Hello all!

It’s been a couple of weeks since I wrote a post and I feel it is time to share what I have been up to.

Well… where do I start? Assignment 1 is done and dusted. I am extremely happy with what I have achieved so far. I was so excited when I received the email from Martin asking if I was okay if he shared my assignment. Wow! To be honest, I was super proud of what I had submitted purely for the fact this was my first ever Uni assignment, but for it to be shared with everyone as an exemplar was not something I expected!

The last 6 weeks have been crazy in my world. Of course starting this unit is one key element of this, but I have also assisted in delivering a huge project a work that my team have been working on for the last 18 months. People did say I was a little crazy starting Uni, but hey I am loving it and I am driven to succeed! These last 3 weeks in particular have been the most crazy. I have been working a least 55 hours each week, coming home studying most nights, I’ve travelled to Melbourne twice and still found time to watch Game of Thrones. <—- Is everyone else loving this season so far?! One thing I have let slide a little is Peerwise. I need to get my Peerwise mojo back!

Who else is finding restating financial statements fascinating? Maybe fascinating is not the right word, but hey they are quite interesting and it is a very different task to anything I have done before. So far I have restated my Changes in Equity Statement and the Balance Statement. I have found watching the lectures when Maria takes us through step by step extremely useful and has helped me to understand chapter 4 a little more. Did anyone else not have much to restate in the Change in Equity? This has me a little stumped, hopefully I am overthinking it and not completely missing the mark. Numbers are my thing, so having to calculate the cash and splitting it into financial and operating was fun. <—- God how lame am I starting to sound? You would think I was completing my Accounting degree, not Social Innovation. Maybe I should re-evaluate?Thug life

Anyway, that’s enough from me. I have started to upload my drafts to my ASS #2 page if anyone wants to have a peek.

Good luck all for the next part of our journey!

Bye for now,





Up close and personal with PCI-PAL

Well it has been exactly two weeks and two days since I discovered PCI-PAL. A business I did not know existed until then. But a service I was semi familiar with. Over the last two weeks I have spent many hours scouring the net to get to know them better.

Overall PCI Pal is quite forward thinking and creating a brand for itself. I have looked at PCI Pal on Linkedin and was surprised to see they are quite a small business when it comes to employees. LinkedIn states they are a company size of 11-50 staff. Although they appear quite small they leverage on their partnerships. PCI-PAL works with any payment gateway, major cloud carrier platforms and all leading phone and CRM systems. Genesys, Barclay Card and World Pay to name a few.

Work/life balance is a hot topic. We are all working harder than ever. Businesses are looking for efficiencies throughout their processes while high employee engagement and satisfaction is a measure for most companies. PCI-PAL have brought their product back to adding value for the contact centre industry by not just focusing on maintaining compliance for the company but improving employee satisfaction in turn gets you happy customers. This article talks through the ease of supporting working from home options when PCI-PAL products are in use.

Omnichannel is another buzz word in the contact centre industry. Customers want to connect with businesses through multiple channels. We don’t need to speak to people for our simple enquiries, we want to connect on the go. I am currently typing this part of my assignment on the train on my morning commute. This is what large businesses are trying to do, make it easier for their customers to connect with them. By creating an omnichannel experience also allow extra time to spend with the customer who need it. PCI-PAL is focussing on this by providing a safe and complaint system for companies to use so they can focus on the more meaningful connections. Below is a link to a great article talking about how PCI-PAL can help.<

PCI-PAL really focus on the value add. They could say “We will help your company remain compliant.” But instead focus on the simplicity of they product assisting the companies to remain compliant so they can focus on the things that mean more the them, their people and their customers.


Bye for now,




Acronyms, Cyber Security and Credit Card Payments

Have you ever called a call centre and wondered how they store your credit card  when you’ve read out your sacred 16-digit number? Did you know that last year 9 out of 10 businesses had data integrity issues? We are connecting with businesses online and via the phone more than we ever have and we all know someone who has had fraudulent activity on their credit card.


PCI-PAL PLC is the company I have been assigned to. They are leaders in PCI compliance. You may be wondering, “What is PCI?” Well, it stands for Payment Card Industry and it is something I am quite familiar with. When I first started working in the Bupa contact centre, this was something I needed to understand quite quickly to ensure Bupa remained compliant as a business who takes thousands of credit card payments each week. PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) are the standards that all businesses who received credit or debit card payments should be compliant with.

Reading about PCI-PAL, the message becomes loud and clear: they are contact centre people who believe their solutions secure customer data and protect your business without compromising how your contact centre is run. They specialise in protecting credit card data received via phone conversations, SMS, webchat and documents and work with different industries across the globe from retail to leisure. PCI-PAL also recently acquired as a client a large pan-European fitness company in the gaming sector.

Check out this video to get an overview of what they do.

cyber securityPrior to 2016 they were known as IPPlus PLC. The name change was announced along with the news they would focus solely on secure payments solutions and would cease their call centre operations.

CX and FCR are two buzz acronyms in the contact centre world. CX stands for Customer Experience while FCR means First Contact Resolution. PCI-PAL  supports businesses in achieving both of these KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) by providing automated PCI solutions in contact centres. This allows consultants to focus on you, the customer, while ensuring your payment card information is safe.

I have read through their annual reports and so far their decision to sell the call centres and focus on the secure payments sector has benefited the firm and their shareholders. I am yet to understand the realities of the firm, however the value they add for their customers is clear.

Overall I am happy to have PCI-PAL and I look forward to learning more about them and understanding their financial position from their annual reports.

Bye for now,