Mar 21

Wonders & Blunders: Blockchain Auditing and Other Oddities

 

 
OUR CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE WEEK’S NEWS
If you thought blockchain businesses would make human auditors obsolete, PwC says: guess again! Who’s overseeing that the technology is working correctly? A blockchain auditing service is a surprising introduction, almost as surprising as non-tax-related news from a massive accounting firm this close to April 15.
 
Robo-advisors and human financial advisors are … advised … to collaborate and become friends, not enemies. In today’s connected society, where information about financial services and products are just a smartphone swipe away, all forms of communication between clients and advisors should be welcome to improve the client experience. Happy clients = loyal clients, and a quick Q&A chat with a robo may be all a client needs.
 
Unprofitable IPO companies are increasing at an alarming rate, and certain analysts interpret the data as warning signs for a repeat of the dot-com bubble. Other experts disagree and point to the tangible revenue the tech companies of today have compared to those that existed two decades ago. We hope the latter is true!
 
Auditing the Auditors: PwC on Blockchain
Wonder: PwC Has an Answer for the Blockchain: Audit It – by Michael Rapoport in The Wall Street Journal.
 
Accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) launched a new service to provide an outside look at a client’s use of blockchain in business. Blockchain records are unchangeable, making auditing technically unnecessary, but PwC describes this services as increasing the public’s trust in blockchain by having humans keep an eye on it. The purpose of the auditing is to make sure the technology is functioning as intended and to assist compliance teams implementing new blockchain systems.
Fintech as an Advisor’s Friend, not Foe
Wonder: Technology’s Impact on the Client Experience – by James Capps in Wealth Management.
 
The “consumer revolution” of fintech and social media gives financial services clients the ability to independently learn more about the investing process and products than ever before. Eighty-eight percent of advisors believe clients are more knowledgeable than just five years ago, and half of advisors have had clients ask for investment information outside their usual purview. Advisors can adapt to this changing landscape by adopting technology that enhances the client experience. Robo-advisors and other fintech tools can be considered communication help for increased client satisfaction and retention, not thought of as competition.
Do IPO Losses Signal Another Dot-Com Bubble Disaster?
Wonder or Blunder: No Profit? No Problem! Loss-Making Companies Flood the IPO Market – by Ben Eisen in The Wall Street Journal.
 
Last year, the number of IPO companies reporting losses “reached the highest percentage since the peak of the dot-com boom in 2000.” More than 75 percent of companies in the IPO market were unprofitable in 2017. Only 17 percent of technology companies in the IPO market were profitable. Certain analysts worry this trend signifies the second coming of the dot-com bubble, but other experts reveal that many companies could report profits if they wanted to forgo growing quickly to compete with large tech competitors. Today’s companies generate more revenue than those during the dot-com mania, easing some concerns.
» IN THE NEWS
The San Diego Business Journal quotes Ken Slaght, President of San Diego’s Cyber Center of Excellence (CCOE) about the talent shortage in cybersecurity.
Global Banking & Finance Review quotes Rachel Carpenter, CEO of Intrinio, about the Engage Ventures go-to-market growth program.
» BOTTOM LINE: Integrated Marketing Communications: The Key to Campaign Success
Any communications professional knows that the number of channels for posting, distributing and promoting news have grown exponentially. This abundance of platforms provides both an opportunity and a challenge for communicators. In order to capture target audiences across multiple platforms and ensure consistency, an integrated campaign is essential.
» FEATURED CASE STUDY: Atria Wealth Solutions
Atria Wealth Solutions (Atria) not only launched as an active holding company, but also announced a significant private equity investment from Lee Equity Partners while simultaneously acquiring two broker-dealers. The client required a PR team with expertise in overseeing complex situations with multiple stakeholder groups and product lines (i.e., the business channels – bank and credit union affiliated advisors, hybrid registered investment advisors and other key stakeholders).
 
 
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