Business 101


If the world of professional services is new to you, you can build your knowledge of business vocabulary by using our “Business 101” glossary. 

When going through our selection process, we'd encourage you to do your research, including using the PwC website and referring back to the job description for your role. It's important that you have an understanding of PwC, what we do and the role you’re applying for.


When one company purchases most or all of another company's shares to gain control of that company.

Leverages computers and machines to mimic the problem-solving and decision-making capabilities of the human mind.

The ability to speak up for ourselves in a way that is honest and respectful.

Something a person or business owns, or has value,  e.g. buildings, vehicles, a copyright, cash in a bank account, money someone owes you.

The use of machines and technology to make processes run on their own without manpower.

A plan for the successful operation of a business, identifying sources of revenue, the intended customer base, products, and details of financing.

A transaction or business conducted between one business and another, such as a wholesaler and retailer.

This is when cash is added into a business. For example, through investment from the business owner, shareholders or a bank loan.

 A reduction in the value of an asset over time, due in particular to wear and tear.

Selling or getting rid of something that you own, e.g. disposing of a building by selling it to someone else, disposing of a written-off vehicle by taking it to the scrap yard.

Economic life is the expected period of time during which an asset remains useful to the average owner.

Commercial transactions conducted electronically on the internet.

The economy of a developing nation that is becoming more engaged with global markets as it grows.

Technologies that are currently developing, or that are expected to be available within the next five to ten years.

The measurement of the number of employees who leave an organisation during a specified time period. A higher rate is generally seen as a bad thing.

Assets which are purchased for long-term use and are’t likely to be converted quickly into cash, such as land, buildings, and equipment.

A business that maximises value while minimising waste.

Something a person or company owes, e.g. loans, expenses.

The process of taking legal action.

Combining two separate businesses into a single new legal entity.

A change to the way a business process takes place, e.g. the way a supermarket sources their produce, or the way a company distributes their product.

The practice of sending fraudulent communications that appear to come from a reputable source, often by email, with the aim of tricking the receiver into sharing information.

The total amount of income generated by the sale of goods or services related to the company's primary operations.

The way that a firm chooses to deliver services to their customers.

A study undertaken by an organisation to identify its internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as its external opportunities and threats.

Example SWOT analysis

A SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis is a simple framework used to evaluate a company’s competitive position.

Strengths and Weaknesses are things that a company does well or could improve on. They are sometimes referred to as ‘internal’ factors that are focused specifically on the company.

Opportunities and threats are things that the company could take advantage of, or cause the company harm if not addressed. They are sometimes referred to as ‘external’ factors that other companies may also be affected by.

Internal factors



Well established brand name and loyal customer base

No social media presence

External factors



Recent regulation changes mean the company’s products can now be sold overseas

Several new competitors have entered the market and are generating a lot of interest

A feature, or characteristic of a product, service, etc. that distinguishes it from others of a similar nature and makes it more appealing.