August 2013 Articles (9)

Aarti Takoordeen, CFO JSE Limited: A holistic approach to growth

"I feel there is untapped innovation in the finance world,” says Aarti Takoordeen, who became the CFO of Africa’s leading stock exchange, JSE Limited, in February this year. While Takoordeen may only be 32 year’s old, she has gained extensive experience financial management. “I studied to be a Chartered Accountant as I wanted to manage a business but could not afford to start my own. My career goal is to become a CEO of a business one day,” she says.

Takoordeen will give a…


Added by CFO South Africa on August 28, 2013 at 16:00 — No Comments

Abigail Brooks, Trustco: the importance of soft skills and confidence

“I needed a bigger challenge,” says Abigail Brooks, Financial Controller at Trustco Financial Services since May 2013. The Namibian firm has recently moved into South Africa and has ambitions to roll out its innovative microfinance and insurance products into the rest of the continent as well. Brooks is based in Johannesburg and will be overseeing the financial department. “What is crucial for this position is soft skills and confidence,” she says.

Brooks has had an…


Added by CFO South Africa on August 27, 2013 at 8:00 — No Comments

Farid Vania, Group Finance Manager SMEC SA: patience to develop people

Personality, many CFOs nowadays proclaim, is just as important as accounting acumen. But don’t make the mistake of sending everyone who makes a flat impression in a first job interview packing, implores Farid Vania, Group Finance Manager at SMEC SA. “I interview a lot of finance people with a thousand degrees, who – despite this but because of their background – initially don’t come across as very dynamic,” he says. “But if you let them go and they end up at small enterprises they…


Added by CFO South Africa on August 23, 2013 at 15:00 — No Comments

Jan van den Handel, Group Finance Manager Business Connexion: balancing risk in Africa

Exposure to political uncertainty and ever changing exchange rates make it tricky to run – let alone start – a sustainable business in Africa. But, although the African market is difficult to get into, it’s the next destination, even though the risks are considerable. “If we want to grow, that is where we have to go,” says Jan van den Handel, Group Finance Manager: International Operations at Business Connexion.

Van den Handel’s main battle is to safeguard the South African…


Added by CFO South Africa on August 23, 2013 at 8:00 — No Comments

Philip Nottingham, CFO a.b.e. Construction Chemicals: Business processes before ERP

“First you have to make sure that your business processes are robust and world class, only after that does it make sense to invest in a brand new, upgraded or different ERP system,” says Philip Nottingham. Half a year ago the experienced finance expert was hired as CFO by a.b.e. Construction Chemicals and one of his main tasks was to roll out more efficient automation. “There was a general idea that our systems were old, but there was generally more information available than we…


Added by CFO South Africa on August 20, 2013 at 10:00 — No Comments

Natalie Zimmelman, AAT(SA): vocational training crucial for number crunchers

“CFOs often use Chartered Accountants to do work where they really don’t need them, as they cannot always rely on their junior staff,” says Natalie Zimmelman. She has made it her mission to convince South Africa that number crunchers – from cashiers and meter readers to bookkeepers and accountants – need to receive vocational training. “In many jobs people don’t need the ability to manage, but the ability to do.”…


Added by CFO South Africa on August 16, 2013 at 10:30 — No Comments

Alwyn Smith, Group Financial Manager, FPT: “What you want to achieve will come in time.”

Alwyn Smith is an Excel man through and through. No fancy informatics programmes for him; this CA prefers to do things manually. “I love Excel so I try to automate as much as possible to pull numbers from other sources. I’ve done courses in Visual Basic (the back end of Excel) and in writing macros, and so have extensive training of Excel.”

New Technology

This does…


Added by CFO South Africa on August 2, 2013 at 11:30 — No Comments

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