KPMG’s 2014 Africa CFO Survey is based on the international survey Being the best: Inside the intelligent finance function. It collates and interprets responses from 264 CFOs of medium-to-large companies with a quarter of them working for companies with revenue over $1 billion. Here are 5 key insights about African CFOs from that survey.
- Confidence. Just over half (51%) of the CFOs are satisfied with the performance of their finance function. Only 10% of respondents rated any part of their finance process as a weakness. Among the biggest strengths, CFO list general accounting, statutory reporting and month-end/year-end closing. Greg Davis, CFO Africa at the Standard Bank Group, recently wrote a fascinating article outlining 4 principles for doing business in Africa.
- Less bean counting. CFOs and Finance Directors want to up the percentage of time they spend on decision support and spend less time on transaction processing. It's a familiar tune that CFO South Africa hears a lot from the CFOs we interview.
- Lean & mean. Three quarters of CFOs say a lean finance function is an important goal. Enablers of a lean and mean team are IT, optimized business processes and talent, skills and expertise of staff. A great example of a lean business operating in Africa is Promasidor, so why not head over to our interview with Promasidor CFO Austin McDonald?
- Risky business. Only 7% of the CFOs say they have "fully Integrated policies" to cover market risks. However, many CFOs tell us that risk is taking a higher place on their agenda each year. Delphine Maidou, CEO of Allianz AGCS and member of the panel of judges for the CFO Awards, is someone who is in a great position to assess those risks.
- People power. Talent management is the most important factor to the value-adding success and competitiveness of the finance function, but it is also very difficult to master. Only 16% percent of CFOs are confident enough to say that their organization is "very skilled/strong" at talent management. CFOs say "investments in talent, talent management, acquisition and retention" are the most important enablers to improve the finance function. A South African company with a great emphasis on talent is EOH and it perhaps wasn't surprising that its CFO John King won last year's High Performance Team Award.
- Share your ideas with the CFO Community as well with an interview or during one of our CFO events. Please contact Jurriën Morsch at [email protected]
- Visit our CFO Events Boost your knowledge, network and company. Join our insightful and inspirational CFO Events at CFO.co.za/events
- During our next events on 17 (Johannesburg) and 19 (Cape Town) February, KPMG's Frank Rizzo will discuss new innovations and inventions that technology is bringing to business and how technology is opening up new business opportunities.