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01 September 2017

Finance Indaba 2017: QuickBooks is the most popular accounting software on the planet

"QuickBooks has over 42 million users worldwide, making it the best-selling accounting solution in the world, and some of the many reasons for this include a product range that caters for almost all types of businesses and it does not matter whether you are office-bound or on the road," says Nick Braxton, Sales Manager of QuickBooks SA, a gold partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2017 on 12 and 13 October 2017 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

30 August 2017

Leverage digital technologies to mitigate challenges and drive growth

“With the gap between technology and business all but disappearing, decision-makers are faced with a choice of either embracing a new, disruptive environment or become irrelevant to those companies that do,” says Sneha Shah, MD for Africa at Thomson Reuters. “Unfortunately, many still perceive digitalisation to only be about technology. And yet, the collaborative environment it enables is an integral component of it.”

29 August 2017

Success comes from surrounding yourself with positive, life-affirming people, says Nyasha Dzumbunu, CFO of SBU

“Change is the only constant in these times. In that situation of volatility and uncertainty, we always try to stay adaptable to change. Being a more agile and adaptable organisation is critical in enabling us to survive and thrive,” says Nyasha Dzumbunu, CFO of Shanduka Black Umbrellas (SBU), one of the leading enterprises in supplier development organisations in South Africa. While she may be a powerhouse CFO Monday to Friday, in her downtime, Nyasha likes to design women’s clothing – a passion she hopes might one day blossom into a full line of corporate and casual wear. “It’s about power dressing – helping women look and feel spectacular – and I’m very passionate about this. I feel it’s important to express one’s femininity even when you’re in a power role.”

29 August 2017

Dubai and Hong Kong sign FinTech agreement

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) and the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) in Hong Kong have entered into an agreement to establish a framework of cooperation on FinTech innovation. The agreement will further strengthen the efforts of both authorities to develop an innovations-friendly ecosystem in their respective markets. The signing took place between Mr Ian Johnston, CEO of the DFSA, and Ashley Alder, SFC CEO, in Hong Kong. Under the agreement, both authorities will share information on developments and innovations in FinTech in their respective markets. The agreement also intends to encourage both regulators to refer innovative firms to one another’s markets and to provide them with regulatory guidance. Mr Johnston said: “Providing a regime that fosters innovation in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), is a strategic priority for us. This agreement with Hong Kong’s SFC deepens cooperation between our two markets and will build a common understanding of the principles of good innovation.” “This agreement underscores the SFC’s efforts to strengthen regulatory collaboration and promote innovation in financial services," said Mr Alder. “We look forward to working closely with the DFSA to support FinTech development in both our markets.” The agreement extends the existing relationship between the SFC and the DFSA with a joint commitment to maintain the highest standards of cooperation. Both regulators are signatories to the IOSCO Multi-lateral Memorandum of Understanding (MMoU). They also entered into a bi-lateral MoU in 2008. The agreement marks the latest step in the DFSA’s roadmap to build a framework that supports innovation in the DIFC. It follows the introduction of regulations formalising a tailored regime for loan and investment crowdfunding platforms on August 1, the first in the GCC. On May 24, the DFSA launched its Innovation Testing Licence (ITL), a special class of financial services licence that allows FinTech firms to develop and test innovative FinTech concepts from the DIFC. The DFSA's innovation strategy is aligned with the National Innovation Strategy set out by UAE Vice President Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to make the UAE a global hub for innovation. It follows the launch of the FinTech Hive at DIFC, which will bring together the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs to compete and address the growing needs of the region's financial services industry, using innovative technology solutions. It intends to catalyse growth and efficiency in a variety of areas including trade finance, alternative finance and Shari'ah-based services. For its part, the SFC established the FinTech Contact Point (FTCP) in March 2016 to enhance communication with businesses involved in the development and application of FinTech and regulatory technology in Hong Kong. The FTCP also facilitates an understanding of the SFC’s current regulatory regime while enabling it to stay informed of the development of the local industry.

28 August 2017

Standard Bank's Funeka Montjane: FinTech is changing the face of banking

“There’s never been a more wonderful time to be a banker,” says Funeka Montjane, CEO of Personal and Business Banking at Standard Bank. Montjane, a 2015 WEF Young Global Leader, believes that the future of banking lies in creating time for customers with the help of automation, artificial intelligence and FinTech. Speaking about the future of banking at the Singularity University South Africa Summit, hosted on the continent for the first time in collaboration with Standard Bank, Montjane said that we’re living in what Stephen Hawking called ‘the century of complexity’ – in a more compressed and globalised world characterised by rapid disruption, and where information is free.

25 August 2017

When Sizwe Nxasana speaks about the future of education, you listen

“We just have to look at high-paying jobs today that didn’t exist 10 years ago, in order to understand that, according to WEF, 65 percent of students entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that don't yet exist,” said Sizwe Nxasana, founder of Future Nation Schools, Chairman of both the National Education Collaboration Trust and National Student Financial Aid Scheme, while speaking on the future of education at the first Singularity University South Africa Summit. Sizwe is also one of the founders of SizweNtsalubaGobodo and a former Firstrand CEO. “Yet our education system is still based in the architecture of the 19th and 20th century,” he continued.

24 August 2017

Risk-averse companies struggling with digital transformation - report

Overcoming aversion to risk is one of the most important characteristics of digitally native companies, according to a new study released today by MIT Sloan Management Review (MIT SMR) and Deloitte Digital. The sixth annual study, in its third year focusing on digital business, found that 71 percent of digitally maturing organizations have conquered this barrier by encouraging their organizations to experiment and accept the risk of failure, compared to 29 percent of early stage companies. The study, “Achieving Digital Maturity: Adapting Your Company to a Changing World,” examines the digital transformation habits of “digitally maturing” companies and what sets them apart from “digitally early stage” companies.

23 August 2017

Leaders who show their vulnerability are appreciated, says Nonkululeko Gobodo

“It breaks my heart when I see talented young females and they are just sitting on boards as non-executive directors,” says Nonkululeko Gobodo, the country’s first-ever female chartered accountant. “If women are quitting, we are not going to produce the leaders we need,” she says. Nonkululeko sat down with CFO South Africa to talk about being a role model for female CAs, her deliberate but painful departure from SizweNtsalubaGobodo, and the new chapter in her professional life as a leadership consultant.

22 August 2017

The future of finance will require a convergence of risk and finance, says RMB CFO Markos Davias

“One of my mentors that has impacted my leadership style and journey from early in my career is Hugh Harrison, a partner I worked for at Deloitte. He is now our RMB Global Markets CFO, but even in this role he still challenges, advises and guides me. In him, I have always had someone whom I could trust to place the mirror in front of me. He is brutally honest but fair in his feedback and if it means he needs to make you a little emotional and teary eyed, so be it,” says RMB CFO Markos Davias, who harbours a passion for young accounting talent, promoting diversity and embracing cutting-edge technology. A solid centre-back, strong in the air, leading from the back, stopping goals at all costs – these are some of the phrases Markos uses to describe himself on the soccer field, and indeed, many of these phrases correlate with the CFO’s approach to leadership. “My family, more recently fatherhood, sport and specifically soccer have all had an influence on my life and career choices.”

21 August 2017

Learn to regulate your energy: EAs of CFOs enjoy breakfast together

“Today we want to talk about energy – how you create it and how you work with it – not just for you, but for the people around you,” said Graham Fehrsen, MD of CFO South Africa. Graham was speaking at a sumptuous breakfast for executive assistants (EAs) of CFOs, held recently at the Saxon Hotel in Sandton. “You spend time picking up the pieces for the people who may be going through challenging times at work and are extremely busy, and help them through their days, not only through your work but through your attitude, because you are also there for them personally.”

21 August 2017

The 'Patel factor': Minette Smit and Marylla Govender explain

It has been 17 years since the inception of the South African Competition Act, and competition law enforcement continues to be vigorous and successful. Some now argue that competition law and its associated institutions are becoming a victim of their own success. Where other regulators have mostly proven toothless, the Competition Commission and the Competition Tribunal have been able to pry open cartels and punish offenders. Where broader economic policy has failed to force companies to change tack, competition policy clearly has not disappointed. In this article, competition experts Minette Smit and Marylla Govender explore the most recent trends in competition law, along with the rise of ‘the Patel factor’.

17 August 2017

Finance Indaba 2017: Build your finance future with AdvanceNet

"We will be talking about how to build your future with the Blueprint for Continuous Accounting. This revolutionary new concept is changing the way accounting and finance are performing and creating a paradigm shift across Modern Finance Organisations," says Bridgette Ward, Sales Manager of AdvanceNet, a gold partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2017 on 12 and 13 October 2017 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

16 August 2017

Female CFOs should be daring and resilient, says IDC CFO Nonkululeko Dlamini

“Growing into a well-balanced CFO is a journey which requires identifying role models and learning from them. And learning from your own mistakes,” says Nonkululeko Dlamini, the CFO of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), a public development finance institution with the mandate to promote economic growth and industrial development. Nonkululeko and her mentee, Nozibele Tshobeni, a Senior Financial Manager, attended the CFO South Africa Women’s Dinner on 17 August 2017 at the prestigious Saxon Boutique Hotel. We sat down with Nonkululeko and Nozibele to chat.

15 August 2017

I always lead the charge, says Musa Magongo, CFO of SWACAA

“The time has come for the CFO to become an important executive member who pushes for value creation other than the normal traditional financial role,” says Musa Magongo, CFO of the Swaziland Civil Aviation Authority (SWACAA). “The CFO is expected to have a better understanding of the impact of each process, whether commercial or operational, and be able to provide the necessary advice and guidance to the technical team.” In his role, Musa oversees all of the financial management issues of SWACAA, from budget preparation and implementation to monitoring, treasury and reporting. While this includes a focus on both finance and strategy, he says the nature of the role means he spends a greater proportion of his time on strategy, and ensuring that the organisation’s overall strategy is implemented.

14 August 2017

The impact of cybercrime on SA companies: are we better or WORSE off?

During the last year, the public became painfully aware of what cybersecurity experts have long been warning us about: That cybercrime is on the rise and that everyone is a potential target. The recent WannaCry and Petya attacks have revealed that hackers have adopted an increasingly financial focus, as they demand ransom (usually in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin) in exchange for unlocking the affected users’ data. Companies throughout the globe have been affected in the latest attack this June, with South African companies being no exception.

14 August 2017

Cipla SSA CFO Nishant Saxena shares his tips for creating a top team

Nishant Saxena won two Awards at this year’s CFO of the Year Awards – High Performance Team and Young CFO of the Year. He received this recognition because he took Cipla’s struggling, low-margin, sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) unit and turned it into one of the most profitable pharma players in South Africa. In so doing, he completely transformed the finance department, creating a high performance team in the process. Nishant shares his top tips for creating an efficient team.

10 August 2017

Finance Indaba 2017: Shanduka Black Umbrellas enables entrepreneurial dreams

"As one of the leading ESD organisations in SA we can support finance professionals with entrepreneurial dreams and capabilities in their journey to develop sustainable businesses. The support we provide encompasses training, physical infrastructure in our incubators, and mentorship," says Nyasha Dzumbunu, CFO of Shanduka Black Umbrellas, a gold partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2017 on 12 and 13 October 2017 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

09 August 2017

Create a lasting legacy, says Standard Bank CIB CEO, Kenny Fihla

“The biggest ambition that I have is to always leave a better legacy than the one I found when I took on a responsibility,” says Kenny Fihla, who took over from David Munro as chief executive of Standard Bank Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) in May this year. “What will the next generation of people or leaders in my role think when they assume the responsibility that I’m currently fulfilling that forces me to think about my actions? I get obsessed thinking about that – the creation of a lasting legacy.”

09 August 2017

Finance Indaba 2017: Alternative Circle is broadening the financial inclusion spotlight

"We believe that the user is the true source of value in any business, and if you service them well you can grow them and they in turn will grow your business," says Kevin Mutiso, CEO and co-founder of Alternative Circle, a silver partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2017 on 12 and 13 October 2017 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg. Finance professionals and accountants register for the Finance Indaba for free with code FB2017! In the coming weeks and months, we will be chatting to all the Indaba partners, asking them why they are joining the event and what their most important message for finance professionals is. Do you want to hear how Alternative Circle can help with your KYC processes? Do you want to be informed about the latest and greatest in finance? Then don't miss the Finance Indaba Africa 2017. The Finance Indaba is the biggest annual event on the continent for financial managers and specialists who are seeking partnerships to drive progress. Thousands of delegates will gain valuable insights into realising financial performance and growth, becoming more efficient and accessing funding, among a host of other opportunities from leading players in financial services.

04 August 2017

Flutterwave raises $10m for African expansion

Nigerian FinTech Flutterwave announced it has secured $10 million in Series B financing. Four investors contributed to the round: Greycroft Partners, Green Visor Capital, Y Combinator, and Glynn Capital Management. Flutterwave, founded by Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, provides technology, infrastructure, and services to enable global merchants, payment service providers, and pan-African banks to accept and process payments via any channel, including web, mobile, ATMs and POS. The company helps businesses in Africa go global by smoothening the exchange of funds in more than 150 currencies. The company revealed that it intends to use the funds to hire talent, build out its global operations, and accelerate its expansion across Africa.

02 August 2017

Deloitte puts executive compensation under the spotlight

A recently released Deloitte report found that annual cash bonuses paid to the CEO and CFO over the last six years are considerable in relation to guaranteed pay, with only 12 percent of instances where a bonus was not awarded to either executive over the last six years. The report also found that increases to CEO guaranteed pay over the last five increase periods exceeded inflation by a considerable margin on a compound annual growth rate basis.

01 August 2017

Award-winning Cipla SSA CFO Nishant Saxena on how he made a loss-making entity super successful

Nishant Saxena successfully took Cipla’s sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) entity from a struggling, low-margin organisation to one of the most profitable pharma players in South Africa. The success yielded double success at the CFO Awards in May 2017 for the Indian expat, who played a key role in shifting the strategy and improving the finance team. “Finance is like an internal venture capitalist responsible for ensuring the right returns on investment, and as Cipla’s largest acquisition ever, all eyes were on South Africa’s performance.”

26 July 2017

Robust business conversations drive a high-quality audit, says Deloitte's Andrew Mackie

“I would encourage every incoming CFO to find a way to do some deep thinking as to who they are and how to fill the role,” says Andrew Mackie, Deloitte’s new Head of Audit & Assurance for Africa, comprising 15 countries and 185 partners. In this interview, Andrew talks to CFO South Africa about his passion for audit and transformation, the balancing act that finance executives have to go through every day, and how clarity of purpose and priority is what really matters for a leader.

25 July 2017

Working at Transnet, I am basically doing my national service, says CFO Garry Pita

“It has been tricky to get politicians, our people and other stakeholders to understand that we can’t keep throwing capital at our problems. We need to focus on operational efficiencies,” says Transnet CFO, Garry Pita, winner of the Transformation & Empowerment Award at this year’s CFO Awards. Garry took over as Group CFO in February last year, replacing Anoj Singh, who was seconded to Eskom.

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