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Your source for the latest news, expert insights and interviews.

04 May 2017

Knowledge is power: WATCH Thomson Reuters' Kamal Patel at #findaba16

Founded in Toronto in 2008, multinational mass media and information firm Thomson Reuters aims to provide professionals with the intelligence, technology and human expertise they need to find trusted answers. Thomson Reuters operates in more than 100 countries, and has more than 60 000 employees around the world. The firm is a trusted partner of the Finance Indaba and CFO SA and showcased its services at last year's event.

03 May 2017

Stay curious to be relevant in 2020, says CFO SA's Graham Fehrsen

Artificial intelligence (AI) already has the ability to read, write, present and take on a physical presence, all with alarming intelligent and coherent patterns. By 2020, a bot might write this piece, moderate a panel at a CFO Summit, and deliver outstanding insights to you, the finance professional, across multiple platforms. If this bot can build trusted relationships with people and creatively collaborate, I am definitely out of a job. And so are you.

03 May 2017

Cash-flush Apple posts disappointing earnings

Apple has announced financial results for its fiscal 2017 second quarter ended April 1, 2017. The tech behemoth posted quarterly revenues of $52,9 billion, falling below market expectations, and quarterly earnings per diluted share of $2,10. These results compare to revenues of $50,6 billion and earnings per diluted share of $1,90 in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 65 percent of the quarter’s revenue. iPhone shipments disappointed, with Apple stocks falling by as much as two percent in active after-hours trading.

02 May 2017

Former British minister delivers FinTech boost to African farmers

Former UK government minister Mark Simmonds (pictured) has teamed up with FinTech veteran Hirander Misra on a venture that aims to help African smallholder farmers boost their earnings by connecting them with local commodity exchanges. The Financial and Commodities Ecosystem (FinComEco) says it wants to improve food security, economic diversity and financial inclusion by connecting farmers with exchanges, financial infrastructure and national economies.

02 May 2017

Lead by example, says AFGRI's Johan Geel

AFGRI CFO Johan Geel sees massive potential on the continent for the food industry, as long as the approach is correct. He says: “Find trustworthy people, work with the correct information, do proper research, go there and make sure of things yourself – don’t stay away. Johan has been nominated for the CFO Awards in both 2016 and 2017, an impressive double-whammy that less than a handful other CFOs can boast about. We chatted to him about the past, present and future for AFGRI.

01 May 2017

When dealmaking, enter with a focused mind, says Standard Bank's Andrew Balnaves

A thorough, smart and stealthy due diligence process is among the top ingredients for successful mergers and acquisitions. We spoke to finance executives and dealmakers about the homework a growth-hungry company needs to do. “Prepare, ensure all parties are on the same page and don’t get distracted by unnecessary details,” advises Dr Andrew Balnaves, Executive Vice President of Africa Corporate Finance at Standard Bank.

28 April 2017

World Bank launches African digital entrepreneurship programme

The World Bank has launched an accelerator for African digital entrepreneurs. The five-month long XL Africa – which includes a two-week residency in Cape Town and the Venture Showcase pitching event – is backed Finland, Norway, and Sweden, XL Africa. Participants will be mentored global and local experts through a tailor-made curriculum, increase their regional visibility, and receive access to potential corporate partners and investors.

27 April 2017

The heart of business: WATCH futurist Graeme Codrington at #findaba16

Graeme Codrington is an acclaimed international speaker, consultant, and best-selling author who has built a career out of preparing companies for change. He is an expert on the future of work and the disruptive forces that are shaping it. As an author and researcher, his insights and analysis are sought after by business schools and CEOs around the world, with five degrees, four best selling books and a full-time research team at his company, TomorrowToday, to back it up.

26 April 2017

Banking must adapt to be future-fit, says futurist Keith Coats

In order to meet the demands embedded in the future, banking will need to adapt. It will need to change the way things are done and bring the delivery closer to the rhetoric. In short, banks will need to rethink their traditional business models completely. Futurist Keith Coats, director at TomorrowToday Global, says it is time for banks to face their demons. Keith sheds light on the top three challenges banks are facing that will determine their future.

25 April 2017

Effective CFOs know their business, says Standard Bank's Sean Berrington

"In the early days of the Group IT transformation it became clear that, unless the finance team transformed as well, we would become irrelevant. As a result, we needed to radically relook at how we run our staff engagement and processes," says Sean Berrington, CFO for Group IT at Standard Bank. Sean has been the finance boss of a “billion-dollar IT organisation” since mid-2016. Add to this his intimate experience of agile ways of working and he might just be the ideal person to talk to about the crossroads of threats and opportunities that technology and finance bring to banks and finance professionals.

21 April 2017

Nasdaq launches global FinTech investment programme

Nasdaq, one of the world's leading providers of technology and services to the capital markets, has announced the launch of a venture investment programme, Nasdaq Ventures, dedicated to discovering, investing in and partnering with unique FinTech companies worldwide. The programme's main objective is to identify and collaborate on new technologies and groundbreaking services and solutions which align with Nasdaq's clients' needs and the company's long-term objectives in the global capital markets.

20 April 2017

Sustainability is key: WATCH SAICA CEO Terence Nombembe at #findaba16

CEO of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) Terence Nombembe is one of the captains of industry shaping the accounting profession and has been a champion of the Finance Indaba since day one. Calling the Indaba a "unifying event that will help us build the nation" in his presentation, the former Auditor General of South Africa outlined his strategy for transformation of SAICA, which is based on effective collaboration and responsible leadership.

19 April 2017

Cost, risk and digital are top priorities in uncertain times, says Deloitte

A need for increased profitability in a low-growth domestic economy and increased global uncertainty are pushing chief procurement officers (CPOs) to add more value to their organisations. Defensive strategies being implemented by CFOs are demanding rapid, sustained cost reduction in parallel to a greater focus on risk from procurement. Traditional procurement operating models are therefore changing, driven by a lack of talent and an increase in digital innovation.

19 April 2017

5 cornerstones of investor communication

Consistent, transparent investor communication can encourage ongoing evaluation and accountability, sheds light on new investment opportunities, attracts new investors and bodes well for future growth. Global financial services giant EY has gained some key insights into effective investor communication from discussions with CFOs, investors and executives as part of its Master CFO Collection of studies. Here are five EY tips on gaining investor confidence.

18 April 2017

London, Singapore remain top FinTech hubs

FinTech has become a truly global phenomenon, with hubs popping up in cities around the world, although established players such as London and Singapore continue to be the top centres, according to a report by Deloitte. The study is the second output of the Global FinTech Hubs Federation, an initiative by Swift's innovation arm Innotribe and the UK's Innovate Finance to create a cross-border and open platform that brings established and emerging hubs together.

18 April 2017

A CFO understands the entire business, says PRP Solutions CFO Hiten Keshave

“I believe in four aspects of a leader: commitment, appreciation, respect, and trust. If you put the first letter of each of those words together it spells CART. A cart has four wheels and those form part of the carriage of a company and a team going forward. If I have those four aspects to my team, I believe we’ll be successful together,” says Hiten Keshave, CFO of PRP Solutions, a company in the business of people resource planning and which provides a management-by-exception workforce-based management system that operates in the cloud.

13 April 2017

5 ways to get the most out of millennials

Millennials, or those born between 1981 and 1996, – rightly or wrongly –have earn reputation for being enigmatic, difficult to work with and somewhat entitled. Their personalities have been shaped by rapid changes in personal computing and technology and a laissez faire approach to parenting. Empower your millennial employees, however, and you will be able to turn confusion into productivity. Here are five tips on getting the most out of millennials.

13 April 2017

The modern CFO: WATCH the JSE's Aarti Takoordeen at #findaba16

JSE CFO Aarti Takoordeen is an award-winning finance professional who is in great demand at industry forums for her views on the evolution of the CFO role. A chartered accountant, she began her her career as a finance manager at NamTech and later served as a TSG Finance Manager for Hewlett Packard. After working for Johnson Controls as its Finance Director, she became the CFO of JSE Limited in February 2013. She was named the Young CFO of the Year at the 2014 CFO Awards.

12 April 2017

Zeder posts modest results after drought

PSG-controlled Zeder Investments, the JSE-listed agri-investment company, reported a rise in recurring headline earnings per share of 0,5% from 42,4c per share to 42.6c per share during its annual results presentation for the year to February, on Monday. Although relatively modest, the rise was perceived as strong in view of the worst drought to have impacted South Africa’s agricultural sector in over 30 years and ongoing political uncertainty.

11 April 2017

Be proactive about risk, says Kiran Kumar, Finance Head for Africa at Wipro Technologies

Originally, from Bangalore, India, Wipro Technologies’ Kiran Kumar, has been living in South Africa for close to five years, initially sent here to reinvent the company’s processes and controls. He was elevated to head of finance towards the second half of last year, though he still shoulders the responsibilities of his previous role as finance controller. “I enjoy the visibility of the entire business. I don’t think anybody other than the finance team has such visibly of a company; it’s all encompassing.”

06 April 2017

What are the implications of a `junk status` downgrade?

The downgrade of SA’s sovereign credit rating to junk status after the Zuma administration’s midnight Cabinet reshuffle on 31 March has plunged the country into anxiety and depression. The rand and government bonds fell sharply after the S&P and now Fitch agencies took the step in a reaction to what they see as risks to fiscal policy and political uncertainty. But what does the downgrade mean for financial executives and South Africans in general?

04 April 2017

Experience things outside your comfort zone, says Monash South Africa's Alvin Liew

Alvin Liew, Acting CFO of Monash South Africa, grew up and was educated in Malaysia, completing his articles in Australia. He came to South Africa on an assignment with Laureate Education, the largest private network of higher education providers in the world, which has a global network of more than 70 higher education institutions in 25 countries. Monash South Africa is the first partnership that Laureate Education has embarked on in Sub-Saharan Africa. “South Africa is a great country. It has its quirks and eccentricities, but I enjoy this,” he says. Alvin has worked for Monash South Africa for three years and says that when it comes to reaching economic transformation goals, nothing can have as big an impact as education: “I believe the greatest enabler of economic transformation is education – no other factors come close to the importance of education when it comes to radically transforming a country.”

31 March 2017

KPMG and MacRobert Attorneys form tax dispute resolution alliance

The state of South Africa’s economy and more ambitious tax revenue targets, together with uncertainty on various tax principles and policy matters, has led to an increase in tax dispute matters. Against this background, KPMG and MacRobert Attorneys have joined forces to create a Tax Dispute Resolution Alliance. There is a shared vision between the two firms on how to help clients on dispute resolution matters without adopting aggressive and expensive tax litigation practices.

30 March 2017

5 more Excel tips for accountants

As a tried and trusted resource for financial executives that can be seen on computer screens in virtually every corporate office, becoming an Excel super-user is a great career move for any accountant. The spreadsheet is always expanding and reams of text have been devoted to excelling with Excel. The number of shortcuts and ways to increase your savvy are expanding all the time and there is a big difference between intermediate and advanced knowledge of the program. Here are five more Excel tips for accountants.

29 March 2017

Gloomy Sun International scraps dividend

Gaming and hospitality behemoth Sun International’s headline earnings per share fell to 223 cents per share for the six months to December 2016, from 344 cents in the comparable year and a sluggish economy, foreign exchange hits and settlement charges saw a 35% drop in full-year-profit. The group grew revenue 31% to R7.7-billion, with the strong growth attributable to the inclusion of its Latin American Dreams SA and GPI Slots’ operations for the full period.

28 March 2017

Good CFOs know their strengths, says Damain Matroos, SacOil CFO

“We need to be careful that we don’t make the mistake when going into the rest of Africa of thinking that we have better skills and expertise than others on the continent. This superiority complex will set us up for failure. The fundamental thing is, if you try to exploit the other African jurisdictions to the benefit of South Africa, you’ll come unstuck,” says Damain Matroos, CFO of SacOil, a South African-based independent African oil and gas company. We chatted to Damain about the challenges he faces as a CFO in the oil and gas sector, what opportunities exist, and what it’s like to do business in Africa.

27 March 2017

Reduce people cost through crowdsourcing, says Google's Terrence Taylor

Perhaps the most underrated aspect of crowdsourcing is its potential to disrupt the current cost structure that supports talent management. Crowdsourcing makes sense when thinking about the perennial constraint that businesses face: costs. Cost containment remains a priority, and with people costs (including salary, training, perks, etc) accounting for close to or over 60 percent of the cost structure of most companies, crowdsourcing offers the potential to greatly reducing this expenditure.

23 March 2017

Why artificial intelligence won't spell the end for accountants

Accountants across the globe, like their colleagues in many other professions, may feel a tad insecure at the moment, as disruptive technologies and automation continue to make disciplines obsolete and shape the way we work. These technologies are no longer confined to manufacturing, but are beginning to redefine the knowledge economy as well. Machine learning, mobile and automated workflow solutions are having a huge transformative effect on the accounting landscape.

23 March 2017

The king of governance: WATCH Prof Mervyn King at #findaba16

Professor Mervyn King is recognised internationally as an expert on corporate governance and sustainability and is in great demand as an arbitrator and mediator. He is a founding member of the Arbitration Foundation of Southern Africa and for some eight years was the South African judge at the ICC International Court of Arbitration in Paris. He has acted as an Inspector of Companies and a Commissioner of Inquiries into the affairs of companies. He has chaired many meetings for the compromise of creditors of companies and the rearrangement of shareholders’ interests and lectured on corporate issues in 38 countries.

22 March 2017

South African businesses are not agile, say executives

“In an age where digitisation, robotics and AI are wreaking havoc with traditional business models, it is easy for executives to focus on superior technology as the solution to ensuring the competitiveness of their organisations and to overlook the human element,” said Ilya Bonic (pictured), President of Mercer’s Career business. Growth rests on engaging and empowering today’s workforce in ways that we are just beginning to uncover, Bonic added. “It takes employees armed with the right skills and opportunities to develop innovative solutions to advance the business and themselves.”

22 March 2017

Nkonki to sponsor 2017 Young CFO of the Year

“We are delighted to be associated with CFO SA. This forum provides a critical support mechanism for South African CFOs, where they can access best practice, share information with their peers and be showcased for their contributions,” says Mitesh Patel, Managing Director of Nkonki, a 100-percent black-owned audit and advisory firm and the sponsors of this year’s ‘Young CFO of the Year’ Award. We caught up with Mitesh for a quick chat.

22 March 2017

Finance can be funny - comic Nik Rabinowitz to emcee CFO Awards

Capetonian Nik Rabinowitz is one of the country’s most well-known stand-up comedians and is renowned for his cutting wit. International appearances include Australia, Canada, Holland, the United Kingdom, the USA, and Zimbabwe. He’s been a guest on BBC 2’s Mock the Week, performed at London’s Royal Albert Hall, and intentionally driven on the wrong side of the road in Nigeria. We spoke to him about finance, comedy and his appearance as emcee at the CFO Awards 2017.

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