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23 February 2017

Dealmaking is about people - McDonald's SA CFO Zafar Mahomed

“Successful dealmaking is about people. Don’t rely on spreadsheets – get out there and understand the personal dynamics. I think 80 percent of it is about process flow, stakeholder management and people,” said McDonald’s SA CFO Zafar Mahomed in a CFO masterclass entitled Survival of the dealmakers.The insightful discussion formed part of the first instalment of the CFO Summit series and was hosted by CFO SA MD Graham Fehrsen at the opulent Summer Place in Sandton, Johannesburg, on Tuesday.

22 February 2017

Cybersecurity in the spotlight in first CFO Summit for 2017

“If traditional information security is about building a broad defence against attack, cybersecurity is really an attacker-centric approach. It's the knowledge of your attacker that drives your cyberinitiatives,” said Sean Howell (pictured), MD of Redshift Cyber Security, during this morning’s CFO masterclass on The Art of Breaking In, presented as part of the CFO Summit 2017. Howell, a professional hacker, provided welcome, albeit unsettling, insight and encouraged CFOs to start thinking like attackers in order to best protect themselves and their organisations. All businesses are at risk because all businesses possess information that it vital to their operations and thus vulnerable to exploitation from hackers, he added.

20 February 2017

Organise HR events that are different and engaging: CHRO SA meets Nova Human Capital

Nova Human Capital Solutions is a company that offers turnkey HR solutions to companies of all shapes and sizes. From simply providing payroll services to doing a total overhaul of a business’s HR function, they do it all. Last week, CFO Enterprise CEO Melle Eijckelhoff and Didi Sehume of CHRO South Africa met with director Debbie Victor and MD Scott Barrett from NOVA in the build-up to the executive HR round table to be hosted by Vodacom HR director Matimba Mbungela on 9 March.

17 February 2017

5 terrible accounting jokes

Accounting is a profession that is plagued by horrendous stereotypes and accountants are never seen to be the life of the party. Thankfully, they tend to have a sense of humour about it. We’ve put together a selection of accounting gags to brighten up your Friday and perhaps give you something better to use as an icebreaker when you’ve got to go up and present those numbers. Please let us put the “extroverted accountant looking at your shoes” line and the polite twittering that goes with it out to pasture.

16 February 2017

Deloitte celebrates Reporting Accountants award at DealMakers Gala 2017

Professional services firm Deloitte went home with the Reporting Accountants awards by Deal Flow during the 16th annual DealMakers Gala Awards Banquet on 15 February 2017 at the Sandton Convention Centre. A jovial CFO South Africa MD Graham Fehrsen handed the prize to Deloitte's senior manager Aubrey Sebothoma, together with DealMakers director Marylou Greig. KPMG won the Reporting Accounts award by Deal Value, just like last year.

16 February 2017

Plan to clinch that dream position: WATCH Cassel & Co MD Georgina Barrick at #findaba16

Quality positions are difficult to come by in the current market and there is a lot of competition for those that are available. While on a job hunt, it is important to prepare yourself for success in order to gain an advantage over other candidates. Every recruitment process is different but there are some critical elements that remain unchanged and which you need to be prepared for in order to be successful.

15 February 2017

Saving money AND future-proofing your real estate: JLL partners with CFO SA

Financial and professional services firm JLL, which specialises in commercial real estate services and investment management, is on a drive to get to know CFOs in 2017. To do this they have partnered with CFO South Africa, and will be sponsoring the CFO Summit and the annual CFO Awards. They will also host two intimate dinners for top CFOs to discuss the challenges and opportunities that the sector presents. Company MD Craig Hean (pictured) shares his thoughts on the partnership and what value they intend to bring to the CFO community.

14 February 2017

CHRO SA launch: meeting Millicom HR director Yvette Mujinga Malengela

Valentine's Day 2017 marked the start of CHRO South Africa, a deeply connected organisation for HR directors to boost their network, knowledge and careers. Founding CEO Melle Eijckelhoff flew from the Netherlands to meet up with our energetic CHRO community manager Didi Sehume. They immediately kicked off a whirlwind tour of CHRO visits, ahead of the first intimate roundtable event for top HR directors on 9 March. Their first meeting was with Yvette Mujinga Malengela, HR director at African telecoms company Millicom.

14 February 2017

From Pretoria to San Diego: what will CFO Awards winner Cobus Grove miss most?

Ending what has been one of the most spectacular blitz-careers of South African CFOs in recent memory, Cobus Grove, his wife Marilize, his son Christopher and his daughter Kaitlyn recently boarded an airplane and left for California. The winner of the Compliance & Governance Award at the 2015 CFO Awards will remain CEO of Pretoria-based company Ctrack, but he’ll be fulfilling his role from the San Diego headquarters of Inseego, formerly known as Novatel Wireless.

08 February 2017

Important ethics questions to ask prospective employers

An organisation’s ethical credentials and values are an important factor in their ability to attract and retain talent. But it’s not easy for candidates to get a handle on organisational culture from the outside. Assessing whether an employer can offer an environment conducive to ethical practices is a crucial part of the decision-making process, especially for professionals such as accountants who must abide by ethics codes.

07 February 2017

How to turn finance turnaround - Coca Cola Beverages FD Walter Leonhardt

In July 2016, ABI merged with Coca-Cola and local bottler SABCO into the new entity Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa – and Walter Leonhardt, ABI financial director, had his transformative work cut out for him once again. In this interview, we speak to Walter about what it takes to establish a culture of continuous improvement, the innovative ways his ABI finance team overcame its challenges and the secret ingredients of a prize-winning leader.

03 February 2017

How to win two CFO Awards? Dumisani Dlamini (NAC) reveals all in 15/2 public sector event

Summer Place in Johannesburg was abuzz with excitement in May 2016, when Dumisani Dlamini scooped two of the most prestigious CFO Awards: Young CFO of the Year and Public Sector CFO of the Year. In an exclusive CFO South Africa event for public sector CFOs on 15 February at 15h00 in Pretoria, Dumisani will reflect on his journey, the lessons learnt and the road ahead. He will also share some tips that he has never shared before!

03 February 2017

Innotribe FinTech challenge open for applications

Financial messaging service provider SWIFT Innotribe's Startup Challenge for Africa is open for applications. For the third year running, the Challenge will be part of SWIFT’s African Regional Conference (ARC) held in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, from 16-18 May 2017. ARC brings together policy-makers, industry leaders and the broader financial community from across the African continent. Typically attracting up to 500 delegates from around 40 countries, ARC is a unique forum for networking, education, discussion and debate and a great platform for FinTech startups to connect with the financial sector.

02 February 2017

Global success principles: Watch CIMA Director Badibanga Promesse at #findaba16

In an uncertain world constantly disrupted by innovation and reams of data, quality decision-making has been more difficult. In his presentation at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 in October, Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) Vice-President of the African region Badibanga Promesse explored the Global Management Accounting Principles, prepared in conjunction with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), which help the public and private sectors to make better decisions, respond appropriately to the risks they face, and protect the value they generate.

01 February 2017

Why CFOs need to be wary of fake news

From the Pope throwing his support behind Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s weapon deals, to brewery billionaires turning villagers into tycoons and mourning kangaroos, the past year has been dominated by fake news. These pieces of fiction have been manipulated to look like credible journalism and as such are easily spread to susceptible audiences with an inclination towards believing the lies, often outperforming verified, mainstream articles.

31 January 2017

Ecobank launches African FinTech challenge

Pan-African banking conglomerate Ecobank, which boasts operations in 36 countries on the continent, has launched a FinTech challenge for African startups. The Ecobank FinTech Challenge provides selected startups with tailored mentorship from leading industry experts, funding of up to $500 000, a partnership with the multinational, and access to Africa’s biggest banking ecosystem, maximising exposure across the continent. The winner will also showcase their idea at Ecobank’s Innovation Fair.

26 January 2017

Africa has great potential: WATCH Eclectics consultant Sebi Salim at #afta16 #findaba16

"We believe there is a lot of potential in Africa and this is why we are investing heavily. Up to 60 percent of our solutions are USSD- and SMS-based, but as Internet access becomes cheaper and easier, we are increasing our investment in web and mobile banking apps. Through our partnership model, we sit down with banks and understand their requirements to produce customised solutions," said Sebi Salim, a consultant at Eclectics International, a Microsoft Africa Partner of the Year in 2016.

24 January 2017

Knowledge is power, says NCR CFO Ayanda Mafuleka

“Everything I do is informed by risk. At any given time, we try to manage risk – be it business, financial or other. The NCR’s approach is that it takes risk management very seriously,” says Ayanda Mafuleka, chief financial officer of the National Credit Regulator (NCR), which falls under the Department of Trade and Industry (dti). Ayanda’s role includes overseeing the financial health of the organisation and ensuring that it complies with all the financial management-related legislation, as well as overseeing supply chain management and information technology (IT). A firm believer in the value of education, Ayanda is currently doing a Postgraduate Diploma in Forensic Auditing and recently applied at Unisa for an LLB. “I’m passionate about legislation and compliance. I was made to be a lawyer.”

23 January 2017

Avoid market volatility pitfalls - use an FX expert

Unpredictable, wildly volatile foreign exchange market conditions seem to be established as the normal state of things in today’s economic and political turmoil. Many South African companies with significant import/export business are naturally exposed to FX market fluctuations, which frequently lead to unwelcome volatility in profits and earnings. With today’s emphasis on cost efficiency, companies are torn between budgeting the resources to put an effective FX exposure hedging programme into place or risking a substantial proportion of their revenue.

20 January 2017

5 corporate cybersecurity best practices

The cybersecurity horizon looks bleak and is turning darker still with criminals preparing an onslaught on emerging technologies like the Internet of Things and driverless vehicles. In 2016, companies and individuals experienced over 90 million cyber attacks – 400 attacks every minute – and this number is expected to double this year. Over two-thirds of these go under the radar, but still wreak havoc. With this in mind, companies around the world are ramping up their security measures and the resources allocated to defending data are increasing dramatically.

19 January 2017

Global cybercrime costs set to double by 2021

Damage and data destruction, stolen money, lost productivity, embezzlement, and fraud… the costs resulting from cybercriminal activity is set to grow from $3 trillion to $6 trillion by 2021, according to the Cybersecurity Market Report. In early 2015, the British insurer Lloyd's estimated that cybercrime was costing businesses globally $400 billion annually — which included direct damage plus post-attack disruption to the normal course of business.

13 January 2017

London and Brussels build FinTech bridge

While other major European capitals play to Brexit fears in a bid to steal the UK's leading FinTech hub status, Belgium is taking a different approach by seeking to build a mutually supportive bridge between startups across both jurisdictions. A delegation led by Belgian finance minister Johan van Overtveldt recently crossed the channel to initiate talks with UK FinTech agency Innovate Finance on the establishment of a collaboration between the two communities and to announce the launch of a new Brussels-based hub to support financial technology startups.

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