AfricaRAS's Patricia Stock says companies must understand culture, diversity and local nuance in African countries.
If the recent Finance Indaba Africa showed delegates anything, then it is the potential in terms of economic growth that exists on the continent. That is according to Patricia Stock, MD of Africa Risk Advisory Services (AfricaRAS), who says people need to find ways to harness the opportunities and look for specific solutions designed for entrepreneurs.
“As an organisation, we are seeing what is happening in the market and applying an integrated approach to the business. We provide clients with solutions that are focused on very specific requirements. It is all about delivering cross-functionality and offering advisory services to deliver demonstrable value to our clients,” she says.
Part of this, she says, is identifying trends and finding innovative ways to improve business operations for organisations operating on the continent.
“Within every challenge is an opportunity in Africa. With so many different markets, and compliance requirements, business is an interesting environment to operate in. For any organisation, irrespective of size or focus area, it is therefore vital to understand the culture, diversity, and local nuances of the countries in which they operate.”
According to Stock, countries are in different phases of their maturity and need to be treated as such.
“Everything from connectivity opportunities to the regulatory environment provide opportunities to collaborate and promote the United States of Africa. There are so many technological advancements taking place that companies need to find ways of leveraging their data more effectively to extract value for enhanced solutions. Transformation is taking place in all spheres of business across the continent. From our side, we are harnessing data analytics as part of our approach to deliver strategic thinking through auditing. It is therefore not only about the numbers but about the insights to be derived from them.”
Stock says that this reflects the importance of embracing the digital age.
“There are so many opportunities for training at companies to educate on the potential that going digital will provide. We view this training as a crucial component to enhance the IT auditing services we provide. Gone are the days when service providers deliver solutions that are limited in IT scope coverage. The expectations from customers are that value-adds need to be provided. Moreover, any service being offered must be professional and be cognisant of changing regulatory requirements. Today, it is about delivering strategic advisory services and be clear on how those are articulated to customers irrespective of their geographic locations.”