CAs must lead from the front, says Deloitte's Sihlalo Jordan

The deputy CE shares his thoughts on technology, integrity, and the crucial role of the CFO in business and in nation building

“There has to be a realisation that we operate in a unique country,” says Sihlalo. “I can't think of a more complex operating environment than I've seen in South Africa. A CFO has to recognise that and must understand the role that he or she plays beyond their organisation in building talent, influencing public policy development and contributing to the monitoring and evaluation of governance progress. Those are three easy examples of where a CFO can play a leading role.”

“In addition, we have realised that our profession – as CFOs, finance leaders and particularly as chartered accountants – is currently under scrutiny for a number of reasons."

The criticism we face as a profession is not always merited, but when you are in the spotlight, you have to respond.

"I urge CFOs to remain committed to operating with integrity and stay true to the values of the profession. We cannot break the trust that the public has given to us and the various organisations that we lead.”

“We cannot afford for that trust to be eroded any further because the strength of capital markets is dependent on our ability to uphold the highest levels of integrity. So, rather than being on the back foot and on the defensive as we sometimes are in this profession, we should be taking the baton as saying 'we will lead from the front'. We have to demonstrate why this is such a virtuous profession in terms of being a shining example of integrity and business leadership.”