Deloitte backs “Oscars of finance” for a sixth year!


Deloitte will be sponsoring the CFO of the Year, Public Sector CFO of the Year and Transformation & Empowerment Award at the 2023 CFO Awards, and looks forward to 10 more years of celebrations.

The CFO Awards have a proud history of recognising excellence, and so does principal sponsor Deloitte. The firm has been the principal supporter of the awards since 2017.

CFO South Africa will celebrate the 10th year of the CFO Awards on 16 November this year, shining a spotlight on the enormous contribution made by finance leaders to the economy and direction of South Africa for the last decade.

“CFO Awards night is always a fantastic event, from the amusing comedians who joke about accountants, to the amazing networking opportunities with the leading finance professionals in our market,” explains Deloitte Africa CEO Ruwayda Redfearn.

“There is a good reason it’s called the ‘Oscars of finance’!” she adds.

She says CFOs are instrumental in establishing and driving business strategy. They provide financial leadership and align business and finance strategies to grow organisations. This is especially true in uncertain times.

“Deloitte is committed to supporting CFOs with forward-thinking perspectives; we help CFOs and finance leaders keep pace by providing a deep understanding of the dynamics of their executive roles,” Ruwayda adds. “We believe in collaborating for impact, as such we assist with fostering pivotal connections and insights, thus furthering the development and advancement of a diverse set of executives, their teams and their enterprise.”

She explains that, “It is this straightforward principle that guides Deloitte’s decision to proudly continue our partnership with CFO South Africa and the CFO Awards as we celebrate the collective impact we all create together.”

Deloitte will be sponsoring the CFO of the Year, Public Sector CFO of the Year, as well as the Transformation & Empowerment Award at the 2023 CFO Awards.

CFO of the Year

The CFO of the Year is a proven financial leader who has consistently demonstrated exceptional performance over several years. As a strategic partner, they have played a key role in driving the company’s growth and profitability while maintaining high standards of excellence in their profession.

Leading by example, the CFO of the Year has set the bar for others to strive for, displaying unmatched skills, attitude, and results.

“The reality is, the job description for a CFO has expanded mightily in the past few years. Thus, when disruptions happen, CFOs will feel the impact on a number of fronts from strategic planning and value creation, to ESG, data and technology, including talent. These, along with two other major issues – enterprise risk and regulation, and agility and resilience to varying degrees – all are front and centre for many CFOs,” says Deloitte Africa financial services industry leader Kevin Black.

He explains that, in some cases, these challenges are reframing the job itself, pushing finance executives well beyond traditional functional boundaries.

Now, good CFOs must have:

  1. An analytical mindset: understanding not only the company's performance indicators and analysing the company's performance in the light of internal decisions, but also taking into consideration changes in the external environment.
  2. Vision and anticipation: accountants, bookkeepers, and controllers are tasked with record-keeping. They keep the books clean and accurate. Conversely, a great CFO is exceptionally forward-looking, aiming to progress a company forward actively and strategically in its goals rather than to only predict and/or document that progress.
  3. Effective team: one of the most important qualities of a great CFO is having an expert financial team supporting them. A great CFO will have an expert financial team behind them that helps produce financial reports and functions in a timely, accurate manner – supervised by the CFO. They are then able to use these reports as a base for developing financial strategies, assessing risk, and progressing the company toward its goals.

“In all of this, a great CFO needs to know that leveraging moments that matter will be essential,” Kevin says.

Public Sector CFO of the Year

The Public Sector CFO of the Year Award acknowledges outstanding financial management by recognising innovative programmes and contributions to government finance. The Public Sector CFO of the Year emphasises practical, well-documented work that demonstrates leadership and promotes ethical practices and improved public finance.

“CFOs working in the public sector are under intensifying pressure to ensure their ability to fulfil their mandate, while advancing their goals and objectives, like achieving efficiencies, managing risk and addressing fraud, waste and corruption,” Kevin says.

He explains that the role of a public sector CFO is crucial to the country, not only for managing the finances, but ensuring the effective use of resources and achieving positive outcomes while delivering essential services to the nation. “They face specific regulatory obligations, are held accountable for the proper allocation of public funds and the results achieved through this expenditure.”

He adds that all these reasons make it essential for organisations like CFO South Africa and Deloitte to recognise the public sector CFOs at the Awards.

Transformation & Empowerment

The Transformation & Empowerment Award winner has achieved impressive results in supporting job creation and economic growth while improving the company’s performance. The CFO has looked after compliance with the Codes of Good Practice and is a promoter of transformation as a strategic imperative. The company has made serious efforts to bring those who are left outside into the economy. They made B-BBEE good practice a standing agenda item for board and management meetings to help maximise its B-BBEE rating in terms of the legislation and charters.

“It is crucial to recognise that transformation and empowerment should extend beyond more compliance. South Africa should embrace the advantages that come with diverse perspectives, thinking, and networks within organisations."

“We believe that transformation and empowerment are non-negotiable imperatives and can’t be achieved by just setting targets,” she adds.

10 more years

Asked what Deloitte hopes to see from CFOs at the Awards in the next decade, Kevin says:

“It is imperative that CFOs broaden their expertise to meet the new demands of the roles. But taking on tasks outside of your comfort zone can be daunting. AI can play a key role in the finance function’s transformation from consolidating and reporting financial metrics to serving as a key strategic business partner.”

He concluded that, in the next decade, “We hope to see CFOs with more rounded general management experience, with comparatively less emphasis given to training in finance.”

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