Now is the time for ethical leadership, say the 2018 CFO Awards winners

Finance heads agree: CFOs and the profession must embody ethical leadership in all that they do.

At the recently held CFO Awards 2018, where AngloGold Ashanti CFO Christine Ramon received four awards, including the highly coveted CFO of the Year, calls for ethical leadership echoed loudly. Christine herself said that now is the time for CFOs and the profession to stand tall.

She said:

“Doing the right thing means that one has to be an ethical and responsible leader; that one has to be true to one’s values and be a role model for others. I think when one takes into account that the accounting profession is in crisis, it’s important that leaders in the profession are seen as role models and are active leaders; that they speak up for the profession and actively support other CFOs out there.”

Rui Morais, CFO of Dis-Chem Pharmacies, and winner of three awards, including Young CFO of the Year, added his voice to Christine’s call for acting with integrity. Rui said it is the responsibility of leaders to ensure they act ethically and understand the consequences of the decisions they make.

He said:

“Doing the right thing, as simple as it sounds, is really important to ourselves, the country and the manner in which it needs to conduct itself and move forward. Everyone should do the right thing, especially in our situation, given the output that comes from a CFO and the requirement from a governance perspective. It’s not only about doing the right thing morally but also about doing the right thing from an accuracy perspective. It’s about your approach to your general work day and how you manage your teams.”

Krish Kumar, CFO of the eThekwini Municipality, who won the Public Sector CFO of the Year Award, added that for him, doing the right thing means ensuring that, at all times, one is ethical and does the right thing – even when nobody is watching.

He said:

“It’s all about ensuring that as CFOs, we understand that we are under no pressure to make decisions. The bottom line is, we cannot make unethical decisions. If all of us pull together, I think we can rid ourselves of the tarnished image that we’ve created in the last few years. I hope that all CFOs will subscribe to these values.”