Sage FD Jordaan Burger: CFOs need to embrace digital transformation

Jordaan says that CFOs need to utilise technology to become strategic business partners.

As Covid-19 made its way across the world, we’ve seen the biggest, fastest digital transformation acceleration event happen ever.

Sage FD of Africa and Middle East Jordaan Burger believes that CFOs, especially now, are dealing with a lot of new complexity as the world changes, including remote working and cybersecurity. “On the other hand, we’re still expected to deliver what CFOs historically had to deliver on, which is telling the stories of the numbers,” he adds.

In order to tell the story of the numbers, CFOs need to use data. “There’s more and more data in this digital world of ours,” Jordaan says. “That’s where systems and technologies come in.” He explains that, without the systems and technology, CFOs won’t be able to drive the strategic initiatives in their businesses to have the vision of where the business is going and what they need to focus their efforts on.

“Technology is just playing a bigger and bigger role,” he says. “I think it’s difficult for CFOs to keep up, but we have to. We have to change our mindsets to embrace the technology to make sure that we can still fulfill our roles.”

He adds that technology has also given CFOs an opportunity to be involved in the strategic side of business. “We have to utilise the technology to enable us to carry out that role.”

Jordaan recently had to juggle delivering a service to all of Sage’s Africa and Middle East clients while still supporting the CEO with data to make strategic decisions during lockdown. He explains that embracing technology played a huge role in these decisions.

“The responsibility to lead or assist with digital transformation is becoming more and more of a CFO role as well,” he says. “If we’re not leading the charge in terms of digital transformation, we’re surely supporting our CEOs or MDs in businesses in driving that strategy.”

Digital transformation is just one of the forces driving change in the finance industry. You can listen to this CFO South Africa podcast, brought to you by Sage, with Jordaan and Tetrad IT director Vusi Mthethwa to find out more about how digital transformation is affecting finance professionals.