Finance Indaba 2016: Sage One explores how firms can use the cloud

"The future is mobile and we are giving our customers the power to control their businesses from the palm of their hand," says Steven Cohen from Sage One, a gold partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg. In the coming weeks and months, we will be chatting to all the Indaba partners, asking them why they are joining the event and what their most important message for finance professionals is.

As head of Sage One, Steven Cohen is overseeing the growth and development of Sage's cloud-based accounting and payroll solutions in Africa, Australia, the Middle East, Asia and Brazil. Before taking his current post, Cohen dedicated his 25-year career to Sage Pastel, the innovative business software company he founded with partners Ivan Epstein and Alan Osrin in 1989.

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During this time, Steven has held several management positions in the company, including financial director, chief operating officer, and managing director. He has played a central role in the company's growth from a start-up to a part of the JSE-listed Softline Group, right up to its present incarnation as part of Sage plc, a FTSE 100 company.

A charted accountant by qualification, Steven has driven Sage Pastel's approach to keeping accounting at the cutting edge of technology and turning accounting software into a business management tool. Now, he will apply his skills and experience to Sage AAMEA's strategically important and rapidly growing cloud business.

Why will you be present at the Finance Indaba?
"It's the biggest annual expo and conference for finance professionals, so we simply cannot miss it. For us, it's a valuable opportunity to showcase our technology, talk about the latest developments around our products and services, and speak to customers and potential customers."

What will you be talking about?
"We'll be talking about how businesses can use the cloud to manage their financials more effectively. The cloud changes everything by allowing people to work anywhere and anytime, and empowering them to focus on their core business rather than worrying about technology."

What are the challenges you can help finance professionals with in 2016?

  • "Flexibility: Our solutions let businesses access the software they need without over-investing in software licences. They can add more users as the business grows or decrease spending if they need to.
  • Increased security: Our cloud software can be more secure than traditional IT. There's also less risk of losing data stored on a laptop or a USB stick because everything is stored in the cloud and not on devices that could be lost or stolen.
  • Mobile productivity and collaboration: The future is mobile and we are giving our customers the power to control their businesses from the palm of their hand. Users can simply log in from wherever they are and start working. As their data is in the cloud, it is available online, anywhere and anytime.
  • Gaining business insight: In today's competitive, knowledge-based economy, business owners and managers want to analyse and understand the business instead of just submitting tax returns, printing customer statements and sending out payslips. Cloud solutions enable them to access this functionality at an affordable cost."

How is the FinTech revolution affecting your business?
"We are changing the way that millions of businesses track the movement of money through their business, so FinTech is at the heart of what we do. Our solutions enable our customers to collect money, make payments, and reconcile effortlessly, all through a single interface and account."

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