The CFO of the Year should be a master of data, says Deloitte’s Nina le Riche


Nina explains that a great CFO is someone who is able to unlock insights from the data of the entire organisation.

“A great CFO is both an efficiency seeker and a moderniser – striving to do business faster and smarter, but also creating new capabilities to modernise the business,” says Deloitte Africa’s chief growth officer Nina le Riche.

In the world we operate in today, data is the cornerstone of any successful organisation, and the custodian of this information is the CFO. “Their access to such a wide range of data across the organisation is what puts the CFO in a position to make decisions that will impact the business’s future,” Nina adds.

She explains that, other than the CEO, the CFO is the only individual in an organisation who has such a wide view of the business and its operations. “Unlike the CEO, however, the CFO is forced to get into the details of the data.”

It is because of this that a great CFO, and the winner of the CFO of the Year Award, will be someone who has a handle on all the businesses within the organisation, and is able to leverage the data to make sound and innovative business decisions.

“In any business, decisions and innovations need to be informed by data,” Nina explains. “We can test our ideas against the data that’s available, and the stronger the CFO’s grip is on that data, the greater the ability to predict risk and support innovation.”

Similarly, if the custodians of the public sector economy and capital markets aren’t functioning property, the private sector can’t operate effectively either, she says. “The two work in unison, and it is therefore important for the economic health of our country, that both the public and the private sector CFOs have a firm grip on their data and can leverage it appropriately.”

Furthermore, she adds:

“We sit in a country with a massive income differential because of our history. It’s absolutely crucial that we address this, and we do that by creating role models.”

Nina says that, as a sponsor of the CFO of the Year, Public Sector CFO of the Year and the Transformation & Empowerment Awards, it is important for Deloitte to recognise the role models in the finance industry. “These awards recognise the role the CFO plays as a custodian of the country and its economy. It is important that the capital markets are in good hands, and we want to join CFO South Africa in recognising the key role that the CFO plays here.”

Deloitte aims to partner with its clients and to create mutually beneficial relationships through which it can enrich the economy and the capital markets ecosystem, whether through its normal operations, or through initiatives like the CFO Labs, thought leadership, and particularly by partnering with organisations on their transformation journeys.

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