The making of the CFO of the Year


Transparent’s Lourens van Zyl explains that this year’s CFO of the Year will be a strategist and business partner.

“A CFO needs to be a strategist that understands the business on all levels and is a partner to the CEO.” This is how Transparent’s director of business development for North America and Africa Lourens van Zyl describes an excellent CFO.

Transparent is a partner at this year’s CFO Awards, and Lourens believes that the CFO of the Year will be a finance leader who has a future view and a proactive approach to business.

“A proactive CFO is someone who has a full and complete understanding of what’s happening in all departments of the business, not just from a financial point of view, but from an operational and risk point of view as well,” Lourens explains. “Instead of being reactive, this CFO comes up with strategies to help its business navigate any risk or crisis that may present itself.”

He adds that some of the challenges Transparent has seen the finance industry dealing with today include managing supply chains and talent, sustainability and hyper automation. The CFO of the Year will have navigated these challenges effectively over the last year.

“Organisations recognise the need to adapt to new technologies and sustainability requirements. Significant supply chain disruptions, shortage of skills and siloed technologies are real challenges to this end. Furthermore, system changes exacerbate resource constraints and make it harder to report clean and accurate data,” Lourens says.

He explains that Transparent acknowledges the hard work and effort of all CFOs and their teams to strive to attain excellence. “For those who are still on their journey to becoming excellent CFOs, I leave this advice: knowledge is power. Stay open to input and new ideas, and always look to increase your insights.”

Lourens adds that: “Our saying at Transparent is ‘we don’t know what we don’t know’. Data has the power to identify areas that are undiscovered.”

Transparent helps organisations overcome these challenges by cleaning up procure-to-pay (P2P) data and providing CFOs with measurable insight. In addition, it helps organisations to improve the efficiency and control of their P2P processes. This includes insights, best practices and advice regarding supplier behaviour, spend optimisation, benchmarking, increased working capital, and more.

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