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Mind the ransomware disguised as spam

Last year, a huge amount of malicious spam was recorded. Of this, some 20% distributed ransomware Trojans – nasty little viruses which infect your computer and essentially hold it hostage until you pay a “ransom” to have everything released. According to Kaspersky, the most popular were mass spam mailings sent out to infect user computers using misleading headlines leveraging off popular global events, such as the Olympics, terrorism and lottery notifications.

CFO Awards nominees in the spotlight as interviews get underway

The CFO Awards 2017 interview process is well underway, with close to half the nominees already having shared their views on a range of questions pertaining to strategy, compliance, leadership, transformation and governance, with the CFO editorial team and members of the judging panel. Thomson Reuters MD for Africa, Sneha Shah, JSE CFO Aarti Takordeen, new Discovery CFO, Deon Viljoen, and Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu, SA's first black CA, are among those on the judging panel.

4 massive accounting blunders

Accountants often don’t get the credit they deserve within their organisations and it is only when things go wrong that they become the focus of attention. Like a good interviewer or referee, they tend to fade into the background when things are running smoothly, but there is hell to pay when an accounting error comes to light. Here are four of the biggest accounting blunders.

FinTech roadshow on the way

Accelerator Sw7, in partnership with the law firm Webber Wentzel, is set to launch its FinTech Innovation Africa roadshow in Cape Town and Johannesburg next week. FinTech specialists will be making presentations at various events at the Webber Wentzel offices in Cape Town and the SW7 workplace in Rivonia, Johannesburg.

Dealmaking is about people - McDonald's SA CFO Zafar Mahomed

“Successful dealmaking is about people. Don’t rely on spreadsheets – get out there and understand the personal dynamics. I think 80 percent of it is about process flow, stakeholder management and people,” said McDonald’s SA CFO Zafar Mahomed in a CFO masterclass entitled Survival of the dealmakers.The insightful discussion formed part of the first instalment of the CFO Summit series and was hosted by CFO SA MD Graham Fehrsen at the opulent Summer Place in Sandton, Johannesburg, on Tuesday.

Barbarians at the Gate: WATCH public speaker Vusi Thembekwayo at #findaba16

Venture capitalist, entrepreneur and public speaker extraordinaire Vusi Thembekwayo has earned plaudits (including from the likes of Nelson Mandela) and enthralled audiences all over the world with his lessons from the public speaking pulpit, which began when he was a teenager. He did not disappoint when opening Finance Indaba 2016 and earned himself a legion of new fans in the process.

ZAR X completes first trade in less than 10 seconds

ZAR X debuted on Monday this week, settling its first trade, a buy order for 100 shares in agricultural group Senwes at R10.50 a share, in just under ten seconds. This included it being matched, settled and cleared, said company CEO, Etienne Nel (pictured).

Cybersecurity in the spotlight in first CFO Summit for 2017

“If traditional information security is about building a broad defence against attack, cybersecurity is really an attacker-centric approach. It's the knowledge of your attacker that drives your cyberinitiatives,” said Sean Howell (pictured), MD of Redshift Cyber Security, during this morning’s CFO masterclass on The Art of Breaking In, presented as part of the CFO Summit 2017. Howell, a professional hacker, provided welcome, albeit unsettling, insight and encouraged CFOs to start thinking like attackers in order to best protect themselves and their organisations. All businesses are at risk because all businesses possess information that it vital to their operations and thus vulnerable to exploitation from hackers, he added.

Anglo American cuts debt, looks to resume dividends

Global mining behemoth Anglo American announced that it has slashed its net debt by 34% during 2016, exceeding expectations amid an uptick in metals prices in an interim results presentation in London on Tuesday.

Oceana's Imraan Soomra nominated for CFO Awards

CFO of Oceana Group Imraan Soomra has been nominated for the 2017 CFO Awards. Soomra won the Transformation & Empowerment Award at the CFO Awards 2015. The annual 'Oscars for South African CFOs', to be held on 11 May, recognise CFOs of listed companies, large corporations, state-owned entities and government institutions, and awards them for outstanding performance and leadership.

How to train and retain: CHRO SA meets BAT SA Head of Talent Candice Watson

Candice Watson, Southern Africa Area Head of Talent at British American Tobacco (BAT), has garnered a lot of experience as an executive-level human resources professional in a short space of time. Since September 2014, she has been the HR partner at Lenovo, HR director for Sub-Saharan Africa at Pernod Ricard and now at BAT, where she has been for three months.

New investment firm, Arise, sets up shop in Cape Town

Dutch development bank FMO and banking co-operative Rabobank, together with Norfund, a Norwegian development finance institution, have joined financial forces in launching a new investment firm, Arise.

What makes a good CFO? Narriman Taliep, V&A Waterfront CFO, shares her views

Narriman Taliep, CFO at Cape Town’s bustling V&A Waterfront, believes that modern CFOs need to embrace and get on top of technology: “For me, this is the future. It's a necessity, not a luxury. So, the question is, which aspects of the technology do you take on now, and how do you manage it?”

Shoprite and Steinhoff end merger talks

Steinhoff International and Shoprite Holdings have terminated their merger negotiations. This follows much criticism levelled at the deal by various parties, as well as Shoprite minority shareholders arguing that the transaction was not in their best interests. Under the proposed deal, Steinhoff would have sold its African assets to Shoprite in exchange for a controlling stake in the latter.

Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 7, 2017

Do you want to keep up to date with the latest developments in finance, but you are short of time? Don’t worry. CFO South Africa weekly collects 10 of the most important articles from international media for your convenience.

Organise HR events that are different and engaging: CHRO SA meets Nova Human Capital

Nova Human Capital Solutions is a company that offers turnkey HR solutions to companies of all shapes and sizes. From simply providing payroll services to doing a total overhaul of a business’s HR function, they do it all. Last week, CFO Enterprise CEO Melle Eijckelhoff and Didi Sehume of CHRO South Africa met with director Debbie Victor and MD Scott Barrett from NOVA in the build-up to the executive HR round table to be hosted by Vodacom HR director Matimba Mbungela on 9 March.

Raise risk to strategic level, urges CIMA report

Against a background of what Sir Peter Gershon describes as “arguably one of the most turbulent times we have faced for years”, board members need to constantly review their approach to, and understanding of, risk, according to a new study from a group of industry and professional services organisations.

IBM to train 25 million Africans

US tech giant IBM is gearing up its digital skills training programme as it moves to train some 25 million Africans for free over the next five years, in a bid to grow the continent’s workforce.

Mondi Group acquires Excelsior Technologies

JSE-listed Mondi Group has acquired 100% of the outstanding share capital of Excelsior Technologies (a vertically integrated producer of innovative flexible packaging solutions) from funds managed by Endless LLP and certain other minority shareholders, for a total consideration of £33 million, on a debt and cash- free basis.

CFO Mohamed Dabbour replaces Cynthia Gordon as Millicom CEO

Mohamed Dabbour has been promoted from chief financial officer to chief executive officer of telecom’s company Millicom’s African operations, replacing Cynthia Gordon. Millicom operates in Africa and Latin America under the Tigo brand name.

SA startups crack FinTech 100 list

South African-based mobile payment providers FinTechs Zoona and Wealth Migrate have placed in KPMG and H2 Ventures’s FinTech 100 for 2016 list of the most influential startups in the space.

5 terrible accounting jokes

Accounting is a profession that is plagued by horrendous stereotypes and accountants are never seen to be the life of the party. Thankfully, they tend to have a sense of humour about it. We’ve put together a selection of accounting gags to brighten up your Friday and perhaps give you something better to use as an icebreaker when you’ve got to go up and present those numbers. Please let us put the “extroverted accountant looking at your shoes” line and the polite twittering that goes with it out to pasture.

Twinsaver Group diversifies in FMCGs, acquires Validus Medical

The Twinsaver Group has announced its acquisition of Validus Medical, a leading manufacturer of hygienic disposable products. The sale, yet to be approved by the Competition Commission, signals a new chapter in Twinsaver’s journey as it moves to focus on establishing the business as a diversified FMCG company.

Deloitte celebrates Reporting Accountants award at DealMakers Gala 2017

Professional services firm Deloitte went home with the Reporting Accountants awards by Deal Flow during the 16th annual DealMakers Gala Awards Banquet on 15 February 2017 at the Sandton Convention Centre. A jovial CFO South Africa MD Graham Fehrsen handed the prize to Deloitte's senior manager Aubrey Sebothoma, together with DealMakers director Marylou Greig. KPMG won the Reporting Accounts award by Deal Value, just like last year.

We all need to raise the cybersecurity bar, says Redshift's Sean Howell

With cybersecurity legislation in the works and e-defence budgets being ramped up, it seems that South African companies finally becoming alert to the threat posed by hackers to their funds, intellectual property, client data and reputation. We spoke to Redshift Cyber Security's Sean Howell, who will be making a presentation during next week's CFO Summit, about developments in the space.

Plan to clinch that dream position: WATCH Cassel & Co MD Georgina Barrick at #findaba16

Quality positions are difficult to come by in the current market and there is a lot of competition for those that are available. While on a job hunt, it is important to prepare yourself for success in order to gain an advantage over other candidates. Every recruitment process is different but there are some critical elements that remain unchanged and which you need to be prepared for in order to be successful.

Spar Group enjoys sales growth of 16.9%

The Spar Group has increased its sales by 16.9%, to R25.6 billion, up from R21.9 billion, for the 13-week trading quarter ending 31 December 2016. This is compared to the same period in 2015.

Saving money AND future-proofing your real estate: JLL partners with CFO SA

Financial and professional services firm JLL, which specialises in commercial real estate services and investment management, is on a drive to get to know CFOs in 2017. To do this they have partnered with CFO South Africa, and will be sponsoring the CFO Summit and the annual CFO Awards. They will also host two intimate dinners for top CFOs to discuss the challenges and opportunities that the sector presents. Company MD Craig Hean (pictured) shares his thoughts on the partnership and what value they intend to bring to the CFO community.

Entrepreneur at heart: CHRO SA meets Ericsson's HR VP Blair Mackenzie

Blair Mackenzie, vice president of human resources Sub-Saharan Africa at Ericsson, is an entrepreneur at heart. Having worked in management consulting and sales, he started a recruitment business, Ethoz, which evolved into South African's first true Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) business.

Kumba CFO Frikkie Kotzee resigns

Kumba Iron Ore announced that Financial Director and CFO Frikkie Kotzee, who has held the position for the past five years, has decided to step down, in a presentation of its 2016 yearly results on Tuesday. This news came amid a pleasing set of results delivered by new CEO Themba Mkhwanazi.

Cipla's Nishant Saxena nominated for CFO Awards

CFO of Cipla Sub-Saharan Africa Nishant Saxena has been nominated for the 2017 CFO Awards for his executive role in ensuring ongoing success at the pharmaceutical giant. The annual 'Oscars for South African CFOs', to be held on 11 May, recognise CFOs of listed companies, large corporations, state-owned entities and government institutions, and awards them for outstanding performance and leadership.

Tanya van Lill new SAVCA CEO

The Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SAVCA) has appointed Tanya van Lill (pictured) as CEO, effective 1 March 2017. Van Lill succeeds Erika van der Merwe, who served SAVCA for over four years.

CHRO SA launch: meeting Millicom HR director Yvette Mujinga Malengela

Valentine's Day 2017 marked the start of CHRO South Africa, a deeply connected organisation for HR directors to boost their network, knowledge and careers. Founding CEO Melle Eijckelhoff flew from the Netherlands to meet up with our energetic CHRO community manager Didi Sehume. They immediately kicked off a whirlwind tour of CHRO visits, ahead of the first intimate roundtable event for top HR directors on 9 March. Their first meeting was with Yvette Mujinga Malengela, HR director at African telecoms company Millicom.

From Pretoria to San Diego: what will CFO Awards winner Cobus Grove miss most?

Ending what has been one of the most spectacular blitz-careers of South African CFOs in recent memory, Cobus Grove, his wife Marilize, his son Christopher and his daughter Kaitlyn recently boarded an airplane and left for California. The winner of the Compliance & Governance Award at the 2015 CFO Awards will remain CEO of Pretoria-based company Ctrack, but he’ll be fulfilling his role from the San Diego headquarters of Inseego, formerly known as Novatel Wireless.

Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 6, 2017

Do you want to keep up to date with the latest developments in finance, but you are short of time? Don’t worry. CFO South Africa weekly collects 10 of the most important articles from international media for your convenience.

Accountants seek flexibility - CIMA

A survey by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and Global Accounting Network has found that more than half (55%) of qualified accountant respondents are motivated by flexibility and a greater work-life balance when considering taking up a new job role, a rise of 18% from 2015.

Public hearing about audit rotation in parliament

A public hearing on the IRBA’s measures to strengthen auditor independence and contribute to the efficiency of capital markets will be held in parliament on 15 February. The IRBA will present its annual report as well as the MAFR proposals to the Standing Committee on Finance (SCOF) during this time.

Riad Gydien is SAS's new Senior Regional VP for Europe

Anaytics specialist SAS has promoted Riad Gydien (pictured) into a Senior Regional Vice President role for the South and East EMEA regions. Gydien, a South African, was on the panel of judges for the CFO Awards 2014. Prior to this promotion he was SAS VP for the Middle East and Africa.

Easy Equities launches SA Champions portfolio

Online investment platform Easy Equities, the overall winner of the African FinTech Awards in 2016, has launched the BizNews SA Champions portfolio. With innovative CEO Charles Savage (pictured) at the helm, the award-winning platform allows investors to buy fractional shares in leading companies simply and cheaply.

Sappi plans heavy infrastructure investment - CEO Steve Binnie

South African paper producer Sappi is set to invest $305 million over a three-year period in certain US and Europe – two regions that account for more than three-quarters of its group-wide sales – after announcing a set of positive quarterly results on Wednesday.

Marinella Vigouroux new Howden Africa CFO

Marinella Vigouroux has taken over from Kevin Johnson as CFO of Howden Africa. The finance department is not only a source of information but key to the business strategy and operational success of a company, she says.

Fuel levy increase could hit businesses hard

The anticipated fuel levy increase will not only negatively impact consumers and businesses but also place importers under increased pressure in already challenging market conditions, says Adam Orlin (pictured), Head of Investec Import Solutions. Orlin says:

McDonald's SA CFO Zafar Mahomed special guest at CFO Summit

In addition to overseeing the company's financial health, CFOs are increasingly involved in setting operational and commercial strategy, structuring deals and navigating their companies safely through tighter credit markets, more complex regulation and unstable trading conditions. This expanding role will be one of the focus areas at the CFO Summit on 22 February at Summer Place in Sandton.

Going on the digital offensive: WATCH ABSA's Brett St Clair at #afta16 #findaba16

It may be fashionable to talk about disruptive startups when describing the FinTech scene, but its story also covers traditional banking institutions that have made great strides in delivering a digital banking experience to their customers and overcoming cultural and bureaucratic challenges in the process.

Important ethics questions to ask prospective employers

An organisation’s ethical credentials and values are an important factor in their ability to attract and retain talent. But it’s not easy for candidates to get a handle on organisational culture from the outside. Assessing whether an employer can offer an environment conducive to ethical practices is a crucial part of the decision-making process, especially for professionals such as accountants who must abide by ethics codes.

5 employee KPI pitfalls

It may not seem like it at first glance, but properly thought-out Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can be the difference between success and failure for your team and organisation over the long run.

Vodacom's Till Streichert nominated for CFO Awards

Vodacom CFO Till Streichert has been nominated for the 2017 CFO Awards for his executive role in ensuring ongoing success at the telecoms behemoth. The annual 'Oscars for South African CFOs', to be held on 11 May, recognise CFOs of listed companies, large corporations, state-owned entities and government institutions, and awards them for outstanding performance and leadership.

Three common password mistakes you should avoid

1234, your dog’s name, your own name. Some of us are not particularly adept at choosing passwords for our computers or online subscriptions. The fact of the matter is, as research from Kaspersky Lab has shown, we put our online safety at risk by making bad password decisions, or making simple password mistakes that have far-reaching consequences.

Reserve Bank considers digital currency

The South African Reserve Bank has not precluded the possibility of issuing a national digital currency, which would likely harness Blockchain or Distributed Ledger Technology, according to a Moneyweb report.

How to turn finance turnaround - Coca Cola Beverages FD Walter Leonhardt

In July 2016, ABI merged with Coca-Cola and local bottler SABCO into the new entity Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa – and Walter Leonhardt, ABI financial director, had his transformative work cut out for him once again. In this interview, we speak to Walter about what it takes to establish a culture of continuous improvement, the innovative ways his ABI finance team overcame its challenges and the secret ingredients of a prize-winning leader.

MiX Telematics still looking for CFO, interim CFO Paul Dell appointed

As outgoing CFO Megan Pydigadu has served her notice at fleet and mobile asset management solutions company MiX Telematics, the financial controller will take over. The company has announced that Paul Dell (pictured) as been appointed to the board of directors as interim CFO, effective 9 February 2017.

Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 5, 2017

Do you want to keep up to date with the latest developments in finance, but you are short of time? Don’t worry. CFO South Africa weekly collects 10 of the most important articles from international media for your convenience.

CFO SA secures Finance Indaba 2017 venue

CFO South Africa has secured the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg as the venue for the Finance Indaba Africa 2017, to be held on 12 and 13 October, and is closing in on extending its association with the centre into 2018, according to CFO South Africa MD Graham Fehrsen.

Diary of a CFO: Christiaan Engelbrecht's first 90 days at Ster-Kinekor

In November 2016, Christiaan Engelbrecht joined Ster-Kinekor as CFO, a highlight in a finance career that started at Deloitte and Vodacom. He will keep a monthly diary for CFO.co.za to share his trials, tribulations and triumphs. This is part 1: the first 90 days.

Getting paid timeously is the biggest challenge facing small businesses

According to new research from leading cloud accounting software provider, Xero, getting paid on time is the number one financial challenge for as much as half of South Africa’s small business owners. Xero’s recently launched tool, the chasingpayments.co.za platform, offers a means and advice on how to improve cash flow and end problems associated with late payments.

PIC CFO Matshepo More joins IRBA board

CA(SA) Matshepo More has been appointed to the Board of the IRBA, effective 1 December 2016. More is currently the CFO and Executive Director of the Public Investment Corporation Limited (PIC), one of the largest asset managers in Africa.

BREAKING - CFO of the Year 2015 Deon Viljoen joins Discovery

Former CFO of the Year Deon Viljoen will be leaving Alexander Forbes to become the new CFO of Discovery from 1 May 2017. The much-awaited appointment at one of South Africa’s flagship financial services companies comes after outgoing CFO Richard Farber stepped down to relocate to Australia.

How to win two CFO Awards? Dumisani Dlamini (NAC) reveals all in 15/2 public sector event

Summer Place in Johannesburg was abuzz with excitement in May 2016, when Dumisani Dlamini scooped two of the most prestigious CFO Awards: Young CFO of the Year and Public Sector CFO of the Year. In an exclusive CFO South Africa event for public sector CFOs on 15 February at 15h00 in Pretoria, Dumisani will reflect on his journey, the lessons learnt and the road ahead. He will also share some tips that he has never shared before!

Innotribe FinTech challenge open for applications

Financial messaging service provider SWIFT Innotribe's Startup Challenge for Africa is open for applications. For the third year running, the Challenge will be part of SWIFT’s African Regional Conference (ARC) held in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, from 16-18 May 2017. ARC brings together policy-makers, industry leaders and the broader financial community from across the African continent. Typically attracting up to 500 delegates from around 40 countries, ARC is a unique forum for networking, education, discussion and debate and a great platform for FinTech startups to connect with the financial sector.

CFO Frank Abbott predicts upward trajectory for Harmony Gold

Harmony Gold CFO Frank Abbott is certain that the mining company will be able to continue its upward trajectory. He set this on Thursday during presentation of results for the six months ending 31 December 2016, attended by CFO South Africa.

Talent Africa becomes Signium South Africa

Executive search firm Signium has expanded with the addition of Talent Africa in Johannesburg. Talent Africa will form part of Signium’s EMEA regional offering, allowing them to service international clients not only in South Africa but also in sub-Saharan Africa. The firm plans to re-brand as Signium South Africa by July.

Cybercrimes Bill to impact financial services

South Africa’s new Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill, which is set to be tabled in Parliament in the coming weeks, is set to grant far-reaching powers to the country’s law enforcement agencies and will affect virtually all Internet users.

Global success principles: Watch CIMA Director Badibanga Promesse at #findaba16

In an uncertain world constantly disrupted by innovation and reams of data, quality decision-making has been more difficult. In his presentation at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 in October, Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) Vice-President of the African region Badibanga Promesse explored the Global Management Accounting Principles, prepared in conjunction with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), which help the public and private sectors to make better decisions, respond appropriately to the risks they face, and protect the value they generate.

Prof Ben Marx heads accounting department UJ

Popular auditing lecturer Prof Ben Marx has taken over from his long-serving colleague Alex van der Watt as head of the accounting department at the University of Johannesburg. “I am very excited to be leading the best accounting department in the country and to work with its great, hard-working staff,” said Ben, who has also been a member of the panel of judges of the CFO Awards for the last four years.

MAFR promotes sales over innovation, says KPMG's Michael Oddy

“The process of mandatory audit firm rotation (MAFR) is costly and will result in the promotion of a sales culture, rather than a focus on innovation and sustainable investment in audit quality,” says Michael Oddy, the partner in charge of audit at KPMG in South Africa. Moreover, he adds, it will have a negative impact on the audit profession.

Why CFOs need to be wary of fake news

From the Pope throwing his support behind Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s weapon deals, to brewery billionaires turning villagers into tycoons and mourning kangaroos, the past year has been dominated by fake news. These pieces of fiction have been manipulated to look like credible journalism and as such are easily spread to susceptible audiences with an inclination towards believing the lies, often outperforming verified, mainstream articles.

Takeda's Debbie Ransby nominated for CFO Awards

Takeda Pharmaceuticals CFO Debbie Ransby has this year been nominated for a CFO Award for her efforts at the multinational over the past year. The annual 'Oscars for South African CFOs', to be held on 11 May, recognise CFOs of listed companies, large corporations, state-owned entities and government institutions, and awards them for outstanding performance and leadership.

Marius Bierman returns to WE Wearne as CFO

Marius Bierman CA(SA) has returned to the CFO seat he held from December 2011 to December 2013, as finance head for WE Wearne, a company that produces construction materials.

Ecobank launches African FinTech challenge

Pan-African banking conglomerate Ecobank, which boasts operations in 36 countries on the continent, has launched a FinTech challenge for African startups. The Ecobank FinTech Challenge provides selected startups with tailored mentorship from leading industry experts, funding of up to $500 000, a partnership with the multinational, and access to Africa’s biggest banking ecosystem, maximising exposure across the continent. The winner will also showcase their idea at Ecobank’s Innovation Fair.

SA has the ability to produce great talent, says Citibank SA CFO Nico Botha

Global political and economic ructions mean uncertain times for the banking industry. We chatted to Nico Botha, the well-travelled CFO of global banking behemoth Citibank's South African operation, about his experiences abroad, transition and the challenges the industry faces in 2017.

Lee-Anne de Bruin appointed new Resolute CFO

Lee-Anne de Bruin has been appointed CFO of Africa and Australia-focused gold miner Resolute Mining, effective 27 February 2017. She leaves her post as the regional CFO in Australia for Newmont Mining. Prior to this role she was head of project function for BHP Billiton.

Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 4, 2017

Do you want to keep up to date with the latest developments in finance, but you are short of time? Don’t worry. CFO South Africa weekly collects 10 of the most important articles from international media for your convenience.

Finance Indaba 2017 registrations taking off

Although we are only just done with the first month of the year, almost 600 people have already signed up to attend Finance Indaba Africa 2017, which is to be held on the 12 and 13 October at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

Insider's guide to a successful acquisition strategy

To achieve superior growth, a company needs to get its organic growth right, but acquisition strategy is a crucial and very powerful tool. In this article, I delve into my experience as a CFO to provide an insider’s guide to a successful M&A strategy.

IRBA full steam ahead with mandatory firm rotation

Despite many CFOs rejecting mandatory audit firm rotation (see our recent interviews and articles on this matter by visiting our MAFR dossier), the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) is continuing at full steam, with MAFR in South Africa set to kick in on 1 April 2023.

CFO Awards 2017 line-up wows

“For me as a proud CFO it is a very touching experience being nominated and I feel quite privileged. To be acknowledged for one’s work is not an often-done thing in the world today. One works very hard but to get acknowledged is not easy,” says Rajesh Mahabeer (pictured), CFO of SANParks, one of the 25 nominees for this year’s CFO Awards.

Croatian FinTech Oradian expands to South Africa

One of Europe’s leading FinTech startups, Oradian, is set to open a branch in South Africa to foster entrepreneurial development in the region. It also has plans to expand throughout Africa.

Would a millennial make a terrible CFO?

Millennials, or those under the age of 35, have a bad rap in the recruitment industry at the moment. According to a survey from Duke University and CFO Magazine, most American CFOs see millennials as having poor work ethic. The latest additions to the corporate workforce simply aren’t cut out for it – at least in terms of traditional organisational thinking.

CFO SA tackles public sector challenges

Public finance professionals are tasked with nation-building and ensuring economic progress and face a different set of challenges to their private sector counterparts.

Africa has great potential: WATCH Eclectics consultant Sebi Salim at #afta16 #findaba16

"We believe there is a lot of potential in Africa and this is why we are investing heavily. Up to 60 percent of our solutions are USSD- and SMS-based, but as Internet access becomes cheaper and easier, we are increasing our investment in web and mobile banking apps. Through our partnership model, we sit down with banks and understand their requirements to produce customised solutions," said Sebi Salim, a consultant at Eclectics International, a Microsoft Africa Partner of the Year in 2016.

Mediclinic acquires majority stake in Life Path Health

Mediclinic Southern Africa has announced that it will acquire a majority stake in Life Path Health, a mental health treatment provider which currently operates seven facilities in the Western Cape, with plans for more in other regions of South Africa.

SA should reject MAFR says the AICPA

The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (AICPA) has voiced its strong opposition to a plan by South Africa’s Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) to implement mandatory audit firm rotation (MAFR).

CFO Awards judging process underway

The judging process for the CFO Awards 2017 is now underway after Peregrine CFO Robert Katz was asked a range of questions relating to strategic execution, transformation, high-performance teams and compliance.

Dubai to support African FinTech

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and professional services firm Accenture are set to launch a fintech accelerator that will support startups from Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Knowledge is power, says NCR CFO Ayanda Mafuleka

“Everything I do is informed by risk. At any given time, we try to manage risk – be it business, financial or other. The NCR’s approach is that it takes risk management very seriously,” says Ayanda Mafuleka, chief financial officer of the National Credit Regulator (NCR), which falls under the Department of Trade and Industry (dti). Ayanda’s role includes overseeing the financial health of the organisation and ensuring that it complies with all the financial management-related legislation, as well as overseeing supply chain management and information technology (IT). A firm believer in the value of education, Ayanda is currently doing a Postgraduate Diploma in Forensic Auditing and recently applied at Unisa for an LLB. “I’m passionate about legislation and compliance. I was made to be a lawyer.”

Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 3, 2017

Do you want to keep up to date with the latest developments in finance, but you are short of time? Don’t worry. CFO South Africa weekly collects 10 of the most important articles from international media for your convenience.

ARC acquires 10% stake in Alexander Forbes Ltd

Shareholders of listed specialised financial services group Alexander Forbes have approved African Rainbow Capital’s (ARC’s) acquisition of a 10% stake in its African operations, Alexander Forbes Limited. The price tag on the deal is some R753 million.

Avoid market volatility pitfalls - use an FX expert

Unpredictable, wildly volatile foreign exchange market conditions seem to be established as the normal state of things in today’s economic and political turmoil. Many South African companies with significant import/export business are naturally exposed to FX market fluctuations, which frequently lead to unwelcome volatility in profits and earnings. With today’s emphasis on cost efficiency, companies are torn between budgeting the resources to put an effective FX exposure hedging programme into place or risking a substantial proportion of their revenue.

Cindy Hess new CFO of Media24

Cindy Hess, formerly CFO of Pioneer Foods, has taken on a new role as CFO of Media24. Media24 seems very pleased to have Cindy on board, referring to her as “an accomplished CFO”. Cindy was a finalist in the 2016 CFO of the Year Awards, for her work at Pioneer Foods.

Moody's fined $864 million

In a bid to resolve an ongoing investigation into credit ratings on subprime mortgage securities, Moody’s has agreed to pay a penalty of some $864 million - about one-third of the $2.5 billion that Moody’s earned in the four years leading up to the crisis, according to Bloomberg.

4AX ready to begin trading

4 Africa Exchange (4AX) has confirmed that all is now a-go with plans to begin trading later this year, as all appeals against the exchange licence that it was awarded in August 2016 have been formally withdrawn.

African FinTechs garnered most investment in 2016

African FinTechs received the lion’s share of the $129 million invested in 146 of the continent’s tech startups in 2016, accounting for a combined $31,4 million, according to Disrupt Africa’s African Tech Startups Funding Report. It was followed by the agricultural sector.

5 corporate cybersecurity best practices

The cybersecurity horizon looks bleak and is turning darker still with criminals preparing an onslaught on emerging technologies like the Internet of Things and driverless vehicles. In 2016, companies and individuals experienced over 90 million cyber attacks – 400 attacks every minute – and this number is expected to double this year. Over two-thirds of these go under the radar, but still wreak havoc. With this in mind, companies around the world are ramping up their security measures and the resources allocated to defending data are increasing dramatically.

Woolies sees increased sales

Woolworths, in a recently released trading update, has said that its sales are up 6.7% compared to the previous year. The retailer’s clothing and merchandise, and food sales grew by 3.5% and 9.5% respectively, although David Jones’ sales growth dropped 2.7% and Country Road 1.1%. Woolworths attributed this decline to the timing of Boxing Day this year, which fell on a Monday.

Global cybercrime costs set to double by 2021

Damage and data destruction, stolen money, lost productivity, embezzlement, and fraud… the costs resulting from cybercriminal activity is set to grow from $3 trillion to $6 trillion by 2021, according to the Cybersecurity Market Report. In early 2015, the British insurer Lloyd's estimated that cybercrime was costing businesses globally $400 billion annually — which included direct damage plus post-attack disruption to the normal course of business.

Adapt to win: WATCH life-hacker Martijn Aslander at #findaba16

Renowned futurist and life-hacker Martijn Aslander is not one to mince his words or confront his audiences with sometimes brutal truths. He has earned a reputation for being one of the world's foremost thinkers on the age of disruption. For Martijn, it is no longer about what you own or what you know, but about your attitude and your ability to adapt.

SA pharma holding firm despite tough economy

According to Erik Roos (pictured), CEO of generic medicine company Pharma Dynamics, South Africa’s pharmaceutical industry has seen good growth, despite tough economic conditions. The generic market in particular is poised to continue its upward growth trend – since the introduction of generics in South Africa, medicine prices have dropped by as much as 80%.

Deloitte: third party governance and risk management matures

As dependence on third parties becomes increasingly critical, organisations are being compelled to rapidly “catch-up” in enhancing the maturity of their Third Party Governance and Risk Management (TPGRM) processes. This, according to Deloitte’s 2016 global survey on the subject.

5 ways to become a better CFO

The role of the CFO is as challenging as they come, encompassing a host of responsibilities, so the distilled wisdom of those who have been through the quagmire can be an invaluable asset. Whether you are an experienced CFO or have designs on the position, the following tips from our interviews with seasoned executives will help you to succeed in your endeavours:

City of Johannesburg's Reggie Boqo nominated for CFO Awards

CFO for the Johannesburg Metro Reggie Boqo has been nominated for the 2017 CFO Awards. The annual 'Oscars for South African CFOs', to be held on 11 May, recognises CFOs of listed companies, large corporations, state-owned entities and government institutions and awards them for outstanding performance and leadership.

7 new Finance Bills for SA

President Jacob Zuma last week signed seven new Finance Bills into law, including Amendment Acts to taxation and tax administration laws, and unemployment insurance.

Implats to sell its chrome business

South African platinum producer Impala Platinum has said it intends to sell its chrome business so as to increase focus on its core business. Implats has a 65% interest in Impala Chrome, a beneficiation operation that produces 200,000 tonnes of chrome concentrate per year.

Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 2, 2017

Do you want to keep up to date with the latest developments in finance, but you are short of time? Don’t worry. CFO South Africa weekly collects 10 of the most important articles from international media for your convenience.

ACCA launches global education forum

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), a Finance Indaba 2017 partner, has announced that it will be conducting a regular Global Forum focussing on education.

New boss for Nersa: Christopher Forlee

Christopher Forlee has been appointed CEO of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa). The appointment, effective 1 January 2017, will span a period of five years. Forlee will also be a full-time regulator member of Nersa.

Higher global growth in 2017 says World Bank

The World Bank, in its latest Global Economic Prospects report, said it expected real gross domestic product (GDP) growth during 2017 to rebound to 2.7%, up from a post-financial crisis low of 2.3% in 2016. The multilateral lender added that growth in advanced economies is expected to rise to 1.8% in 2017, from 1.6% in 2016, while emerging and developing economies will see growth accelerate to 4.2%, up from 3.4% last year.

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