Insight

Inspiration and information from leading finance experts.

02 October 2017

CFO SA's Graham Fehrsen: Five lessons for a better future

Through the course of a tumultuous 365 days since the launch of the inaugural and extremely successful Finance Indaba Africa, I’ve been fortunate enough to learn alongside finance leaders and exceptional professionals, and I’ve learnt some great lessons. While some are familiar cliches and almost all seem like common sense, in my experience, it’s the obvious and common-sense advice that is often the hardest to live by. Here are my top five.

25 September 2017

Create a broader environment to drive innovation, says CIB's Anré Klopper-Stroh

“Our role within Human Capital is to be the custodians of culture and strategically partner the people agenda that enables our business strategy,” says Anré Klopper-Stroh, Human Capital Head for the Corporate & Investment Bank (CIB) within the Standard Bank Group. “The role of the Human Capital team within CIB is to partner our people in, for and across Africa to realise their ambitions, thus enabling our clients and the communities in which we operate to achieve their objectives. Furthermore, we need to position ourselves for what the future holds by understanding the mindsets, skillsets, and toolsets required for our people to stay relevant and contribute to the ambitions of the business into the future.”

18 September 2017

In-house banking now within reach: Treasury Technologies CEO Rudolph Janse van Rensburg explains

An in-house bank may be simply defined as an internal organisation which assumes some of the functions traditionally performed by external commercial banks to provide enhanced performance, transparency and control. Traditionally, the operation of an in-house bank was regarded by most finance executives to be the preserve of the largest corporations. Despite the many benefits, these structures were thought to be too expensive and complicated to add cost effective value. As more efficient cloud solutions become available, the threshold barriers for justifying in-house bank adoption have been steadily lowered, and positive cost/benefit analyses are becoming more and more common.

11 September 2017

Africa is a great source of growth, says Standard Bank CIB's Victor Williams

As the head of Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) for Africa at Standard Bank, Victor Williams is responsible for corporate and investment banking in the 19 countries – excluding South Africa – that comprise the Africa Regions. He says the bank serves corporate, sovereign and institutional clients (local corporates and multinationals) in those markets, providing them with global markets, transactional banking and investment banking services. “In each of the markets in which we are present we are looking to build the leading corporate and investment banking franchise in that market,” he says.

28 August 2017

Standard Bank's Funeka Montjane: FinTech is changing the face of banking

“There’s never been a more wonderful time to be a banker,” says Funeka Montjane, CEO of Personal and Business Banking at Standard Bank. Montjane, a 2015 WEF Young Global Leader, believes that the future of banking lies in creating time for customers with the help of automation, artificial intelligence and FinTech. Speaking about the future of banking at the Singularity University South Africa Summit, hosted on the continent for the first time in collaboration with Standard Bank, Montjane said that we’re living in what Stephen Hawking called ‘the century of complexity’ – in a more compressed and globalised world characterised by rapid disruption, and where information is free.

21 August 2017

The 'Patel factor': Minette Smit and Marylla Govender explain

It has been 17 years since the inception of the South African Competition Act, and competition law enforcement continues to be vigorous and successful. Some now argue that competition law and its associated institutions are becoming a victim of their own success. Where other regulators have mostly proven toothless, the Competition Commission and the Competition Tribunal have been able to pry open cartels and punish offenders. Where broader economic policy has failed to force companies to change tack, competition policy clearly has not disappointed. In this article, competition experts Minette Smit and Marylla Govender explore the most recent trends in competition law, along with the rise of ‘the Patel factor’.

14 August 2017

Cipla SSA CFO Nishant Saxena shares his tips for creating a top team

Nishant Saxena won two Awards at this year’s CFO of the Year Awards – High Performance Team and Young CFO of the Year. He received this recognition because he took Cipla’s struggling, low-margin, sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) unit and turned it into one of the most profitable pharma players in South Africa. In so doing, he completely transformed the finance department, creating a high performance team in the process. Nishant shares his top tips for creating an efficient team.

10 July 2017

The CFO is the connector in dealmaking, says Bowmans' Charles Douglas

A thorough, smart and stealthy due diligence process is among the top ingredients for successful mergers and acquisitions. We spoke to finance executives and dealmakers about the homework a growth-hungry company needs to do. “Ideally, the CFO shouldn’t only focus on the financials, there needs to be a cross-over. The CFO, along with other execs, can really help to join the dots in a deal,” says Charles Douglas, head of M&A at law firm Bowmans.

03 July 2017

CFOs should expect more change coming, says Standard Bank CIB's Suzette Els

“Allow compliance to participate in front line engagement to create a mutual understanding on key client challenges and pro-actively pick-up on key client challenges,” advises Suzette Els, Chief Compliance Officer for Standard Bank Corporate and Investment Banking. In this article, part of a series from Standard Bank specialists, Suzette talks about trends in the compliance space, how clients are being assisted with these, and what CFOs should expect.

19 June 2017

If you want to see deal success, plan, says Ansarada's Arie Maree

A thorough, smart and stealthy due diligence process is among the top ingredients for successful mergers and acquisitions. We spoke to finance executives and dealmakers about the homework a growth-hungry company needs to do. “You cannot over-plan,” says Arie Maree, Ansarada Managing Director for Africa and the Middle East. “Once the rubber hits the road with a deal, there are tight timelines, plenty of stress and lots of money at stake. More planning means a smoother due diligence and ultimately, a smoother transaction,”

05 June 2017

There's no one-size-fits-all solution in forex, says Standard Bank's Richard de Roos

“Everyone has a different way of thinking about FX and settling and hedging their FX and we must solve and understand for each of these,” says Richard de Roos, Head of Foreign Exchange for the Standard Bank Group. In this, the second article in a series from Standard Bank specialists, Richard talks about forex trends in Africa, what Standard Bank is doing to stay ahead of the pack, and what CFOs should expect in this arena.

29 May 2017

In deal making, understand what you buy, says Deloitte's Karin Hodson

A thorough, smart and stealthy due diligence process is among the top ingredients for successful mergers and acquisitions. We spoke to finance executives and deal makers about the homework a growth-hungry company needs to do. “The due diligence report is often just used to tick the box and the findings are not adequately translated into the pricing and sale and purchase agreement,” says Karin Hodson, Partner and Transaction Services Leader at Deloitte. Failure to undertake adequate due diligence can result in significant erosion in value and potential losses of customers, staff and everything in between, she adds.

22 May 2017

Look for the opportunity within the crisis, says Standard Bank's Zaid Moola

“In South Africa, the full impact of a downgrade to sub-investment status will probably only manifest over the next 12 to 18 months. Companies in strong balance-sheet positons should be cautiously opportunistic and look for value-enhancing acquisitions both in South Africa and abroad. As much as economic conditions may be tough, my view is that we should never let a good crisis go to waste,” says Zaid Moola, Head of Client Coverage South Africa for Corporate & Investment Banking (CIB) at Standard Bank. In this, the first article in a series from Standard Bank specialists, Zaid talks about the trends he is seeing in his area of expertise and offers expert advice for CFOs.

15 May 2017

The CFO should ensure due diligence is accurate and meticulously undertaken, says Sibanye's Charl Keyter

A thorough, smart and stealthy due diligence process is among the top ingredients for successful mergers and acquisitions. We spoke to finance executives and dealmakers about the homework a growth-hungry company needs to do. “You don’t always want to let the staff of the other company or companies know you are doing this process,” says Sibanye Gold CFO Charl Keyter. “You have to be stealthy so as not to raise suspicions.” Charl gives one of the best and certainly most amusing explanations of due diligence:

08 May 2017

Cybersecurity skills shortages leave us open to attack, says MWR Infosecurity SA's MD, Riaan van Boom

According to Europol’s 2016 Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment (IOCTA), several EU states have found that cybercrime offences have surpassed traditional crimes, with trends such as crime-as-a-service and ransomware rising significantly. Given the increasing sophistication of the attack landscape, hacking has become a genuine threat facing organisations and countries across the globe. And yet, the ability of those targeted to manage such attacks remain, for the most part, limited. Riaan van Boom, Managing Director, MWR Infosecurity South Africa, unpacks the issue.

01 May 2017

When dealmaking, enter with a focused mind, says Standard Bank's Andrew Balnaves

A thorough, smart and stealthy due diligence process is among the top ingredients for successful mergers and acquisitions. We spoke to finance executives and dealmakers about the homework a growth-hungry company needs to do. “Prepare, ensure all parties are on the same page and don’t get distracted by unnecessary details,” advises Dr Andrew Balnaves, Executive Vice President of Africa Corporate Finance at Standard Bank.

27 March 2017

Reduce people cost through crowdsourcing, says Google's Terrence Taylor

Perhaps the most underrated aspect of crowdsourcing is its potential to disrupt the current cost structure that supports talent management. Crowdsourcing makes sense when thinking about the perennial constraint that businesses face: costs. Cost containment remains a priority, and with people costs (including salary, training, perks, etc) accounting for close to or over 60 percent of the cost structure of most companies, crowdsourcing offers the potential to greatly reducing this expenditure.

13 March 2017

Will crowdsourcing make talent management obsolete, asks Google's Terrence Taylor?

Crowdsourcing promises to make scarce and critical skills available cost effectively, perhaps close to 90 percent cheaper, and disruptively. Yet most companies currently rely on talent management – a human resource function that has been around for over half a century but whose tools and techniques has changed little during its existence – to identify, attract, develop and keep talented people who have these sought after scarce and critical skills. The question is: will crowdsourcing make talent management obsolete?

23 January 2017

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.

11 January 2017

Predictions 2017: What will shake up the world this year?

“As we approach the 10th anniversary of the beginning of the financial crisis, the banking sector remains out of kilter,” writes Peter Thal Larsen (pictured), Global Economics Editor, Reuters Breakingviews, in the introduction of this year’s Predictions 2017 e-book. Every year, Reuters publishes a series of predictions through its Breakingviews team. This year’s book is out, and boy is it a captivating read. What follows is an excerpt from Peter’s Introduction to the book.

09 January 2017

Futurist Craig Wing: Forces to watch out for in 2017

With the festivities of the new year now passed, we tend to reflect on the madness that was 2016. Undoubtedly, globally we will remember BREXIT and the election of President Trump as arguably two of the most “shocking” global events; events which left many of the “experts” reeling after their failed predictions. Herein lies my predicament of writing this piece on the future of 2017: predictions, much like soothsaying, are never an accurate science. Rather, guesstimates of what will come by looking at the underlying cause versus – what has become – a very sexy view of trends. The future is a matter of choice, not a matter of chance. As such, what follows isn’t a set of predictions but what I expect will be three of the prevailing underlying forces; some may be seen and apparent, some will be unseen, with the “so what” repercussions felt way beyond 2017.

19 December 2016

There's still room for improvement in transformation, says CFO of Chancellor House Holdings (CHH), Seithati Bolipombo

The matter of diversity and transformation in the workplace is topical and can, at times, be somewhat controversial. Roy Clark penned a broad and insightful guest article about transformation in CFO Magazine. As part of this, we asked Seithati Bolipombo, an inspiring young CFO, to share her thoughts on the topic. “Transformation won’t happen by osmosis or natural selection because at its core, it is a people thing. It comes down to people and behaviour and the decisions that people make,” she said.

21 November 2016

Like giving birth! MiX Telematics CFO Megan Pydigadu about the NYSE listing

Three years ago, MiX Telematics decided their JSE listing was nice but that what would really boost the fleet and mobile asset management solutions firm was a New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) listing. CFO Megan Pydigadu, nominated for the CFO Awards in both 2014 and 2015, describes the listing process as a roller coaster ride. In this exclusive article, Megan shares a number of important lessons for companies that are considering going to New York.

14 November 2016

Invest in staff well-being for better business success - CFOs weigh in

Healthier companies outperform the market by as much as 50 percent, recent studies indicate. If health is an important measure of a country’s developmental status and needs, the same goes for a business. In this regard, companies are becoming more attuned to the need to both measure and report on their staff’s health and well-being. We spoke to two top CFOs and two corporate wellness experts to find out what companies can do to invest in the well-being of their staff – and what ROI they can expect.

07 November 2016

Executives should be ready for multiple possible futures, says Dr Morne Mostert

“It seems that many executives continue to make decisions not only based on the past but even in the interest of the past or in its defence,” writes Dr Morne Mostert, Director of the Institute for Futures Research at Stellenbosch University. According to him, “the intellectual agility to engage simultaneously with multiple possible futures is highly likely to increase as a prerequisite for a chair in the boardroom of the future”.

24 October 2016

CFOs, take note: integrated reporting improves value, cash and forecasts - #science

Integrated reporting improves firm value, cash flows, and analyst forecast accuracy. It also leads to more dedicated long-term investors. That is the conclusion of four academics in this guest article written exclusively for CFO South Africa, based on research they conducted with financial support of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). Using mostly South African data, they argue that CFOs should care deeply about integrated reporting. By Mary E. Barth, Steven F. Cahan, Li Chen, and Elmar R. Venter* Since the financial crisis, several questions have been raised about the appropriateness of the traditional corporate reporting model. Key statistics highlight some of these concerns about corporate reporting. In 1975, around 83 percent of the market value of S&P 500 firms could be explained by physical and financial assets; by 2009, that number dropped to 19 percent. The remaining 81 percent consist of intangibles; most of which are currently not communicated to investors. Bob Laux, senior director financial accounting and reporting at Microsoft, argues that “the value-drivers of a company are increasingly intangible and include items such as intellectual and human capital as well as environmental, social and governance issues”. In his view, such changes in the ways in which company value is created are not matched by developments in corporate reporting. In line with this concern about unreported value drivers, EY points out that, on average, the number of pages devoted to noting disclosure in financial statements and in management discussion and analysis quadrupled from 1972 to 2012. Former United States vice president, Al Gore, and David Blood warn that “despite the volume and frequency of information made available by companies, access to more data for public equity investors has not necessarily translated into more comprehensive insight on companies”. Adding to the disclosure burden may therefore not necessarily be the solution to the unreported value drivers. The proponents of integrated reporting see it as the solution to this vexatious issue. In this article, we briefly discuss what integrated reporting is (and what it is not), together with some of the academic evidence emerging on the benefits of integrated reporting. What is integrated reporting?

12 September 2016

Mandatory Audit Firm Rotation is a good thing, says Nkonki's Mitesh Patel

“It is simply staggering that of the 353 audit partners who sign off on the financial statements of all JSE-listed companies, only nine are Black African – that’s just 2.5%,” says Mitesh Patel, Managing Director of Nkonki, a 100% black-owned audit and advisory firm. “Given the transformation imperative within the broader South African corporate context and our profession as a whole, there can be no doubt that Mandatory Audit Firm Rotation (MAFR) will assist in driving the transformation agenda.”

29 August 2016

IBM's Leslie Moodley: CFOs can become performance accelerators through technological advancement

Technological advances are disrupting the status quo and creating huge turbulences. Businesses are converging and unforeseen competitors are emerging. It is all about creating disruption and staying ahead of the curve, which is rising at a rapid pace. And amid all this change, CFOs still need to create profits for their enterprises, writes Leslie Moodley, managing partner Global Business Services, IBM South Africa.

22 August 2016

Data governance in times of POPI and cyber crime - Yolanda Smit, PBT Group

An increase in cyber attacks targeting businesses and legislative requirements like the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI) have brought attention to the need for effective data governance, says Yolanda Smit, Strategic Business Intelligence Manager at PBT Group. At its heart, data governance focuses on driving enterprise data management practices to the next level of maturity, where data is being managed intentionally and not just as an afterthought. Data security and privacy management, data architecture management, data quality management, records management, business intelligence, and data operations management are all vital elements in this new discipline of management.

08 August 2016

Kinfundi: Helping employees educate their families

Business is about people. Of course it’s about profit, processes, technology, and many other things too, but ultimately it’s about people. The end buyers in all value chains are people, and the energy that drives a business is people: employees, management, owners, stakeholders. These people have needs as well as worries. A big matter on the minds of many is their family, and within this, concerns about education. An innovation turn-key, tax-friendly employee benefit product, Kinfundi, hopes to change this.

25 July 2016

Lightning-fast reflexes: the agile team

While many other teams in a business have some flexibility as far as deliverables, reporting and project timelines go, this is a luxury not often enjoyed by the finance team. But as the pace of doing business is so much faster today, is it not time the finance function became more agile too? We spoke to experienced CFOs and other industry experts to get their insight. By Toni Muir "Being agile requires openness, the reservation of judgement and the ability to turn on a dime," says Terrence Taylor, general manager: Talent, Analytics, Leadership and Learning at Discovery. You need people with a cosmopolitan outlook, an open mindset and an eclectic set of experiences, he adds, and a leader who is comfortable sharing leadership and power. But what exactly is an agile team, and what makes it so? Moreover, why is this important to the finance function?

18 July 2016

Insider threats: 10 questions CFOs need to ask - by J2's John Mc Loughlin

CFOs need to actively manage IT risk, says John Mc Loughlin, Managing Director of software company J2: “It is vital that the CFO take an active role in managing this risk – as it appears IT may not have the executive drive to get it done themselves.” In this article, John shares some of the top questions CFOs must ask themselves when dealing with risk management and threats, and before declaring their IT policy as sound.

15 July 2016

Clarkhouse Human Capital's Roy Clark talks diversity and transformation

Roy Clark, MD of Clarkhouse Human Capital, recently moderated a thought leadership session where 20 CFOs were invited to discuss the role of transformation and diversity in the workplace, and what the role of a CFO is in fostering this. In this self-penned piece, Clark delves into why transformation and diversity are such misunderstood notions, and looks at how corporate South Africa can make these ideas work within their organisations.

20 June 2016

Abaco Consulting's Derek Brown: Employees as operating costs vs balance sheet assets

How do you really view your employees, asks Derek Brown of Abaco Consulting? As a problematic high and fixed cost to the business or as the business’s biggest and most competitive asset? The dichotomy, he says, is that they are of course both at the same time. By Derek Brown, Abaco Consulting On the one hand, your employees represent one of your single largest fixed costs, and there is continual pressure to reduce that cost by reducing head counts, increasing productivity, the deployment of automation, robotising, process re-engineering, Lean, Six Sigma and Agile initiatives, and if all else fails, the outsourcing of operating functions. Yet, we often proclaim that our people are the differentiator for our company in the marketplace and that they are the company’s greatest single asset in our competition for business. So how do we reconcile these two potentially conflicting viewpoints?

13 June 2016

Peace of mind: Integrated Business Management at Lamb Weston / Meijer

"What has Integrated Business Management delivered for Lamb Weston / Meijer (LWM)?" asks CFO Peter van Wouwe - LWM being one of the world's largest companies in frozen potato products, appetizers and dehydrated potato flakes. "Peace of mind, that’s what." In this article, Marco van Alfen, business planning and control expert at consultancy firm EyeOn, unpacks and demonstrates the concept of Integrated Business Management. Integrated Business Management, Integrated Business Planning (IBP), Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP), Sales Inventory & Operations Planning (SIOP): these are all terms used to indicate the multidisciplinary process by which demand and supply are tuned in an organisation. This is the most basic point at which they agree. During the eighties, the term S&OP marked this reconciliation process. TF Wallace had the key elements of a good S&OP process as: “… a set of decision-making processes to balance demand and supply, to integrate financial planning and operational planning, and to link high-level strategic plans with day-to-day operations.” In many organisations, however, S&OP became a short-term planning process where the past was more often looked at than the future, and the link with strategy was often missing.

06 June 2016

5 things you should know about the future of insurance

Fintech has become a big buzzword lately, although the inter-linkage of finance and technology is not a new concept. We exist in a world where mobile phones are used more than physical branches for banking, and where you can get a loan from a stranger through a peer-to-peer lending model, such as Lendico or RocMyPeer in South Africa. You can even authenticate mobile payments by scanning your face with a smartphone, using the ‘Smile to pay’ service launched by Chinese e-commerce giant, Alibaba.

30 May 2016

Beware the cyber threat, says KPMG's Nathan Desfontaines

The prevalence of cyber threats is forcing companies to make tough decisions and quickly, otherwise they stand to lose direct control of data security, says Nathan Desfontaines, a Cyber Security Manager at KPMG South Africa. From coherent mobile information security policies to comprehensive cyber security strategies, the list of what is required from businesses to adequately protect ever-increasing volumes of data is growing. This is because the number of threats, including mobile malware and hacking, is also increasing. Mobile attacks, custom-designed malware and the threat of wearable technology, such as smartwatches, are examples of what businesses need to be aware of these days. Why do organisations need to treat cyber security as a key IT element rather than ‘another’ business risk? Businesses need to move away from believing that cyber security is a point-in-time exercise – a fad that is “hyped up”, or that the threats of cyber-attacks will go away. Once businesses can do this, then we can start to embrace the benefits technology has enabled within the business while dealing effectively with the very real threat of cyber-crime. When it comes to protecting businesses’ information from potential cyber-attacks, businesses need to understand what their “Crown Jewels” are. By knowing what the business has and what it is worth – both to the business and to outsiders – only then will the business gain a better understanding of what information needs to be protected. Trying to achieve 100% security across all facets of the IT estate is a challenge and is bound to dilute the focus on where it really should be – the critical information assets of the business. What are the toughest security challenges for businesses today? A constant challenge that businesses face is having an effective threat intelligence capability assessment, plan and response in place. Most companies would not know if they were being attacked and in most cases, for those who do, they are unable to detect and effectively respond to a breach. The reality is that technology in isolation is not going to ensure a business’s readiness to respond to a breach. Businesses need to have a balanced model of full business IT security including skilled people, embedded practical processes and, a “fit-for-purpose” technology that enhances the ability to detect and respond to a possible breach. What is considered a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy? A comprehensive cybersecurity strategy should start with a detailed classification of the business’s data – as you can’t protect what you don’t know you have. This classification should be followed by an all-inclusive threat intelligence capability assessment so that an effective post-breach response plan can be developed – and continuously updated, as necessary – as without these, the business is essentially “flying blind in an invisible war”. What could be the consequences to not defending your company from threat intelligence processes? Aside from a possible legislative or regulatory financial impact on a business as a result of a cyber-attack, businesses are becoming increasingly concerned around both the financial and reputational impact to their operations and their environment.

23 May 2016

INOVO's Thinus Janse van Rensburg: Four ways customers should drive a CFO's IT spend

CFOs have traditionally not had to engage with IT. The CIO or other IT execs would simply recommend that the company adopt certain technologies without explaining how those technologies benefit the company. Buzzwords about technology and business processes can be impressive or baffling, depending on the level of communication between departments. It has become increasingly apparent that CFOs can benefit from engaging with IT, and that this engagement has a direct impact on profitability.

02 May 2016

Internal audit can give you competitive advantage, says IIA SA's Claudelle von Eck

Organisations that have embraced internal audit, employ competent internal auditors and give internal audit the freedom to execute its duty in accordance with the international standards find that it’s not the unwelcome watchdog for which it's sometimes mistaken. In fact, internal audit can confer a competitive advantage, suggests Dr Claudelle von Eck, CEO of the Institute of Internal Auditors South Africa (IIA SA).

25 April 2016

It's time to disrupt the funding landscape in SA, says Outsourced CFO's Louw Barnardt

Massive outflows of foreign capital from our borders. Slow economic growth and tough global trading conditions. Difficult regulations and red tape. Upscaling private companies in SA is a massive task. But if we’re serious about growing our base of job-creating private companies, something needs to be done. As a nation desperate for job creation, we need to delve deep in order to understand the critical constraints for unlocking growth. These are the thoughts of Louw Barnardt, co-founder and MD of Outsourced CFO, a financial management boutique of CAs which assists private company clients in gaining access to innovative funding solutions. The SAICA SME report states that, “According to SMEs, the main reasons for business failure are overwhelmingly cash-flow related”. A business of any size and in whichever industry needs financial stability to operate sustainably. Aiming to expand is an even more complex objective that requires SMEs to raise growth finance. Taking this into consideration, how can SMEs be expected to operate sustainably as well as grow, if accessing finance proves to be one of their greatest obstacles? The SAICA SME report concluded that SMEs start with too little capital, collect debtors late, are subject to bad debts, and have overheads that are too high. Government expects that 90 percent of new jobs will come from SMEs. Therefore, big businesses and the public sector need to realise that SMEs will be crucial for growth of the fiscus as well as the private sectors turnover. This then concludes that SME growth is not only to the benefit of the SME, but in the best interest of big business and the public sector.

12 April 2016

Insights from Deloitte's Ghana CFO Report

The recently released Deloitte CFO Survey for West Africa delivered various insights gleaned from CFOs operating in Nigeria and Ghana. The report revealed many interesting things, for example, that CFOs in West African countries are more positive about their growth prospects than their Southern African counterparts. It also revealed that they are, however, less optimistic than their East African counterparts. What exactly did West African CFOs have to say?

28 March 2016

Finance vs. internal auditors: time to stop the bloody war

“Here come the auditors” is a rally cry that is often heard in organisations. Being in Internal Audit for twenty-five years I have found that there has always been a distinct sense of rivalry and antagonism between the finance department and Internal Audit. Very much like the Blues and the Reds where we - the internal auditors - are seen to be on different teams, fighting each other. With the winner being the one who can either hold out or the one who can attack and get the results.

21 September 2015

IP theft, extortion and interuption - a new generation of cyber risks

CFOs should prepare for a new generation of cyber risks which are fast evolving, moving beyond the established threats of data breaches, privacy issues and reputational damage to operational damage, business interruption and even potentially catastrophic losses. A new report – A Guide to Cyber Risk: Managing The Impact of Increasing Interconnectivity – examines the latest trends in cyber risk and emerging perils around the globe.

07 September 2015

Expert Insight - 9 potential investment sectors in Ghana

The African continent has become the most exciting global economic story over the past decade. That narrative has fuelled optimism in its member states, which are now vying for the attention of international investors and businesses. Ghana is one of those countries. In this Expert Insight Eric Osei, business analyst and author of the recently published book Doing Business in Ghana, lists 9 sectors that are great investment ideas.

16 April 2015

The CFO as IT evangelist? Top CFOs share their thoughts at CFO SA dinner

How are CFOs and their departments dealing with the digital winds of change inspired by technological advancement and disruptive start-ups? How is the role of the modern CFO adapting to this new environment and what skills are necessary to make these adjustments? These were some of the questions posed at the CFO South Africa dinner and round table event at the Four Seasons Westcliff hotel in Johannesburg on 15 April 2015.

20 March 2015

Great insight into African tax by KPMG's top experts

Never speak to the tax authority in an African country without an advisor present, make better use of tax incentives and familiarise yourself with the local tax law and the people who enforce it. Those were some of the lessons during the extremely insightful Master Class at Thursday’s Moving into Africa event in the Michelangelo Hotel in Sandton. The CFOs present received a comprehensive overview of African tax affairs by some of the brightest tax minds on the continent, provided by KPMG.

06 March 2015

Panel of judges for CFO Awards 2015 meet at JSE Limited

One of the key success factors behind the annual CFO Awards is the strong composition of the panel of judges. On 17 February 2015 the panel for the 2015 awards met in a boardroom of the JSE Limited to discuss this year’s process and procedures. “We are truly honoured to have a group of such respected leaders on the panel to decide who are the best CFOs in South Africa at the moment,” said CFO South Africa CEO Melle Eijckelhoff, who convened the meeting.

18 February 2015

CFOs shaken out of comfort zone during Get Smart event

CFOs were rattled out of their comfort zone yesterday during our Get Smart in 2015 event, hosted at the JSE Limited in Sandton, Johannesburg. In an extremely well-received key note speech, Martijn Aslander - from The Netherlands - told finance leaders they need to adapt or risk becoming obsolete. He talked the audience through a number of exciting innovations and disruptive developments that will change the world within the next 10 years. “In the future it is no longer about what you own or what you do, but it is about your attitude and your ability to adapt.”

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