Sage manages accounting and financials, operation, people, payroll and payments.
Finance Indaba 2016: Build Extraordinary Futures for your company
"As specialists in the financial skills sector we use our specialist knowledge to evaluate, hunt and entice individuals for specific financial roles," says Anthia Falekkos (pictured in the middle with her team), managing executive at Extraordinary Futures, a silver partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
Finance Indaba 2016: This Is Me is your identity theft safeguard
"Over 8,8 million South Africans have fallen prey to some form of cyber-crime, of which identity theft forms a significant enough part of this to consider it a serous threat" says Brennan Wright, marketing manager of This Is Me, a silver partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
Finance Indaba 2016: Optimise business intelligence with QlikView
We believe we have the formula for the right balance that allows you to empower business with self-service whilst ensuring strength and trust for IT." says Davide Hanan, chairperson of QlikView SA, a gold partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
Finance Indaba 2016: Get your treasury system firing with TreasuryOne
"As the leading treasury system solution provider with more than 40 implementations, our expertise will help any CFO who needs cash visibility, automation of daily treasury activities, risk management and segregation of duties," says Rudolf Janse van Rensburg, a director at TreasuryOne, a silver partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
Finance Indaba 2016: Modernise your accounting processes with BlackLine
"BlackLine’s Finance Controls and Automation platform delivers a fresh approach that increases the quality, accuracy, and efficiency of the financial close and other period-end activity is what BlackLine calls ‘Continuous Accounting’," says Mario Spanicciati, chief strategy officer of BlackLine, a silver partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
Finance Indaba 2016: Every invoice is a revenue opportunity with Intellection
"We will outline the most impactful tactics for optimising working capital and maximising discounts and we will review various sources of liquidity available to suppliers and buyers," says Christo Jacobs, director of Intellection, a silver partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
Finance Indaba 2016: Stay ahead of the curve with Profectus Africa
"It is clear that the techniques for detecting trends, and better predictions using Big Data, haven't as yet been mastered," says Chris Kamffer, director of Profectus Africa, a gold partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
KPMG CEO Trevor Hoole: The evolution of the modern CFO
Since Trevor Hoole joined KPMG in 1975 he has witnessed the change in CFOs from “the traditional bespectacled back-office-person” to the modern money boss of today. We asked the CEO of our principal partner what it takes to be a successful finance leader in a world of change, big data, volatility, risks and cybersecurity. Here are Trevor’s insights summarised in nine burnings topics.
Finance Indaba 2016: ManageIt has your procurement processes covered
“We can help professionals by centralising procurement, simplifying ordering, improving efficiency, reducing costs and securing pricing, sourcing and qualifying new suppliers with ease and managing BEE, contract and all other documents online,” says Brett Cunnington, marketing director of ManageIt, a silver partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
Finance Indaba 2016: The Finance Team sparks a labour revolution
"Professionals worldwide are opting to work in smaller groups in which the members have complementary skillsets. This is something they can do with a group like The Finance Team,” says Grant Robson, MD of The Finance Team, a silver partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
Chinese currency increasingly popular in SA: SWIFT data
The Chinese currency renminbi (RMB) now accounts for more than 30 percent of payments between South Africa and China. According to recent SWIFT data, the number of South Africa’s renminbi payments increased by a staggering 191 percent over the last two years.
Finance Indaba 2016: Boost your tech opportunities with AdvanceNet
"AdvanceNet fills the role of trusted adviser and introduces easily implementable enhancements to help organisations embrace the opportunities that technology has to offer," says Phil Hemsley, MD of AdvanceNet, a gold partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
Finance Indaba 2016: Use the insight of Oracle
"We help simplify the IT environment so that our customers can free up money, time, and resources to invest in innovation," says Kholiwe Makhohliso, Technology and Country Leader of Oracle South Africa, a platinum partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
Finance Indaba 2016: Get your business moving with AgilePam
"AgilePam uses the latest and best web technologies to keep you connected on the cloud, where your work, information, data, files, contact information, everything, is stored safely and securely, in one place," says Leon Smith, lead software engineer at AgilePam, a silver partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
Finance Indaba 2016: WorldsView Academy prepares organisations for success
"We offer a comprehensive and holistic set of services to facilitate how finance organisations or departments provide value to their constituency and come together to deliver this value well," says Christo van Staden, head of interventions at WorldsView Academy, a gold partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
Finance Indaba 2016: SekelaXabiso drives continuous improvement
"We have become synonymous with delivering sustainable good governance in the public sector and driving continuous improvement in both our public and private sector operations," says Thandeka Zondi, strategy and business development director at SekelaXabiso, a platinum partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
Finance Indaba 2016: Operational excellence is Bytes Technology Group's game
“We focus on middle- and back-office operations and it’s all about wringing efficiencies out of these operations – automating as much as possible, saving on staff costs, reducing breaks due to reconciliation problems, etc," says Mark Neethling, the GM of Financial Services at Bytes Technology Group, a gold partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
Balancing personalities is key to a strong team, says Graham McGregor, New GX Capital Holdings CFO
“The most unsettling thing for anyone is uncertainty,” says Graham McGregor, CFO of New GX Capital Holdings, a BEE investment holding company with interests in the environmental solutions, logistics, power and telecoms, and corporate finance advisory sectors. Sharing his experience, while in his previous position, of a merger that happened between two very different businesses under one umbrella company McGregor says keeping staff abreast of what was happening at all times was crucial: “Because if there’s a communication gap, people fill in the gap themselves.” He also learnt an important lesson:
Tell better stories & be a better leader: Peter Christie at public sector CFO event
"One of the challenges for corporate leaders is that often, they are not good communicators, or are not very effective communicators. They largely communicate via email, company newsletters or noticeboards, and PowerPoint presentations. To get the key message through you’ve got to be more creative than that and become a better storyteller,” says consultant and academic, Peter Christie, better known as Big Chief Talking Bull.
Finance Indaba 2016: Zetta Business Solutions make a CFO's life easier
"We can help finance professionals to improve their ability to better utilise their time, by automating and simplifying remedial processes like data collection, allowing them to spend more time on analysis," says Anna Puzone, the head of enterprise performance management at information management company Zetta Business Solutions, a gold partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
Finance Indaba 2016: Monash South Africa produces industry-ready graduates
"We understand that the current financial landscape requires innovation, creativity and the need to understand and address a great variety of complex issues, and have therefore aligned our programmes to prepare students as effectively as possible for the business and economics sphere," says Professor Humphrey Gowar from Monash South Africa (MSA), a platinum partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
Finance Indaba 2016: CIMA provides an in-depth understanding of business
"Leading in a new world requires the ability to join the dots, connecting the most relevant information and people from across the organisation when making decisions," says Zahra Cassim, the head of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants' (CIMA) South African chapter, a gold partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 28
Finance Indaba 2016: INCE goes from printer to ground-breaker
"We offer clients an integrated, full-service offering for all their marketing needs – a real one-stop solution which delivers benefits in terms of value, consistency, confidentiality and sheer ease of doing business,” says Alban Atkinson, MD of integrated corporate communications agency INCE, a PLATINUM partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
Finance Indaba 2016: Tax Ombud offers taxpayers a resolution avenue
"When people receive a below-par standard of service from Sars, our office offers a free channel to air complaints," says Advocate Eric Mkhawane, CEO in the Office of the Tax Ombud, a silver partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
Peter Christie on the power of storytelling for effective leaders
As a youngster, Peter Christie was enormously fond of Western movies, particularly those which featured North American Indians giving cowboys what he calls “a good klapping”. One movie in particular made a big impression on the youngster: The Great Sioux Massacre, where, at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, shaman Big Chief Sitting Bull led the defeat of General Custer and other troops of the US Army. Peter can still recall a gift he received from his parents at this time: a colourful North American Indian costume that included feathered headdress, leather-tasselled vest, moccasins and tomahawk. Needless to say it immediately became a firm favourite of the energetic six-year-old who, when asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, answered without hesitation, “Big Chief Sitting Bull”. Peter being quite the chatterbox, his dad adapted this to “Big Chief Talking Bull”, and the name stuck. Peter has always had a liking for stories – reading them, telling them, watching them, and writing them. As an adult, he turned this talent into a career, establishing a successful consultancy that teaches business people how to unlock their storytelling potential in order to become better, more influential leaders.
Finance Indaba 2016: SAIPA looks to transform accounting
"We will ensure that attendees leave with a more nuanced understanding of SAIPA so that they can become our partner in our goal of growing and transforming the accounting profession," says Zobuzwe Ngobese, marketing and communications executive at the South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA), a gold partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
Finance Indaba 2016: QuickBooks has businesses running more efficiently
"We want to show the accounting world and finance professionals is that QuickBooks as a brand and a product has the range available to satisfy the financial needs of start-ups, SMEs and growing businesses," says Nick Braxton, national sales manager of QuickBooks SA, a silver partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
Zaf Mahomed, McDonald's: Demand more - real leaders are listening
CFO South Africa MD Graham Fehrsen was recently invited to sit in on a monthly meeting of the senior finance leaders from one of South Africa’s largest financial services providers. In this monthly meeting, arranged by the CFO, the senior team gets insight from an expert or leader from outside the business - on this occasion Zaf Mahomed (pictured), CFO of McDonald’s South Africa, who shared some of his experience and insights from his time as the CFO of Ellerines.
Finance Indaba 2016: Solve your ERP challenges with 4most
“Businesses and specifically financial professionals need to understand their own business processes enough to evaluate systems and their ability replace or integrate with existing processes, and we are able to assist them with this,” says Marius Fabian, the CEO of SAP ERP solutions provider 4most, a gold partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
Finance Indaba 2016: Crowe Horwath keeps clients abreast of changing regulations
"Clients will need to be preparing for increased tax reporting obligations as well as gathering information to be able to comply with new and revised accounting standards in 2016,” says Gary Kartsounis, a partner at financial services firm Crowe Horwath, a silver partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
Finance Indaba 2016: Purple Group opens markets up for everyone
“It’s time for financial services firms to realise that they need to provide opportunities for all South Africans to access the stock market,” says Charles Savage, the CEO of Purple Group, a gold partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
Absa enables customers to transact over Twitter
Absa Bank recently launched its innovative Absa ChatBanking option, allowing social media-savvy customers to conduct certain banking transactions via Twitter.
Finance Indaba 2016: Futuresense aids future-focused CFOs
“We help CFOs make better decisions that create a better future for their companies,” says Simon Jackson, a director of enterprise performance management system provider Futuresense, a gold partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
Africa's potential is exponential, says CHH CFO, Seithati Bolipombo
“Transformation won’t happen by osmosis or natural selection because at its core and at its foundation, it is a people thing. It comes down to behaviour and is a decision that people make,” says Seithati Bolipombo, CFO of Chancellor House Holdings (CHH), a privately held investment holding company founded in 2003. Seithati is extremely passionate about the subject of transformation and opines that while we’ve made good strides, there is still plenty of room for improvement. She also thinks we need to be prouder of our African heritage: “We need to elevate the pride of the African identity. The more globalised and Westernised we become, the more anything that was founded or established in Africa seems to have less of a reputation than the equivalent founded outside the continent. In business and in civil society, the African identity has to be prioritised and celebrated.” How did you get into finance? “This wasn’t always the plan! When I was in high school I actually wanted to work with young people. I had a chat to one of my teachers, who was like a mentor to me at the time. She said to me, ‘The world needs more people with strong values in critical pillars of society than it does within social services. You need people with the right heart and mind to be making those decisions in terms of where resources go’. She encouraged me to look into finance.” What do you most enjoy about the industry? “You get to shape the economy. Your area of financial excellence contributes to a bigger economic landscape, which really determines the growth of the country and therefore how it benefits its people.” In your opinion, what are the most important elements or considerations when devising a business strategy? "Every business exists for its customers or its clients. That’s first and foremost the thing you’ve got to preoccupy yourself with; being obsessed about understanding the people for whom you exist as a business, their needs, their demographics, and what keeps them awake at night. Then you have to consider what solution you are providing and how you meet their needs. My philosophy is that business concepts don’t fail due to a lack of either resources or the right people or staff. I believe that business concepts fail due to an inability to bring value to the table of exchange. I believe that people are willing to spend money as long as the solution that is being provided is a valid and valuable one. That’s the biggest element of business strategy for me.” What role do you think the CFO plays in the strategic vision of a company? “As CFO you may be the ’bean counter’ but you should also able to add value to strategy and decision-making based on numbers, so that business decisions are not made on gut feel or emotion. The strategy has to be based on strong strategic and financial fundamentals.” “In formulating strategy, management undertakes a critical assessment of the industry the business is in, as well as its competitors. It is crucial that this assessment is also based on financial evidence too. If it comes down to a choice of two paths the company could take, it’s a question of what do the numbers say. I’m particular about the numbers because I feel they’re objective to a certain extent – as long as we’re not cooking them.”
Accounting in the cloud - Xero's Gary Turner on conquering SA
With personal computers and the internet mere precursors to the real digital revolution, CFOs need to change gears and get ready for radically different roles, says Xero executive Gary Turner. Few firms are riding the waves of digital change so confidently as Xero, the accounting software cloud-solution for small- and medium-sized enterprises. After swooping the UK market, Gary has now set his sights on South Africa.
Finance Indaba 2016: AAT graduates easily turn theory into practice
“Our local government and public sector qualifications are based on competency frameworks of municipalities and the National Treasury. They are designed to fit the purpose exactly,” says Nadine Kater, GM of the South African chapter of the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT), a silver partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
Finance Indaba 2016: SAIBA builds a community of committed professionals
"We see ourselves the gateway to the accounting profession," says Nicolaas van Wyk, CEO of the Southern African Institute for Business Accountants (SAIBA), a silver partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
CFO Awards 2016: glitz, glam & winners at Oscars of SA's finance profession
Woolworths Group FD Reeza Isaacs was named CFO of the Year 2016 during a spectacular CFO Awards Conference and Gala Dinner at the Summer Place in Hyde Park, Johannesburg. Our senior editor Toni Muir jotted down quotes throughout the evening and we have used the best ones to recap the amazing event, dubbed the Oscars of South Africa's finance profession by many CFOs.
Courage required of CFOs - keynote Prof Wiseman Nkuhlu at 2016 CFO Awards
"The CFO and his or her team should be a respected centre of excellence that is trusted for intellectual honesty, sound processes and transparency," said Prof Lumkile Wiseman Nkuhlu, Chancellor of the University of Pretoria, during a keynote speech at the CFO Awards on 12 May 2016 at Summer Place in Johannesburg. South Africa's first-ever black chartered accountant called on the attending CFOs to show courage "in times of persistent market volatility and rapid technological change".
Finance Indaba 2016: ACCA graduates mean business
"There is an undeniable need to introduce young people to entrepreneurship at an early stage and further ensure that they are equipped with the right skills from an education front," says Patience Semenya, head of the South African chapter of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), a gold partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
Finance Indaba 2016: Excel4apps powers up your reporting processes
"We make Excel the front end to your ERP (Oracle, SAP or PeopleSoft) and give you all the power of Excel plus more with our custom-built functions," says Shirley Riddick, MD of Excel4apps in the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific. Excel4apps is a gold partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
From Alexandra to the boardroom: MMI CFO Mary Vilakazi
After being made partner at PwC as a 27-year-old in 2005, Mary Vilakazi was “under enormous pressure not to fail”. Since then Mary has morphed from hardworking auditor to group CFO at MMI Holdings, the umbrella for insurers Momentum and Metropolitan - with a period as a dynamic consultant in between. “I think my success is proof that you cannot underestimate the power of being given opportunities,” she says.
Finance Indaba 2016: CharterQuest CFO Case Study Competition draws the crowds
“Employers are seeking financial education that produces cutting edge and real world integrated technical, business and leadership acumen,” says Valentine Nti from CharterQuest, a silver partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg. CharterQuest will host the global finals of the first ever CFO Case Study Competition at the Finance Indaba.
The CFO is key to business agility, says Alexander Visser, CFO of Philips Procurement
Although he originally intended to pursue a career as a banker, a realisation that he wanted to be involved in a more tangible business convinced Alexander Visser, the new CFO of Philips Procurement, to instead focus on finance. "I chose Philips because of the strong role finance had in decision making. I felt I could make a strong impact from the get-go."
Can the CFO be a true business partner, and is there really such as thing as control, pondered SA's public sector CFOs
“The biggest challenge for public sector CFOs is supporting the mandate. Some mandates are unfunded or contradictory,” said one of the participants at last night’s round table for public sector CFOs, held at the Menlyn Boutique Hotel. The evening’s discussion centered on effective communication and reporting to stay in control, and posed the questions of whether or not the public sector CFO can be a true business partner, and whether it is possible to ever really have control of the business. See pictures from the event here.
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.
Quietly confident about deals in 2016, says KPMG's M&A guru John Geel
KPMG’s M&A guru John Geel says he is “quietly confident” that 2016 is going to be a good year for mergers and acquisitions in South Africa. In an exclusive interview with CFO South Africa he reveals that he expects the number of deals to be “at least equal to last year, if not more”.
The crucial role of the risk register: a chat with Aveng Infraset's FD Thobeka Ntshiza
Thobeka Ntshiza, Financial Director of Aveng Infraset and a finalist in the 2015 SAICA Top 35-Under-35, is a regular at CFO South Africa events and believes that peer-to-peer learning is a non-negotiable. "You actually cannot afford not to attend such events. It's part of your growth and development as an FD, and in the CFO space," she says. Thobeka also believes in the importance of having your finger on the pulse of the company's financials, and going "into the trenches" to check the health of the business.
Local talent in the spotlight at smashing CFO event 'Moving into Africa'
Innovative ways to identify and develop top local talent in African countries were the hottest topic of conversation during an extremely insightful CFO South Africa event about Moving into (the rest of) Africa, hosted by Standard Bank at its impressive Rosebank premises on 16 March 2016. Vibrant CFO panel discussions alternated with insights from experts from Thomson Reuters and Spencer Stuart, while attending CFOs also had the chance to get involved.
Standing up for what's right - public sector CFOs discuss leadership and fear
A round table for public sector CFOs took a fascinating turn when one of the participants told how she had stood up against wrongdoing and taken her superiors to court. Hosted by CFO South Africa and partner KPMG the discussion on 15 March 2016 at the Marion on Nicol focused on leadership, and specifically asked whether good leadership and its relationship with fear.
SA has world's highest rate of economic crime, says PwC
According to a new Global Economic Crime Survey by financial services company PwC, over the last two years South African organisations have reported the highest rate of economic crime in the world.
What CFOs should learn from baseball - introducing CFO Awards speaker Brian Farley
"You don't have to have the best ten players to have the best team. You just have to have a group of guys who are really committed and all seeking excellence. You don't have to have perfection," says 55-year-old Brian Farley, an American-born baseball player and coach turned business performance coach. Brian will be speaking at the upcoming CFO Awards, held at Summer Place on 12 May.
Goodwell Investments acquires minority stake in Musoni Services
Goodwell Investments, a company which provides early stage growth capital, has acquired a significant minority stake in Musoni Services, a Dutch micro-finance software company that supports micro-finance institutions (MFIs) with its cloud-based core banking software.
Blockchain will revolutionise business, says Bankymoon CEO Lorien Gamaroff
"Blockchain is going to be a massive disruptive force. This is the next revolution, the next Internet, if you like. It is not an understatement to declare that a new technological revolution is upon us," says Lorien Gamaroff, founder and CEO of Bankymoon, a software company focusing on Blockchain technologies. Gamaroff will be one of the speakers at the much-anticipated FinTech Africa Blockchain Event, taking place on 25 February in Cape Town.
Balancing the stakeholders - the success of Alexander Forbes CFO Deon Viljoen
Being a business partner is extremely important, but a CFO should never forget to bring his or her financial acumen to the table, says CFO of the Year 2015 Deon Viljoen. As money boss at Alexander Forbes he has guided the company through a rebirth that included a delisting and a relisting on the JSE. These days ‘higher purpose’ and ‘balancing stakeholders’ are key success factors at South Africa’s largest retirement fund administrator, he reveals.
Paul Marten, CFO Microsoft SA: talking products within finance
“As a finance team we can bring our own products into the conversation with our business partners and our customers, by talking about how we do things at Microsoft.” Discussions about finance transformation and the evolution of the CFO can sometimes sound theoretical and dry – not so with Paul Marten, Finance Director at Microsoft South Africa. Using the same tools that his famous firm is selling, he embodies the outward looking finance leader of the 21st century.
AB InBev lists on JSE
Awesome accountants - find them at the Finance Indaba Africa
South Africa has an outstanding pool of professional accountants. Whether you're a small start up or a successful mid size business, you will need these professionals to help grow and guide your business. The best accountants formulate ideas to help you reach your true goals becoming genuine business partners. Finding the right accountant is easier than you think and you are invited to meet the very best at Finance Indaba Africa.
Cloud & Clear - select your cloud provider at Finance Indaba Africa
Cloud is no longer an unknown or risky business, but an essential technological innovation that is a game changer for African businesses. “Through cloud solutions we are enabling companies to design their back office efficiently and deliver innovation across the business,” said Dee Houchen or Oracle (a platinum Finance Indaba partner) in a recent interview. At the Finance Indaba Africa all cloud providers will be present, giving South African finance professionals an unparalleled opportunity to compare offerings and learn.
Be disrupted or die - CFO master class at the Oracle Cloud Day
David Hodnett, with Barclays Africa to 'fully international, fully regional and fully local'
As deputy chief executive officer and finance director, David Hodnett is the right hand of CEO Maria Ramos at Barclays Africa. In an exclusive interview with CFO South Africa, he speaks about his love for detail, his relationship with Ramos and the creation of Barclays. He also reveals how he very deliberately chose to plot his career path via risk management roles and why he sees the way he deals with people as a reason for his success. “I believe in accountability and giving people space to operate.”
Funding and regulation hindering startup success South Africa
Industry experts agree that South African startups have what it takes to succeed on the global stage, but structural issues are hindering development. While executives from South Africa’s leading enterprise development incubators are bullish about the progress being made and about the standard of South African startups, they are also concerned about government regulation, lack of funding direction and market access and inequitable distribution.*
Dee Houchen (Oracle): cloud enables speed and innovation
How long do cloud ERP implementations take? Do they stay within budget? What are the risks? If you’re interested an answer to any of those questions, you simply cannot miss the CFO track of the Oracle Cloud Day on 24 November (8h30-14h00) at The Forum in Bryanston. In preparation for the event, CFO South Africa spoke exclusively to Dee Houchen, senior product marketing director Oracle for ERP Applications.
Old Mutual Wisdom Forum - learning from entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurs hold some of the answers to our future in South Africa and corporate South Africa needs to play a part in cultivating and developing them if we want a more competitive and sustainable economic landscape.
Aon CFO dinner report: fleet management, headache or big data opportunity?
Is fleet management a cost and risk nightmare or an opportunity to utilise big data for a competitive advantage? That was the topic of an intimate dinner gathering of CFOs on 11th November 2015 at The Marion On Nicol hotel in Johannesburg, made possible by risk management and insurance firm Aon.
David Jones, B-BBEE and success, a chat to Woolworths CFO Reeza Isaacs
"Finance had to make sure that common sense trumped emotion" during the acquisition of the Australian department store chain David Jones, says Woolworths CFO Reeza Isaacs during an interview with CFO South Africa. "We now have to ensure that the business is focused on delivering on the deal synergies.”
Virtual data rooms essential for M&A - Arie Maree, Ansarada
Virtual data rooms are crucial in ensuring that the acquisition process is as smooth as possible. That is according to Arie Maree, director at Ansarada, a world leader in merger and acquisition technology and headline sponsor of the Knife Capital Exit Conference, held at the Sandton Convention Centre on 21 August. A virtual data room is a limited-access website or software platform that bidders and advisers can use to peruse confidential corporate information before making a decision to purchase. These rooms offer significant cost savings on physical centres, especially when large teams of experts are required to perform extensive due diligence processes. They can be used for data storage, document exchange, file sharing, financial transactions and legal transactions, among other functions.
Call for speakers now open - Finance Indaba 2016
In 2014 CFO South Africa piloted the CFO Awards, this year we launched a massive partnership with KPMG and next year is going to see the Sandton Convention Centre's doors open for the first ever Finance Indaba. "The difference between success and failure is often determined by the quality of the finance team and processes," says CFO South Africa's founding director Melle Eijckelhoff, who has a long track record of landmark finance events in Europe and is now working tirelessly to make the Finance Indaba a massive success.
Think globally & grow up - successful FinTech event in Cape Town
South African FinTech companies need to adopt an attitude of abundance, learn to “think globally” and then “grow up and do the hard work”. Those were some of the conclusions of the incredibly successful and well-attended FinTech Africa event in Cape Town on Tuesday 20 October 2015. “We have been overwhelmed by the response,” FinTech Africa MD Graham Fehrsen candidly admitted. “Never in our wildest dreams had we expected such a large audience and such fantastic speakers.”
FinTech is consumer-driven revolution, says GetBucks CEO Dave van Niekerk
"There is a lot of hype around FinTech at the moment, where everyone thinks that it is the be all and end all of financial services. I see it as more of a consumer-driven revolution. People are looking for more convenient and cost-effective ways to transact and do business."
Fintechs don't realise own arrogance, says Paul Steenkamp (Standard Bank)
"Banks need to become less self-obsessed and more aware that all the decisions they make have to have customers at the centre," says Paul Steenkamp, Head: Innovation Capability at the Standard Bank Group. Paul was on the panel during the successful 2nd FinTech Africa event in Johannesburg. In the lead up to our 3rd event in Cape Town on 20 OctoberEbrahim Moolla spoke to him about the panic banks felt about FinTech and the way they are starting to embrace the revolution now. "One plus one equals three. Banks and FinTech companies can achieve a lot more by working together."
Meet South Africa's FinTech rock star, Tobie van Zyl
Tobie van Zyl is as close as it gets to a FinTech rock star from South African soil. He started and exited multiple successful companies, consults for promising startups and is now eyeing a global mobile banking venture. In the runup to our landmark FinTech event in Cape Town, our reporter Ebrahim Moolla spoke to Tobie about the challenges and opportunities of doing business in South Africa.
Next FinTech disruptor is African, says Techstars director Greg Rogers
The world-renowned startup accelerator Techstars has set up shop in Cape Town. As part of the recently announced Barclays Africa incubator Rise, Techstars and Barclays have partnered together to create a unique program for 10 promising FinTech startups. Applications are open until 10 January with program start on March 28. We spoke to Techstars executive director Greg Rogers about the program and his vision for FinTech in the continent.
African FinTech businesses can conquer the world, says IDM's Benay Sager
"FinTech is a fantastic thing, but lenders must be responsible and conduct proper creditworthiness assessments," says Benay Sager, chief operating officer at Intelligent Debt Management. Benay will be on the panel of experts during our upcoming FinTech Africa event in Cape Town on 20 October. Our journalist Ebrahim Moola spoke to him about FinTech's benefits and barriers. "My hope is that many more people will enjoy access to mobile banking technology and not have to go into a branch."
Suren Singh, Morvest Business: 'superstar' CFO leading the change
Morvest Business has been through some radical, strategic changes over the last few years and Suren Singh has been leading the charge as CFO. No longer an ICT company, Morvest now positions itself as a global diversified investment holding company à la Bidvest. Singh believes in clarity and says his passion rubs off on others. “I want to know more about my craft and the work I do than anyone has ever done in the history of the world,” he enthuses. As finance chief, Singh says during this interview with CFO South Africa, he is “in an ideal position to bridge the natural tensions between the CEO and the Board”.
The future of investing in FinTech in Africa? Join us on 20 October!
FinTech Africa is back, with an event that promises to be bigger, better and even more inspiring than the July event in Johannesburg. Hosted by the University of Stellenbosch Business School Executive Development (USB-ED) at their Bellville campus in Cape Town, national and international speakers and panellists will shed their light on the f future of investing in FinTech in Africa. Whether you are an investor or a FinTech entrepreneur, the event on 20 October 2015 is one you should not miss!
The Crisis Manager, Sasol CFO Bongani Nqwababa
He sure doesn't choose the easiest CFO roles, does Bongani Nqwababa. After a career at firms like Shell Southern Africa, Eskom and Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), he is currently tasked with navigating national pride Sasol through a tricky period of low oil prices. Luckily, Bongani has earned his striped as crisis manager par excellence at Amplats, where his calm head was crucial in times of strikes. The new strategy he plotted recently saw Amplats selling off its Rustenburg mines to Sibanye, but Nqwababa has already moved on to other challenges.
Unpredictability, transparency, excellence: a chat with RAF CFO Yolande van Biljon
Yolande van Biljon learnt valuable lessons when the IT bubble burst around the turn of the century, grew into a finance leader at Denel and now has the unenviable task of sorting out the cash flow problems at the Road Accident Fund (RAF). Her recipe for success should work for any CFO: “What scares people is uncertainty. It is better to be open, even if you cannot tell people what they want to hear.”
CFOs discuss their role as change agents at intimate dinner
Never has there been a time when IT and business have experienced so many synergies and when the need to transform was so consistently urgent. Change management was the topic of an intimate networking dinner organised by CFO South Africa in partnership with Oracle and principal sponsor KPMG – both at the forefront of fast-tracking change – at the prestigious Four Season Westcliff hotel in Johannesburg on Thursday evening, 20 August 2015. Finance executives from various industries took full advantage of the opportunity to swap notes with their peers and expand their knowledge bases.
Denel CFO Fikile Mhlontlo: from bailouts to superiority
Denel CFO Fikile Mhlontlo has been instrumental in cost cutting, efficiency drives and improving financial ratios. Together with the other executives he has changed the state-owned aerospace and defence technology conglomerate from a loss-making public enterprise into a successful, profit-making company with an increasingly international focus. Denel’s international image is now superior, says Mhlontlo. “The strategy of decentralisation and partnering has worked wonders.”
Grant Morgan, Dimension Data: making savings in the cloud
"We used to treat our servers like pets, giving them nicknames like Superman... Now we have entire farms of nameless “creatures”. This is automation. Cloud solutions never have IP conflicts or bring down your network and you only pay for what you use,” Grant Morgan, General Manager of Cloud at Dimension Data told the delegates at the inaugural MyBroadband Cloud & Hosting Conference at Gallagher Estate, Midrand, on 9 June. “The motor industry was mechanised to provide quantity and quality at the same time. Machines make fewer mistakes. Today, the same thing is happening in IT."
`Time for FinTech Africa is now` - Q&A with FinTech guru Nicole Anderson
South Africa should be “leading the charge” in the continent and create an environment that helps innovative FinTech companies flourish and draws investors willing to take risks. Globally, hubs are sprouting up for companies that disrupt the financial sector with technology and Africa is in danger of missing the boat. “The time is now,” says Nicole Anderson, the South African-born and educated CEO and Co-founder at FINTECH Circle Innovate in London.
Seacom's Suveer Ramdhani: why SA's internet is not as fast as it could be
Free trade revolution, an Expert Insight by Venter Labuschagne
The establishment of a free trade area in 26 African countries is going to be a revolutionary development for the continent. In this article Venter Labuschagne, Head: Trade & Customs at KPMG, outlines the opportunities and challenges the creation of the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) provide. By Venter Labuschagne, Head: Trade & Customs at KPMG Africa
FinTech - Mobile money transforms access to financial services
A dominant theme in FinTech, particularly in Africa, is the convergence of financial services and telecommunications. In the last month, FNB became the first South African bank to launch its own mobile services that integrate with its banking systems, while both Moody's Investors Service, mobile operators body GSMA and communications technology provider Ericsson presented insightful reports on banking and mobile applications.
What makes the perfect CFO? Platinum Member lunch and VIP Tour
Business partner, strategist, change agent, IT evangelist, operational genius … who is today’s successful CFO?
Editorial: CFOs should not hide behind the communications department
I always find it slightly disappointing when CFOs need to run an interview by their communications department. So it was really refreshing to do an interview yesterday that I managed to write up on the same day and that was approved within an hour. The interviewee? Sizwe Nxasana, CEO of FirstRand and responsible for a R295 billion market cap. Yet again, I must conclude: the more senior or influential a person is, the easier they are to talk to and the less bureaucratic they are about approving their interviews.
Casper Troskie, Liberty: communication is key for modern CFO
“It is very important to understand how investors see the business, because if you don’t listen to them, you might miss important trends,” says Casper Troskie, Financial Director at financial services company Liberty. In an exclusive interview with CFO South Africa Troskie shares valuable advice for ambitious Chartered Accountants, recalls his proudest moments and elaborates on the culture change that Liberty has embarked on. “It has been a great journey, but I see the task only as a third of the way done.”
Rethinking financial disclosures in integrated reports
Dumisani Dlamini, CFO National Arts Council: a sense of higher purpose
Improving the quality of governmental accounting is as high on Dumisani Dlamini's agenda as successfully executing his new job as CFO of the National Arts Council of South Africa (NAC). “I am extremely proud of my involvement as chairperson of audit committees in various municipalities. It is great to see those finance departments change for the better.”
CFO of the Week: Clint Capitano, Cunningham Lindsey: take decisions and move on
Decisiveness is one of the most important characteristics of a good CFO, says Clint Capitano, Chief Financial Officer at loss adjusting firm Cunningham Lindsey. “People procrastinate and take a long time to take decisions; being decisive is one of my strongest points. I do research, get the information I need, take a decision and move on. I get things done and live with the consequences of my decisions.”
Badibanga Promesse, Strategic Account Director CIMA: what CFOs need to know about strategy
“We have grown tremendously in Africa over the last five years,” says Badibanga Promesse, Strategic Account Director- Global Corporate Relations at the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). With evident energy, he tells us about the upcoming shift to online-only exams and the continuous drive to keep the syllabus and short courses relevant. “For CFOs this is crucial, because CIMA is the only accounting qualification that has really embedded strategy in its syllabus for many years.”
Meet Chantelle Booysen-Fourie, community manager for CFO South Africa
Pieter Bensch, Vice President Oracle South Africa: Rewarding innovative CFOs
Chief Financial Officers are important stakeholders for technology firm Oracle, so it is no surprise that Pieter Bensch, Vice President at Oracle South Africa, has a keen interest in these professionals. Bensch has been involved in various CFO South Africa events and was one of the jury members for the inaugural CFO Awards. When adjudicating the candidates Bensch specifically looked for executives who “run a world class business” and “show innovative spirit”, he says.
Marie McCrea, Partner CIL: CFO - A Vision for the Future
Marie McCrea, partner at the Centre for Innovative Leadership (CIL), held an interesting presentation on the role and challenges of modern CFOs at the CFO South Africa Event Get Smart in 2014, March 13 at the Saxon.
Dario Drago, Country CFO Novartis South Africa: appreciating curiosity and communication skills
In finance, as in all games, respecting rules and having good players are the key to winning. That is Dario Drago’s take on his role as CFO at Novartis South Africa. The Italian moved to the Johannesburg offices of the pharmaceutical firm in March 2013 and has identified compliance and building capabilities as his main tasks.
Daryl Edwards, CFO Universal Coal: Soaking it up
Which CFO would not like to build their financial team, IT systems and processes up from scratch, not worrying about existing culture, equipment and other legacy issues? Daryl Edwards got the chance to do just that at Universal Coal and he is pretty excited about the result.
Dikeledi Nakene, CFO Palabora Mining Company: Resist temptation of short-term gains
Surround yourself with people that encourage you, believe in yourself and resist the temptation of lucrative offers before finishing your degree or articles. That is some of the great advice that Dikeledi Nakene, CFO at Palabora Mining Company Limited, has for young, aspiring talents in the finance world. “I was born and bred in Limpopo province in Ga- Modjadji not far from Phalaborwa and look at me now. I want to tell local people, especially village girls, that everything is possible!”
Dick Borsboom, Regional CFO Dangote Industries: Employees key to success
“Employees are the key to success in every company,” says Dick Borsboom, the Nigeria-based Regional CFO for Dangote Industries in East and Southern Africa. The Dutch national is an experienced finance leader and joined cement firm Dangote in August 2012 to broaden his horizons even further. Borsboom has a lot of great tips for Nigerian and other African CFOs, many of them boiling down to engaging staff in decision making. “Negative management – do this or else – is something we should move away from.”
Natalie Zimmelman, General manager AAT(SA): Plugging the skills gap
“We have identified a skills gap and we believe we can plug it,” says Natalie Zimmelman, general manager at AAT(SA), the Association of Accounting Technicians, South Africa, which operates from the offices of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA). AAT(SA) was formed in October 2008 after SAICA and the international professional body, AAT, realized their collaboration should stand on its own feet.
Steven Cohen, Managing Director Sage Pastel South Africa: CFOs should shed inertia when it comes to the cloud
CFOs provide us with some very good ideas for our product development, says Steven Cohen, the charismatic co-founder and Managing Director of SAGE Pastel South Africa. Sage specializes in accounting and business management software for small and medium sized businesses and is the market leader in South Africa. “It is time for the CFO to realise that he or she needs to embrace the power of technology. CFOs need to get rid of the inertia they show towards cloud computing, big data and mobile devices,” says Cohen.
Natalie Zimmelman, General manager AAT(SA): Vocational training crucial for finance teams
“Our country will fail if vocational training doesn’t take off,” says Natalie Zimmelman, general manager at AAT(SA), the Association of Accounting Technicians in South Africa that operates under the umbrella of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA). According to Zimmelman it is crucial that young South Africans acquire skills through technical training. “Otherwise the only options are university or unemployment.”
Chris Povall, CFO Accéntuate: Doing more with less
“The role of CFOs in organisations has not changed as much as some people like to think it has,” says Chris Povall, Chief Financial Officer at Accéntuate Limited, a listed South African company that specializes in vinyl, laminate and wooden floors, chemicals for the flooring industry and a broad range of cleaning chemicals. Povall is a highly experienced finance leader, having held influential positions at Impala Platinum, Times Media, Chemical Services and Protea Chemicals. “What has changed is the technical and compliance side of the job: rules, regulations, IFRS… there are more and more regulations and standards to comply with. Each day we have to do more with less.”
Cape Town CFO Round Table: Making IT a Priority
Many South African CFOs and Finance Directors struggle to manage their time properly. IT can lead to many headaches, but can also free up time for the things finance professionals really want to do: look to the future and strategize. That was the conclusion of the participants of the CFO South Africa round table on Tuesday 14 May at The Twelve Apostles Hotel in Cape Town.
IMF Sees Positive Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa
The near-term outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) remains broadly positive, with growth projected to accelerate modestly to around 5½ percent in 2013–14, following a year of strong growth in 2012, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said today. In its May 2013 Regional Economic Outlook, Building Momentum in a Multi-Speed World, the IMF said that these favourable prospects partly reflect the gradually improving outlook for the global economy, while locally, investment in export-oriented sectors is an important driver of growth going forward.
Jo-Ann Pohl, CFO Standard Chartered Bank: Why CFOs are like parents
Top finance professionals are oft times like parents, remarks Jo-Ann Pohl. “You have to make tough decisions that are right for the business which people might only appreciate or understand much later. Sometimes, you are around long enough to hear the thank you. And sometimes you need to simply be assured that the decision was appropriate at the time,” says Pohl.
It is time for CFO South Africa
Since its launch in September 2011 CFO South Africa has become the leading networking platform for CFOs and finance professionals. The fast-growing online and offline community is moulded on a successful formula in The Netherlands, where the platform has become as essential for finance professionals as adding and subtracting. We spoke to Alex van Groningen, founder of the Dutch CFO and South African platforms about the opportunities in South Africa, his business model and the ambitious plans of CFO SA.
Ryno Matthee, Director: Finance and Performance Management, Accenture: `Be yourself and stick to your values.`
Mariette Ebersohn - CFO Mango Airlines: `Goodbye bean-counter, hello unpredictability`
"The CFO position was traditionally a “bean-counting” job primarily responsible for various accounting, reporting and budgeting exercises. Nowadays, the role is much more unpredictable with a number of additional expectations raised beyond traditional technical accounting and regulatory field of expertise." After having interviewed a great number of male CFOs, we are proud to introduce to you the first female CFO in our series. We wonder - would she have a different view on the industry, her role, the world? We'll find out. Please meet Mariette Ebersohn, CFO of Mango Airlines - South Africa’s leading low-cost airline. The airline was launched on 30 October 2006 with bookings going on sale at midnight on the same date; its first flight took place only two weeks later. Mariette joined Mango’s team in August 2008.
Richard Farber, CFO Discovery: "They don't teach you how to deal with people at university"
“I make a special effort to meet all new staff, within Discovery’s Finance division, before they are hired. Partly because I want to personally feel if they are ‘good’ new employees, but also because I find it very important that they feel welcome in the company. The fact that the CFO has taken out the time especially to meet them, contributes greatly to that sense of ‘feeling at home’.” Richard Farber, CFO of Discovery, is a firm believer of the open-door culture that is very vivid in Discovery. “If people have a problem, I want them to know my door is always open – and that my being the CFO does not form a barrier for stepping into my room and talking to me.”
I.T. Asset Management a CFO's nightmare
The majority of public and private organisations have recognised the need to invest extensively in IT infrastructure in pursuit of increased productivity and morale from an increasingly mobile, expensive and demanding workforce.
Break up the big-four auditors?
The SA Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica) has decided not to comment on European moves to curb the dominance of the big-four auditing firms but standards boss Ewald Muller says EU commissioner Michel Barnier is “smoking his socks”. Spokesperson Bontle Sikwe said Saica has nothing to say. The accounting institute is in the invidious position of having the Big Four and thousands of smaller members. The Big Four pay by far the biggest subscriptions and contribute the lion’s share of Saica’s vital Thuthuka educational project. But while Saica won’t comment Ewald Müller, senior executive, standards, told me Barnier was on “a one-man crusade” and “over the top”.
Chris Beukman - CFO Deloitte: `Good people skills are a necessary requirement to be successful`
CFO South Africa interviewed a large number of CFOs and CEOs of leading South African companies. Meet Mr. Chris Beukman, CFO of Deloitte, one of South Africa’s leading professional services firms staffing over 3700 employees. Chris matriculated in 1968 in Pretoria and completed BCom (Acc) (Hons) at University of Pretoria in 1973. He joined Pretoria based accounting practise Van Geusau, Coetzee & De Wit as a trainee accountant in 1973 and was qualified as Chartered Accountant (CA(SA)) in 1975. In 1978 he was appointed as a partner in the above practise, which was eventually incorporated into Deloitte & Touche through a series of mergers.
5 Most often made mistakes during presentations
Some people simply seem gifted with the ability to speak in public. While others struggle through nerves and stutters when giving a presentation, others just come up, entertain and inform their audience in an admirable way, seemingly effortless. And on top of it – the audience ends up doing exactly what the speaker intended. Mission accomplished. Why can’t we all be like that?
Steve Morlidge:"Budgeting is an outdated idea"
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