Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME’s) have the potential to contribute significantly to the South African economy. CFO’s working within the SMME environments, are required to play a proportionally higher role in business operations than their larger corporate counterparts.
ACCA recently release a research report, See the Future, which highlights the need for education providers to shift focus on their education models to suite the changing demand from students and businesses. Within the SMME sector many CFO’s are required to have multidisciplinary approach towards finance and operations. Currently education models are focused on lifelong learning. The shift towards lifestyle learning will come to the fore, this of course to suite the demands of the SMME.
SMME’s in South Africa face a myriad of challenges. The next step in the evolution scale would be to adjust the educational models to suite demand. CFO’s are finding the SMME sector to be challenging, due to the size of budgets, cash flow demands and lack of adequate infrastructure. Currently education models at local institutes are not equipping CFO’s with the skills they require in order to cope with being CFO’s in a South African SMME environment.
In the See the Future report, 70% of business school respondents agree that technological innovation will play a significantly larger role in education. In South Africa technology can assist with helping CFO’s survive the SMME environment. For CFO’s already in the SMME sector, visiting online sites such as www.financialtechnologyafrica.com can help CFO’s navigate through the tech landscape and select programmes, devises, apps and cloud services that can eliminate the need for costly infrastructure and help boost revenue models. Most importantly technology can give CFO’s access to research. An online based NGO, TEDTALK has revolutionised the pursuit for excellence by bringing inspirational successful entrepreneurs, business leaders, CFO’s and thinkers directly to your mobile office!
According to a new Digital Evolution Index co-developed by MasterCard, South Africa’s digital economy is the most developed in Africa. The Index tracks a country’s movement toward digital evolution, gauges progress and assesses challenges in 50 countries. CFO’s based in South African can eliminate certain risks by accessing technology to fast stream business practise and output.
Further, access to the digital economy will bring potential revenue models that could assist CFO’s in tough world of the SMME. 90% of business schools respondents in the See the Future report are in agreement that technology will promote growth of new business models for business education. In South Africa the growth of the SMME sector is vital, and the local education support will need to adapt in order to help support the growth required.
In the case of ACCA, the worldwide association supports its 170,000 members and 436,000 students in 180 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers and the demands of SMME’s. ACCA promotes appropriate regulation of accounting and conduct relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence.