CFO’s working within the SMME sector in South Africa faces the daily challenge of resources versus output requirements. In many cases SMME’s have to function outside the business norm and focus on technological aids in order to remain competitive.

The average CFO, within the SMME sector, would ideally need to make use of the “Cloud” (cloud) in order to optimise performance. According to GCF, a non-profit learn free organisation, the cloud refers to the internet. If you have accessed information through a digital platform such as a smart phone, then you would have experienced “working in the cloud”.

Understanding and making use of the potential the cloud holds, has becoming the single most important tool that a CFO could use to boost productivity under financial or infrastructural constraints. An example would be the ability to produce real time cash flow analysis. Access to this information on a minute to minute basis will help assess the health of the business, instantly. Many smaller to medium size enterprises raise cash flow warnings too late, leaving the CFO to plug money leaks in order to save the proverbial ship from sinking. CFO’s powered with the ability to produce real time projections could prove vital for smaller companies.

A scenario CFO’s could consider is the relationship between the legendary Merlin (CFO) and King Author (CEO).  According to history books, Merlin was King Authors “right hand mystical man” who would use certain “powers” in order to give valuable advice. The king, (CEO) uses the information that Merlin (CFO) would offer, in order to succeed on the battlefield. On today’s battlefields, CFO’s would need to access “cloud powers” in order to give the CEO enough information to plan and execute battle strategies.

How can CFO’s learn cloud power? Based on recent research paper released by ACCA titled “See the Future”, education institutes are adjusting curriculum to help develop digital knowledge and skill amongst CFO’s. ACCA as an accounting body further offers online informational support to ACCA members.

According to Albert Einstein, the only source of knowledge is experience. For many who are already on the SMME battlefield, the best advice would be to play. Experimentation leads to discover. Test digital platforms, join CFO based chatrooms, access ACCA research papers, and most importantly share online experiences with other “players”.

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