The importance of Data Governance

Data describes the facts and figures that a company processes, it only becomes valuable information after it has been processed to add relevance. Data governance is the overall management of information available, it provides context for using the correct data, defines policies and standards for the proper use of data, and ensures that data management is aligned to the strategy of the entity concerned. It is important to develop a policy that specifies who is accountable for the various portions of data within a business and how accurate it is. A set standard and procedure must be followed, so as to ensure ongoing compliance with governance regulations.

Previously, data was managed solely by technologists. However, business intelligence is fast advancing, key decision makers are now required to have sufficient and accurate business data to make logical and profitable decisions. The interpretation of business assets, liabilities and equity is key information to a prolific business. A Data Governance programme is designed to shape the corporate philosophy of data acquisition, management and archiving. Business advances now require both business and IT components of the business to syndicate in order to define data elements. New data-orientated business functions and roles will emerge, and this should present accountants with a good opportunity, as they are well placed to fulfill some of these functions and roles.

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ACCA South Africa Welcomes New Market Head

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Pat Semenya was recently appointed the new Market Head of South Africa for the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). Taking on a role that demands extraordinary attention to detail, Pat Semenya has the right mix of finance experience, starting off her career as an Audit Intern at KPMG, and Management Skills experience in both Government and the FMCGs sector. Pat Semenya’s attention to detail and ability to drive any team to success ensures the ACCA brand will be looked after.

Pat is a great asset! Her capacity to identify issues and opportunities, envision paths of action, visualize objectives and results while executing them end-to-end and adapting her strategies when required, factually endorse her potential.”Christian Mur, SR Strategic Business Developer, Nestlé

Classroom Success in a Corporate World

Raised by teachers, Pat builds her career on the value of leaving a legacy through education. The importance of passing down sound and adequate information to the next generation of professionals is high on Pat’s agenda. Pat draws on her success as skills learnt in the accountancy field, along with the lessons learnt from being a parent, business woman and wife.

Her first strides into the finance sector started at the University of Johannesburg where she studied Financial Information Systems (FIS). Pat then went on to further her studies at Regenesys to acquire her Post-Graduate Diploma in Business Management, and she is currently pursuing her MBA  at the same institution.

“Education opens up your mind to possibilities that were foreign and it offers opportunities to contribute in platforms that only a few have access to.” – Pat Semenya

Juggling parenthood with Pat’s work commitments has created a unique leadership skill. Pat often reflects on the importance of culture as well going beyond the boardroom for inspiration. “Over the years, I’ve learned to look beyond the boardroom and as a parent, I learn every day, I look at the patterns of my children and I see lessons pertinent in business: persistence, vision, planning and strategy.”– Pat Semenya

People Leave Managers not Companies

Business is all about people, employees are not just machines, so making time for each employee working with the team to increase corporate values and results, is a major priority not only for ACCA but for all companies within the financial sector.  People buy into the vision when they see their contribution to the value chain.

ACCA South Africa – Think Ahead  through engagement

Through Pat’s leadership, ACCA South Africa will embark on creating a brand that engages with members, students and public in general on equal level and become a source that they can draw from in order to grow and become better professionals. Pat’s long term goal would be for ACCA South Africa to have contributed to the strength of the finance sector, through the education of aspiring young accounting professionals and using their skill resource to contribute to the economic transformation in our country.

According to Pat, the finance sector is evolving; the next leader generation brings colour and energy. The focus should be on extracting the most value from them and not dimming their light to suit a misconception.

With high unemployment and skills shortage in the finance sector, Pat Semenya has entered the perfect storm. However with Pats dynamic individuality and commercial focus, success is eminent.

The Future in Finance Leadership Summit – Hosted by Alec Hogg


No matter the size and the potency of his weapons, without proper counsel no general can win a war. This is the case in the pursuit of success in the corporate world, with the absence of proper advice informed by in-depth research, mistakes are inevitable. Regulations and policies are liquid in the age we live, the fast pace of our world calls for constant improvement in the methods of trading. The finance sector especially is a subject of constant change and this requires that its inhabitants adapt quicker in order to remain sustainable in the industry.

The Future in Finance Leadership Summit is upon us. The summit will see industry influencers gather to discuss pertinent issues that finance professionals need to be cognisant of in order to bring to manifestation the visions that lead them in their everyday activities. The agenda of the day will touch on the Twin Peaks finance model of regulation, the motivations of Generation-Y and the Future Methods in finance Leadership; Alec Hogg (@alechogg),  finance writer, broadcaster and entrepreneur, will MC the summit.

Alec Hogg will be joined by industry influencers in the running of the summit. The summit will be hosted in 3 sessions:

  • Session 1: Future Pathways to Finance Leadership

Be part of an exclusive presentation of the findings from ACCA‘s (@ACCA_SA) global survey, Future Pathways to Finance Leadership, of over 750 CFO’s and Finance Directors. Panellist, Jo Ann Pohl – CFO Africa, Standard Chartered – will share feedback sharing sessions on how the changing global business environment requires a new style of leadership and skills set.

Find out how CFO’s around the world are rebalancing growth across markets and adjusting to new financial function models and roles in their organisations. What are the skills and abilities that a CFO will need to have to succeed in the future of business? How does the global view of this land into an African context and are there unique challenges that South African CFO’s face that are not addressed in the global survey?

  • Session 2: The Twin Peaks Model and the Radical Shift in the SA Regulation Landscape

Is the financial sector geared to implement new regulations? With South Africa moving to a more diversified regulatory approach, what new mandates will institutions such as the Financial Services Board (FSB), the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE)  and the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) operate with under the Twin Peaks model? Panellist, Barrie Bramley – Curious Disruptor at Calidascope – deliberates and localises discussions on research findings from ACCA. Maria Vermaas – Head: Legal and Regulatory, Strate, will also be a part of the panel

  • Session 3: Generation Y – Realising the Potential

How can HR Officers shape roles for Generation-Y finance professionals in order to fulfil their potential? This generation will shape the future of our profession and have a significant role to play in the growth and development of business in the decades ahead. What attracts the youngest finance professionals to work for a particular organisation, how do they like to learn, and what makes them want to stay with an employer? How do employers attract, develop and retain the very best of this generation? Panellist, Emilio Pera – Financial Services Sector Leader at EY – deliberates and localises discussions on research findings from ACCA, report: Generation Y: Realising the Potential.

The summit looks to encourage CFOs and finance leaders to think about the direction the industry is headed into. It is when CFO’s are talking about the changes that the industry is experiencing that they will be in a better position to device sound strategies that will ensure that they remain sustainable in the finance industry.