ACCA  l  Businesspeople

“If I have ever seen further, it is when I stood on the shoulders of Giants”, said one Bernard of Chartres highlighting our dwarfism as a people, and how we rely on others to reach the heights we aspire to.

No matter how much effort a business puts in distinguishing itself from the rest, all businesses have one thing in common: they sell information. The success of any enterprise is dependent on its access to relevant information and how well it handles the information it possesses in order to produce the output it desires.

Through the latest research paper released by ACCA (Association for Chartered Certified Accountants titled Finance professionals and entrepreneurs need to educate each other, the CFO’s work ethic work comes to light. When CFOs decide to pursue the dream of being part of the entrepreneurship industry, they become responsible not only for the organisation they work for, but for society and the business world as a whole. With this responsibility comes the promise for CFOs to push themselves to serve the greater good of the business world. CFOs are required to have an excellent work ethic that is synonymous with hard work and commitment. In South Africa where the unemployment rate is sitting close to 30% and remains a major challenge, the government has highlighted the importance of entrepreneurship CFO’s need to be aware that they have to learn new skills that will aid in developing this culture of entrepreneurship.

CFOs cannot afford to just rely on limited information that serves them only. In this report by ACCA (Association for Chartered Certified Accountants) Rosanna Choi, Chair of the Global Forum for SMEs, said, “It is important that entrepreneurs understand the benefits that finance professionals can bring to their business. Accountants are trusted advisers to businesses, especially start-ups and SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) when they are in the first few years of formation and need to keep on top of the financial side of things in their aim to expand and grow”.

When CFOs evaluate Rosanna’s statement, they should realise that their ability to understand systems that go beyond their designation is vital; a proper grasp of functions like marketing and sales is needed because these contribute to the bottom-line of the business. CFOs need to know how a business plan is drafted and they need to keep themselves updated with the latest technology. They need to have the mind of the entrepreneurs they work with.

In emphasising the need for going beyond the call of duty and learning new skills, Acting Head of ACCA SA, Karen Smal said, CFO’s are required to pull at two opposing forces, the fast paced digital world and the grounded real economy”. Technology has changed the way business is conducted and if CFOs are to be effective contributors to society they need to put on new hats and do what the current business environment calls for.

If information is equals to profit, then the success of a CFO is directly linked to his efforts in gathering information.

To reach new heights, entrepreneurs, society and the business world as a whole, rely on the skills of professionals like CFOs to function much better and reach unconventional realms. The ability and willingness to go beyond normal expectations by CFOs is the fruit of their work ethic.