SADC finance professionals adopt automation to promote financial transparency

As the compliance agenda gains traction across Africa, the finance professionals of Central-Southern Africa are displaying a hunger to adopt automation as a way to deliver the kind of efficient and transparent services their clients increasingly demand. Automation is also rapidly gaining acceptance amongst the region’s finance professionals because they see it as a way to maximise their profitability, says Theuns Holtshousen, Business Leader, CaseWare Africa.

He believes that the drive to make the continent’s economies more financially transparent and effective is creating the groundswell underlying this trend, with Zimbabwe in particular leading the way.

“Zimbabwe is on the road to recovery after decades of economic stagnation, and the country’s determination to make up for lost ground is very evident in the keenness with which its finance professionals are adopting CaseWare’s vision of automated financial reporting and auditing,” he says. “There’s a complementary demand for training across the region, which has required us to schedule additional sessions. The region’s finance professionals are well aware that they are only as good as their technology partner in today’s world.”

The cost-benefit equation is clear: a finance professional firm that has adopted automation can service many more clients more efficiently and effectively than a competitor that is still using manual processes. The automated firm is also not bounded by geography, and can service clients in any region and collaborate with partners easily.

Automating the process of financial reporting and auditing using the cloud has considerable benefits for public- and private-sector entities, as well as the economies in which they exist, because they make it hard to commit fraud, and thus build trust with trading partners. By requiring data to be inputted only once, automated systems like CaseWare also reduce the risk of duplication and human error: there is only one version of the truth.

Using CaseWare also has the advantage of ensuring that all accounting is done in terms of global standards like IFRS and IPSAS but, notes Holtshousen, meticulously localised to include local legislation and currencies.

“Localisation is key to our long-term strategy in supporting African finance professionals to achieve their goals, and in turn support Africa’s economic growth,” concludes Holtshousen. “With the power of AdaptIT behind us now, we can continue to invest in localising our global templates as well as expand our footprint across the continent. Our offices in Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia are well placed to service the region and we will open further offices as demand dictates.

“It’s all about helping our clients—and their clients—achieve success in a highly competitive world.”

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