CaseWare Africa helping West Africa improve governance, prime its economies

The recent announcement by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) that listed companies would have to submit financial reports four times a year, rather than annually, marks a significant milestone in the region’s drive to prime its economy for international competitiveness. Automating the creation of corporate financials will be essential in helping Nigerian companies comply with the NSE’s mandate without creating a huge administrative burden, and enable them to get the most out the data.

“The NSE’s move is one of many signs that West Africa is open for business, and is determined to compete effectively. However, it is critical that companies use technology effectively to ensure that these new requirements do not take their focus away from their core business,” says Theuns Holtshousen, Business Leader, CaseWare Africa. “Automation is essential in helping companies to generate financials at the click of a button. At the same time, automation allows finance staff to spend less time compiling reports and more time analysing them to support smart business decision-making.”

Holtshousen says the NSE’s move should be seen within the context of a sustained trend across West African and African economies towards a culture of compliance in order to reduce corruption and promote effective business. Automating both the financial reporting and auditing processes has a key role to play in this regard because it provides complete transparency while reducing the administrative burden on finance departments. At the same time, automation produces highly credible data because information is only inputted once, reducing human error, and an electronic audit trail eliminates fraud.

In addition, using CaseWare’s templates means that companies and public entities report using global frameworks such as IFRS and IFRS for SMEs in the private sector, and IPSAS Accrual and IPSAS Cash in the public sector.

“Clearly, it is highly beneficial to use globally recognised accounting and auditing frameworks in order to promote foreign investment and build trust with international trading partners—but localisation is equally important,” argues Holtshousen. “CaseWare Africa thus invests hugely in localising the global templates in line with local legislation and to accommodate local currencies. We are also expanding our local presence to serve the West African market better—we recently opened an office in Lagos and we soon will announce our local presence in Accra.”

He says that the acquisition of CaseWare Africa by AdaptIT, a leading South Africa-based ICT company, has strengthened CaseWare Africa’s ability to service its customers. AdaptIT’s African footprint provides a solid infrastructural framework for CaseWare Africa, and its resources support the investment in localising global templates.

“Automation using the power of the cloud is the way of the future, and Africa’s path to global competitiveness,” concludes Holtshousen. “CaseWare Africa is committed to helping it achieve this.”

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