He just got caught up. That is how Nozipho Mpofu, Senior partner and CFO at accounting and tax firm Nozipho and Associates, ended up as a CFO.

“I needed a job and I got one at an auditing firm in Cape Town as a trainee accountant so I just went with it until I qualified as an accountant and started my own practice.”

Of the challenges his faces, Mpofu says coming up with a realistic budget “is one tricky thing and managing cash flow can be a challenge at times”.

He believes in networking with CFOs from other sectors, which has taught him to relate better to the economic climate of South Africa. “And in the process I have managed to score quite a number of new clients.”

On South Africa’s role in the global financial world:

“South Africa is losing out due to its new immigration policy. “Why should it be a nightmare to get a work visa, study visa, business visa or tourist visa? I know of many foreign nationals who could not renew their work visas and had to leave the country.”

 

He says he is also aware of English teaching schools that had to shut down because foreigners could not register because of stricter study visa regulations. In the process South African teachers lost their jobs.

Mpofu, who is a foreign national himself, says he is passionate about the immigration laws of South Africa.

“Look at a country like America: It was built on foreign labour. I think Minister Gigaba should review these draconian immigration laws and make it easier for foreigners to work in South Africa or set up businesses easily, without having to navigate massive red tape.”

 

“I think it the role of the CFO has changed quite a lot. We have become more efficient and faster due to advancements in technology.”

Mpofu says he has no personal feelings against the ANC, but he believes the ruling party is the biggest investment risk in the country. “Politicians need to start respecting business so that we can achieve economic growth targets.”

He says although there is hope of growth for companies investing in South Africa, BEE laws are scaring investors away.

He would still encourage international companies to invest in the country, though. “But let us review immigration and BEE laws.”

Mpofu says South African companies can lead the economic growth of Africa, but, talking from experience as a Zimbabwean national, he says the problem with African people in general is that they have reservations dealing with South African companies because of its immigration laws.

He thinks the biggest constraints of expanding into Africa has to do with the country’s tax laws and the political situation. “As Africans we need to have more friendly taxation laws to encourage investment.”

On the changing role of CFOs

“I think it the role of the CFO has changed quite a lot. We have become more efficient and faster due to advancements in technology.”

He says he now has to manage the recruitment of more staff as his practice has grown, which means he also has more responsibilities. “It is a good thing, because now I know that my team looks up to me to lead them and I can’t afford to relax.”