Rebecca Moralo, a manager in Risk Management at the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform & Rural Development in Kimberley, knew that she wanted to be an accountant from the onset while studying for her undergraduate qualification.

She completed her 3-year articles training in the Office of the Auditor General South Africa in Pretoria.

“As my career progressed, my interest was drawn to other areas of the profession – from Audit to Risk Management, Taxation and then topped with financial markets trading & analysis.”

Moralo says finance is no longer about number crunching. Therefore, one has to be up to speed with global changes within the finance and accounting environment.

“Purport strategic thinking, expert skills and promote work ethics. Articulate professionalism, commitment and work ethics.”

She says the greatest challenge is when one is not affiliated to any professional bodies such as SAIBA or SAIT, and thus does not get firsthand updates as and when it happens.

One will also miss out on opportunities related to CPDs that are flexible throughout the year, networking and increased local and international trade partnerships.

“One also has to be multi-skilled in other areas of management to embrace business leadership.”

She says due to her demographic location, it is not possible for her to network as most of the time she will have to travel to Gauteng or Cape Town for networking events, but she thinks the IAFEI World Congress (www.iafeiworldcongress.com) will be a great opportunity to challenge, assess and identify how finance can continue to improve and enable the growth in Africa.

On investing in South Africa:

According to Moralo, inter-governmental relations and partnering with the private sector should be encouraged to boost South Africa’s economy.

Would you encourage international companies to invest in South African companies in your specific market sector or industry and why?

She says she would encourage international companies to invest in the South African agricultural sector and to form intergovernmental relations and trade agreements, but not only in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“Our country has the potential to groom emerging farmers and commercial farmers to reach a standard of imports and export markets. Besides, we conform to most of the global business requirements, for instance, export and import accreditations. However, the shortcomings here is drought and competitiveness within the industry.”

 

“One also has to be multi-skilled in other areas of management to embrace business leadership.”

She believes the role South African companies can play in the economic growth potential on the African continent is to develop the up and coming entrepreneurs, supporting women in leadership, as well as financing SMEs to assist in improving the rate of unemployment. Improvement in private investment. “And encourage more free trade agreements on the African continent.”

Moralo says the biggest risk South African companies currently face is the instability of the political environment that poses a risk to economic growth.

As far as expanding into Africa is concerned, she says that less developed countries would be affected by the lack of appropriate infrastructure. “However, technology is evolving rapidly which can address the problem. Also, retail stores such as Shoprite has expanded to other African countries.”

On the role of finance managers and CFOs in the agricultural sector:

“The role has changed as a result of incorporating issues of governance and ethics as well as performance information reporting. “

She says this has compelled het to take responsibility for her actions in a professional manner.

She acquired other skills from attending seminars such as Tax Indaba 2015 and CPD webinars.

Moralo says companies are beginning to expect alternative skills from CFOs and finance managers. “A good example of how to acquire additional skills is SAIBA encouraging its members to volunteer to assist the NPOs.

“That is a milestone in terms of ensuring exposure for their members.”