The rise of digital is influencing the direction and conduct of business, large and small. It is challenging how entrepreneurs and their advisors, including finance professionals, produce and consume data.
The shift towards digital is transforming channels to market, customer preferences are shifting, product and service lifecycle is shortening and competition is merging from unexpected sources.
There is pressure for businesses to become agile with many being pushed to innovate rapidly, and those that fail to adapt being blind-sided and left scrambling to survive.
This changing business landscape is exerting pressure on CFOs and finance professionals to capture, measure, report and predict future performance in real time to support better decision making and business growth.
It means capturing data at a granular level, processing massive amounts at the same time and visualising them to decision makers in real time through dashboards. This demands a massive shift in the CFO role to be a strategist, technologist and influencer.
ACCA has been championing research to understand the impact of digital on businesses, how emerging technologies are reshaping the economy and the impact on the finance profession. Research has identified the need to ensure that the shift towards digital is implemented as part of a broader transformation journey with clarity on how customer value is created, and how that is likely to change in the future.
Analytics, cloud, collaboration and robotics process automation (RPA) have been identified as the four pillars driving the rise of digital and bringing significant changes to how business is conducted, and will be conducted in the future.
Analytics is being spurred by the huge volumes of data generated inside and outside the organisation which is making it possible to inform evidence-based decision making.
Both businesses and consumers are generating tremendous amount of data that is easily accessible, whether free or paid, and capable of being analysed to extract insight. The rise of new technologies has made it possible to analyse huge volumes of data of all shapes and sizes including text, numbers, pictures etc in real time.
It’s making it possible for businesses to track sophisticated but useful key performance indicators. It is challenging the CFOs to understand the drivers of value, track performance and influence decisions.
A huge enabler of the shift towards digital has been the emergence of the cloud and the plethora of online applications accessible from anywhere in the world. The cloud has made it possible for small business to play in the big league without having to make the huge upfront capital investment normally associated with legacy systems. Cloud has made it possible for any business to have access to the very latest technology whether it is developed in Silicon Valley or Cape Town.
It has also transformed costs that were traditionally considered fixed into variable costs because of the revenue models of cloud based solutions. It has removed technology as a barrier to entry, creating competition and new possibilities. Business is driven by technological wave to think differently about business models, pricing and how to deal with competition.
The emerge of powerful online collaboration tools and applications, supported by improved access to broadband, has revolutionised how teams work together and made the gig economy a viable option.
Teams do not need to be housed in the same physical location to work together thereby lowering costs such as office rental and making access to skilled professionals more accessible and affordable.
Businesses can collaborate with advisors, such as accountants, online reducing consulting costs without comprising access to professional advice. On the other hand, professionals can service a lot more clients from the comfort of their office eliminating the need to frequently travel to client premises.
An emerging trend across the globe is the emergence of robotic process automation (RPA) to reduce process costs, increase control and standardisation.
While there may be moral questions around robots taking away jobs from humans in an economy with rising unemployment, the adoption of RPA can allow businesses to upscale rapidly and service more clients with the same number of resources.
While the financial services industry have taken the lead in the South African market, there is space for many industries and businesses of all sizes to adopt RPA.
The expected decline in technology costs will most likely make the cost benefit analysis tip in favour of RPA. It will challenge the world of business to streamline and standardise business processes and up skill staff.
Recent research indicates that even employees of SMEs and entrepreneurs see some good opportunities for innovation through technology. Whilst decision makers in the companies agree that technology will enable accounting and finance professionals to focus on higher value added activity.
The move towards digital raises the obvious questions around cyber-security and data protection especially customers and employees’ private information. Performing appropriate due diligence on potential partners, either for cloud or on-site options, is key as the consequences of a security breach could be fatal. A recent example South African example is the breach of 30 million records containing sensitive information such as ID numbers‚ names physical addresses and property ownership details.
Businesses need a resilient cyber strategy to thwart and contain possible threats.
The rise of digital is here and the impact on businesses and the finance professionals will continue. What is certain that those who want to survive and remain relevant will have to adapt, fast.
5 Insider Tips Every Trader Needs to Know
Here are five insider tips that every trader needs to know.
Like in every profession, there are a lot of figures circulating regarding how many forex traders actually make money, and how many traders lose more money than they earn. We are not going to launch into speculations that we can’t prove with accurate statistics. However, there is one thing we can say without citing any official sources: there are more people losing money than those earning.
Why? The answer can be found in the annals of human psychology. Some go into forex expecting to get rich overnight, while others do not (understandably) have the time to dedicate themselves fully to this activity. So what can you do, concretely, to join the group of people earning money? Here are five insider tips that every trader needs to know.
1. Choose a Methodology and Stick With It
Even before executing your first trade, you need to have a rough idea on what you will base your decisions on. In this sense, you must know what intel you will need to make the appropriate decision, like when to enter and exit a trade, which timeframes are the best (more on that later) and so on and so forth.
Some people are partial toward fundamental factors (foreign investments, inflation, unemployment rates, and other economic indicators), coupled with a chart, for executing a trade. Others prefer the raw numbers and stats of technical analysis.
But, whichever methodology you choose, make sure to be consistent and that it is adaptive, as there is no objective way to tell if one is truly better than the other. The most important thing to consider is whether or not your methodology and the strategies built around it are adaptive enough to keep up with the changing dynamics of the forex market.
2. Always Calculate Your Expectancy
Expectancy is a formula that traders use to determine how reliable their trading system is. It involves going back in time to your previous trades (a journal will come in handy here), measuring how many traders were winners versus losers, and then finding out how profitable your winning trades were as opposed to how much money was lost after bad trades. The formula is as follows:
E=[1+(W/L) x P – 1, wherein W is the average winning trade, L represents Average Losing Trade, while P is Percentage Win Ratio.
3. Define Your Trading Goals and Build a Strategy Fitting of Your Personality
Most forex beginners come into the market thinking that they know everything that one could possibly know, without any sort of long term plan or concrete goals. This is the one mistake that eventually leads most traders to quit forex, because the reality of the market – and the trade itself – will hit them straight on sooner rather than later.
Therefore, the first thing you need to do is set a couple of goals. Start small and realistic at first – do not set yourself for winning a ridiculous amount of money in the first months because you will be sorely disappointed.
After setting the goals, you can start looking at various trading strategies and see which ones will help you achieve these goals and, most importantly, whether or not they are a good fit for your personality.
Some helpful questions to ask in this case are in the lines of ‘’Do I feel comfortable holding positions overnight?’’ or ‘’How much risk am I willing to assume for a given trade?’’, ‘’Am I more comfortable following a trend or betting against it?’’, ‘’Will I trade to gain some additional income, or full time?’’. Another equally viable method which will help you asses your strengths and weaknesses is doing a personal SWOT analysis.
4. Make use of Multi Time Frame Analysis
Regardless of whether you are a swing, day or long term position trader, it is highly recommended you always approach trading in a top-down fashion. This technique involves starting with a higher time frame chart and gradually zooming down to your current trading time frame chart. By doing this, you can get a ‘’big picture’’ view of the price action.
This tip is important because many traders commit the grave error of building their trading decisions around the time frame in which they are currently trading. For instance, when a trader sees a hammer candlestick pattern on a five-hour chart, they push forward with the trade without considering what might happen in the following time frame. What you are doing here is similar to a game of chess – you have to think a few steps ahead and choose your forex trading products and tools wisely in order to land a successful trade.
5. Do Not Use More Indicators Than Necessary
Indicators are simply visual representations of market realities that show things such as price movements, patterns and the like. As useful as they are, after trading for a while, you will soon realise that at some point they become quite counterproductive.
Many traders will tell you that the only indicator that you need is price, and everything else is there just to make one understand how the market got to that point. And since succeeding in the forex market is mostly about getting in on a trend before anyone else spots it, you can probably guess why over-crowding your monitor with indicators is not such a good idea.
Whatever some might tell you, forex is not a walk in the park. Like everything in life, it takes hard work and dedication to reach the point where you can state without doubt that you have achieved excellence. However, even the most dedicated and hard-working traders need a push in the right direction in the form of some lesser known insider tips that only traders will know. Hopefully, the tips in this article will provide you with the insight necessary to take your trading efforts to the next level.
How Sasfin Bank Is Beyond A Banking Platform – The Evolution Of B\\YOND
From opening a business bank account in one day to advanced business analytics at the touch of a button, B\\YOND is asking business owners what they need most from a banking platform — and delivering on it.
- Visit: www.sasfin.com/bank/byond/
- Call: 0861 SASFIN for more information
Imagine you pay millions each month in rebates. The thousands of transactions are batched and go out on the first of each month. What happens if a few are incorrect and the entire batch is rejected and needs to be recaptured?
For one business owner, the entire process meant that he always needed to be available at the beginning of the month and customers were often paid late, creating a reputational risk for his business and limiting his opportunity to grow his portfolio with existing clients.
It was a huge pain point that many entrepreneurs share, and one Sasfin’s online banking platform, B\\YOND was determined to fix. “We asked real business owners to tell us what the banking issues were that they either hated the most, or that affected their businesses the most,” says Rodger Dunn, Head of Transactional Banking at Sasfin.
“This is just one problem we’ve solved, and since joining our platform, that same entrepreneur can now work remotely, knowing that his rebates will be paid on time, even if a few transactions need to be fixed.”
The Evolution of B\\YOND
What do business owners need most? What are their pain points and what tools will help them make money, save money and be more efficient? How can we deliver these solutions in a simple-to-use, intuitive way?
These are the questions that Sasfin’s B\\YOND team sat down to answer when they began working on their new online banking platform. In addition to offering business owners a platform where they can transact online, they wanted to build a strategic business tool that solved real everyday problems for entrepreneurs.
“We launched in March this year with a platform that offered much more than the normal functionality of online banking,” says Rodger.
“Through B\\YOND, our customers are able to apply for a business bank account online; perform their own payroll management; create and send personalised quotes and invoices directly from the platform; manage revenue and expenses; and connect their Sasfin Bank transactional data with Xero, the fastest growing Cloud-based accounting software provider in the world.”
For B\\YOND users, this was just the beginning. “Customers already on the platform will find additional functionality being added regularly,” explains Rodger.
“We have a vision, but we are also listening to our customers. Within the core team are two business owners who bring key insights to the product, but we also have a closed group of businesses that regularly test new functionality.”
B\\YOND’s key competitive advantage is how the entire platform integrates traditionally disparate functionality into one portal. “Everybody offers an accounting package, transactional banking, a credit card and so on,” says Rodger. “However, B\\YOND’s platform integration and how we make everything work together is our advantage, because that’s how we save customers the most precious commodity: Time.
“Let’s use Xero as an example. Instead of manually populating payments, with Xero you get secure, direct daily feed integration from your Sasfin bank account into your accounting software.”
Removing banking barriers
“B\\YOND’s Cloud platform enables us to take any manual process and make it digital. The benefits of this are endless, but we started at the beginning of a banking journey and worked our way up from there,” says Rodger.
“If you want to open a business bank account, you generally need to meet with your banker or stand in a long queue at a branch. If there’s more than one shareholder or director in the business, multiple parties need to be at that meeting. Once the bank has laid out its value proposition and you agree to go ahead, you then have documentation to fill in, which everyone needs to sign.
“As a result, setting up a business banking account can take up to a few weeks with multiple in-person engagements. We saw an opportunity to change that by creating a seamless, online process. If you have everything you need, you can have a business bank account up and running on the same day that you begin your application.”
How has Sasfin managed to fundamentally change this time-consuming and paper-based process? “We’ve taken something that’s serial in nature and split it into parallel processes,” explains Rodger.
“Our objective is to remove as much of the friction and barriers of opening a business bank account as possible. We’re a technology-based business, but we’re also high-touch. Technology should be an enabler, it shouldn’t take the place of people or complicate processes. We understand that business owners don’t only want to deal with a platform. They want consultants who understand their business and needs.”
Thinking out the box
As an alternative bank, Sasfin has looked for ways to make business banking more efficient and supportive of entrepreneurial needs, while lowering the costs for clients.
One way this has been achieved is through a branch-less and ATM-less environment. Sasfin customers can draw money for one flat fee from any ATM across the country.
“You’re paying for usage, instead of an entire infrastructure you hardly ever use,” says Rodger.
B\\YOND plays a key role in this value proposition. “Instead of migrating businesses onto different platforms as they grow and evolve, we’ve kept things simple. More people and money generally means more controls. As businesses grow and more people need access to the banking platform, the system becomes complicated and more expensive. Those platforms were designed for large corporates, not growing entrepreneurial businesses.
“We have reduced the costs and complexities that corporate-focused platforms often come with. Our platform allows you to bank in a manner that supports your particular type of business, for example the platform caters for one or many users in a business with view access that aligns to the person’s role in the business.”
Another key functionality that B\\YOND has added is client classifications. Everything can be tagged and categorised. At the click of a button a full recon can be pulled, showing what was spent. All recons can be done directly from B\\YOND’s banking platform.
Looking to the future
There is a lot still to come. “We are building one single platform that you can run your entire financial management through.
“Our three-year goal is for B\\YOND to be a business analytics tool that entrepreneurs can access through their Internet banking platform,” explains Rodger.
Bank outside the box
The Sasfin Transactional Banking Business Account is designed for SMEs that want to focus on what they’re most passionate about — their business — while their banking platform sweats the small stuff, but also helps manage and grow their business.
- Do you spend unnecessary time on banking?
- Does your bank pay you market-leading interest rates?
- Does your bank give you easy cash management in real-time?
- Would you like to manage your payroll and invoicing from your bank account?
- Does your bank help you keep track of your cash flow, manage your admin, and provide tools to help run your business successfully?
Sign up today and have access to a whole new world of better banking for your business.
At The Forefront Of Tech Adoption
Over 80% of South African companies adapt to new technology compared to two thirds in the UK and Europe.
South African companies are among the fastest adopters of new technology in the world, according to a survey by leading fleet management provider TomTom Telematics. The survey revealed that 66% of companies across the United Kingdom and Europe are early adopters, whereas 82% of South African companies are quick to respond to innovation.
“Technological advancement has accelerated at a rapid rate in recent years, with no signs of slowing down,” says Justin Manson, Sales Director for TomTom Telematics South Africa.
“Previously, companies could take a wait-and-see approach, following on their peers’ successes. Only then would they implement well-established technologies, but this approach is no longer an option as businesses are now expected to become more connected, mobile and adaptable to change.”
How tech impacts business
The study was conducted among 1 400 business managers in the UK and six European countries and duplicated in South Africa among 100 business managers. Nearly half (47%) of companies in the UK and Europe study expect artificial intelligence to become part of the normal working day in the next ten years, compared to 63% in South Africa. Also, 39% of respondents in the bigger study believe virtual reality will soon be in common use, while 65% of South Africans feel this way.
In addition, 28% predict connected cars will be commonplace during this period, and 25% anticipate ‘in-vehicle working’ will become prevalent due to the development of autonomous vehicles. In South Africa, 41% of respondents envision a rise in self-driving cars over the next ten years.
Already, several car makers are producing commercially available semi-autonomous vehicles that can steer, park and avoid collisions.
In Europe, 21% of respondents believe companies will adopt the use of microchip implants on their employees, while 45% in South Africa see this happening over the next ten years. Almost two thirds (62%) of businesses say remote working is — or will be — the norm for their employees, while 74% of South African leaders agreed with this sentiment. A discrepancy between SMEs and large corporates currently allowing employees to work remotely was also identified, with 52% of SMEs offering this, compared to 66% of large corporates.
While businesses see technological innovation picking up momentum in the medium term, leaders fear that their companies will struggle to keep pace. More than half (55%) of businesses believe those who fail to embrace digitised processes and the Internet of Things (IoT) are at a higher risk of going out of business.
This varies significantly from country to country, with 81% of Spanish leaders and 79% of Polish managers feeling that they risk failure if they don’t adapt, while less than half (49%) of UK leaders agree. In South Africa, 70% of business managers believe this to be true.
“These trends highlight a possible gap between access to and investment in connected technology,” Justin says. “Every business is different and each one needs to conduct its own thorough research on the role that technology can play in future-proofing its operation, delivering greater efficiencies and creating more employee satisfaction.”
Competitive advantages in tech
- 55% Businesses that believe those who fail to embrace digitised processes and the Internet of Things (IoT) are at a higher risk of going out of business.
- 74% South African business leaders who believe remote working will be the norm for their employees.
- 52% South African SMEs offering remote working opportunities, compared to 66% of corporates.
The lesson: With the right tech solutions, SMEs can implement a clear competitive edge.
TomTom Telematics is a Business Unit of TomTom dedicated to fleet management, vehicle telematics and connected car services. Its Software-as-a-Service solutions are used by small to large businesses to improve vehicle performance, save fuel, support drivers and increase overall fleet efficiency. In addition, TomTom Telematics provides services for the insurance, rental and leasing industries, car importers and companies that address businesses as well as consumers.
Related: On Top Of Their Game
TomTom Telematics is one of the world’s leading telematics solution providers with more than 861 000 connected cars worldwide. The company services drivers in more than 60 countries, giving them the industry’s strongest local support network and widest range of sector-specific third party applications and integrations. Our customers benefit every day from the high standards of confidentiality, integrity and availability of our ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certified service, re-audited in November 2017.
For further information, please visit telematics.tomtom.com
Follow us on Twitter @TomTomWEBFLEET
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