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Finance disrupted: How should the CFO respond to a business environment in turmoil?

As we edge toward the third decade of the century, business-as-usual methodologies no longer keep pace with the tides of innovation and unprecedented change. According to KPMG LLP’s (KPMG) U.S. CEO Outlook 2017, one in three chief executive officers (CEOs) believes that their sector will see a major disruption in the coming three years as a result of technological advancement. “CEOs see this time as a once off opportunity and investment and are looking into what needs to be accomplished to distinguish their companies from their competitors,” explains Lynne Doughtie, chairman and CEO of KPMG.

The same thought process that it is no longer “business- as-usual” is also applicable to the business environment in Zimbabwe. Post-independence the country’s business climate has been characterised by both economic prosperity and volatility. Zimbabwe with its rich mineral resources, vibrant agricultural potential, roads and infrastructure was once dubbed “the bread basket of Africa”. However, due to unprecedented changes arising from social, political, economic and technological factors, the country has experienced severe economic decline. This economic decline gave rise to hyperinflation and resulted in the demonetisation of the Zimbabwe dollar and the introduction of the multicurrency system which brought about some economic stability in 2009. The multicurrency system which has been in existence for close to a decade was recently discontinued in 2019 and the Zimbabwe dollar reintroduced as the functional currency for the country.