Accountants and CFOs Can’t Be Funding Fundis – And That’s a Good Thing

Accountants and CFOs Can’t Be Funding Fundis – And That’s a Good Thing

Accountants and CFOs Can’t Be Funding Fundis – And That’s a Good Thing 244 325 Uzenzele Holdings

For many finance professionals, the idea that you might need to have storytelling skills may be an alien concept. Narratology certainly isn’t a module for aspiring CAs nor a defining skillset of CFOs. But when it comes to securing funding from discerning investors, knowing how to leverage storytelling skills to optimise funding outcomes is greatly advantageous to the business.


Make no mistake – storytelling in this context is as complex and hard-earned a skill as any other business mastery. When you’ve cut your analytical teeth on financial reports and annual budgets, transitioning into a more laterally-minded mode of data collation and projection can be a significant challenge. We have just the thing to help.

Storytelling could spell out the future of finance skills


Recognising opportunities for financial funding and growth opportunities is one of the responsibilities which falls on many financial professionals. After all, they’re the ones with full oversight over the company’s financial data. This is a powerful position to be in, but an evolving business landscape is demanding that this role becomes even more specialised.


Let’s explore this with an analogy (here comes that storytelling we’ve been warning you about) – the kind of direct oversight that many financial professionals have of a business’s financial data can be likened to the perspective of a helicopter pilot flying directly overhead a city. It’s clear and objective, but it’s also relatively flat and one-dimensional. Successful funding ventures require this perspective to become more complex. To continue our analogy, the helicopter pilot must be retrained to land in the city itself and navigate the same layout with a much more richly informed and complex point of view.


Commentary from a panel of finance and strategy experts at the 2022 Finance Indaba supports this theory. The panel presented a talk titled “Finance skills of the future: not all about finance” confirming that financial professionals ought to cultivate non-traditional skills like storytelling to succeed. The panel called upon CFOs to reimagine the way they saw themselves – not as passive guardians of the company budget, but as active co-pilots of the business itself.


To illustrate his point, one panellist used a metaphor to explain why a nuanced approach would benefit finance professionals as their roles evolve from one that is distinct and purely financial to one more akin to an integrated business partner. Mohammed Shaikh (partner in controllership and finance transformation at Deloitte) said that finance professionals need to move away from the mindset of the bean counter and adopt that of a bean grower. What did we tell you? When literary techniques meet financial data, you can construct a very compelling argument indeed.


Shaikh went on to say that “[t]he ability to influence is a powerful skill, and this needs to be combined with effective storytelling”. So, the evolving role of the financial professional does not only require fluency in storytelling – it also requires team-building skills to establish strong trust relationships between teams, stakeholders, executives, and clients. Depending on your personal experience and the diversity of your skillset, that can be a very tall order.

Where Uzenzele Holdings comes in


With decades of combined experience and legacy relationships with local, international, governmental, and private equity financiers, Uzenzele Holdings is in a prime position to help financial professionals bring extraordinary value to their role.


Not every CFO or CA can be a funding fundi, and that’s a good thing. Your efforts should be focused on running the financial operations of the business. You have the financial insight and expertise. We have an extensive network of connections with a vast range of financiers, as well as in-depth knowledge of a variety of capital-raising ventures. In storytelling terms, this is a fairytale beginning.


You may have all the puzzle pieces, but we know how to arrange them to optimise funding application outcomes. We’ve got everything you need to build a watertight funding application. Although we specialise in DTIC grants and incentives, Uzenzele Holdings also advises on commercial, alternative, and developmental funding.


Storytelling is an important part of nurturing growth opportunities. When your financial data is comparable to another prospect’s, the only thing setting you apart is a story. Together, we can tell a beautiful one.


Get in touch with us to learn more about what our specialised consulting and capital-raising services can do for your business development today.

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