Michelle Smit is director of Finance for Accenture in South Africa, with overall responsibility for all matters relating to finance and controllership, not only within the South African subsidiaries but also for many of Accenture's offices expanding across Africa. Her remit currently includes Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Kenya.
“We are expanding quite rapidly and the challenge is to ensure that each of the businesses grows profitably,” she says. “We are faced with many complexities in a rapidly growing market in Africa which is challenging but also exciting.”
Another challenge posed by the strong growth both within South Africa and across the continent is the shortage of talent. “Procuring the best talent at the right price is one of our key focus areas,” notes Smit.
Smit joined Accenture in 2004 after some years with a large accounting firm. She graduated from the University of Pretoria with a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting (Honours). She also has a Certificate of Theoretical Accounting and qualified as a chartered accountant in 2000. Her membership of a CFO round table in South Africa, run under the auspices of the Executive Global Network, provides a useful platform for financial officers to develop approaches to common problems.
She tries to stay active through cycling and swimming, and credits organisation and flexibility as two strategies contributing towards balancing her work and personal life.