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CIMA where business + finance meet

Reducing financing costs by more than 50% through enhancements to debtor and cashflow management ‘We believe that with our partnership with CIMA, we will not only be able to grow future leaders for the companies in our group, but that we will also be able to provide the tools that our CIMA trainees require to become qualified and highly skilled management accountants.’

Pieter le Roux Group Financial Manager, Freshworld (Pty) Ltd With export markets in the Far East, Europe, Russia, Middle East, United Kingdom and North America, plus a constantly growing business, South African produce marketing company and CIMA Training Partner, Freshworld, needed a cost-effective and streamlined finance function. Freshworld procures, exports and markets fresh produce, including supplying the Far East, USA and Canada using the Sunkist label. It provides fair and sustainable returns to growers in its home country, but faced mounting financing costs. Pieter le Roux, Group Financial Manager, recognised that the finance team and its systems were not sufficiently coping with increasing volumes. The company needed to choose between increasing headcount on its finance team, or enhancing productivity and processes. Le Roux identified two key projects: upping productivity by developing more effective systems and processes, and maximising debtors and cashflow management to reduce financing costs.

into existing systems. ‘We increased the efficiency of already-automated systems by simplifying processes and reducing the number of manual interventions. The final part of these developments was to integrate the different operational systems with the financial accounting system, and integrate both systems with our management reporting system.’ The finance function has increased its productivity by over 50%, maintaining the enhanced systems with the same headcount, despite a growing business. Transactions that previously took a month to process now only take a week. By focussing on its debtor and cashflow management, Freshworld also reduced its financing costs by more than 50%. Le Roux adds ‘We believe that with our partnership with CIMA, we will not only be able to grow future leaders for the companies in our group, but that we will also be able to provide the tools that our CIMA trainees require to become qualified and highly skilled management accountants.’

The company appointed its first CIMA trainee in 2010, and three more have followed. They have played a pivotal role in the finance function’s evolution, says le Roux, automating manual processes and integrating them

CIMA value: Freshworld (Pty) Ltd Freshworld’s finance function increased its productivity by more than 50%. Enhancements to debtor and cashflow management reduced financing costs by more than 50%. T. +44 (0)20 8849 2251 E. cima.contact@cimaglobal.com www.cimaglobal.com

Case study: Pieter le Roux, Freshworld  

Read a case study of Pieter le Roux, group financial manager, Freshworld (Pty) Ltd.