Mrs Ronell Pedro was appointed CFO at Iziko Museums of South Africa in September 2015, after having been employed as Financial Manager since January 2009. Her appointment is testimony to Iziko’s commitment to staff advancement and development and has empowered her to contribute fully to the achievement of its objectives in the context of the strategic plan.
Ronell is a graduate of the University of the Western Cape, and shares its ‘commitment to access, equity and practical engagement in helping the historically marginalised participate fully in the life of the nation’. She is particularly proud of her alma mater’s leading role in the emergence of the new democratic order.
Professionally, before joining Iziko, Mrs Pedro occupied a number of management accounting positions in the private sector and has gained 30 years’ solid experience in accounting and financial management. She is well versed in financial management systems and has been part of the changing practices and standards within both the private and public sectors.
Her early training in a private accounting practice culminated in her becoming a partner in the practice during the mid-1990s, which evidenced the confidence she had gained from her professional peers and clients. In this position, she not only managed and monitored financial systems and budgets and provided business financial advice to clients, but also developed the communication and leadership skills required to work with people at all levels. Her departure from private practice led her into a number of management accounting positions, which deepened her appreciation for the wider business context of accounting and served to increase her technical, leadership and interpersonal skill set.
Her work as facilitator for the Institute for Public Finance (IPFA) assisted in translating her experience and insight into clear advice and practical services and also allowed her to transition from private sector to public sector accounting and financial management.
The Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) has been a key element in a set of reforms to the management of government finances in the country. Implementing the Act represents a major challenge for the public sector and to successfully achieve the objectives of the Act the CFO’s role in ensuring good management and accountability is vital.
As the public sector and government institutions continue to reform and evolve to become more nimble and responsive to stakeholder demands, Mrs Pedro recognises that the role of the CFO can no longer remain focused on accounting alone. CFOs need to emerge from the reactive mode in which they often find themselves due to compliance requirements arising from the regulatory framework within which they operate. There is a challenge to leverage technology tools to simplify processes and cut costs, raise efficiency levels and become more customer focused despite budget constraints. Mrs Pedro is confident that the expertise and experience she brings to the CFO role, together with the awareness that finance leaders need to work hand-in-hand with policy and programme leaders as strategic partners, will lead to improved performance by Iziko and contribute to the success of the organisation in achieving its strategic objectives as well as its vision of being an African Museum of Excellence.