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This article was first published in the May 2018 International edition of Accounting and Business magazine.

Michael Jordaan, founder of a new digital-only bank in South Africa, is to speak at this year’s World Congress of Accountants. Held every four years, the 6,000-delegate event takes place in Sydney on 5–8 November.

Jordaan’s new venture, Bank Zero, reflects one of the conference themes of embracing disruptive technologies. Bank Zero is part of the new frontier of banking that is arriving through smartphones and associated digital technologies. Formerly CEO of one of South Africa’s largest banks, First National, Jordaan heads a private equity company with 21 strategic investments, ranging from the new data-focused mobile network Rain to the algorithmic investment fund NMRQL Research.

Jordaan is not the only speaker who will be addressing technology issues. Janelle Hopkins, group CFO of Australia Post, will be talking about the challenges of transforming the group’s finance function, supporting its aspiration to become a leading e-commerce business.

Industry leaders will also be discussing software automation, artificial intelligence, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies, while an exhibition will showcase financial software and technology from around the world. 

Other topics on the agenda include protecting the public interest and building prosperity; building trust and confidence in the role of the accounting and finance profession; addressing the leadership challenge; enhancing ethics and integrity; exploring sustainable solutions for businesses, social enterprises and economies; and safeguarding the future of the accounting profession.