Name: Frans Geldenhuys (34)
Region: Northern Region
Job Title: Bidvest ALICE Founding Member
Years in this position: 2
Company Name: Bidvest Advisory Services (Pty) Ltd
Entry Category: Entrepreneur
Frans is a founding member of the ALICE Team within the technology start-up Bidvest Advisory Services. He also serves as an internal audit manager in the Bidvest Group Ltd. During his eight-year tenure in the audit industry, he was part of the team tasked to implement and drive continuous audit and digital assurance at Bidvest Bank. This lead to the creation of ALICE, a disruptive audit robot that can automate audit to a point where controls are tested and reported every day. ALICE is pioneering a futuristic landscape using fringe technology.
The launch of Beta ALICE in the past six months has been a career highlight. Building ALICE required considerable research and development, which has been recognised by the Department of Science and Technology for its innovation by granting an 11D tax deduction in 2018.
The Bidvest ALICE project has created substantial interest from the global artificial intelligence (AI) community in South Africa. They hope to create an AI lab out of the Bidvest ALICE project that would create opportunities previously not available in South Africa. Their goal is to partner with initiatives that focus on IT skills development to enhance the programming and cybersecurity skillset of a large number of trainees and interns to create resources with these scarce skills here in our community. They have started our path of skills development by employing two interns who are currently learning from the team.
Frans feels that the best way to counter disruption is to disrupt yourself and your own industry. This disruption is in the form of ALICE. She is automating the workforce and allowing those charged with governance with a view into the IT risks and environment that had not been possible till now. ALICE is leading all other auditing firms to change the way they think about continuous auditing.