SAIPA’s NAO contest ideal for

helping accountancy pupils confirm their career choice

South African Institute of Professional Accountants
3 June 2019

SAIPA’s NAO contest ideal for helping accountancy pupils confirm their career choice

Kantha Naicker, Vice Chairman of the Board at the South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA), urges parents to ensure their children, who are studying Accounting in Grade 11 or 12, participate in its National Accounting Olympiad 2019. “They should ask their schools to register its pupils for the competition before the closing date and to accommodate the written tests,” she says.

Entries for the NAO, which has been held annually over the last 16 years, will close on the 14th of June. The competition was developed to promote the Accounting Profession as the career of choice among school pupils who demonstrate an aptitude for the subject.

Such contests hold several important benefits for children trying to settle on their future profession.

Career confirmation
Winning, doing well or simply seeing their own improvement from their efforts to achieve an award can help your child make that vital career choice that will inform every future study and career decision. Those who know what they want to do with their lives are more determined to overcome the inevitable obstacles they will face along the way.

Improved self-esteem
We generally advise children not to measure themselves against others. The fact is, when they do well compared to their peers, especially against those exhibiting competence in the given area, it can give them greater confidence in their own abilities and set them up for success. Consequently, they will be more willing to participate in activities they may previously have avoided or been neutral towards.

Better self-awareness
If there’s one thing teens want, it’s greater autonomy – the ability to make their own decisions and take control of their lives. Parents should, therefore, find ways to allow their children to make independent career decisions, acting as advisors rather than directors. A competition is an opportunity for them to gain the self-awareness required to make experience-based choices.

Helping your child succeed
Says Naicker, “The most important thing is to help our children realise their capabilities so they can set attainable goals that ultimately lead to a fulfilling life. Challenging but fair competitions like the NAO are an excellent way to achieve this end.”

How it works
Grade 11 and 12 pupils must be registered by their school for NAO 2019. The entry fee is R50 per student but is free for no-fee schools. Entrants must currently be studying Accounting with the intention of completing a BCom degree. The exam will take place on the 29th July 2019 and winners will be announced once all papers are scored. The winners and their teachers will be awarded at a gala award ceremony, the venue and date of which will be announced nearer the time.

A stable career
The career of a Professional Accountant (SA) is evergreen. It offers a high level of job satisfaction and has weathered centuries of economic downturns and technological advances. “Just entering the NAO contest offers your child their first taste of a respected occupation for which there will always be a demand,” says Naicker. “Gift them with this opportunity by encouraging your local school to participate.”