SAIPA supports the accountants of the future through education and support

South African Institute of Professional Accountants
7 August 2018

The sustainability, growth, and resilience of the accounting sector rely on the extent to which it can empower the youth, urges the South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA).

“Being able to change the life of a young person is immensely gratifying. SAIPA’s youth members have passion, energy and drive. We continue to invest in the education and skills of tomorrow’s accountants through competitions, learning programmes and support,” says Zobuzwe Ngobese, Executive: Marketing & Business Development at SAIPA.

National Accounting Olympiad

SAIPA’s National Accounting Olympiad is one of the highlights for the organisation. The Olympiad is open to Grade 11 and Grade 12 accounting learners taking Accounting as a school subject, and who wish to follow a BCom degree as further study. The goal of the competition is to make Accounting as a subject a preferred choice to all learners and to promote the option of professional accountancy as a sound choice for further study.

“SAIPA invests substantially in the Olympiad because it gives learners a foot in the door with future employers. The first round of this year’s event was held on 16 May and the final round will be held on 1 August,” adds Ngobese.

The 2018 SAIPA National Accounting Olympiad is currently in full swing and is turning into a great success. Almost 3 000 Grade 11 learners and 4 000 Grade 12 learners entered this year’s event. The second-round results will determine the provincial and national winners, who will be honoured a formal Gala Awards event in Johannesburg.

“I’m looking forward to hosting the top performers of this year’s competition and I always keep a keen eye on the winners’ progress throughout their tertiary education and early careers,” adds Ngobese.

Helping accounting students

SAIPA hosts several initiatives that help students embark on a stimulating journey of learning and discovery to strengthen their capabilities in accounting, business strategy and leadership. Under the theme Bringing Accounting To Life, SAIPA’s Student membership gives students the ability to attend SAIPA events for free and at discounted rates, to be linked with firms that offer SAIPA leadership, exclusive discounts on academic textbooks, and more.

“Once completing their degrees, trainee accountants can be SAIPA student members for two years before switching to standard trainee membership fees. We give student members access to technical knowledge and support from qualified Professional Accountants (SA) as well as direct access to a host of niche publications and news that is relevant to their studies and future careers,” says Ngobese.

Boniswa Madikizela, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Accountancy at the University of Johannesburg and SAIPA brand ambassador, says that SAIPA takes a holistic approach when looking at the type of skills and experience that students need to be exposed to.

“At University level, we build on what we assume has been laid as a foundation and further develop skills such as responsibility, accountability, ethics, critical thinking, innovation, problem solving and curiosity. Ultimately, these are the skills that the market requires of new graduates and they are the very skills which tend to be scarce,” says Madikizela.

Siya Herimbi, who is a SAIPA Student Ambassador at the University of Pretoria, says that him and his fellow students benefit tremendously from SAIPA’s youth-focused initiatives.

“SAIPA has a number of student engagements which help students become clear on their career goals. SAIPA helps me stay motivated and this makes the pursuit of my degree easier as I know I am working towards tangible goals that will have an impact on my future,” says Herimbi.

“From immersive activities, topical industry events, seminars, in-person help and riveting competitions, we want to make sure that the accountants of the future have the resources they need to thrive. I am proud to be part of an organisation that is paving the way for the next generation of capable accountants in South Africa,” concludes Ngobese.