SAIPA|ABASA collaboration set to boost number of black Professional Accountants (SA)

Media Release

14 April 2014


SAIPA|ABASA collaboration set to boost number of black Professional Accountants (SA)

Awareness of the Professional Accountant (SA) as a career choice set to grow as the National Accounting Olympiad expands, especially in rural areas


 The accountancy industry is one of the least demographically representative in South Africa and for this reason the South African Institute for Professional Accountants (SAIPA) has joined forces with the Association for the Advancement of Black Accountants of South Africa (ABASA) in a collaboration that’s aimed at raising the awareness of the Professional Accountant (SA) as a career choice amongst secondary school learners.


“SAIPA is impressed with the work that ABASA has been doing to raise awareness,” says Navin Lalsab, Accreditation, Compliance and Development Executive at SAIPA and Chairperson of the SAIPA National Accounting Olympiad Committee. “We’re confident that our partnership will see more high school students taking the career path to becoming a Professional Accountant (SA), where they might not have done before.”


SAIPA | ABASA National Accounting Olympiad (NAO) 2014

One of the primary events that SAIPA and ABASA will be collaborating on is the 2014 SAIPA | ABASA National Accounting Olympiad. The Olympiad aims to make Accounting as a subject more accessible, especially to rural learners, and to expose the option of becoming a Professional Accountant (SA) as an exciting career to aspiring young accountants in Grade 12.

“The increase in the number of schools that participated in the 2013 National Accounting Olympiad reflects an increasing awareness of professional accounting as a career choice,” says Lalsab.


As part of the SAIPA NAO, all entrants are given study guides that help the learners in their schoolwork and in preparation for their final matric examinations. “Learners who perform well in Accounting are more likely to pursue this as a career option, so part of our aim is to ensure that they are as well prepared as they can possibly be for their final exams,” he says.


Additional awareness activities

 In addition to the Olympiad, SAIPA is expanding its campaign to raise awareness of what it means to be a Professional Accountant (SA) through its partnership with ABASA.


“During both ABASA and SAIPA visits to schools, we make an effort to explain the career options available for those who are interested in accounting as a profession,” says Lalsab.


“A perception persists that becoming  an external auditor is the only option available, yet as a Professional Accountant (SA), individuals have the option of getting far more ‘hands on’ in terms of the strategic running of a company; more strategic business advisor than number cruncher.”


Lalsab says SAIPA is confident that through its collaboration with ABASA, together the two organisations will be able to expand their reach, specifically in rural areas, where accounting is often neglected as a subject.


Entering the 2014 SAIPA/ABASA National Accounting Olympiad

Entries for the Olympiad are now open and close on Tuesday, 8 May 2014


“Given the scarcity of qualified professional accountants and the importance of maths and accounting in the world of work, SAIPA and ABASA commit to continuing, through the Olympiad, to promote professional accountancy as an attractive option for school leavers.”