Schools (Grade 10/11/12)

Join the #SAIPAProud movement.

Join the #SAIPAProud movement.

Let us help you kick off your journey to becoming a Professional Accountant (SA)

Professional accountants are in demand in every industry because they speak the language of business – whether in public practice, corporate, charitable, or government settings. Understanding and being able to speak to an organisation’s performance and prospects gives professional accountants automatic gravitas, relevance and a central role in all decision-making processes.

By now, you may have a general idea of the career you’d like to pursue, or maybe you’re still considering a career in the accountancy profession and wondering if it’s the right move for you.  Don’t stress if you don’t know exactly what your future looks like just yet. There’s still plenty of time to figure out the nuts and bolts of the journey ahead, and SAIPA is here to help you along the way.

Participate in SAIPA’s National Accounting and Maths Olympiad to improve your self-awareness which is the key to good career decisions.

Why choose accounting as a career?

Being a Professional Accountant (SA) signifies a mark of professional competence and excellence, demonstrating your depth, breadth, and quality of knowledge in the accounting and finance profession. 

Whether you work in the private or public sector, within an organization or as an entrepreneur, your expertise is invaluable for fostering business growth and development while upholding high ethical standards.

What are your career options?

The Professional Accountant (SA) designation prepares you for a life-long, rewarding career with unlimited potential! Earning your SAIPA stripes as a Professional Accountant (SA) means your options for career paths are virtually endless.

  • Professional Accountants (SA) have many career choices — multiple opportunities in many roles and in all sectors of the economy at home and abroad.
  • Professional Accountants (SA) can work in any sector – Every organization needs an accountant. Every startup, financial institution, entertainment company, non-profit, government agency — everyone — needs the skills you can provide as a Professional Accountant (SA).
  • Professional Accountants (SA) working in industry provide valuable input on key decisions, apply a unique blend of expertise to identify new market opportunities, ensure corporate accountability, manage risk, and help businesses maintain a long-term competitive advantage.
  • Professional Accountants (SA) add value to organisations in roles such as chairperson, chief executive officer, chief financial officer, treasurer, controller, systems developer and consultant.

Professional Accountants (SA) working in public practice provide their clients with services such as:

  • Start-up counselling and/or advice
  • Purchases, valuations and sales of businesses
  • Business planning and financial projections
  • Process deployment and improvement
  • Developing strategies for securing financing
  • Corporate and personal income tax planning
  • Information technology needs analysis
  • Assurance (compilations and independent reviews
  • Preparing and analysing financial information
  • Acting as trustee for receivership, insolvency or bankruptcy
  • Developing management controls
  • Management consulting and
  • Forensic accounting and litigation support

Choosing the right subjects

How do you become a Professional Accountant (SA)? The minimum requirements for university admission to a SAIPA Accredited BCom degree. Make sure you get a University Entrance Matric with good marks in Maths and Accounting (these will form the base of your knowledge and, while the actual subject content is not earth-shatteringly useful, the logic and process of thinking is vital).

Taking English and/or a First Additional Language is also recommended as having a good command of language both verbally and in written form is a major asset in the accountancy professional’s toolkit.

FREE! Let SAIPA assist you with preparing for their final Grade 12 exams in these subjects through convenient, structured, and practical tutorial support programmes. Learn more about the programme here Free Accounting & Mathematics Support Sessions for Grade 12

Your Training Contract

Sign up with a SAIPA Accredited Training Centre to start your 3-year fixed term SAIPA learnership which is an employment contract and learnership programme. The SAIPA learnership provides you, as an aspiring Professional Accountant (SA), the opportunity to develop your professional competence (including behaviours and abilities that will be expected of you as professional) while applying your technical knowledge in a practical work environment. During your learnership period, you will have access to SAIPA’s electronic logbook to maintain your portfolio of evidence that needs to be completed to become a Professional Accountant (SA).

Professional Evaluation (PE) Exams

After completing your learnership and meeting 100% of your logbook requirements, you are then eligible to register for the Professional Evaluation examination.  The assessments were conducted in June/November annually under strict examination rules. The Professional Evaluation examination punctuates the end of every aspiring Professional Accountant (SA)’s Initial Professional Development (IPD) phase of training and is a rite of passage to full SAIPA membership.  You may want to attend the Project Achiever Programme to prepare (academically and practically) to write the Professional Evaluation examination.

Aspiring Professional Accountants (SA) who do not meet the formal (BCom degree, Learnership and Professional Evaluation (PE) Exams) entry requirements for admission, can obtain the Professional Accountant (SA) designation through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). SAIPA requires at least six years’ relevant, verifiable experience (part of which should be at a senior level) to gain entry into the profession.


One of the biggest investments you can make is in your education. Whether you are in your last year of school and considering going to university, a current student struggling to continue paying for education, or if you have a strong academic history then a bursary or scholarship could be a great option for you.

While SAIPA does not currently offer any specific funding opportunities, there are several alternative opportunities to investigate that may provide some help, including bursaries, financial aid, loans from accredited financial institutions, and scholarships.

Learners and soon-to-be-graduates can get in touch with universities directly to find out the funding opportunities available and their eligibility for consideration. Be sure to apply before the closing date.

Here are a few other useful links to investigate that may be of assistance:

National Accounting & Math’s Olympiad (NAMO) for grade 11 and 12 learners

This competition motivates scholars to test their skills in Mathematics and Accounting by presenting them with real-world, relevant case studies. Grade 11 participants in Maths and Accounting will begin with an initial online assessment, followed by a series of multiple-choice questions tailored to their respective subjects.

For grade 12 students, the Olympiad offers an opportunity to engage in an open-ended project that allows them to apply their unique approach to researching information, problem-solving, and achieving their goals. Whether entering individually or as a group of five, grade 12 students will be given a case study to develop business ideas and solutions, incorporating principles from Accounting and Mathematics. This project involves two submissions, one at the end of July and another at the end of September, respectively.

Book a School Presentation or Request a SAIPA representative for a Career Exhibition/Event

You can book a school visit or a representative to participate in career exhibition or another event by completing the Booking Form.