Over 4 800 learners to test their accounting skills in next week’s Olympiad

Johannesburg, Wednesday 27 July 2016 – A record number of 4 869 Grade 11 and 12 learners from 367 schools around the country are sharpening their accounting skills in preparation for the annual SAICA Sage One Accounting Olympiad on Tuesday 2 August 2016. Each participant will compete for the honour of being crowned South Africa’s top accounting learner when results are released in September.

With some very desirable prizes up for grabs, and the chance to prove that you are the top young accountancy mind in the country, the SAICA Sage One Accounting Olympiad has become one of the most exciting events in South Africa’s high school calendar. This year, 4 869 participants (up almost 20% from last year’s 4 100) are competing for prizes worth over R300 000 in total.

Gugu Makhanya, Senior Executive for Transformation and Growth at the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), explains the importance of the Olympiad: ‘Every year, we encourage Grades 11 and 12 to prepare themselves for the expectations of tertiary education by entering the Olympiad. The gruelling three-hour paper aims to recognise learners’ accounting talent, encourage interest in accounting as a career choice, and grow the pipeline of potential chartered accountants.’

But, adds Makhanya, the benefits of taking part go even further for the participating Grade 12s. ‘Year after year we see that the Olympiad participants have an advantage over their peers going into their final matric exams. For example, last year Thembelihle Mzila, the learner who took first place in the Kwa-Zulu Natal’s regional Olympiad and second in the national event was among the top-performing matric learners in the Uthukela District. She is currently busy with her first year BCom Accounting at the University of Pretoria.’

SAICA’s Executive Director of Nation Building Chantyl Mulder adds that she is delighted at the increase in the number of learners involved in this year’s Olympiad and wishes all the participants taking part good luck on behalf of all this year’s sponsors: ‘South Africa – and the chartered accountancy profession – is in dire need of talented learners like you. Good luck for Tuesday – do your best!’

Great prizes are up for grabs 

The winner of the Olympiad will be announced in September 2016. Prizes include a laptop for the learner who obtains the highest mark nationally, R2 000 in cash for the top learner from each province as well as two desktop computers preloaded with the NCS Pastel software written to meet the Grade 11 to 12 curriculums for the winning school in every province. The winning school educators will also win a cash prize.

But that’s not all. On Tuesday, learners also stand a chance to win an iPad Mini when they share their Accounting Olympiad journey on twitter. To qualify, learners must use the hashtag #AccountingRocks and mention the @SageGroupZA twitter handle. The best tweeter will win the prize.