Calling all maths and accounting whiz kids – registrations for the second annual NAMO (SAIPA National Accounting & Maths Olympiad) are now open!
The competition is aimed at Grade 11 & 12 learners who have chosen maths and accounting as school subjects, and they will put their knowledge and skills on display for a select team of Olympiad judges from the accounting, business and academic communities.
New Format Prepares Students for the Future
The competition was formerly known as the National Accounting Olympiad. Held annually since 2002, it was a much-anticipated event in the South African school calendar but has now been adapted to include a mathematics component. The classic approach of having pupils write tests at their school and selecting the winners based on top marks alone is also a thing of the past.
Professor Rashied Small, Centre of Future Excellence (CoFE) Executive at SAIPA and developer of the Olympiad, says the new format has been designed to produce outcomes aligned with the Institute’s vision of Future-Ready Accountants beyond the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The new structure was first introduced in 2021, and Small says it was a clear and resounding success. “The first NAMO was unlike anything we’ve done before, and it was only the inaugural competition. This year’s participants can be excited for an even better challenge!”
He adds that the new competition is much more than simply crunching numbers – it is structured in a case study format, where learners submit their business solutions to industry experts. In this way, they can gain valuable knowledge of what a real-life working environment might look like – hopefully, the first steps in fostering a future generation of accounting and finance professions.
“In the future, the typical technical duties of professional accountants will be increasingly automated using AI (Artificial Intelligence), software robots and other technologies,” Small explains. “This will free them from mundane financial administration, allowing them to add greater value to their organisations as strategic business advisors.”
He says these future-ready professional accountants will be expected by their organisations and clients to turn AI predictions and corporate data into profitable business initiatives.
“This will require them to develop advanced business, technology and communication skills that, through the new Olympiad, SAIPA is promoting into schools right now.”
Participants will gain even more than experience, contact with industry professionals and a foot in the accounting door, though.
“They stand a chance to win amazing prizes from sponsors, which will be announced during a prestigious awards ceremony at SAIPA’s Accounting iNdaba held in November,” Small concludes.
Who, what, where and how?
Registrations for NAMO are now open!
Having mere “book knowledge” will not be enough to come out on top:
- Grade 11’s will be judged on the use of their syllabi knowledge, analytical and critical skills to determine the correct answer.
Judges will expect Grade 12 learners to formulate their own approach to researching information, solving problems and reaching their objectives.