BUDDING accountants in Grade 9 can now register for the third SAICA Sage One Junior Accounting Olympiad.The Junior Accounting Olympiad gives learners, who are still deciding to choose accounting as a school subject, the chance to see if they have mastered both its content and methodology.The Olympiad falls squarely in line with SAICA’s Thuthuka projects which seek to transform the demographics of the chartered accounting profession and grow the number of chartered accountants in South Africa – with a strong emphasis on creating more CAs(SA) from African and coloured backgrounds.Matsoso Tsoaeli, Project Director for Transformation and Growth at the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants, (SAICA), explains, ‘The Junior Accounting Olympiad was created to target youngsters in Grade 9 who are deciding whether or not to continue with accounting and entice them to take the subject in their final school years. Our aim, thereafter, is to steer them towards studying chartered accountancy as well as other commerce-centred degrees at university. It is our hope that developing a love for the subject will, in turn, help to address South Africa’s urgent need for chartered accountants.”This sentiment is echoed by co-sponsor Sage Pastel. As South Africa’s leading provider of accounting software, the group says it is proud to support the advancement of accounting learners through this project.Taking part, however, does not just assist the profession, it also benefits the participating learners and schools as well.“The Olympiad is about more than helping learners make informed career choices; it also promotes healthy competition between learners and serves as great practice in preparing them for their year-end exams, as well as for the challenges that the Grade 10 accounting syllabus presents. Plus there are great prizes that the top learners from each province stand a chance to win,” says Tsoaeli.How can your school get involved?Participating schools are selected by the district coordinators at each of the provincial departments of education, in conjunction with SAICA. From there, the schools’ educators select the five to ten learners they have identified as their school’s top Grade 9 accounting talent. It is a careful selection process with only 20 districts selected to participate nationwide.The closing date for high schools to submit their entries is September 9, 2016. The Olympiad will take place on September 29, 2016.