Lagos is the heart of commercialization. Every day, newer businesses sprout up, bringing the need for accountants. Lagos also is home to the big four companies in the world. In every corner, you will likely find accountants in all fields. Examples of such are public accountants, tax accountants, and entry-level accountants. No wonder Lagos is the 7th largest economy in Africa.
With all of this buzz, you may be wondering whether the market is saturated already. You're probably reconsidering pursuing your accounting career, because, it may be a lot difficult to get reputable positions with your limited accounting skills.
On the contrary, your accounting knowledge is needed in Lagos. Financing and managerial accounting, for instance, will pave ways for you in private organizations including finance and banking institutions.
Just as the number of organisations keeps growing in Lagos, your job as an accountant is very vital. If you're interested in going the traditional way, you can opt for an accounting degree at the UNILAG -University of Lagos (federal university) or LASU - Lagos State University (state university). You get to learn, at a large extent, the principles that will set you up for a successful career in the business world. You will also be mentored on the accounting specializations to go for.
For people interested in polytechnics, YABATECH - Yaba College of Technology is one of the most prestigious polytechnics in Lagos; you also get to do a lot of fieldwork which will be supervised.
Usually, you're required to have 5 credit passes including English Language, Mathematics and Economics in your WAEC or any equivalent certification to qualify for admission into any of these institutions.
The general method of your admission is through JAMB and post-JAMB examinations. However, you can get a direct entry if you have a professional accounting certificate.
For people like the career changers or secondary school graduates who would prefer a different alternative to the traditional way, we have listed other places where you can learn accounting below.
Want to know more about the different qualifications you need to boost your accounting skills? Click here
What is Accounting?
As opposed to the old theories and definitions of an accountant, today's accounting is a complex discipline that involves the use of technological software, computer programs, knowledge of the accounting theory and that of international finance law and regulations.
An accountant is not just someone who keeps records of your finances, they are multi-taskers. This is a whole gap away from the time of Dickens where accountants were simply just human adding machines; their major roles were bookkeeping and producing financial statements.
International shipping as it is called today was still an infant when the double-entry bookkeeping system had advanced. At the time and even now, businesses needed to have an extended set of rules to properly help record credits and debits, as well as manage assets. Since there was not a lot of advanced technology, accountants were needed to fill in that space.
In today's accounting field, accounting software has taken the place of bookkeeping, giving the accountant enough time to consult and advise clients. Accountants, most especially, Public Accountants are multi-taskers and can function in fields such as tax accounting, and even forensic accounting.
Accounting today has expanded beyond the basic definitions it has been given. An accountant is a detective (forensic accounting), a tax enforcer (tax accounting), a manager (managerial accounting) amongst many other things.
All of the need to have a working system has made accounting the professional field it is today. Now, accountants can be members of professional accounting institutes or charters that best represents their accounting specialty.
With all of this, you may still want to know what an accountant does apart from adding, subtracting and manipulating data on a spreadsheet.
To summarize, accountants examine, organize and interpret financial information. The type of accountant they are determines who they communicate or interpret that information to.
Here are some types of accountants you need to be aware of:
- A financial accountant usually works with companies to help prepare 4 months, 6 months or a year financial statements for external parties to review. Some times, these parties are tax authorities or shareholders.
- A managerial accountant also prepares financial statement analysis. However, it is only for the purposes internal to the company. This way, it can help executives make the right and proper decision.
- A tax accountant calculates a company's tax liability. You may have consulted with a tax accountant before.
A Forensic accountant examines an organization's financial records to check for frauds and possibly in expectation of litigation.
- An auditor on the other hand checks if a company has complied with the financial and tax regulation. If the accountant works exclusively with the company, she/he is called an internal auditor. However, if the accountant is consulted, he/she is an external auditor.
- A CPA or Certified Public Accountant is a multitasker. The accountant performs a variety of the accounting tasks listed above and more. Additionally, a public accountant may own an accounting business or work in an office along with other accountants. If they work at an office, they are called chartered accountants.
If you notice, the summaries of these job descriptions include reporting, analysis, and recording. Technically, you do not have to be good at calculations. So, try not to turn away from this field because you're not so good at maths. Even though the manual entry ledger still exists, accounting is nowadays, more of spreadsheets and accounting information systems.
An accountant is a trend spotter, an analyzer and a risk-taker.
Nowadays, the number crunching is done by a computer accounting program. With more technological advancements coming into the accounting space, the role of an accountant will most likely keep evolving.
Where To Learn Accounting Principles In Lagos
At this period you're probably still thinking about what type of accountant you will like to be and how long it will take you to start making money.
You're also pondering on where to learn accounting faster in Lagos. All of these considerations and thoughts depend on what personal situation you're currently in.
Are you an SSCE student planning to sit for JAMB in anticipation of a career in accounting? Are you thinking about changing careers to accounting? If you fall under any of these categories, you have more than enough opportunity to learn accounting skills in a way different from the traditional.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) offers Accounting Technician Scheme (ATS) courses. Here, you will learn courses in bookkeeping, cost accounting and the essential principles of accounting.
The duration of your training is about 12 - 15 months. After which you're a proud owner of the Accounting Technician Scheme West Africa (ATSWA) certificate.
You can also use this accounting course certification to qualify for more advanced ICAN professional courses.
Another professional accounting training you can go for is the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) training for basic, intermediate and advanced accounting. You can earn your certificate in accounting by taking a single course with them. Technically, it's a great way for secondary school leavers and career changers to begin their accounting carer path.
Getting these certifications would put you on a good pedestal in the accounting field. Secondary school leavers can use them to get into universities of their choice through direct entry while Career changers can get better-paying jobs with their qualification.
If you do not want to go through these routes, you can start with a professional accounting tutor. It is a win-win situation especially because the days where you have to worry about your proficiency in maths are gone.
Finding A Professional Tutor in Lagos
So, you have probably chosen business accounting, management accounting, auditing or public accounting as your accounting specialty. You're also going to have to find the best training you can get for your money.
Not everybody who has a degree in accounting can be a good teacher. You also won't be able to recognize that from looking at their adverts. While there are so many tutoring services that offer accounting classes, you have to be concerned about what you're getting.
That's why Superprof has designed its platform is such a way that tutors can present their accounting qualifications and their educational background.
Additionally, there are reviews and testimonials from past students that show that the tutor is good at what she/he does. Another interesting option is that you can select a tutor to come meet you in your home or a convenient location. You can also choose to learn accounting online by checking if the tutor is open to teaching online.
Lagos has over 160 professional tutors that can teach you the principles of accounting from your home, an agreed-on public place, or online.
Superprof's tutors also offer their first lessons free of charge. Your tutor can help you with everything. For instance, if you need help understanding your course curriculum, they are happy to help. Also, if you would rather train under them before going for professional examinations, you can bet they will do a good job.
Consider that everything is dependent on you and how well you relate with your tutor. Your first free lesson will give you insights into how your future classes will be like.