Several Ways To Become A Professional Accountant

Become a qualified accountant in Nigeria

If you want to have a successful career in the accounting industry, then it is worth spending time researching the qualifications that can take you to the peak of your career. Whether you are an account undergraduate or graduate or even a masters holder, some professional qualifications will make you more competitive in the labour market.

Accounting is a flexible career because every industry needs an accountant for successful business operations. If you want to work and top the ladder in the accounting, finance or business world then having one of these certifications that will be discussed in this article will help you in the long run. You don't necessarily have to study accounting in the university to become a member of a professional body. Your interest, commitment, work experience and your bachelor's degree is enough to start a career path in accounting.

Being a member of some professional accounting bodies can increase your earning power and boost your career prospects both internationally and locally in Nigeria. Many of these bodies are recognised globally and the ones that are not recognized globally are highly respected in the Nigerian labour market.

The below are some of the most common qualifications that someone interested in the accounting career path or with an accounts degree may pursue.

globally recognised accounts exam in Nigeria
Passing some professional account examinations can boost your career path internationally. Source: Unsplash

 

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(ACCA) - Association Of Chartered Certified Accountants

If you’re looking at a profession in accountancy, tax, business, or finance, then you may want to consider studying for the ACCA examination. It is globally recognized and is the number one choice for accountancy students worldwide. The Acca qualification will increase your chances of getting a job abroad because it is globally recognised by more than 180 countries. It will increase your earning power chances of getting a job with the big four accounting firms:

  • PWC;
  • Deloitte;
  • KPMG; and
  • Ernst and Young.

To qualify to become an ACCA member, an individual or student will have to complete 14 examinations, of which some are eligible for exemption depending on your previous qualifications. ACCA Examinations is broken down into three levels with which is explained below.

Level 1- The Applied Knowledge consists of 3 examinations:

  • AB - Accountant in Business
  • MA - Management Accounting
  • FA - Financial Accounting

Level 2- The Applied Skills consists of 6 examinations:

  • LW - Corporate and Business Law
  • PM - Performance Management
  • TX - Taxation
  • FR - Financial Reporting
  • AA - Audit and Assurance
  • FM - Financial Management

Level 3- The Strategic Professional involves 4 examinations: 2 from compulsory and any 2 from Options.

Compulsory:

  • SBL - Strategic Business Leader
  • SBR - Strategic Business Reporting

Options:

  • AFM - Advanced Financial Management
  • APM - Advanced Performance Management
  • ATX - Advanced Taxation
  • AAA - Advanced Audit and Assurance

Once you have completed your ACCA Qualification by successfully passing your examinations, along with three years' practical experience and the Ethics and Professional Skills module, you will be invited to become an ACCA member.

(ICAN) - The Institute Of Chartered Accountants Of Nigeria

ICAN is a professional accountancy body in Nigeria. It was formed 1st of September, 1965, having its headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria. It is advised that every accounting graduate should have their ICAN qualification, as this would make them more competitive in the labour market. Just anybody can become a chartered account so far you can complete the various stages and pass the series of ICAN exams. You don't necessarily have to have a degree in accountancy to be a member of the  Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria.
To become a member of the institute of chartered accountants of Nigeria, there are 16 subjects broken down into three stages; Foundation Level, Skills Level and Professional Level that a candidate must pass unless your current degree exempts you from either the foundation or skills level. Information on exemptions can be seen on the ICAN website.
Let's take a look at what each level looks like:

Foundation level

There are five subjects at this level that can be taken in any order.

  • A1. Quantitative Techniques in Business
  • A2. Business and Finance
  • A3. Financial Accounting
  • A4. Management Information
  • A5. Business Law

Skills Level

There are six subjects at this level.

  • B1. Financial Reporting
  • B2. Audit and Assurance
  • B3. Taxation
  • B4. Performance Management
  • B5. Public Sector Accounting and Finance
  • B6. Management, Governance and Ethics

Professional Level

The Professional Level consists of five subjects which take students to the level where they have to make professional judgment and evaluations based on more complex business situations linking foundation and skills level and the five subjects in this level are:

  • C1. Corporate Reporting
  • C2. Advanced Audit and Assurance
  • C3. Strategic Financial Management
  • C4. Advanced Taxation
  • C5. Case Study
ican centres in Nigeria
Passing any professional qualification, regardless of how many resits is still a major achievement. Source: Unsplash

Here are a few tips below to help with your studying, preparation and successfully passing the ICAN examination:

  • Make sure you go through and finish all the syllabus in your study pack before the examination date.
  • Go through Pass questions
  • On the day of the examination, start with the multiple-choice questions and ensure you attempt all questions. 1 additional mark can be what will get you to pass your paper.
  • Get help by hiring a tutor or joining an online class if you feel demotivated and need help with some topics and subjects.

If you fail an ICAN examination, then you have to re-sit for it. However, don’t be discouraged if you aren’t able to pass your exams the first time – they are tough to get through, and having passed all of them, even with re-sits, is still a major achievement in itself.

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(ICPAN) - The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Nigeria

Having an ICPAN qualification can be very helpful in your future career as a Nigerian accountant who wants to compete in the accounting industry and boost their earning power. The ICPAN examination is open to candidates with a Bachelor’ of Science Degree in Accounting, HND Accounts or its equivalent. The path to becoming a qualified member of this institute isn't easy, and as part of the requirements to obtain the qualification, you have to pass an exam known as the professional examination. 

The exam is in four levels:

Level One
Paper 1 Financial Accounting 1
Paper 2 Economics
Paper 3 Law 1
Paper 4 Business Mathematics and Statistics
Paper 5 Public Administration
Paper 6 Management of Organizations

Level Two
Paper 7 Petroleum and Mineral Accounting
Paper 8 Cost Accounting
Paper 9 Auditing
Paper 10 Data Processing and System Analysis
Paper 11 Taxation
Paper 12 Public Finance

Level Three
Paper 13 Financial Accounting 11
Paper 14 Law 2
Paper 15 Management. Accounting
Paper 16 Management Information System
Paper 17 Public Sector Accounting
Paper 18 Quantitative Analysis

Level Four
Paper 19 Advance Financial Accounting
Paper 20 Taxation and Tax Management.
Paper 21Auditing and Investigation
Paper 22 Financial Management.
Paper 23 Petroleum Management.

It is to be noted that asides from their examination requirements, it’s worth bearing in mind that a prospective member of this institute will also have to fulfil education and professional work experience requirements.

CFA - (Certified Financial Analyst) Society Nigeria

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Oyin

I am a creative freelancer and fashion designer who loves to travel, explore and meet new people.

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