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.  The institute has over 50,000 members and its mission is: To Produce World-Class Chartered Accountants, Regulate and Continuously Enhance Their Ethical Standards and Technical Competence in the Public Interest. Their website is: www.icanig.org 

There are two professional accountancy associations with the accounting regulatory authority in Nigeria, ICAN is one while the other is the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN).

Information on ICAN District Societies/Chapters newly elected Executives across the different states in the Country can be found on their website. The current president of ICAN is Onome Joy Adewuyi. The body organises an annual accountants conference and this year 2021, marked their 50th annual conference.

ICAN is a member of the International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC) and they periodically adopt their standard. 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.

Being ICAN certified in Nigeria means that the individual is sufficiently experienced and trained in matters relating to accountancy. Having such a qualification can really help an individual to stand out from the crowd and can really help boost your career prospects within the accounting industry. If you want to further boost your prospects across the Nigerian bothers, then you can consider sitting for the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) as it is globally recognised in over 170 countries.

On May 10, 2018, ICAN  signed a pathway MOU agreement with the institute of chartered accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). Under this agreement, ICAN may apply to become members of ICAEW without writing further examination. Other affiliates of the institute are IFAC, PAFA, ABWACAW, CIMA and CIPFA.

In recent times, there was an out of court settlement between ICAN and CITN (The Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria ) that all members of ICAN who hold the licence to practice are to be granted direct membership of CITN, with full rights to practise taxation by completing the CITN membership form only.

The above write-up on ICAEW and CITN indicates that an Iaddede benefit of being an ICAN member automatically qualifies you to join other professional bodies without sitting for their examination.

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Which ICAN Exams Do I Need To Pass To Become A Chartered Accountant?

Becoming a chartered accountant with ICAN is not easy but of course, adequate preparation for the qualification examinations can make it easy. There are 16 subjects broken down into three stages; Foundation Level, Skills Level and Professional Level.

Foundation level

The Foundation Level provides a learning framework that contains manageable core content. 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

The Skills Level builds on the foundation of competencies already achieved at the previous Level and without repetition takes students to a higher level where their skills are developed and expanded and put into context. The emphasis is on the application of skills in business situations. 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. Case Study has been re-introduced in the Professional Level to ensure students can deal with scenarios, develop analysis, make critical comments and draw conclusions that are effectively articulated in a report format. 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 examination preparation
It can take some time for students to pass every single paper from each level depending on how they prepare for the examination. Source: Unsplash

Pass Mark

The pass mark for each of the above papers is 50%. The ICAN programme can last one year for accounting graduates and one year and six months for non-accounting graduates in the normal case. This case is upon successfully passing all papers and not postponing or giving yourself breaks in between each level.

Exemption Process

There are 3 but 2 different paths to becoming a certified ICAN Member.
1. The ATS scheme
2. Non-accounting graduate path
3. Accounting graduate path.

The ATSWA scheme: The ATS ( Accounting Technician Scheme of West Africa Exam) scheme is where candidates who are yet t to obtain university degrees or polytechnic HND begin their ICAN journey. This scheme is organized by the Association of Accountancy Bodies in West Africa, of which ICAN and twelve other Africa professional bodies are members. This process affords people with no prior or little knowledge in accounts the opportunity to acquire excellent accounting profession skills in preparation for ICAN professional examination. These exams are in three stages

ATS 1:

1.1 Basic Accounting Processes & Systems
1.2 Economics
1.3 Business Law
1.4 Communication Skills

ATS 2

2.1 Principles and Practice of Financial Accounting
2.2 Public Sector Accounting
2.3 Quantitative Analysis
2.4 Information Technology

ATS 3

3.1 Principles of Auditing
3.2 Cost Accounting
3.3 Preparing Tax Computations and Returns
3.4 Management

Upon the successful completion of ATS 3, you are qualified as an AATWA and you are now exempted from taking any course at the Foundation level before going on to register and write the Skills and Professional level of ICAN exams.

Non-accounting graduate path: This path is for those who graduated from a discipline different from the Accounting profession from a university or polytechnic. Such candidates are to begin from the foundation level and successfully pass it before moving to the skills and professional levels of the examination.

Accounting Graduate Path: this path comprises of two stages, the skills, and professional level.
Accounting profession graduates from Nigerian universities, polytechnics, Associate Accounting Technician, and candidates who have completed the foundational level take it from there.

Dates And Centres Of The ICAN Exam

The examinations are normally held twice each year in May and November and at present, at the following centres in different states: Aba, Abakaliki, Abeokuta, Abuja, Ado-Ekiti, Akure, Asaba, Awka, Benin-City, Calabar, Enugu, Ibadan, Ikeja, Ikorodu, Ilesa, Ilisan-Remo, Ilorin, Jos, Kaduna, Kano, Lagos-Amuwo, L a g o s - U n I l a g, Lokoja, Maiduguri, Makurdi, Minna, Ogbomoso, Onitsha, Owerri, Port Harcourt, Sokoto, Umuahia, Uyo, Warri, Yenagoa, Yola, Zaria, Cameroun and London (U.K.). These centres are usually updated from time to time. You can check the ICAN website for updates.

Examination Entry, Membership and Registration

No person may be allowed to sit for any of the examinations except they have been registered as a student and had paid the required annual subscription and applicable examination fees. The registration fee is ₦ 7,000. Upon registration, every applicant will be required to produce satisfactory evidence of his/her name, age and character together with certified photocopies of educational certificates and one certified passport size photograph. The cost per paper can be seen in the below table which payment will be made after you register.

Levels  Rates (₦)  
1 paper2 papers3 papers4 papers5 papers
Foundation22,500.0028,700.0034,900.0041,100.0047,300.00
Skills31,700.00
41,700.0051,700.0061,700.0071,700.00
Professional34,450.00
45,700.0056,950.0068,200.0079,450.00

There are two main classes of membership of the Institute, namely; Chartered and Registered Accountants. A member of the Institute is not allowed to set up a public practise as an accountant until he/she has applied for, and has been granted a licence to practise by the Council.

What Happens If I Fail An Exam?

Resit-ICAN examination
Do not get discouraged if you have to re-sit for your examinations. Failure only brings you a step closer to achieving your goals. Source: Unsplash

If you fail an ICAN examination, then you have to re-sit for it. It is no news that several candidates re-sit the exam several times before passing and becoming a member of the chartered institute. It’s important to note that, while you are permitted to re-sit examination modules if you fail an exam, exam sittings only happen at set times each year for the different levels. What’s more, if you can pass every exam in one sitting, this can be a real selling point on your CV when the time does come to find a new role.

That is an excellent reason to work with an accounts tutor on our website at www. Superprof. ng

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!

Becoming an ICAN member in one sitting
Becoming a member of the ICAN can be great for your career prospects. Source: Unsplash

How To Study And Pass The ICAN Examinations

There are several ways to study for your examinations: you can watch videos online, buy or read free resources online or even hire a tutor to help with your studies. Here are a few tips below to help with your studying, preparation and successfully passing the examination:

      1. Complete your study pack: Make sure you go through and finish all the syllabus in your study pack before the examination date.
      2. Go through Pass questions: This will help you have an idea of what to expect and how questions are set
      3. Start preparing for your Exams early enough before the set date
      4. Set your priority right: If passing the ICAN exam is important to you, then you must plan your daily activities in a way that will give you enough time to study
      5. 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.
      6. Get help by hiring a tutor or joining an online class if you feel demotivated and need help with some topics and subjects.
      7. Remain calm on and before the examination. ICAN will not deny you of your success if you merit it by studying well and hard.
      8. Get the right resources for your studies. Check the ICAN website for information on their study packs, available resources and the likes.
      9. Get enough sleep on the eve of the examination and do your last-minute revisions and roundups.
Hire a tutor to help towards your examinations in Nigeria
If you are feeling less motivated toward the examination, do not hesitate to get help online or through a tutor. Source: Unsplash

Whether you’d like to have a one on one lesson or would prefer working with a tutor in a small group, Superprof offers a range of study formats to suit students. Just enter your postcode to find a mathematics or accounting tutor near to you. Equally, if you prefer to have tuition lessons online, perhaps through a channel such as Skype, there are also Superprof accounting tutors near me who are happy to provide lessons remotely.

You can also read up:

What Is The CFA Society Nigeria?

Where Can I Use My ICPAN Qualification?

Why You Should Take CFE Qualifications

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