If you want to work in the accounting industry in Nigeria, then The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Nigeria (ICPAN) qualification is one you may have read about.
This Institute was established on 1st May 1988 and incorporated on the 6th May 1996, to provide a part to a recognized professional qualification in accounts of international standard which would be open to all solely based on education and ability. Their headquarter is Kaduna state and their website is icpan.org.ng
They are a fairly new body that joined the ICAN and ANAN to regulate the activities of accountants in Nigeria. They serve as an organization for accounting officers, treasurers and financial officers in government ministries, parastatals, corporations, local governments and other bodies.
There are international bodies you could become a member of, for example, ACCA, CIMA, CPD, if you decide to work outside the country with your accounts degree.
It is not every accountant you meet that will have this qualification, however, if you do meet one then that means that they are a trained accountant.
There are quite a few differences between an ICPAN member and an accountant that has no specific qualifications. The most common differences are:
- A member has to meet specific educational and experience requirements; and
- A member must pass specific examinations before they can become qualified – accountants with no membership in a professional organization often may not have completed any accounts-specific exams.
Having an ICPAN qualification can also be helpful in your future career as a Nigerian accountant who wants to compete in the industry. You could choose to work in the accounts industry with this certification.
If are having difficulties with any course in accounts, use the website www.Superprof.ng to contact any of our accounts tutor for quality mentorship and tutoring.
What Is The ICPAN Examination About?
The ICPAN examination is open to candidates with a Bachelor’ of Science Degree in Accounting, HND Accounts or it's 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 examination is held twice a year usually in June and December.
The exam is in four levels:
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
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
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
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 definitely worth spending ample time revising and preparing for the exams if you do decide to pursue this qualification. Although it may mean that you have to juggle a variety of commitments, whether they relate to your social life, work-life, or home life, the best chance you can give yourself to pass the exam is to ensure that you have spent enough time going through and understanding the material. Go through past questions and hire a tutor if you think you might need some help.
To cater for the middle cadre of Professional Accountants in the public service of the Nigerian economy, the Institute has designed a programme known as the Certified Diploma Scheme for School Certificate and Ordinary National Diploma holders who are unable to possess the required qualification to pursue the professional level of the Institute’s examinations. This scheme leads to the award of a Diploma in Accounting and Finance. The examination date is usually in April and October of each year.
Eligibility for the Certified Diploma Scheme
- West African School Certificate (WASC) or equivalent in at least 5 papers including English Language and Mathematics, or Accounting on the credit level
- R.S.A or equivalents
- Ordinary National Diploma In Accounts.
The exam is in three parts:
1. Principles of Accounting
3. Business Mathematics & Statistics
4. Introduction to Business Management
5. Law 1
1. General Studies
2. Public Accounting
3. Principles of Taxation
4. Public Administration
5. Auditing 1
6. Introduction to Computer and MIS (Data Processing)
2. Business Law
3. Public Accounting 11
4. Taxation and Tax Management
5. Auditing Practice
6. Research Methods/Project
The examination fee is reviewed from time to time and the information can be gotten from their website.
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 experience requirements. It’s very common to have to meet a combination of the exam, work experience, and education requirements before you can qualify and become a member of a recognised accounting association, and so in that sense, ICPAN membership requirements are very similar to what you may expect if you wanted to become, for example, a member of the ICAN.
Their membership strength is over 7,036 and they are spread across the country. Their members are reputable accountants holding enviable positions in the Federal, state government ministries, parastatals and local government, corporate organizations and institutions of higher learning, both public and private.
There are two main classes of membership of the Institute, namely Certified Public Accountants and Graduate Public Accountants. Persons admitted as members of the Institute shall be designated as Associates and Fellows. Membership is designated by the use of the letters FCPA for fellow and CPA for an associate.
A Nigerian national, or citizen who is a member of any of the following professional accountancy bodies with at least two years of relevant practical experience can be admitted membership of the Institute.
- The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
- The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland
- The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland
- The Chartered Association of Certified Accountants
- The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants
- The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
- The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Ireland
- Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, UK
- Any other reputable foreign and local Accounts body in Nigeria that may be approved from time to time
- Holders of a First degree or HND or postgraduate degree in Accounts from a reputable University or Polytechnic in Nigeria
Who Should Consider Taking The ICPAN Examination?
If you are looking to pursue a career in accounting, then you may have one way or the other heard of the ICPAN qualification.
Whether you should take the examination is a question of your own personal circumstances and where you would love to be career-wise in the future.
Where Do You See Your Career Taking You?
This certification is highly recognised in the accounting industry in the country. It is a boost to your resume and it also gives you an edge in the accounts labour market. It is also highly regarded when it comes to proving your skills and advancing your career prospects.
The other thing to note is that, while the ICPAN, ACCA, ICAN, and other accounts qualifications are often associated with just the accountancy profession, the fact is that these qualifications can be helpful in the wider areas of accounting and business. The point to note is that having this qualification is a great way to highlight that you are well-versed in matters relating to accounting, such as accounting standards, but that you are also able to utilise these skills and your credentials within areas aside from pure accounting.
Don't Be Afraid To Ask For Advice
Ultimately, the choice of which accounts qualification to pursue is yours to make. If you need further advice, it’s always a good idea to reach out to an expert in the industry to give you proper advice and experience information of the various qualifications and see what their opinion is on whether you should sit for it.
Students can discuss with a careers counsellor at their school or university. This will give you a chance to have a talk on your career aspirations, and hopefully find some clarity over which qualification is right for you.
If you do decide to sit for ICPAN or think that it’s something that you’d desire to pursue in the future, it may be worthwhile trying to develop the core skills that successfully certified accountants need in their working life.
Some of these skills are:
- Good communication and interpersonal skills;
- A strong analytical mindset;
- Knowledge of up-and-coming technologies that might impact the accounting or auditing industry; and
- An understanding of the financial, audit, and accounts aspects of a business.
Any future accountant should also ensure that their numerical skills are strong. If you feel you would need some extra help to advance your mathematical knowledge, or would desire to learn more about business studies and economics generally, then you could reach out to an accounting tutor near me at www.Superprof.ng for personalised lessons designed to help students achieve the learning outcome they require and desire.