The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, or ICAN, is the premier accounting body in Nigeria. Becoming an ICAN-certified accountant can open up a world of opportunities. But before you can add those prestigious letters after your name, you’ve got some work to do. The process to become an ICAN member involves several steps from registration to final certification.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about ICAN, from registration to requirements and setup. By the end of this article, you’ll be equipped with information about how to become a chartered accountant in Nigeria.
What Does ICAN Mean?
ICAN stands for Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria. It is the professional body for accountants in Nigeria. ICAN is one of two professional accounting bodies that have regulatory authority in Nigeria. The other is the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN). The relationship between the two bodies has been strained. In 2007, ICAN attempted to have a bill declaring ANAN null and void.
History of ICAN
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) was established on September 1, 1965, by Act of Parliament No. 15, from existing accounting and auditing organizations, notably the AAN, and is based in Lagos. ICAN has more than 60,000 members as of 2023. It has the dual role of regulating and developing the accountancy profession in Nigeria.
ICAN regulates and develops the accountancy profession in Nigeria through education, training, examinations, and continuous professional development. An ICAN qualification is a prestigious professional credential recognized globally.
Who Is Eligible For ICAN Certification?
To be eligible for ICAN certification, you must meet the following requirements:
You must possess a minimum of a first degree from a recognized university or college of higher education in any discipline, regardless of your class of degree. You must also have the following documents in place before you apply for the ICAN:
- A degree certificate from a university or an HND certificate from a polytechnic.
- An O’level result with credits in 5 subjects.
- A Passport photograph
Types of ICAN Examination (ICAN Professional Stages & Courses)
ICAN conducts three major levels of examination, namely;
Stages for Accounting Graduates
Pure Accounting graduates would go through two stages of examination, which are the skill level and the professional level. The Courses under each level are:
- A1.Financial Reporting
- A2.Performance Management
- A3.Public Sector Accounting and Finance
- A4.Management, Governance, and Ethics
- B1.Corporate Reporting
- B2.Advanced Audit and Assurance
- B3.Strategic Financial Management
- B4.Advanced Taxation
- B5.Case Study
Stages For Non-accounting Graduates
Non-accounting graduates will write the examinations in three stages. Which are Foundation, Skills, and Professional.
- E1.Quantitative Techniques in Business
- E2.Business and Finance
- E3.Financial Accounting
- E4.Management Information System
- E5.Business Law
- F1.Financial Reporting
- F2.Audit and Assurance
- F4.Performance Management
- F5.Public Sector Accounting and Finance
- F6.Management, Governance, and Ethics
- G1.Corporate Reporting
- G2.Advanced Audit and Assurance
- G3.Strategic Financial Management
- G4.Advanced Taxation
- G5.Case Study
Educational Accounting graduates will begin at the Foundation level rather than the Skills level. Still, they will write only one course (Management Information System) and will be exempted from the remaining four courses if they pay the exemption fee. If the student does not fail any examinations, ICAN professional courses for non-accounting graduates can be completed in about 18 months. Passing all levels of the exam is required to become a chartered accountant.
ICAN Registration & Requirements
To register as a student member of ICAN, you’ll need to provide some key documents:
For Professional students
- University degree certificate or Higher National Diploma of any Polytechnic accredited by the Council.
- Any other qualification for the time being approved by the Council.
For Accounting Technicians Scheme of West Africa (ATSWA) Students
According to ICAN’s official website, ATSWA students are to submit the following:
- Five (5) credit passes in any subject including English Language and Mathematics in the West Africa School Certificate Examination, General Certificate of Education or Senior School Certificate of Education, NECO equivalent not more than two sittings, or NABTEB.
- National Certificate in Education (NCE) from any College of Education.
- Ordinary National Diploma from any Polytechnic recognized by the Council of the Institute.
How to Register For ICAN As A Professional Student
To register as a professional student with the Institute, an applicant must hold a qualification equal to a university degree or higher.
The following is a step-by-step guide to registering for ICAN as a professional student:
- Pay a professional examination registration fee is ₦7,000 (bank charges not included) by paying directly at any commercial bank in Nigeria, WebPAY, or Quickteller on the ICAN website.
- After payment, use the transaction reference and receipt number to complete your form online on the ICAN website. Applicants can continue their registration by clicking on the link: http://icanig.org/RPlogin.php
- Get a colored passport photograph of yourself. Scan it and add itto the registration form. Then click on submit after completing the form.
- Print out the completed form and sign it.
- Find a chartered accountant sponsor/referee to endorse & certify your application form and credentials on completion. Also, provide their name, membership number, and contact information.
- Without a copy of your WASC certificate, the PIN voucher, two certified passport photographs, three empty envelopes with your address and a 50 stamp on each, a copy of your birth certificate, and the original of the bank teller, your application will be incomplete.
- To ensure you are well prepared for your ICAN exam, you need to go through the ICAN past questions and answers.
Eligible applicants must attach the following documents to their applications and submit hard copies to any ICAN office near them:
- The original pay direct receipt/transaction reference
- Photocopies of your credentials and educational qualifications, as well as any of the following: (NYSC discharge certificate, call-up letter, or students’ academic transcripts). Transcripts should be addressed to the Institute’s Registrar/Chief Executive.
- Two passport photos with certification.
- Three blank envelopes with your address and an N50 stamp on each.
- Your registration is now completed. You can also check your Exam/Financial Status on the page by clicking here.
If you have any other questions or problems regarding the registration process, don’t hesitate to send an email to email@example.com.
How To Register For ICAN As An ASTWA Student
The Accounting Technicians Scheme of West Africa curriculum is structured into three sections, each with four (4) subjects. ICAN issues the AAT certificate after passing the ATSWA examinations.
Furthermore, for those with an ordinary level certificate, the examination of the three levels takes at least 15 months. For those with a higher certificate but not a degree certificate, it takes 6 to 12 months. The exam is held just twice a year, in March and September.
Here’s how to register for the ICAN as an ASTWA student:
- The ATSWA registration fee is ₦6000 (bank charges not included). It can be paid directly at any commercial bank in Nigeria or via WEB-PAY or QUICK-TELLER on the ICAN website.
- To generate your PIN and SERIAL NUMBER, enter the transaction reference and receipt number.
- Make a colored passport photo of yourself. Scan it and enter the information into the registration form. After you’ve finished filling out the form, click the submit button.
- Print and sign the completed form.
- Locate a chartered accountant or an Associate Accounting Technician (AAT) sponsor/referee to endorse and certify your completed application form and credentials. Please include their name, membership number, and contact information as well.
You are expected to attach the documents below and return hard copies to any of their offices.
- The original pay direct receipt/transaction reference.
- Certified photocopies of your credentials, if applicable (NECO, WASCE, NABTEB, OND, NCE)
- A duplicate of your birth certificate.
- Two passport photos with certification.
- Three blank envelopes with your address and a N50 stamp on each.
To become an ICAN member, you need to meet certain requirements and go through a registration process.
First, you must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university, as well as 3 years of work experience in accounting. You will also need to have sat and passed all ICAN’s entry exams, which cover core accounting topics.
Once you meet the eligibility criteria, you can begin the registration process on ICAN’s website. You will need to provide personal information, upload supporting documents, and pay an induction fee. Your application will be reviewed, and if approved, you can proceed to the next steps.
Here’s how to register to become a member of ICAN:
- Visit any commercial bank in Nigeria and pay the Induction fee of N100,000.
- Get a receipt for your payment and go to the ICAN website through the link: http://www.icanonline-ngr.com/paydirect to start the registration.
- Fill in the required fields with your deposit slip and receipt numbers to generate your PIN and serial numbers.
- Enter your Student Registration Number, serial number, and PIN on the registration page.
- Complete the form and upload a passport-sized photo of yourself, then submit your application.
- After that, print the form and have your referees sign it.
- Please attach the documents found at this link.
- Send the completed form and proof of payment to ICAN at Plot 16, Idowu Taylor Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, or any ICAN office near you.
How Much Does ICAN Cost in Nigeria?
Registering as an ICAN student and becoming a chartered accountant in Nigeria requires paying certain fees. The total cost will depend on factors like the level you are registering for and whether you have any exemptions.
Additional costs may include study materials, transportation to exam centers, and accommodation. The total cost to become an ICAN chartered accountant in Nigeria can range from ₦300,000 to ₦1 million or more, depending on a number of factors. Financial assistance and student sponsorships are available for eligible candidates. To access the grants, you need to fill out the ICAN application form for grants and submit it. If you wish to opt for the loan, you can do so by filling out the ICAN application loan form.
Types of Scholarship Available for ICAN Graduates & Students
The Institute of Chartered Accountants has implemented a strategy to make the accountancy profession more appealing to the brightest youths from any academic discipline by instituting a scholarship scheme for outstanding students of institutions whose Accounting/Accountancy programs are accredited by ICAN.
The grant covers examination expenses, study materials, and tuition fees up to N60,000.00. It will continue as long as the student does not fail any level of the examinations.
Here are the types of Scholarship available:
The Diamond Scholarship is for First Class/Distinction graduates of ICAN-Accredited Institutions, irrespective of the discipline or course of study, to write the Professional Examinations of the Institute.
The Gold scholarship is for the Best Graduating Student of an ICAN accredited Accounting/Accountancy program for the professional examination level.
The Silver Scholarship is for the following category of students:
- Best student in year one of any ICAN-accredited Accounting/Accountancy program in tertiary institutions to write the ATSWA Examination.
- The best overall student in the final level of ATSWA proceeding to the Professional level.
To qualify for the scheme, you have to:
- Be a registered student of the Institute (ATSWA or Professional)
- Claim necessary exemption
Requirements for the application are:
- Application letter
- Recommendation letter from your school
- Recommendation letter from ICAN District Society
- B.Sc/HND result
To access more information on ICAN, registration, requirements, membership, fee renewal, management, offices, programs, and conferences, visit any of the links below:
- Professional students, click: http://icanig.org/new/students/professional-students
- ATSWA students, click: http://icanig.org/new/students/atswa-students
Recognized ICAN Tuition Centers | Tutorial Centers
ICAN tuition centers are available to help you study for your examinations. At these ICAN tutorial centers, they will teach you about ICAN’s dos and don’ts, registration, examinations, and how to answer questions. They are in charge of the recognition/re-recognition process as an institute, which includes examining the facilities and quality of tuition delivery at all recognized and new tuition centers.
To see a list of recognized tuition centers near you, as well as their address, email, and other contact information, click this LINK.
What are the Benefits of an ICAN-certified chartered accountant?
As an ICAN-certified chartered accountant, you will enjoy several benefits, which include the following:
- Increased career opportunities: The ICAN certification is recognized worldwide, opening doors to top accounting jobs.
- Higher salary potential: On average, ICAN chartered accountants earn 15-30% more than non-certified accountants.
- Stronger industry knowledge and skills: The rigorous ICAN program provides comprehensive training in areas like auditing, taxation, financial reporting, management accounting, and business finance.
- Greater credibility and prestige: The ICAN designation is a mark of excellence that signifies your advanced expertise and competence. Clients and employers will recognize you as a highly qualified professional.
- Valuable networking: ICAN offers opportunities to connect with other chartered accountants through local chapter events and an online community. Build strategic relationships that can lead to mentorship, job referrals, client leads, and collaboration.
- Lifelong learning: ICAN requires members to complete annual continuing education to stay up-to-date with standards and best practices. You will enhance your knowledge and skills throughout your career.
- Ethical standards: ICAN members must adhere to a strict code of ethics. This helps ensure that chartered accountants provide the highest quality of service to clients and the public good.
Frequently Asked Questions About ICAN Registration
Have some lingering questions about the ICAN registration process? Here are some common FAQs to help put you at ease:
Is the ICAN program difficult to pass?
ICAN is challenging to pass with a low pass rate. However, with hard work, determination, and effective studying, many candidates are able to pass all Examinations and become chartered accountants.
What qualifications does ICAN offer?
ICAN offers the Chartered Accountant (CA) designation. To become a CA, you must complete the ICAN program, pass all examinations, and meet the practical experience requirement.
How many professional exams are there?
Individuals seeking the ICAN CA qualification must study and demonstrate mastery of accounting, analytical, and decision-making skills required in today’s fast-changing and competitive workplace by passing the Institute’s rigorous, three-level professional examinations, which are held twice a year.
What is the pass mark for each ICAN exam?
You need to score at least 50% to pass an ICAN exam.
How long does the ICAN program take to complete?
Certain qualifications can be obtained in as short as six months, twelve months (for accounting graduates), and eighteen months (for non-accounting graduates) to become an Associate Chartered Accountant (ACA) with ICAN.
How do I prepare for the ICAN exams?
The key to preparing for ICAN exams is practicing many past questions. ICAN publishes past questions and answers on their website and also in study texts. Work through as many as possible to get familiar with the format, content, and style of questions.
So there you have it, a complete walkthrough of the ICAN registration process. While it may seem daunting at first glance with all the documents to provide and fees to pay, taking it step by step will make it much more manageable. Stay organized, follow the guidelines carefully, and before you know it, you’ll have your ICAN registration number in hand.
Once registered, you’ll have access to all the resources and support ICAN offers to help you in your accounting career. Though the road ahead in your studies and career may still be long, getting registered is an important first milestone. Now get out there, finish your registration, and start this exciting new chapter in your journey to becoming a chartered accountant.