ICAN vs ACCA – Which one Should I go For ?

ICAN vs ACCA – Which one Should I go For ? Students and fresh graduates of Accounting are usually confused when they get to the stage of choosing the best professional certifications. What qualifications are better for me? What qualifications would offer me the best opportunities?

After a few conaiderations and ask arounds, most end up with the dilemma of ICAN Vs ACCA.  In this post, we will compare and contrast ICAN vs ACCA with the aim to help you make an informed decision on which one to choose.You will get a better understanding as you read on.

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ICAN vs ACCA Certifications

ICAN and ACCA are two different professional accounting bodies. ICAN is recognized in most parts of West Africa and around the world as Nigeria’s professional Accounting body (although ANAN is also present, but it is not as prestigious as ICAN)

ICAN – Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria
ACCA– Association of Chartered Certified Accountants

ACCA is more globally recognized, although it is primarily UK based. The ICAEW is the professional Accounting body for England and Wales, as the name presupposes.

Still, ICAN is recognized in Nigeria and West Africa, and even the world, as Nigeria’s professional Accounting Body. This means that if you do not have the resources to write ACCA examinations just yet, you should immediately start with ICAN exams. Also, with ICAN qualification, you will get some exemptions if ypu finally have the resources to embark on the ACCA journey.

Before we go into ICAN and ACCA cost comparisons, I would like to first give some basic information about ICAN.

Basic information about ICAN

1. You do NOT have to be an Accounting graduate to wrote ICAN exams. If you are a graduate of economics or other related courses, you will still get some exemptions.

2. You can start ATS examinations. The ATS certificate is as good as an Accounting BSc. It gives ypu similar exemptions.

3. ICAN is no longer fail one fail all.

4. Ypu have a given period to complete your ATS programme or you will forfeit your progress so far.

5. After you are Inducted into ATSWA, you automatically become liable to pay subscriptions yearly. Note that you also will be paying subscriptions yearly as a student.

6. You automatically become liable to pay subscriptions yearly immediately you register for ICAN exams.

7. ICAN has scholarship programmes for the best students in a particular diet, vest graduating students from their institutions, and best students in year one.

8. Now you can decide not to write all the papers in a diet at once. However you must write a minimum of 2 papers.

9. 50% is the pass mark.

10. You get study packs immediately you pat your exam fees.

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How to Qualify for ICAN

To be qualified to register for ICAN, you should have a BSc. or its equivalent, talking from the Nigerian perspective, although higher qualifications will guarantee more exemptions. Exemptions are papers that you are excluded from writing because it is believed that you have passed similar courses to get your present qualification.

Most people get to register for ICAN using either of these two results─ Bsc. or ATS certificate.
The ATS certificate is got after you must have completed all three stages of the Association of Accounting Technicians Scheme, West Africa (ATSWA) examinations.

I will be doing my comparison using BSc. However, before Bsc. can be used, the institution must have been accredited by ICAN. If not, ATS is an alternative. I won’t go into much detail, but the ATS exams are in three stages which must be passed one at a time.

The rough estimate of the cost of the registration, subscription and examinations is just about N 150,000, and lectures could take up to N120, 000 or more, depending on the lecture centre. Note that lectures fees are not going to ICAN. So, lectures are not compulsory.

The estimates are for the three stages.
Also note that induction into the Association of Accounting Technicians body might cost from N60,000 to N100,000. This cost is not solely for the induction, but other outstanding amounts that might have accrued.

ICAN vs ACCA cost comparisons

Registration fee 7,000
Exemption 53,000
(All papers in foundation level
And 2 papers in skills)
Skills level Exams 50,000
Professional Level Exams 63,000
Subscription 8,000
(Subscription is paid yearly)

Also, if you choose to go through with the ACCA examinations, instead of ICAN, after you have secured the certificate, you only need to write 3 papers and you will be given exemptions in all the rest, to get your ICAN certificate. You will be exempted from all the papers except Business Law, Public Sector Accounting and Finance and Advanced Taxation. These three papers are in Foundation, Skills and Professional levels respectively.

Hence, the cost to write ICAN exams with ACCA is
Exemptions (All except 3) 109,500
Business Law 8,000
Public Sector Accounting 15,000
Advanced Taxation 15,000
Subscription 8,000

(NB: Not all the figures are precise amounts. Some have been rounded up, others estimated.)

If you are using ATS certificate, you will still pay exemptions of N53,000 like using Bsc.

This is the cost breakdown for writing ACCA exams
Initial Registration 32
Re-registration 79
Subscription (Yearly) 90 (average)
Exemption 360

(You are allowed a total of 9 exemptions, nothing more. There are no exemptions in professional stage. Exemptions from knowledge level exams cost £36; Skills level exam exemptions cost £45. I used an average of £40 and multiplied by 9 to get the exemption value.)
There is early entry and late entry for an examination. The time of entry is measured by when payment for the exams is made. Early entry is much cheaper. Late entry is incredibly expensive. There is also standard entry, which is the standard price or amount.

Knowledge exams

September early entry 72
Standard entry 76
Late entry 231
December early entry 72
Standard entry 76
Late entry 231

Skills exams

December early entry 97
Standard entry 102
Late entry 261
March early entry 97
Standard entry 102
Late entry 261

Professional exams

December early entry 121
Standard entry 128
Late entry 289
March early entry 121
Standard entry 128
Late entry 289

The present British Pounds to Naira conversion rate
1 British Pound = 450 Naira

Read Also: 6 Tips to Pass ICAN Exams in Nigeria at First Sitting

My Advice!

There is in fact no doubt that ACCA is more expensive due to the foreign exchange differences and the prestigious nature of the qualification. However, I would advise that if you have the resources and time, you should pick ACCA. This is because with the ACCA qualification, getting ICAN is relatively easy.

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