Accounting is definitely one of the most respected careers in Nigeria, considering the criteria involved in getting the professional tag as an accountant. Becoming a certified accountant is not an unachievable task, as there are recognized accounting bodies in Nigeria that conduct examinations, give licenses, and induct qualified candidates. Without a doubt, there is no short route to becoming a chartered accountant.
As expected of a professional career, there are accounting regulatory bodies in Nigeria that serve the purpose of producing accountants worth employing in companies and organizations to handle accounts, manage accounts, audit accounts, and also provide professional accounting advice.
However, lots of people think there are only two legally recognized accounting bodies in Nigeria. On the contrary, there are three professional accounting bodies in Nigeria and they are recognized by law through an act of parliament. Therefore, when you think of the question, “How many professional accounting bodies are there in Nigeria?” be certain it is not just two.
Below is the list of accounting bodies in Nigeria:
- Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN)
- Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN)
- Chartered Institute of Management Accountants of Nigeria (CIMA)
- Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Nigeria (ICPAN)
- Chartered Institute of Cost and Management Accountants (CICMA)
Also, there is a globally recognized accountancy body whose certificate is acceptable in some firms in Nigeria, and that is the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA).
Now that you can identify the various accounting bodies in Nigeria, it is important to know the details about them;
Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN):
This is the first and most popular accounting body in Nigeria, which was, at its early stage, known as the Association of Accountants in Nigeria (AAN). It was established on September 1st, 1965 by a parliament act and it included all existing accounting associations that were available at that time, making it a large body in charge of accounting practices in the country.
Being the first of all accounting professional bodies in Nigeria, getting certified by the body commands respect and paves the way to getting employed in reputable companies. However, it entails a lot of requirements and fees to be paid at each step, like the registration fee and ICAN exam fee, and you need to pass the examination excellently before getting inducted as a chartered accountant. Most employers request ICAN-certified accountants to work in their firms.
ICAN is also a member of the International Accounting Standards Committee and the International Financial Reporting Standards and is recognized as the leading regulatory body for account practices in Nigeria.
Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN)
This, as listed above, is one of the professional accounting bodies in Nigeria that is apparently as important as ICAN. It was founded on January 1st, 1979, incorporated on September 28th, 1983, and after ten years, precisely on August 25th, 1993, it became chartered by Decree 76 of 1993.
To be a bonafide member of ANAN, you are expected to register for academic studies and spend a year at the ANAN College of Accountancy, after which you will take a two-year training program that will prepare you to become a Certified National Accountant.
The accounting body, which is a part of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria and is in charge of establishing accounting standards within the country, became a member of the Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria in the year 2010. The body is also a member of the International Association for Accounting Education & Research, a body in charge of the education of accountants internationally.
Chartered Institute of Management Accountants of Nigeria (CIMA):
This professional accounting body was established in 1977 and registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 1985. It was finally incorporated in 1989. The Bill Act for the establishment of CIMA was then passed by the National Assembly on November 4th, 2010.
Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Nigeria (ICPAN)
It has nationwide membership mainly among civil servants. It was established in May 1988 and became incorporated on May 6, 1996, after registering with the CAC.
Chartered Institute of Cost and Management Accountants (CICMA)
Formerly known as the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants, it is regarded as the leading provider of professional training and certification in cost and management accounting in Nigeria and around the world. CICMA is approved by the Federal Ministry of Education and recognized by the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria.
Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA)
This is a London-based accounting body whose certificates are accepted globally. Although it is not officially recognized in Nigeria, some employers still accept accountants with ACCA certificates.
Summarily, the major function of accounting bodies in Nigeria is to educate and set standards meant to be followed by those in the accounting profession.