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How To Register For ICAN Exam, The Cost, Numbers Of Papers To Write And Period

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Institute Of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, ICAN, is the most recognized Accounting professional body in Nigeria. It is widely recognized with his resourceful qualified professional members and students that are still on the process of becoming chartered Accountants.


In practice, you are not yet an accountant until you sit for ICAN or other accounting professional examinations and passed all the prescribed examinations, then, been inducted by the authority of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAN) of Nigeria before you get a professional license to practice.

Why Do I Need To Be A Chartered Accountant?

Overtime, the profession of Accounting has been known as one of the most reputable professions in the world. Due to so many reasons. Apart from it been a recognized profession, it is also a profession in which you can be a self employed. That is the beauty of an accountant.

1. Global Recognition: With your accounting professional qualification, you can work anywhere as an accountant. You don’t need to be tied down in a particular country because you felt your B.Sc or HND would not be accepted in another countries.

With accounting professional certification, you can practice anywhere and be recognized. No other career offers the mobility that a Chartered Accountancy’s qualification does. Is that not good enough?

2. Self Employ-ability: This is self explanatory. Chartered Accountants generally have a solid foundation in economics, marketing and management information systems. In recent, Accountants  take on the role of a business advisor, aimed at driving business, improving profit margins and increasing market share for their clients/employers.

Many Chartered Accountants also use their expertise to form their own businesses, becoming highly successful entrepreneurs.

The above points are just few among other reasons why you must be a Chartered Accountant. I will like to stop here, because that’s actually not the reason for this post.

Read: List Of Accredited ICAN Center In South West Nigeria

Who Can Be A Chartered Accountant In Nigeria?

I want to be a chartered accountant but I studied Economics, Yoruba, IRS, Chemistry or some other courses entirely different from accountancy. Can I become a chartered accountant while am not an accounting student? Where will I start?Most of  these questions will not stop coming from people who want to be a chartered but don’t know how to go about it.

Let me first of all answer the question of who can be a chartered accountant.

The answer is ANYBODY.


Yes anybody can be a chartered accountant including you.

Even medical doctors, lawyers, engineers, Islamists, Scientists, Technologists, I mean anybody who is interested. Even if you only have WAEC, NECO, NAPTEB or any other O’ level certificate.

Is that not good and simple enough?

So Now that You’ve Decided To Join And become A Chartered accountant, all you need to do is to read on and let me tell you what to do next.

How To Become A Chartered Accountant In Nigeria?

This is simple. To become a chartered accountant in Nigeria, it is not a must that you study accounting in the university or polytechnics. To become a chartered accountant, you just need to write ICAN or other recognized Accounting Professional examinations in Nigeria.

Though, this post is about ICAN and ICAN alone. So I won’t bother you with other professional bodies with this post. Is that cool?

Also am not to talk about people with less than first degree or HND, Am not talking of registration procedures for ATS here. Only for those who has graduated and want to become a chartered accountant in order not to mixed things up.

How To Registered For ICAN Professional Examination?

I will make this very simple enough for you to understand. In order not to confuse you, I will separate this session into two:  ICAN registration procedures for non accounting graduate/students, and Ican registration for accounting graduates/students.

But for the group, the registration requirements are the same. So either you are an accounting students or not.

ICAN Registration requirements are as below:

The Council has accepted the following qualifications for the purpose of entry requirements:

1. The degree of any University or Higher National Diploma of any Polytechnic accredited by ICAN.

2. O’level result with five credits passes

3. Passport Photograph

If you meet up with all of the above requirements, then you can quickly start your ICAN Registration following the below steps:

Note: This has nothing to do with your degree/HND’s grade… Whether first class or third class, distinction or upper, lower, pass. Every graduate is qualified

Read: List Of Accredited ICAN Center In South East Nigeria

Steps To Register Yourself For ICAN

1. Obtain PIN voucher from Zenith/Fidelity Bank

2. Use the information on the PIN voucher to log-on ICAN website that would be written on the voucher you bought from the bank.

3. Click on to Students’ Professional Registration and fill your data on the  form.

4. Obtain a coloured passport photograph of yourself, scan the passport photograph on the form.

5. Click twice on submits to submit the application on-line.

6. Print out a copy of the application form.

7. Append your signature

8. Geta chartered accountant as your referee/sponsor.

9. Provide his/her membership number, name and phone number.

10. Take the printed copy of the completed application form and the photocopy of your credentials to your Referee/Sponsor for certification.

Attach the following:

  • Original copy of the pin voucher
  • Two copies of signed/certified passport
  • Original copy of the bank teller
  • Completed filled form on net

Package everything and send it down to ICAN head office in Lagos for consideration. The council will seat and consider your application. If your application is been granted, then you will be granted a student registration number. Which will always serve as your log in details and you will print out your registration certificate online.

The ICAN Council reserves the right to grant or refuse any application or to terminate the registration of a student. Applicants must comply with the conditions set forth and must pay the registration fee in force at the date of application. If the application to register is unsuccessful, the registration fee is not refundable.

After the registration, ICAN may not contact you to inform you of your registration status. You need to keep checking their website or call their customer care to confirm. I made the mistake of waiting for too long during my registration.

I was expecting a mail or call from their head office, but they never contacted me. Until I called their customer care who told me to check their website that I have been successfully registered.

Let assumed Your Registration has been successful.

If You Are A Non Accounting Students Who want To Write ICAN.

you will start from Foundation. This means that you must pass through three stages to complete your professional career. The stages are:

1. Foundation: You will write Five(5) papers at this stage

2. Skills: You will write 6 papers here

3. Professional: You will be required to write five papers here too.

Read: List Of Accredited ICAN Center In Northern Nigeria

After this, you are done.

If You Are An Accounting Graduate In Nigeria Who want To Write ICAN

Your own is just two stages and you are not going to write more than 9 papers to become a chartered accountant. The two stages are:

1 Skills: Four paper

2. Professional: Five papers. That’s all.

For you to write only nine papers, you will have to apply for exemption.

The application for ICAN exemption is as simple as:

1. Go to ICAN Website under students and click on ‘pay for exemption’

2. Fill the necessary form online and click on ‘Pay button’

3. Make payment with your ATM card

4. Print Out Your receipt and exemption form.

5. Get a chartered accountant to sign your exemption form with all your documents

6. Attach all with your passport and send it to ICAN Head office in Lagos.

7. If your exemption is approved, they will remove all courses and leave you with only nine. Four at skills level, five at a professional level.


How Much Will It Cost You To Write ICAN And Complete It (rough estimate)

It all depends on the level you started and how expensive the tutorial center you attended is. The tutorial I used to attend was N30000 per diet. So for two diets, it means 60k.

Then exemption fee was N54, 500 or so. Registration and the stress up and down was N7400 paid in zenith bank to buy ICAN Voucher at the start of the registration.

I bought so many materials despite the fact that  was an accounting student in school with many textbooks, I still bought all the ICAN Parks and pathfinders. Let say all cost N25,000.

Then you will pay for the examination fee in each diet. Which can roughly be estimated to N100,000 for both skills and professional exams. Also foundation will cost you additional 40k for non accounting students.

You will also pay yearly subscription of N4000 which may change as ICAN decides. Depends on the numbers of years it takes you to complete it. Plus another N2000 fee which is payable only once not yearly.

What all these rough estimate means is that it will cost you more as a non accounting student to write ICAN than accounting students.

How Many Papers Do I Write In Each ICAN Stages?

After knowing the rough estimate of what it will cost you to run an ICAN program in Nigeria, it is also important to know how many papers a graduate will write to become a chartered accountant for both accounting and none accounting graduates alike:

Accounting GraduateS: Your exam is at two stages, skills and professional levels, below are the courses to offer:

Skills Level:
B1. Financial Reporting
B4. Performance Management
B5. Public Sector Accounting and Finance
B6. Management, Governance and Ethics

Professional Level
C1. Corporate Reporting
C2. Advanced Audit and Assurance
C3. Strategic Financial Management
C4. Advanced Taxation
C5. Case Study

All these can be written in just two diet. That’s a year. All depends on you.


ICAN Papers For Non- Accounting Graduates

Your exam is in three stages, below are the papers to write as a non-accounting graduate who is interested in ICAN Exam in Nigeria:

Foundation Level
A1. Quantitative Techniques in Business
A2. Business and Finance
A3. Financial Accounting
A4. Management Information
A5. Business Law

Skills 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
C1. Corporate Reporting
C2. Advanced Audit and Assurance
C3. Strategic Financial Management
C4. Advanced Taxation
C5. Case Study

All these can be completed within a year and half which is three diets.

How Long Will It Take You To Write ICAN?

You may want to know how many years would it take you to complete ICAN Professional Exam and become a chartered accountant in Nigeria.

It depends on how serious you are about it and how fast you are able to pass the prescribed exams. But the minimum time you can use to complete your ICAN Exam is one year for accounting student. Non Accounting students is one and half year.

Exam is every May and November in a year. The arrangement is that, you will write one stage in one diet. If you are able to pass all, then you can move to the next stage.

The maximum period to write your exam is 10years. If not, ICAN will withdraw the studentship of such student.

How To Get ICAN First Class Scholarship (DIAMOND)

The Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria (ICAN) Diamond Scholarship is for First Class/Distinction graduates of Institutions with ICAN – Accredited Accounting programme, irrespective of the discipline or course of study.The condition for qualifying for this scholarship is that candidate must:

  • be a first class/distinction graduate of any discipline in an ICAN accredited Institution.
  • must be a registered professional student of the Institute.
  • must have claimed required exemptions

If after meeting up with this, candidates must apply for the scholarship  by following the procedures below

1. Candidates must apply for the scholarship through the Registrar/Chief Executive of ICAN

2. Candidates need obtain a recommendation letter from the Head of Department of his/her institution.

3. Such candidate must show proof of studentship of ICAN i.e must have registered as an ICAN student.

4. The candidate must have gotten exemption and  show proof of exemption, where applicable.

5. Candidate must obtain the recommendation of the ICAN District Society in his/her locality

NOTE: ICAN first class scholarship (DIAMOND)  only shall covers Examination fees, Professional examinations study packs and tuition fees per beneficiary. The Institute will pay for each level of the examination ONLY once. Therefore, in case you are first class student and interested, kindly apply immediately.

What else do you need to know about ICAN?

Ask me now

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