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Thursday, 23 July 2015


The debate has been raging on for years. Which is better? ACCA or ICAN? Let us consider this topic under six sub-headings.

1. Prestige/Recognition: ACCA is recognised all over the world except in a few countries like canada and the US. ICAN is more recognised than ACCA in Nigeria. ICAN is preferred in the Nigerian setting. You could settle for ICAN if you do not pan to work outside Nigeria, most especially if you have plans of setting up your own consultancy firm. Only people that qualified with ICAN are allowed by law to practise in Nigeria.

2. Cost: ACCA is far more expensive than ICAN. The current exchange rate is not helping matters. Each ACCA paper now goes for about 32K!!!. ICAN is relatively cheaper. The annual subscription for ACCA is now about 30K for students and 70K for members. ICAN is definitely preferable in terms of cost.

3.Flexibility/Results: ACCA exams are more flexible. They have increased the number of sittings in a year to 4(March, June, September and December). ICAN exams are written in only May and November. ACCA students already know the date results would be released even before writing the exams, while ICAN students need to speculate. ACCA is far more organised in this regard.

4. Entry Point: Non accounting graduates start ACCA from the scratch. Accounting graduates are given exemptions in four papers. Non-accounting students also start ICAN from the scratch except for some courses that get exemption in paper A1(Quantitative techniques in business). People that qualified under ICAN need to write 5 papers under ACCA, while ACCA peeps need to write only advanced taxation, business law and PSAF.

5. Venue for Exams: ACCA is written in only major cities in Nigeria while ICAN is written in almost every state. The venues for ACCA exams are more conducive than those of ICAN. ACCA students write their exams under tight AC in event centres and hotels, unlike ICAN.

6. Toughness/Difficulty: Many ICAN students think ACCA is very easy. They are wrong! ACCA syllabuses are more robust. Their exams are extremely time pressured. Many people get stuck at some stages. Nevertheless, ACCA exams are easier to pass. This is because the examiners are more lenient. They do not penalise candidates for doing the wrong thing more than once. If a wrong figure is used consistently and correctly in further analysis, the candidate would not be penalised further for the earlier mistake made. I think this is where ICAN is missing it. Passing ICAN is more about luck and grace and not just about the level of preparation or brilliancy. ACCA exams on the other hand are passed by brilliant and diligent students that cover every inch of the syllabus.

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  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment. how is the ACCA journey going Ma'am?

  2. You should have added that ACCA enables students to pick up a BSc from Oxford Brookes University at a stage and an MSc from University of London on completion of ACCA exams. These are optional as there are some extra work to be done for the degrees.