You Can Become Professional Accountants As Students, Zakari Assures Students At Awareness Campaign By Otikor Samuel

Immediate past President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Mr. Isma'ila Zakari and Chairman of the Syllabus Review Committee, Dr. Innocent Okwuosa, have enjoined students in higher institutions in Rivers State to avail themselves of the opportunities available at different levels to acquire the Institute's professional certificates.

The duo gave the advice in separate presentations at a one-day sensitisation campaign tagged: New Professional Examination Syllabus Awareness Programme, which held on Wednesday, August 15, 2018 at the Ebitimi Banigo Auditorium, University Park. The event was highly patronised by students of Kenule Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic, Bori, Rivers State.

In his presentation entitled: Effective Preparation for ICAN Examinations and Examination Rules and Regulations, Mr. Zakari listed foundation, skill and professional levels as three basic programmes for which candidates must encounter at ICAN examinations. He stated that the Accounting Technicians Skill (ICAN ATS) was also available for students, adding that on completion of the ATS, the students may wish to enrol into the professional programme while still pursuing their first degrees.

The immediate past President declared: “ICAN is open to candidates from other fields, but graduates of Accounting are granted exemption in some courses which reduce their workload.” Mr. Zakari, who was Chairman of the Syllabus Review Committee in 2014, disclosed that ICAN had proposed incorporation of its syllabus into the Accounting syllabus of higher institutions in line with the approval of the National Universities Commission (NUC) that would enable students to acquire ICAN professional certificate alongside their first degree. He stated that such a move had enabled students of Obafemi Awolowo and Babcock universities to perform exceptionally well in Accounting examinations.

“The secret of passing ICAN examination is to prepare very well, bearing in mind that the examiner has lost the capacity to set a more difficult question than he had set before. That means though there are exceptional cases, the examiners repeat the questions,” Mr. Zakari said.

Dr. Okwuosa in his presentation entitled: An Overview and Insight into the new ICAN Syllabus, revealed that ICAN reviews its syllabus after five years. He stated that the new syllabus which would come into effect in November 2019, would centre primarily on professional development, ethics, practical work experience and 15 subject examinations as major components. The Chairman described the new syllabus as student-friendly, assuring that it would meet international benchmarks in Accounting courses. He explained that the number of subjects have been reduced from 16 to 15, which links all the subjects symbiotically, adding ethical studies to all the individual subjects, including case studies for practice ahead of each examination, amongst other major innovations.

Dr. Okwuosa also disclosed that ICAN was currently partnering the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEN), while plans were ongoing to partner more international organisations to up ICAN's global rating.


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