the difference between ACCA and ICAN


One of the most frequently asked questions by Accounting Students and new graduates is the difference between ICAN and ACCA. You are most likely reading this blog post because you are interested in knowing the differences between these two professional certifications. You are on the right page as we will share with you valuable information about ICAN and ACCA.

Without further ado, let’s dive straight into the peculiarities of ACCA and ICAN.

ICAN vs ACCA- Full Meaning

ICAN stands for Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria

ACCA stands for Association of Chartered Certified Accountants

ICAN vs ACCA- Requirements

ICAN: Every graduate is qualified to take the ICAN examinations regardless of class of degree.

You do not have to be an Accounting graduate to sit for ICAN. If you are a graduate of certain courses eg. banking and finance or other related courses, you will still get some exemptions.

ACCA: The minimum requirements in Nigeria are:

  • Diploma or Advanced Diploma
  • Nigeria Certificate of Education
  • 2 passes at GCE A level AND 3 passes at SSCE/GCE O level, as well as 

ICAN vs ACCA- Pass Mark

The pass mark for both ICAN and ACCA is 50%. 

ICAN vs ACCA- Levels & Papers Involved

ICAN: The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria offers 3 stages, each having a different number of papers, however, Accounting graduates are required to go through 2 stages while non-accounting graduates are required to go through 3 stages. Graduates of institutions with Mutual Co-operation Agreement with Tertiary Institutions (MCATI), ACCA, ANAN, PhD holders, etc may get higher exemptions and write the final stage. Find all the exemption details here

ICAN vs ACCA- International Recognition

ICAN is recognized in Nigeria and West Africa, and even the world, as Nigeria’s professional Accounting Body. ICAN is recognized by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC).

The ACCA Qualification is recognized all over the world. The ACCA has gained this strong recognition through building relationships with multinational organizations, overseas accounting bodies, educational institutes, governments, and organizations such as the World Bank and the United Nations. This means that an ACCA member can work in any part of the world.

ICAN vs ACCA- Duration

ICAN: It can take as little as 6 months for certain qualifications, 12 months (for accounting graduates), and 18 months (for non-accounting graduates) to become an ACA (Associate Chartered Accountant) with ICAN.

ACCA: It take as little as 6 months to 3 years to complete the ACCA certification depending on your qualification at the time of application. 

ICAN vs ACCA- Cost


Registration fee #7,300
ExemptionClick here


– Initial Registration £32- Re-registration £79- Subscription (Yearly) £90  – Exemption £360– September early entry £72- Standard entry £76- Late entry £231- December early entry £72- Standard entry £76- Late entry £231– December early entry £97- Standard entry £102- Late entry £261- March early entry £97- Standard entry £102- Late entry £261Professional exams
– December early entry £121- Standard entry £128- Late entry £289- March early entry £121- Standard entry £128- Late entry £289

P.S: This does not include lectures in preparation for the exams

NB: This is subject to change


Both ACCA and ICAN can open the door to a vast range of exciting career opportunities for you, in every sector of business and finance, both in Nigeria and internationally. Whichever option you decide to go for, be determined to put in a lot of work to achieve success.

At ICAN Online Tutors, we are equipped with the knowledge and skills to guide you through your ICAN and/or ACCA journey. Contact us today for more information on how to excel at one sitting.

Visit or WhatsApp/Call: 08080665292 or 08185993275

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