In Nigeria, one of the ways of becoming a certified professional accountant is through registration with the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria, ANAN.
Many people, especially those working in the civil service, prefer the ANAN pathway for becoming a certified accountant. One of the reasons is because ANAN has a certified training school.
The school, known as The Nigerian College of Accountancy, is a graduate-level school where registered students are taught the whole regiment of what it takes to become an international and reputable accountant.
Admitted students must pass the professional exams after nine months of intensive studies at the college before they are inducted as ANAN members.
Brief history of ANAN
The Nigerian College of Accountancy is the training arm of ANAN.
Though the college started operations in 1984 in Plateau, it actually became a nationally recognized accounting professional institution/body in 1993.
That was the year the ANAN Act was signed into law by the Federal Government.
Until quite recently, the college operated from its temporary site in Jos. But it has now moved most of its operations to its permanent site in Bassa Local Government Area, about an hour’s drive from Jos.
The permanent site is a huge modern complex with all the necessary facilities for students. There are lecture halls, sporting facilities, hostel accommodation, administrative offices, business centers, post office, shopping malls, etc.
At full capacity, 4000 aspiring certified accountants should be able to comfortably study there.
How to become an ANAN-certified accountant
These are the stages involved:
Register as a student at the college and pass the professional exams (minimum of 9 months)
Two years mandatory accountant in training ( AIT program)
Induction as an ANAN member
So the minimum number of years to become a qualified accountant in Nigeria certified by ANAN is three years.
However, after being inducted, members must attend a mandatory training annually.
Known as Mandatory Continuing Professional Development (MCPD), the training is meant to update members with new innovations and practices in the Accounting profession.
1. Candidates must have a first degree, B.Sc, in accounting from an accredited Nigerian University or any approved University abroad
2. HND graduates from any approved Polytechnic in Nigeria are
also eligible to apply
3. B.Sc/HND graduates from allied courses can apply. But they would be admitted into the conversion program before starting the professional exams.
Allied courses include Economics, Business Administration, Management, and Banking and finance.
All applicants who meet the entry requirements should get the application form from the College of Accountancy, Kwall in Bassa LGA, near Jos.
Intending candidates can also direct their inquiries at the National Secretariat of ANAN, at 250, Harbert Macauley Street, Yaba, Lagos. The ANAN Liason office in Abuja is also available to attend to candidates
There are also study centers/campuses in some cities where one can obtain the application form. The cities are Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Maiduguri, Awka, and Uyo.
However, the best place for those not close to any ANAN office is to apply online.
The application fee, which is subject to change, is currently N7,500. It is to be paid in cash or bank draft made payable to Nigeria College of Accountancy, Jos.
After paying and obtaining the application form, fill it and return it to the Nigerian College of Accountancy, Jos. The application form should be sent together with a self-addressed envelope a with stamp affixed to it.
All other requirements for submission would be listed on the application form.
After your application has been accepted, you would get instructions on how to register as a student including the schedule school fees.
Fees are paid in full by bank draft or online before the start of the academic session.
This program is specifically for students who are not graduates of accounting but have degrees or higher diplomas in allied courses. This is to prepare such students for the professional exams.
Students admitted under the conversion scheme would be full-time students and it is for a minimum of nine months.
At the end of the nine months, conversion students are expected to write and pass eight courses. There would be resit exams for any failed course.
Academic structure of the college
Full-time students admitted to the college are expected to attend lectures from Monday to Friday at the college campus.
Lectures are between 8 am and 5 pm every day
Matured Students Programs
People who are gainfully employed can use this pathway to become ANAN members. The program is flexible and takes into consideration the student’s working schedule.
The academic calendar of the college is nine months from September to May/June the following year.
Accountant in Training (AIT) Program
The Accountant in Training program is the next stage to becoming a certified accountant with ANAN.
It is a mandatory 2-year program where students are expected to get practical experience in an accounting firm or institution. It is just like an internship where one can choose to work in the public sector or private sector.
Those opting to do their AIT program in the private sector are advised to do it in the offices of an ANAN-certified accountant.
However, students may apply for an exemption from the AIT Program if they had had about 3 years post NYSC experience in an accounting firm. But they must have held a senior accounting position for that number of years to qualify for the exemption.
After the mandatory two-year AIT program, students can now apply to become full professional members of ANAN.
As a qualified professional member, you are now entitled to use the CNA ( Certified National Accountant) initials after your name. Also, with your professional license, you can also establish your own accounting firm and bid for auditing jobs in the biggest firms and government agencies.
Mandatory Continuing Professional Development (MCPD)
This is a compulsory program designed by ANAN to ensure members are up to speed on best accounting practices.
It is a 5-day annual event and ANAN members are required to register and pay the stipulated fee. However, ANAN members are only required to attend the program at a zone close to them.
There are six zones around the country.
Once you become an ANAN member, all the information required for the MCPD program would be communicated to you.
You can download the prospectus and examination syllabus of the Nigerian College of Accountancy here.