ICAN Syllabus for Foundation

This is the complete examination syllabus for Institute of chartered accountants of Nigeria, ICAN Foundation Level.

Use the content tale below to jump to a particular section of the Foundation syllabus.

ICAN Syllabus for Foundation Level

ican foundation syllabus

A1. Quantitative Techniques in Business (QTB) 18Marks

Accountants use a range of mathematical and statistical techniques in accounting, performance management, financial decision-making, risk analysis and financial management and this syllabus component provides a foundation of the knowledge and skills that will be applied in later studies. This syllabus component assesses the knowledge and skills in a business and accounting context.

Content and Competences


1. Review of basic mathematics:
Apply accurately the key tools of basic maths in simple business and accounting examples:
(a) Fractions
(b) Percentages
(c) Simple Algebra
(d) Powers and indices
(e) Sequence and series

2. Equalities and inequalities:
Apply accurately both numerically and graphically, equations and inequalities in simple business examples:
(a) Coordinates and graphs
(b) Straight line equations
(c) Simultaneous equations
(d) Curves
(e) Inequalities

3. Mathematics of business finance:
State, explain and apply the key tools of maths used in
business finance problems:
(a) Compound interest and Simple interest
(b) Discounting
(c) Annuities
(d) Present value of annuities
(e) Sinking funds and amortisation

4. Elements of calculus:
Apply accurately in simple business related situations the key tools of basic calculus:
(a) Uses of calculus
(b) Differentiation
(c) Integration
(d) Identification and determination of stationary points
(e) Techniques of optimisation (Maximum and minimum)


1. Data collection:
State, explain and apply methods of data collection and presentation in simple business related situations:
(a) Frequency distributions – simple and cumulative
(b) Histograms, frequency polygons and ogives

2. Measures of central tendency:
State, explain and apply key measures of central tendency in business related situations:
(a) The concepts of averages
(b) The arithmetic mean
(c) The median
(d) The mode
(e) Quartiles

3. Measures of dispersion:
State, explain and apply key measures of central tendency in business related situations:
(a) The concept of dispersion
(b) Range
(c) Mean deviation
(d) Quartile deviation
(e) Standard deviation
(f) Variance


1. Probability:
State, explain and apply key measures of central tendency in business related situations:
(a) Basic rules of probability
(b) Mutually exclusive, independent and conditional probability
(c) Expected values
(d) Tree diagrams
(e) The normal distribution

2. Forecasting:
Apply accurately in simple business situations basic tools of financial and operational forecasting:
(a) Time series
(b) Trend, seasonal variations, cyclical variations and
random variations
(c) Moving average trend
(d) Forecasting
(e) Correlation Analysis
(f) Simple Regression Analysis


1. Linear Programming
State, explain and apply basic concepts of linear programming in business related situations:
(a) Meaning of objective function and constraints in Linear Programming
(b) Formulating linear programming problems
(c) Solving linear programming problems

2. Further aspects of Linear Programming
State, explain and apply further aspects of linear programming in relate situations:
(a) The meaning of the dual price and the slack and their calculations.
(b) Setting up the initial tableau for the simplex method.
(c) Transforming the tableau to a solution.
(d) Interpreting the final tableau.

3. Transportation Model
State, explain and apply the transportation model to business related situations in which the objective is to transport or distribute a single commodity from various sources to different destinations at a minimum cost.
(a) Construction of an initial (basic) feasible solution using the North-West Method, the Minimum (least) Cost Method and Vogel’s Approximation Method.
(b) Balancing an unbalanced problem by introducing appropriate dummies.
(c) Identification of the optimal solution using the stepping stone method.

4. Replacement theory
State, explain and apply the replacement theory to situations where a machine is used for a period, then sold and replaced.
(a) Identification of the optimal replacement policy using the average annual cost (ignoring time value).
(b) Identification of the optimal replacement policy using equivalent annual cost (taking time value into account)
(c) Appraising the policies to replace components that fail suddenly (individual, selective and group replacements).

5. Inventory Control
State, explain and apply inventory control as it relates to delivering the right quantity of goods of the right quality to the right place at the right time.
(a) Description of the EOQ concept, its calculation and its application in given scenarios.
(b) Description of a safety stock for inventory, explanation of the reasons for maintaining it and its calculation using data provided.
(c) Explanation of re-order levels, the objectives of setting them and their calculation using data provided.

6. Simulation
State, explain and apply simulation technique to business oriented situations.
(a) Describing simulation as the imitation of the operation of a real-world process or system over time.
(b) The use of probabilities to assign a random number range.
(c) Explaining the Monte Carlo as a method of simulation.
(d) Construction and running of simple simulations.

7. Queuing Models
State, explain and apply queuing theory to examine the trade-off between the cost of lost time queuing and the cost of opening extra service points to reduce queues.
(a) Explanation of queuing terminologies.
(b) Calculating the average time an item is in a queue and system for both simple and multi-channel queues.
(c) Calculating the average number of items in a queue and system for both simple and multi-channel queues.

8. Network Analysis
State, explain and apply Network analysis to business-oriented situations as a way of mapping out the series of tasks that are necessary to complete a complex project.
(a) Explanation and definition of Network Terminologies: activity, event, dummy activity and float.
(b) Drawing a Network diagram based on Arrow-on-note diagram.
(c) Identifying all the paths, critical path and critical activities in a network diagram and calculate the appropriate durations.
(d) Calculation of the shortest time for the completion of a project, the earliest event time (EET), and latest event time (LET) for an activity.
(e) Calculation of floats and interpretation of their values.


An understanding of the business environment, markets, financial markets, entities and organisations provides an underpinning for business professionals as managers and accountants. Business and management includes a basic understanding of the purpose and objectives of businesses and the issues of business ethics, governance, corporate social responsibility and sustainability.

The business environment is seen globally, internationally and locally. The subject matter includes a basic introduction to business finance. The content also includes the basics of individual and organisational behaviour and human resource issues.

Content and Competences

For all the content below students are required to be able to state and explain the concepts and their business relevance.


1 Business types, purpose and objectives:
(a) For profit
(b) Not for profit

2 Types of Entity:
(a) Sole trades
(b) Partnership
(c) Limited Companies
(d) Public Limited Companies
(e) Non-governmental entities
(f) Public sector entities
(g) Alliances

3 Business and organisational structures and choices:
(a) Centralisation
(b) Decentralisation
(c) Matrix and mixed structures
(d) Networks
(e) Virtual arrangements

4 The business environment:
(a) Globalisation
(b) International business
(c) Macro-economic environment
(d) National environment
(e) Micro-economic environment
(f) Markets and industries.
(g) Concept of Stakeholder and Stakeholders
5 Business planning:
(a) Basics and relationships of strategic vision, mission, values and
(b) The relationship between strategic, business and operational
(c) Basics of strategic plan development
6 Business functions, activities and processes:
(a) The relationships between business functions, activities and processes and their support for achieving business objectives
(b) The relationship between entity and functional strategies


1. Basics of business finance and financial markets:
(a) Sources of finance
(b) Basics of financial engineering
(c) Financial markets
(d) Explain the relationships between business objectives and financial management objectives and the processes of developing strategy
(e) Identify the impact of external factors and financial market issues upon business and financial strategy
(f) Explain the implications of given terms in a loan or financing agreement including covenants, warranties and guarantees
(g) Explain the roles motivations and interests of different stakeholders in financing decisions
(h) Identify and calculate using given data and information the future financing requirements of an entity making reasoned assumptions and using suitable techniques to deal with uncertainty using information relating to current plans and operations
(i) Identify appropriate options for financing an entity based on a given business scenario and environment

2. Basic models for business analysis:
(a) PEST analysis
(b) Porter’s five forces analysis
(c) 4 p’s of marketing and extended marketing mix (7Ps)
(d) Product life cycles
(e) Boston Consulting Group matrix
(f) SWOT analysis

3. Investment decisions:
(a) Identify, and explain appropriate investment appraisal techniques using discounted and non discounted techniques
(b) Identify, and explain appropriate data that may be used in cash flow calculations
(c) Explain the decision rule in each of the investment appraisal techniques
(d) Identify and explain the impact of non-financial factors on making investment decision taking into account economic, social and environmental issues


The role of professional accountants in business and society:
(a) The public interest
(b) Fundamental principles of ethics


1. Management, individual and organisational behaviour:
(a) Formal and informal organisation
(b) Culture
(c) Leadership and management
(d) Individual and group behaviour in organisations
(e) Team formation, development and management
(f) Motivation of management and employees

2. Basic concepts of competitive advantage
(a) Definition and types of competitive advantage
(b) Explain how to create competitive advantage
(c) Developing competitive advantage
(d) Sustainable competitive advantage

3. Communications in Business
(a) Basic Communication theory
(b) Organisation Communication (formal & informal and internal & external)
(c) Basic elements of report writing
(d) Electronics communication presentation


Accounting is dealt with here primarily as a skill that supports the compilation of reliable financial accounts for sole traders, partnerships, companies and not for-profit entities. At this level accounting includes knowledge of the essential framework of assumptions that underpin reliable reporting.

Content and Competences

1 Recording transactions and events: 25%
(a) State why it is important for an entity to maintain reliable financial records and prepare reliable financial statements
(b) Identify the sources of data and information for compiling financial records and financial statements
(c) Record and account for transactions and events relating to income, expenses, assets, liabilities and equity in accordance with generally accepted accounting practice
(d) Record and account for changes in ownership, capital and equity for companies and partnerships
(e) Compile a trial balance and state its purpose and uses

2 Adjustments to accounting records and financial statements: 25%
(a) Use of accounting systems and the identification of errors and discrepancies including reconciliation procedures
(b) Recording correcting entries for errors and omissions including stating their effect on the financial statements
(c) Using control account reconciliations, external and other reconciliations to enable recording of correcting entries using suspense accounts and control accounts
(d) Bank Reconciliation
(e) Record and describe correcting entries and approved changes in a journal and in draft financial statements
(f) Using an extended trial balance to support financial statement compilation

3. Recording non-current assets and depreciation 10%
(a) Elements of cost
(b) Initial Measurement and Recognition
(c) Basic Accounting for Depreciation
(d) Basic Accounting for Disposal

4. Compiling financial statements 40%
(a) State and explain the purpose, nature and relationships among the main financial statement components.
(b) State and explain the basis and purpose of the accruals, cash and break-up bases of accounting
(c) Compile financial statements and straightforward supporting notes including the income statement, statement of financial position and cash flow statement that meet the requirements of an entity’s primary users
(d) In compiling financial statements students will be expected to be able to present such statements for sole traders,
partnerships, companies and not for profit entities
(e) In compiling financial statements students will be expected to be able to do so from incomplete records


  • Preface to IFRS
  • Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting
  • IAS 1 Presentation of Financial Statements
  • IAS 7 Statement of Cash Flows
  • IAS 2 Inventories
  • IAS 16 Property, Plant and Equipment (PPE)


Accountants play a vital role in management and management decision-making. Business information deals with the production of accurate and useful information to support management and decision making including costing, management accounting and the application of quantitative methods in financial management. Business information
takes an integrated approach by developing an awareness of information technology and systems support.

Content and Competences

1 Costing/Pricing: 30%

(a) Classify costs for different purposes including identifying fixed and variable, product and period, direct and indirect and costs by nature, function and purpose
(b) Identify and calculate the costs of products, services and projects including process costs
(c) Identify and calculate unit costs and the effect of different costing methods on reported financial results using marginal and absorption costing approaches
(d) Select and explain the most appropriate costing approach for a given product or service for reporting and decision making purposes

2 Forecasting, budgeting and decision making: 30%

a) Compile forecasts for management information purposes
(b) Compile budgets and extracts from budgets using information provided
(c) Select and justify the choice of the most appropriate methods of budgeting for planning and controlling including
motivational considerations, including:

  • Bottom-up and top-down approaches
  • Marginal and absorption approaches
  • Activity based costing
  • Zero-based and incremental approaches
  • Budget implementation and monitoring

(d) Compile and identify and explain the business consequences of a cash budget identifying flows, balances and limits
(e) Calculate and explain the working capital and cash cycles of a business
(f) Calculate, explain and comment upon the contribution, break-even point and margin of safety for a product or
(g) Calculate, explain and comment upon the best allocation of scarce resources to a product or service based on
contribution per unit of limiting factor

Information technology and systems: 40%

Explain and distinguish the nature of data, information and knowledge
(a) Identify and explain the main information technologies that support modern information systems
(b) Identify and explain the main information systems used by entities including business process systems, transactions processing systems, management information systems, decision-support systems and executive information systems
(c) Identify and explain the main risks to the reliability of data and information and how these may be managed and
controlled operationally and through management of systems and technology including development of new
(d) Explain, describe or discuss the importance of aligning IT strategy with business strategy
(e) Identify and explain the data processing methods that aid in generation of Management information such as:

  • Batch Processing
  • Online processing
  • Real time processing
  • Distributed processing
  • Multi tasking/Multi processing

(f) Professionals Accountants and career Path in IT environment
(g) Information Technology Architecture
Explain, describe or discuss how IT architecture relates to the entity’s business model

  • General systems concepts
  • Transaction processing in business systems
  • Hardware components
  • Software
  • Protocols, standards and enabling technologies
  • Data organisation and access methods

(h) Identify and explain the main risks to the reliability of data and information and how these may be managed and
controlled operationally and through management of systems and technology including development of new
systems covering but not limited to:

  • Privacy Issues
  • Secrecy issues
  • Data transfer practices
  • Use of USB and other removable devices
  • Virus and worms
  • Access to social networking sites using company time and resources

(i) Explain, describe or discuss how IT is managed within an organisation, with a focus on:

  • Accounting systems
  • Performance monitoring, and
  • Change management and procedures for updating hardware and software.

(j) Explain the impact of social media on organisations.

A5. BUSINESS LAW 9 units

Business finance professionals are expected to have a sound foundation in law that is relevant to businesses and their operations. Professional accountants need a strong background in company law and law relevant to public sector entities. All business professionals also need knowledge of how laws affect them personally and in their own
employment and business activities Content and Competences


(a) Sources of Nigerian Law
(b) The distinction between civil law, criminal law, case law and statute
(c) Hierarchy of Courts


1 Company law
(a) Identify state and explain the nature of and differences between a legal partnership and a company
(b) State and explain the way in which a company or partnership may be formed including the creation of effective memorandum and articles of association and agreements in partnership
(c) State and explain the consequences of incorporation including practical considerations of record keeping and filing
(d) State and explain the procedures for the issue of shares.
(e) State and explain the duties of directors including fiduciary and other duties and how they may be appointed, re-appointed, removed or in any other way cease office
(f) Identify and explain the ways in which the capital of a company is maintained and protected including laws relating to distribution of profits
(g) Identify and state the requirements for share transfer and disclosure of ownership
(h) Identify and explain how shareholders can influence the composition of the board and strategy or decisions of a company
(i) Identify and state how meetings of stakeholders can be requisitioned and how voting operates
(j) Identify the rights of shareholders to challenge the management of a company
(k) Identify and state the powers of directors.
(l) Explain on issues bothering on notices, meetings and other secretarial practices
(m) Identify and state the consequences of a breach of duty by a director
(n) Identify and state the duties, powers and responsibilities of a company auditor including the basic steps to appoint and remove and auditor and how he may resign

2. Law of Insolvency
(a) Identify and state the differences between the types of insolvency, liquidation and receivership including the rights of creditors and the shareholders and the procedures for winding up
(b) Identify and explain the consequences of insolvency
(c) Identify and explain the nature of and difference between fixed and floating charge


Criminal law regulating businesses and professional accountants:
(a) Identify, contrast and explain laws, ethics and ethical codes
(b) Identify and state the basic laws relating to theft, fraud and deception
(c) Identify and state the basic laws relating to bribery
(d) Identify and state the basic laws relating to money laundering
(e) Identify and state the basic laws relating to negotiable instruments
(f) Identify situations relating to data protection and computer misuse
(g) Electronic evidence
(h) Explain the role of an Accountant as an expert witness in Computer Fraud Situations


(a) Identify and explain how a contract may be made and how it can be enforced.
(b) Identify and explain the circumstances in which a contract may
be terminated and the remedies for a breach of contract.
(c) Nature and framework of contract.
(d) Enforceability of e-contracts.

(a) State and explain the nature of an agency relationship.
(b) Identify situations where agency exists.
(c) Identify and explain the duties, rights and legal capacity of an agent.

(a) Identify and explain negligent actions or omissions and their consequences.
(b) Identify and explain vicarious liability.

Identify goods and explain the duties and rights of a seller and buyer as well as passing of property.

Explain Hire purchase as well as the duties of the parties to it.

Explain their nature of Insurance contract, insurable interest, subrogation and contribution as well as assignment of policy.

(a) Explain the duties of banks and other financial institutions as well as the powers and duties of the Central Bank of Nigeria (Reference to the Central Bank Act as well as banks and other Financial Institutions Act.)
(b) Explain types of negotiable instruments and the duties and liabilities of parties to a bill.


(a) Identify situations and state the law relating to employment, including contracts, duties and rights, dismissal, unfair dismissal and other claims.
(b) Skills and analysis in context level.


(a) Explain creation of trusts, the duties, powers, rights and accounts of trustees as well as the rights of beneficiaries.
(b) Explain the investments authorized by the Trustee Investment Act.
(c) Distinguish between executors and administrators and explain their duties.

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