ICAN remains the umbrella body for the accounting profession in Nigeria. It conducts the accounting Technician Scheme and the institute of chartered accountants exams. On completion of ATS, you will become a member of AATWA. While completing ICAN, you are given a membership as an associate chartered accountant (ACA). In this article, I will work on differentiating these two terms.
The salary paid to AAT holders is very small compared to ACA’s. If you are an AAT member working in a bank you will learn at most 120,000 Naira per month. However, an ICAN holder will be paid at least 150,000 Naira monthly.
Nature of job
The ATSWA syllabus is designed so that the students can assist professional accountants in their daily operations. An accounting technician will do tasks assigned to him by his boss. While the ACA member remains the boss.
Requirement for registration
To register as a student of ATSWA you need an O’ Level certificate. This is the certificate earned by writing WAEC and NECO exams in secondary schools in Nigeria. With this, you can begin ATS Part 1. You also need an ordinary national diploma (OND). If you have this in accounting, you can apply for exemption and write ATS part 3.
For ICAN, you need an HND or B. SC degree in any discipline to become a student. However, if you are a graduate in accounting and finance you can apply for an exemption.
Accounting and Audit firm
Only chartered accountants are allowed to own an accounting or audit firm. Accounting technicians can’t. However, they can work as employees in any of the aforementioned firms.
AATWA certificate holders cannot practice taxation independently. But ICAN members do. The technicians can work for a tax practitioner in filing tax returns but are not allowed to do it on their own. It is the job of a chartered tax accountant to do so.
Appointing an auditor of a company
Only ACA and ANAN members are allowed to be appointed as auditors of a company. This is as stated in the company and allied matter act (CAMA). Technicians cannot do so, no matter their experience.
ICAN surpasses ATSWA in many ways. As the big boys in accounting, they can become an auditor, own an accounting firm, or become a tax professional.