ICAN vs ACCA top seven differences

Will you choose the institute of chartered accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) over the Association of certified chartered accountants (ACCA)? That’s a personal choice. But this article shows their differences. In any case, some people wrote ICAN first before pursuing ACCA.


ICAN is located in Nigeria. Their head office is at Ikoyi Lagos. It is available in many African countries like Cameroon and its exams can be written in the United Kingdom. ACCA is located in the UK but has an office in Nigeria and over 170 countries in the world.

License to practice

Holders of the institute of chartered accountants certificate can obtain a license to practice as an auditor in Nigeria. The license cannot be used in other parts of the world including Cameroon and the UK. On the other hand, ACCA certification gives you access to practice accounting in Nigeria and other parts of the world. However, you will not have the license to practice auditing in Nigeria.


ICAN certification is limited to Nigeria, a few west African countries, and the UK. Therefore, there are countries where the certificate will lack recognition. But, ACCA is recognized in over 170 countries. Multinational companies will be available to employ you if you are an ACCA member.

Certification type

Holders of ICAN certificates are called ACA and FCA. Which means Associate Chartered Accountants and Fellow Chartered Accountants. Holders of ACCA certifications are called ACCA and FCCA. FCCA means Fellow Certified Chartered Accountants while the former means Associate Certified Chartered Accountants.


The institute of chartered accountants of Nigeria is less expensive. It will cost you less than 500,000 Naira to complete the exams. This doesn’t include tuition fees that will be paid to a tutoring center. However, the latter is more expensive and may run into millions of Naira. This is due to the high foreign exchange rate.

Difference in papers

ICAN offers some courses or papers you can’t find in ACCA. This includes business law, public sector accounting, and Nigerian taxation. In the same vein, UK taxes and strategic business leader courses can only be done in ACCA.

Master degree

With the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants certification, you can earn a master’s degree from Oxford University. But that’s not possible with the former.

Final words

It is advisable to write ICAN first before proceeding to ACCA. One of the reasons is the cost. With the former certification, you can earn higher pay that will help you write the later examination. Also, the knowledge and stress you passed through from the former will aid you in easily passing ACCA exams.

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