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ICAN Foundation Level Syllabus

Starting your ICAN certification this year? Download this ICAN foundation-level syllabus to study smart and excel in your exams

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About Foundation Level Exams

The foundation level of the ICAN-ACA professional examination is the first level reserved for those who do not have any post-secondary school background in Accounting. Those who studied management, science, art, and law in higher institutions are exempted from some courses at the foundation level. (Please see the academic and professional qualification exemption below.

The competencies required in this level are knowledge and understanding, and there are five subjects in this level. The chartered accountancy qualification – the ACA, of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), with its integrated components, is one of the most advanced professional accountancy qualifications globally.

The professional examination comprises fifteen subjects with ethics embedded in each subject. The requirements for ICAN-ACA qualification are set out in this syllabus in the form of learning outcomes and competencies.  The fifteen subjects are grouped into three levels: Foundation; Skills; and Professional.

The content of the foundation-level courses provides for simple learning outcomes that form the building blocks for the higher-level subjects.

Foundation Level in ICAN

The contents of the foundation-level courses provide for simple learning outcomes that form the building blocks for the higher-level subjects. There are five subjects at this level including
1. Taxation
2. Business, Management, and Finance,
3. Financial Accounting,
4. Management Information, and
5. Business Law

Course 1 : Taxation (A1)

About Taxation

Taxation is always expected to be an easy examination, but most often, aspiring Chartered Accountants and other non-accounting professionals panic during examinations. To ace this course, studying for it judiciously can only be achieved when it is done using the updated ICAN Taxation syllabus.

This taxation course will equip you with an understanding of the principles of taxation, tax legislation, and the structure of the tax system in Nigeria. If you aspire to make an excellent mark in this examination, then you need to study this syllabus to know what you are expected to learn.

Aim & Competencies


Professional Accountants need to understand taxation principles and laws to support compliance and effective professional advice. The emphasis here is on basic knowledge and application of tax legislation relating to individuals and corporate entities in simple situations. Candidates are expected to be able to explain the tax consequences of the activities of individuals and corporate entities.


Main competencies

On successful completion of this paper, candidates should be able to:

  •  Explain the structure of the tax system including the roles, duties and powers of various organs of tax administration in Nigeria;
  • Explain the guiding principles of the revised national tax policy (NTP), 2017;
  • Identify and explain the five fundamental principles of ethics as specified by the
  • International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA);
  • Understand applicable rates of transaction taxes, compute and know payment and returns timelines (including offences and penalties); and
  •  Apply basic knowledge of tax legislation in computing income tax liabilities relating to individuals and corporate entities in simple situations.

A1 Taxation Syllabus

 Syllabus for ICAN Foundation Level 
 Course NameA1 – Taxation 
 A. Introduction to taxation and tax administration 
 TopicBreakdownMarking Guide
1Introduction to taxation(a) State the objectives of taxation.
(b) Explain the types of taxes and tax system.
(c) Explain the basic concepts in taxation:
(i) Tax base, tax yield, tax rate, tax incidence; and
(ii) Tax burden, tax impact, tax shift, tax effect.
(d) Differentiate between tax and other levies.
(e) Explain the principles/canons of taxation.
(f) Explain the following in relation to taxation in Nigeria:
(i) Enabling Acts; and
(ii) Sources of the tax laws.
2Tax administration in NigeriaList and explain the roles, functions, compositions and powers of:
(a) Joint Tax Board;
(b) State Board of Internal Revenue;
(c) Federal Inland Revenue Service and its management Board;
(d) Joint State Revenue Committee;
(e) Local Government Revenue Committee;
(f) Tax Appeal Tribunal; and
(g) Tax amnesty, including Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme
(h) Explain the role and relationship between Fiscal Policy, Tax legislation and
3Revised National Tax Policy (NTP), 2017(a) State the objectives of this policy.
(b) Explain the policy guidelines as they relate to:
(i) Guiding principles of Nigerian Tax System; and
(ii) Taxation as a tool for economic management and development:
 Wealth creation and employment;
 Taxation and diversification;
 Focus on indirect taxation;
 Convergence of tax rates;
 Special arrangements and other incentives;
 Creating a competitive edge; and
 International and regional treaties (c) Explain the responsibilities of the following stakeholders:
(i) The government;
(ii) The taxpayer;
(iii) Revenue agencies;
(iv) Professional bodies, tax practitioners, consultants and agents; and
(v) Media and advocacy groups.
(d) Explain the administration of the mandates of the three-tiers of government
in accordance with the following:
(i) Registration of taxable persons;
(ii) Tax compliance;
(iii) Efficiency of administration;
(iv) Technology and tax intelligence; and
(v) Dispute resolution.
(e) Explain the implementation measures by:
(i) The President and Governors;
(ii) Legislature;
(iii) Ministry of Finance;
(iv) Ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs);
(v) Tax authorities; and
(vi) Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
4Basic ethical issues in taxation(a) Identify and explain the following five fundamental principles of ethics as
specified by the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants
(i) Integrity;
(ii) Objectivity;
(iii) Professional competence and due care;
(iv) Confidentiality; and
(v) Professional behaviour.
(b) State the conditions when information on taxpayers may be disclosed.
(c) Explain what a tax practitioner should do when there is a conflict of interest.
5Assessments, objections, appeals and remittances(a) Explain the following types of assessments:
(i) Self assessment;
(ii) Additional assessment;
(iii) Best of judgment (BOJ)/administrative assessment; and
(iv) Back duty assessment.
(b) Identify and explain the procedures for tax objections and appeals,
covering the following:
(i) Time limit for objection and appeal;
(ii) Contents of a notice of objection and appeal;
(iii) Amendment of assessment and refusal to amend; and
(iv) Appeal procedures and processes: Tax Appeal Tribunal, Federal
High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.
(c) Explain the basis for registration and filing of returns with the revenue
authorities covering the following:
(i) Time within which to register;
(ii) Registration requirements and process;
(iii) Contents of a tax return;
(iv) Due date for filing of tax returns; and
(v) Time within which to pay tax assessed.
(d) Explain the following in respect of a tax clearance certificate (TCC):
(i) Definition and contents;
(ii) The conditions for granting a TCC;
(iii) The transactions for which a TCC is required; and
(iv) T he procedure for processing TCC
 B. Transactions Taxes15%
1Withholding tax (WHT)(a) Explain the nature, objectives and administration of WHT.
(b) State the transactions/incomes subject to WHT and applicable rates.
(c) State the relevant tax authority for collection of WHT. (d) Explain the procedure for filing WHT return; list its contents and time frame
for compliance.
(e) State the procedures and provisions relating to WHT refunds and grounds
for objection.
(f) Explain the procedure for remittance of WHT to tax authorities.
(g) State the administrative bottlenecks and other problems of WHT.
(h) State the merits and demerits of WHT scheme.
2Value added tax (VAT)(a) Explain the nature, objectives and administration of VAT.
(b) Explain taxable persons and taxable supplies of goods and services.
(c) Explain the following in relation to VAT:
(i) Input tax;
(ii) Output tax;
(iii) Exemption;
(iv) Zero-rated supplies and services;
(v) Reverse VAT;
(vi) Basic tax point;
(vii) Actual tax point; and
(viii) Standard rate.
(d) Compute VAT liability, including the treatment of opening and closing
(e) State the obligations for registration, records and accounts
keeping, and valid VAT Invoice.
(f) Explain the requirements for filing of VAT returns and remittance of VAT
(g) Explain the treatment of VAT on imported and exported goods and
(h) State the offences and penalties associated with VAT.
(i) Explain the provision on VAT recovery.
3Stamp duties(a) State the nature and objectives.
(b) List the instruments chargeable.
(c) State the relevant tax authority for collection.
(d) State the types and forms.
(e) Explain the time limit for stamping and implications of non-stamping.
(f) Explain the recoverability of outstanding duties.
(g) State the rates and the basis of computation.
(h) Explain the administration, territorial limits and the methods of
(i) Explain the process of adjudication, the limits and appeals procedure.
4Customs and excise duties(a) Explain the nature, objectives and administration of customs and excise
(b) State the rates and basis of computation.
(c) List excisable items.
(d) State provisions relating to the furnishing of information by manufacturers
and keeping of books.
(e) State offences and penalties.
5Luxury tax(a) Define luxury tax.
(b) State the relevant goods and services.
(c) State the applicable rate for each of the goods and services.
(d) Explain the benefits of taxation of luxury goods.
6Land Use Charge (computation, assessment and dispute resolution)  
 C. Personal Income Tax30%
1Taxation of employment income(a) Explain employment; contract of service and contract for service.
(b) Explain the following types of employment:
(i) Nigerian employment; and
(ii) Foreign employment.
(c) Explain employment, vocation and profession.
(d) Define an itinerant worker.
(e) Explain the following terminologies in employment income:
(i) Cash emolument;
(ii) Benefits-in-Kind; and
(iii) Taxable and tax-exempt incomes.
(f) State and explain the conditions for taxation of income from employment.
(g) List and explain allowable and non-allowable deductions.
(h) E xplain the following:
(i) Registration for Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE);
(ii) Basis of assessment;
(iii) Computation of consolidated relief allowance
(iv) Computation of personal income tax;
(v) Filing of returns: employees and employers; and
(vi) Offences and penalties.
2Taxation of trusts, settlements and estates(a) Define trusts, settlements and estates.
(b) Explain allowable and non-allowable expenses.
(c) Compute income from trusts, settlements and estates.
(d) Compute taxable income.
(e) Compute tax liability in the hands of beneficiaries and trustees. (f) Identify relevant tax authority.
(g) State and explain offences and penalties.
3Taxation of investment income(a) Define investment income.
(b) Compute rental income chargeable to tax on property, including
contractor-financed projects.
(c) Explain the tax implications of dividends and interests.
(d) Explain the bases of assessments and payment of taxes on
investment incomes.
 D. Business income tax35%
1Taxation of business income(a) Sole proprietorship
(i) Explain the meaning of a trade or profession and badges of
(ii) Computation of assessable profit of a trade or profession
 Identify taxable and non-taxable income.
 Identify and explain allowable and non-allowable
(iii) Basis period for assessment
 Define basis period and state types.
 State the rules for commencement, change of
accounting date and cessation.
(iv) Capital allowance computation
 Define qualifying capital expenditure and capital allowance.
 Explain the types of capital allowances and qualifying capital
 State the conditions for granting capital allowance.
 Identify capital allowance rates and restrictions.
 Compute balancing adjustments on disposal of qualifying
capital expenditure.
(v) Loss relief
 Identify and explain types of loss reliefs and their
 Explain the treatments of losses under commencement
and cessation of business.
(b) Partnerships
(i) Define partnership.
(ii) E xplain allowable and non-allowable expenses.
(iii) Compute the income of a partnership business.
(iv) Identify the taxable income of partners. (v) State the tax treatment under admission and resignation of a
(c) Limited liability companies
(i) Identify persons chargeable to companies’ income tax.
(ii) Computation of assessable profit
 Explain taxable and non-taxable income.
 Explain allowable and non-allowable expenses.
(iii) Basis period for assessment
 Define and state types.
 Explain the rules for commencement , change of
accounting date and cessation of business.
(iv) Capital allowance computation
 Explain types of capital allowance.
 Define and explain types of qualifying capital expenditure.
 State the conditions for granting capital allowance.
 Identify and apply the capital allowance rates and
 Compute balancing adjustments on disposal of qualifying
capital expenditure.
(v) Loss relief
 Explain Loss relief principles.
 Explain the treatment of losses under commencement,
change of accounting date and cessation of business.
(vi) Compute companies income tax liability, taking the following
into consideration:
 Total profit;
 Minimum tax;
 Dividend distribution; and
 Revenue/Turnover.
(vii) Compute and explain the bases for computing deferred tax.
2Taxation of specialised businesses(a) Define specialised businesses.
(b) State the relevant tax provisions for real estate and agriculture.
(c) State the tax provisions and compute tax liability on income from
transportation, telecommunication, banks and insurance businesses.
(d) Explain the circumstances when the Revenue can assess a company
based on its turnover.
(e) Identify and explain criteria that must be met to be eligible for small
company relief.
(f) State the basis for taxation of enterprises in free trade zones. (g) Explain the provisions of the Nigerian Information Technology
Development Agency Act (NITDA) 2007 (as amended) as it relates to
(h) Taxation on income from e-commerce.
3Tertiary education tax(a) Define tertiary education tax.
(b) State the objectives and basis of computation of tertiary education
tax as provided in the enabling Act.
(c) Explain the imposition, assessment, and collection of the tax.
(d) State the management and administration of the tertiary education tax fund
(e) State the composition and functions of the board of trustees.
(f) Explain the allocation and distribution of the tax.
(g) State the offences and penalties for non-compliance.

Course 2 : Business, Management and Finance (A2)

About BMF

The BMF course offered by ICAN critically examines the underlying principles of management, concepts of leadership and effective communications in business, financial management decisions, and more.

By studying this updated BMF syllabus, you will gain the theoretical and non-theoretical skills you need to either ace your examinations or become an expert in your business environment.

Aim & Competencies


An understanding of the business environment (global and local), markets, financial markets, entities and organisations provides a foundation for business professionals. This subject revolves around a basic understanding of the purpose, and objectives of businesses; issues of business ethics, governance, corporate social responsibility and sustainability. 

Main Competencies

On successful completion of this paper, candidates should be able to: 

  •  Explain the underlining principles of management theory in the context of concepts, functions, ethical considerations and recent developments in business management process;
  •   Explain behavioural aspects of management control and the importance of organizational structure and design; 
  •  Understand the basic concepts of leadership and requirements for effective communication within and outside a business organization; 
  •  Understand issues associated with building, leading and managing effective teams in the effective management of organisational conflict;
  •   Explain the concept of strategy, alternative approaches to strategy development towards sustainable competitive advantage; 
  •  Prepare and present cash budgets for planning and explain main financial management decisions;  and
  •  Understand the applications of basic economic theories and business planning to solving business environmental problems locally and globally for competitive edge.

A2 Business, Management and Finance Syllabus

 Syllabus for ICAN Foundation Level 
 Course NameA2 – Business, Management, & Finance 
 A. Business processes and environment 
 TopicBreakdownMarking Guide
1Nature of business, types and objectives(a) Explain the nature, types and objectives of business
(b) Explain the basic characteristics, purposes, merits and demerits of the following
types of business organisation:
(i) Sole proprietorship;
(ii) Partnership;
(iii) Limited liability companies:
 Private
 Public
(iv) Non-governmental organisations;
(v) Public sector organisations;
(vi) Alliances; and
(vi) Cooperative society.
(c) Identify and explain the various business functions;
(d) Explain the importance of business to its stakeholders;
(e) Explain the different classifications of economic activities based on the
following occupations:
(i) Profession/Vocation;
(ii) Employment; and
(iii) Business.
(f) State the merits and demerits of each of the occupations listed above.
2Business and organisational structures and choices(a) Explain the basic characteristics and purposes of the following
organisational structures:
(i) Centralised;
(ii) Decentralised;
(iii) Matrix and mixed;
(iv)Networks; and
(v) Virtual arrangements.
(b) Explain the advantages and disadvantages of each of the organisational
structures listed above.
3The business environment(a) Explain the meaning and importance of the following:
(i) Globalisation/International business;
(ii) Macro-economic/National environment;
(iii) Micro-economic/Markets and industries; and
(iv)Stakeholders. (b) Explain the concept of environmental scanning, its methods
and importance.
 B. The role of professional accountants in business and society10%
  (a) Explain from the perspective of the public interest, the role of professional
accountants in business and society.
(b) Explain the basic principles of ethics and its importance to professional
 C. Management and organisational behaviour35%
1Basic management functions(a) Give various definitions of management.
(b) Identify and explain types of management skills.
(c) Explain the following basic management functions, their importance and
application in the field of accounting:
(i) Planning;
(ii) Organising;
(iii) Controlling;
(iv) Coordinating;
(v) Directing; and
(vi) Supervising.
(d) Identify and explain the various management roles.
2Management, individual and organisational behaviour(a) Explain the nature and significance of formal and informal
(b) Explain the role and importance of organisational culture.
(c) Explain the relationship between leadership and management.
(d) State the roles of individual and group behaviour in organisations.
(e) Identify and explain conflict management and various resolution
(f) Explain the nature and significance of team formation, development and
(g) Explain the concept of employee motivation and its relationship with
(h) State and explain the various management theories with emphasis on
scientific, administrative and other modern management theories; such as
Frank and Lillian Gilbreth’s motion theory, Hertzberg’s Hygiene, Motivation
factor theory and other related theories.
3Communications in business(a) Explain the basic elements of communication.
(b) Explain verbal and non-verbal communication.
(c) State the principles of effective listening.
(d) Explain organisational communication:
(i) Formal and informal; and (ii) Internal and external
(e) Explain methods of business communication.
(f) State the barriers to effective communication.
(g) State the different communication patterns.
(h) Explain the process and conduct at meetings.
(i) Explain the basic elements of report writing.
(j) Explain the process of electronic communication.
 D. The role of finance30%
1Basics of business finance and financial markets(a) Identify the various sources of finance that are available to business
(b) Explain the characteristics of the different sources of finance, stating their
advantages and disadvantages.
(c) Describe the characteristics of financial market.
(d) Explain finance functions and financial management objectives.
(e) Explain the following concepts:
(i) Covenants;
(ii) Warranties; and
(iii) Guarantees.
(f) Prepare a cash budget using given data.
2Investment decisions(a) Explain and apply the key tools of mathematics used in solving
business finance problems:
(i) Compound interest and simple interest;
(ii) Discounting;
(iii) Annuities;
(iv) Present value of annuities; and
(v) Sinking funds and amortisation.
(b) Identify and apply the following investment appraisal techniques:
(i) Accounting rate of return;
(ii) Payback period;
(iii) Discounted payback;
(iv) Net present value; and
(v) Internal rate of return.

Course 3 : Financial Accounting (a3)

About Financial Accounting

Looking to ace your Financial Accounting exams in one sitting? Look no further, you’re in the right place. To attain at least the pass mark for the ICAN Foundation level Financial Accounting exams, then adequate preparation through extensive study should be done.

How then do you know that you’ve studied extensively for the Financial Accounting exams? When you’ve successfully gone through your studies using the updated ICAN syllabus.

This syllabus contains all the topics covered in Financial Accounting and their breakdown. Studying with it will provide you with an in-depth knowledge of the scope and purpose of financial accounting, and more importantly, get you a hundred percent ready for the exams.

Aim & Competencies


The purpose of financial accounting is to equip accounting professionals with knowledge of the essential framework of assumptions that underpin reliable reporting and the requisite skills to compile reliable financial statements for sole traders, partnerships, companies and not-for-profit entities.

Main competencies

On successful completion of this paper, candidates should be able to: 

  • Explain the scope and purpose of accounting;  
  • Understand types of business transactions and documentation; 
  •  Explain cash and bank transactions; 
  •  Explain and demonstrate the use of the double-entry accounting principle; 
  •  Understand and prepare reconciliations;  
  • Record transactions and events; and  
  • Prepare basic financial statements for corporate and non-corporate entities.

Financial Accounting (A3) Syllabus

 Syllabus for ICAN Foundation Level 
 Course NameA3 – Financial Accounting 
 A. Accounting framework 
 TopicBreakdownMarking Guide
1Scope and purpose of accounting(a) Define accounting and state the objectives of accounting.
(b) Differentiate between accounting and book-keeping.
(c) Discuss the different types of accounting.
22. Identify the users of accounting information and their information needs.  
3Explain the qualitative characteristics of useful financial information.  
4List and explain the elements of financial statements.  
5 . Explain the following accounting concepts:
(a) Going concern;
(b) Accruals;
(c) Materiality and aggregation;
(d) Substance over form;
(e) Business entity concept;
(f) Fair presentation;
(g) Offsetting;
(h) Consistency of presentation; and
(i) Prudence.
6Bases of accountingDiscuss accrual, cash and break-up bases of accounting. 
7The regulatory environment of accounting(a) Explain the need for regulation of accounting practice.
(b) Identify the sources of regulation of accounting practice.
8 State the roles of accountants in business and the economy. 
 B. Recording financial transactions15%
1 Identify source documents of accounting data and information such as invoices,
receipts, credit notes, debit notes, purchase orders, goods received notes, cheque
counterfoils, deposit slips, bank statements and payment vouchers.
2 Record and account for transactions and events relating to revenue/incomes,
expenses, assets, liabilities and equity in accordance with Generally Accepted
Accounting Principles (GAAP) using:
(a) Books of prime entry; and
(b) Cash books including internal control over cash.
3 Apply double entry principles to:
(a) Accounting equation;
(b) Basic rules of double entry book-keeping;
(c) Ledger accounts entry principle; and
(d) Balancing ledger accounts and extracting trial balance.
4 State the usefulness and limitations of trial balance. 
 C. Reconciliation in financial accounting15%
1Errors and omissions(a) Identify errors in the double entry system.
(b) Identify errors not highlighted by the extraction of the trial balance.
(c) Correct book keeping errors for given transactions.
(d) Determine the effect of errors on profit or loss/surplus or deficit.
(e) Explain the use of suspense account.
2Control accounts and reconciliations(a) Explain the use of receivables control account.
(b) Explain receivables control account.
(c) Explain the use of payables control account.
(d) Explain payables control account.
(e) Explain the purpose of suppliers’ statements and their reconciliation
with the ledgers.
3Bank reconciliation(a) State the purpose of bank reconciliation statement.
(b) Identify the causes of difference between cash book and bank
statement balances.
(c) Prepare bank reconciliation statement.
(d) Identify and correct cash book errors.
(e) Explain the use of adjusted cash book to determine the cash position in
the financial statements.
4Accounting treatment for bad and doubtful debts(a) Account for the write off of bad debts.
(b) Account for the recovery of bad debts.
(c) Determine the balance on the allowance for doubtful debts accounts.
(d) Account for the movement on the allowance for doubtful debts
(e) Account for movements in receivables.
5Accounting treatment for accruals and prepayments(a) Explain the meaning of an accrual.
(b) Account for accruals.
(c) Explain the meaning of a prepayment.
(d) Account for prepayments.
(e) Explain the meaning of accrued and unearned incomes.
(f) Account for accrued and unearned incomes.
 D. Accounting for transactions in the financial statements20%
1Accounting for Property, Plant and Equipment (PPE) in accordance with IAS 16(a) Identify the elements of PPE cost.
(b) State how PPE cost are initially recorded and measured.
(c) Compute, explain and record depreciation using the straight line and
reducing balance methods.
(d) Account for depreciation in the statement of profit or loss and other
comprehensive income.
(e) Account for disposal of PPE.
(f) Prepare simple notes to account for movements in PPE.
 E. Accounting for partnership, not-for-profit entities and incomplete records20%
1Partnership accounts(a) Discuss partnership business. (b) Prepare partners’ current and capital accounts.
(c) Determine partners’ share of profits.
(d) Account for changes in partnership (excluding amalgamation and
piecemeal realization).
2Not-for-profit entities’ accounts(a) Prepare receipts and payments account.
(b) Prepare income and expenditure account.
(c) Prepare statement of assets and liabilities.
3Incomplete records(a) State the need for preparation of accounts from incomplete records.
(b) Determine profit from the opening and closing capital balances.
(c) Explain the use of accounting equation, gross profit percentage, cash
book summaries, memoranda and control accounts to determine
missing figures for financial statements.
 F. Financial statements20%
1 State and explain the purpose, nature and relationships among the main
components of financial statements.
2Accounting policies, change in accounting estimates and errors (IAS 8)(a) Define accounting policies.
(b) Explain the guidance on the selection of accounting policies.
(c) Account for changes in accounting policies.
(d) Differentiate between accounting policies and accounting estimates.
(e) Explain how to account for changes in estimates.
(f) Identify and correct prior year errors.
3Accounting for inventories (IAS 2)(a) Explain the nature of inventories.
(b) Explain IAS 2 requirements for valuation of inventories.
(c) Explain the elements of cost of inventories.
(d) Explain the valuation and recognition of inventories on the basis of lower of
cost and net realisable value.
(e) Explain and measure the value of inventory using first-in-first-out (FIFO)
and weighted average cost (WAC).
(f) Explain the impact of various valuation methods on the profit or loss for a
(g) Explain the adjustment of opening and closing values of inventory in the
financial statements.
(h) Explain the use of periodic and perpetual inventory methods.
4Preparation of simple financial statements and supporting notes(a) Prepare statement of profit or loss and other comprehensive income in
accordance with IAS 1.
(b) Prepare statement of financial position in accordance with IAS 1. (c) Prepare simple statement of cash flows in accordance with IAS 7.
(d) Prepare simple statement of change in equity.
 Applicable accounting standardsConceptual Framework for Financial Reporting
 IAS 1 – Presentation of Financial Statements
 IAS 2 – Inventories
 IAS 7 – Statement of Cash Flows.
 IAS 8- Accounting Policies, Changes in Accounting Estimates and
 IAS 16 – Property, Plant and Equipment (PPE).
 NotesAll new applicable standards may be examined after six months from the date of
All applicable laws may be examined after six months from date of amendment or


Course 4: Management Information (A4)

About Management Information

Managers are professionals who cannot be substituted within an organisation. Management plays a pivotal role in every organisation because effective management decision helps an organisation navigate towards its set goals.

Are you an aspiring chartered accountant or a business professional seeking to become an effective manager and decision-maker within the financial or business world? If yes, then, this Management Information course is essential for you.

To be knowledgeable in management decision-making, the application of quantitative methods in financial management, and ace your forthcoming examinations as well, you should study Management Information using the updated ICAN syllabus.

Aim & Competencies


Accountants play vital roles in management, especially in management decision-making. Management information deals with the production of useful information to support management decision-making. Such information includes costing, management accounting and application of quantitative methods in financial management. Management information takes an integrated approach by developing an awareness of information technology and systems support.

Main competencies

On successful completion of this subject, candidates should be able to: 

  •  Ascertain cost of a product or service using different costing methods and techniques; 
  •  Compute the minimum volume of a product or service to be sold in a period to meet a specific profit target; 
  •  Assess the challenges posed and opportunities offered by electronic business and electronic commerce and management solutions; 
  •  Explain the roles of accountants in information system development; and 
  •  Identify ethical, social, and legal issues in the design and use of information systems.

Management Information (A4) Syllabus

 Syllabus for ICAN Foundation Level 
 Course NameA4 – Management Information 
 A. Cost accounting 
 TopicBreakdownMarking Guide
1Introduction to cost accounting(a) Describe the purpose and role of cost accounting within an organisation
considering the following:
(i) Definition of cost accounting;
(ii) Purpose of cost accounting;
(iii) Role of cost accountants; and
(iv) Advantages and disadvantages of cost accounting.
(b) Differentiate between cost accounting and financial accounting.
(c) Outline the managerial processes of planning, decision making and control.
(d) Explain the concepts of strategic, tactical and operational planning.
(e) Differentiate between cost data and information.
(f) Explain the attributes of good information.
2Cost classifications, codification, segregation and estimation(a) Cost classifications
(i) Explain the meaning of cost classification.
(ii) Explain the different classifications of cost. (iii) Describe different types of cost behaviour using graphical
(b) Cost codification
(i) Define cost codification.
(ii) Explain the principles of a coding system.
(iii) Explain and illustrate the use of codes in categorising transactions.
(c) Cost segregation and estimation
(i) Explain the meaning of cost segregation and cost estimation.
(ii) Explain the structure of linear functions and equations.
(iii) Demonstrate the use of the following cost segregation techniques:
 Industrial engineering;
 Account analysis;
 Scatter graph;
 High/low analysis; and
 Regression analyses.
(iv) Calculate and explain simple correlation coefficient.
3Accounting for cost elements(a) Accounting for inventory
(i) Describe the different procedures and documents necessary for
material management:
 Ordering;
 Purchasing;
 Receiving;
 Storage; and
 Issuing.
(ii) Explain inventory management and control procedures.
(iii) Identify, explain and calculate relevant inventory costs.
(iv) Compute optimal re-order quantities (involving quantity discounts).
(v) Explain and calculate the value of closing inventory and material
issues to production using LIFO, FIFO and average methods.
(vi) Explain Just-In-Time (JIT).
(b) Accounting for labour
(i) Explain labour recording and monitoring procedures.
(ii) Determine direct and indirect costs of labour.
(iii) Describe different remuneration methods: time-based systems,
piecework systems, and individual and group incentive schemes.
(iv) Determine the level and ascertain the causes and costs of labour
(v) Prepare and explain the entries in payroll accounting.
(c) Accounting for overheads (i) Explain the components of overheads (ii) Distinguish amongst allocation, apportionment and absorption of
(iii) Describe the bases of overheads apportionment.
(iv) Apportion and re-apportion overhead costs between production and
service centres (including using the reciprocal method where service
cost centres work for each other and simultaneous equation
(v) Describe the bases and procedures involved in determining
production overhead absorption rates.
(vi) Explain and calculate under- and over-absorption of overheads.
(vii) Explain activity based costing.
(i) Explain the components of overheads.
4Costing methods(a.) Explain types of costing methods and compile cost using:
(i) Specific order costing of:
 Job costing;
 Batch costing; and
 Contract costing.
(ii) Process costing
 Determine the cost of a unit of output where there is normal
loss, abnormal loss and abnormal gain.
 Prepare process accounts (including accounting for normal
loss, abnormal loss and abnormal gain).
 Explain the concept of equivalent units.
 Determine the value of complete units and work-in-progress
(WIP) using weighted average and FIFO methods.
 Differentiate between by-products and joint products.
 Estimate the value of by-products and joint products at splitoff point (the point of separation).
(iii) Service costing
 Identify situations where the use of service/operation costing
is appropriate.
 Illustrate suitable unit cost measures that may be used in
different service/operation situations.
 Carry out service cost analysis in simple service industry
5Costing techniques(a) Explain the various types of costing techniques.
(b) Prepare an income statement and determine the profit or loss under
absorption and marginal costing.
(c) Describe the advantages and disadvantages of absorption and marginal
(d) Reconcile the profits or losses computed under absorption and marginal
 B. Forecasting, budgeting and decision making30%
1Forecasting techniques(a) Explain the principles of time series analysis (cyclical, trend, seasonal
variation and random elements).
(b) Explain the advantages and disadvantages of time series analysis.
(c) Calculate moving averages; use trend and seasonal variation (additive and
multiplicative) to make budget forecasts.
2Budgeting(a) Explain the importance of budgeting system.
(b) Describe the stages in the budgeting process.
(c.) Explain the importance of principal budget factor.
(d) Prepare simple functional budgets.
(e) Prepare simple cash budget.
(f) Prepare simple master budget.
3Basic variance analysis(a) The purpose and principles of standard costing
Identify types of standard and calculate the following basic variances:
i. Direct material price and usage;
ii. Direct labour rate and efficiency;
iii. Variable production overhead expenditure and efficiency;
iv. Fixed production overhead expenditure and volume; and
v. Sales price and volume.
(b) Explain possible causes of the variances.
4Cost-Volume-Profit (CVP) analysis(a) Explain the concept of cost-volume-profit analysis.
(b) Calculate break-even point, margin of safety and target profit for a single
(c) Prepare and explain break-even chart (traditional approach, contribution
approach, profit/volume approach).
(d) Explain the limitations of cost-volume-profit analysis.
5Decision-making(a) Explain the concept of relevant cost and revenue.
(b) Explain the concept of limiting factor.
(c) Describe short-term decision-making situations involving make or buy
decisions using relevant cost approach.
(d) Explain and calculate optimal resource allocation to a product or service
based on the concept of limiting factor (single constraint/bottleneck).
 C. Information systems and technology40%
1Information systems(a) Define and explain information systems.
(b) State the approaches to information systems.
(c) Explain the usefulness of information systems to the following business
functions. (i) Sales and marketing;
(ii) Manufacturing and production;
(iii) Finance and accounting; and
(iv) Human resources.
(d) Describe the relationship among organisations, information systems and
business processes.
(e) State and explain the following classifications of information systems:
(i) Executive support systems (ESS);
(ii) Management information systems (MIS);
(iii) Decision support systems (DSS);
(iv) Knowledge management systems (KMS);
(v) Transaction processing systems (TPS); and
(vi) Office information systems (OIS).
(f) Explain the ethical, social, and political issues of information systems.
(g) Explain the impact of contemporary information systems and the Internet on
the protection of individual privacy and intellectual property.
(h) State management challenges in developing and using information
systems in organisations.
2Electronic business and e-commerce(a) Explain the modern information technology infrastructure for a digital firm.
(b) Identify internet platforms and the use of e-business and e-commerce.
(c) Describe the technologies used for e-business and e-business models.
(d) Explain the internal and external applications of e-business and
(e) Itemise management issues associated with e-business.
(f) Explain the effect of internet technology on value propositions, business
models, consumer retailing and business-to-business transactions.
(g) Explain e-commerce payment systems.
(h) State the role of internet technology in facilitating management and
coordination of internal and inter-organisational business processes.
(i) Explain the challenges posed by e-business and e-commerce in
(j) Explain m-commerce and its applications in business
3Information technologya. Computer hardware
(i) Identify and discuss different types of computer hardware.
(ii) Identify and discuss computer processor, storage, input and output
b. Computer software
(i) Explain the following:
 System software;
 Application software packages;
 Process of managing computer software; and  Collaborative and social software.
(ii) State the methods and processes of acquiring application software
c. Database and information storage
(i) Explain the approaches to filing in an organization.
(i) Define and explain a database.
(iii) Explain the procedure for database purchase; design principles,
warehousing and maintenance issues.
(iv) Explain the database management systems (DBMS) approach.
(v) Explain modern media in storing data and information.
(vi) Outline the process of managing data resources.
d. Cloud computing
(i) Explain the infrastructure, platform and application (software service)
layers of the cloud pyramid.
(ii) Explain the characteristics of cloud computing.
(iii) Differentiate between private and public clouds.
e. Processing techniques
(i) Explain and distinguish amongst multitasking, multi-processing and
(ii) Explain centralized, decentralized and distributed processing and
state their advantages and disadvantages.
(iv) Differentiate between on-line and real-time processing.
4Organisational support systemsa. Enterprise applications
Describe the following applications that support business functions:
i. Enterprise resource planning (ERP);
ii. Supply chain management (SCM);
iii. Customer relationship management (CRM) systems;
iv. Warehouse management system (WMS); and
v. Enterprise content system (ECS).
b. Computer forensic
Define and explain computer forensic practices and applications.
5The role of accountants in information system developmentExplain the following:
(a) The system development life cycle (SDLC);
(b) Alternatives to SDLC including prototyping and rapid application
(c) System development and management considerations;
(d) The impact of developing new systems on organisations;
(e) Developing information systems that support an organisation’s business
(f) The core activities in the systems development process; (g) Alternative methods for developing information systems and alternative
methodologies for modelling systems; and
(h) The challenges of developing information systems.
6System security and control(a) Explain the purpose for special protection from destruction, error, and abuse
of information systems.
(b) Explain the business value of security and control.
(c) Explain the organisational and managerial frameworks for security and
(d) Identify various system vulnerabilities and abuses.
(e) State the preventive maintenance techniques and security controls.
(f) Explain disaster recovery planning.
(g) Explain quality control and quality assurance.
(h) Outline the tools and technologies for safeguarding information resources.
(i) Identify the challenges posed by information systems security and control,
and management solutions.


Course 5: Business Law (A5)

About Business Law

As a professional accountant who wishes to ace the ICAN Business Law course in the forthcoming ICAN professional examinations, you need to have an in-depth understanding of the legal insights relevant to your field and how they work.

This course will expose you to the theoretical and non-theoretical aspects of  Nigerian law and laws relevant to the public sector. You will understand how these laws affect you, your clients, and your organization. This updated ICAN syllabus is an effective resource that will help you study to know all that you should about Business Law and effectively apply them.

Aim & Competencies


Accountants as 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 laws relevant to public sector entities. All business professionals also need knowledge of how laws affect them personally and in their employment and business activities.

Main competencies

On successful completion of this paper, candidates should be able to: 

  •  Understand the nature, components and sources of Nigerian law as well as the court system in hierarchical order; 
  •  Understand the law on the nature, formation and management of partnership and companies;  Compare and Contrast law and ethics; 
  •  Explain law of contracts (including e-contract), agency types, duties and rights, negligence and vicarious liability in professional practice, as well as types of goods, duties and rights of seller and buyers of goods, formation of hire purchase contracts and the duties of parties thereto;
  • Understand the key principles of insurance contract, negotiable instruments and the legal position of the parties to them; 
  •  Explain the basic law on banking, including the functions and duties of the Central Bank of Nigeria, other banks and financial institutions under the Central Bank Act and Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act; and 
  •  Understand alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanism.

Business Law (A5) Syllabus

 Syllabus for ICAN Foundation Level 
 Course NameA5 – Business Law 
 A. The Nigerian legal and court systems 
 TopicBreakdownMarking Guide
1 (i) Identify and explain sources of Nigerian law.
(ii) Outline the distinction between civil law and criminal law.
(iii) Differentiate between case law and statutes.
(iv) Explain the hierarchy of courts in Nigeria.
 B Partnership, company and insolvency laws35%
1Partnership law(a) Explain the nature as well as types of, and the differences between a
partnership and a company.
(b) Describe the process by which a partnership may be formed
including the preparation of relevant documents. (c) Identify the procedure for management of a partnership including the
rights and duties of partners, their relationship inter se and with third
(d) Describe when and how a partnership may be dissolved.
2Company Law(a) Outline the composition and functions of the Corporate Affairs
(b) Describe the procedure for incorporation of a company, preincorporation contracts, promoters and their duties.
(c) Explain the consequences of incorporation and lifting the veil of
(d) Describe the contents of a Memorandum and Articles of Association
and how each can be amended.
(e) State the procedures for issue of shares and debentures (corporate
(f) Identify and explain ways in which the capital of a company is
maintained and protected including laws relating to distribution of
(g) State how directors may be appointed, re-appointed, removed or in
any other way cease to hold office.
(h) Outline the duties of directors including fiduciary and other duties.
(i) Explain the powers of directors.
(j) State the consequences of a breach of duty by a director.
(k) State the requirements for share transfer and disclosure of
(l) Explain how shareholders can influence the composition of the
board, strategy or decisions of a company.
(m) Describe how meetings of shareholders can be requisitioned and
how voting operates.
(n) Identify the rights of shareholders to challenge the management of a
(o) Explain issues bordering on appointment, powers, functions and
removal/resignation of a company secretary.
(p) Distinguish among types of meeting (statutory annual general
meeting, extraordinary general meeting), notices required and
(q) Differentiate between ordinary and special resolutions.
(r) Describe statutory books and practical issues that relate to record
keeping and filing.
(s) Explain the duties, powers and responsibilities of a company auditor,
outlining the basic steps of appointment, removal and resignation.
(t) Explain how a company may be wound up.
3Law of Insolvency(a) Describe the differences among the types of insolvency, liquidation
and receivership taking into consideration the rights of creditors and
(b) Outline the consequences of insolvency.
(c) Explain the nature of and differences between fixed and floating
 C. Criminal Law10%
1Criminal law regulating businesses and professional accountancy
1. Distinguish among laws, ethics and ethical codes.
2. State the basic laws relating to theft, fraud and deception.
3. State the basic laws relating to bribery.
4. State the basic laws relating to money laundering.
5. Explain the basic laws relating to negotiable instruments.
6. Identify situations relating to data protection and computer misuse.
7. Outline electronic evidence.
8. Explain the role of an accountant as an expert witness in fraud cases
including computer fraud.
 D. Law of commercial transactions35%
1Law of contract(a) Explain the nature, framework and types of contract.
(b) Describe how a contract may be made emphasizing the elements of
a valid contract and how it can be enforced.
(c) Explain vitiating elements and how a contract may be terminated
as well as the remedies for breach of contract.
(d) Describe the nature of e-contracts and outline how they can be
2Agency(a) Explain the nature of an agency relationship.
(b) Identify situations where agency exists.
(c) Explain the duties, rights and legal capacity of an agent.
3Law of torts(a) Describe negligent actions or omissions and outline their
(b) Explain vicarious liability and passing off.
4Sale of goods(a) Define goods.
(b) Explain passing of property.
(c) State the duties, rights and remedies of a seller and buyer.
(d) Explain the duties and rights of a seller and buyer as well as
elements of passing off in sale of property.
5Hire purchase(a) Distinguish hire purchase from similar contracts.
(b) State the mandatory contents of a Memorandum of hire purchase.
(c) Explain the rights, duties and remedies of parties to a hire
purchase contract.
6InsuranceExplain the nature of insurance contract, insurable interest, subrogation and
contribution as well as assignment of policy.
7Banking and negotiable instruments(a) Explain the duties of banks and other financial institutions.
(b) Describe the powers and duties of the Central Bank of Nigeria
(Reference to Central Bank Act as well as Banks and Other Financial
Institutions Act.
(c) Explain types of Negotiable Instrument and the duties and liabilities
of parties to a bill.
(d) Define bill of lading and explain its nature and operation.
(e) Describe letter of credit and letter of comfort.
 E. Employment law5%
1 (i) Identify situations that give rise to employment contracts.
(ii) State the law relating to employment, including employment
contracts, duties and rights, dismissal, unfair dismissal and other
claims of the employee.
 F. Law of trusts and administration of estate5%
1 (i) Explain creation of trusts, the duties, powers, rights and accounts of
trustees as well as the rights of beneficiaries.
(ii) Explain the investments authorized by the Trustee Investment Act.
(iii) Differentiate between executors and administrators and explain their
 G. Alternative dispute resolution mechanisms5%
1 (i) Define alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms.
(ii) Explain the nature, operation, advantages and disadvantages of
alternative dispute resolution mechanisms as against courtadjudicated disputes.
(iii) Explain arbitration and arbitral awards.

Academic Exemption for Some Courses

 Exemption Guidelines
SNAcademic QualificationExemptions
APhD (Accounting) with M.Sc. (Accounting) and B.Sc.(Accounting)All subjects in Foundation and Skills levels
BM.Sc. (Accounting) obtained from ICAN accredited institutions in addition to B.Sc. in Accounting. All subjects in Foundation level
 B1.Financial Reporting
 B2. Audit and Assurance
CM.Sc. (Accounting) obtained from ICAN accredited institutions but
without B.Sc. in Accounting.
 A2. Business, Management and Finance
 A3. Financial Accounting
 A4. Management Information
DM.Sc. (Accounting) obtained from non-accredited institutions in addition
to B.Sc. in any accounting related discipline.
 A2. Business, Management and Finance
 A3. Financial Accounting
 A5. Business Law
EB.Sc/HND (Accounting) obtained under the Mutual Co-operation
Agreement with Tertiary Institutions (MCATI)
 All subjects in Foundation and Skills Levels
FATSWA ( from year 2010) All subjects in Foundation Level
 B2. Audit and Assurance
GATS II (pre-2010) A2. Business, Management and Finance
 A3. Financial Accounting
 A4. Management Information
HB.Sc./HND (Accounting) obtained from ICAN accredited Institutions in Nigeria. All subjects in Foundation Level
 B2. Audit and Assurance
IB.Sc./HND (Accounting) obtained from recognised institutions in Nigeria but not accredited by ICAN. A2. Business, Management and Finance
 A3. Financial Accounting
 A5. Business Law
JB.Sc./HND (Accounting)/ Masters in Accounting & Finance (MAF) obtained from foreign recognised institutions. A2. Business, Management and Finance
 A3. Financial Accounting
 A4. Management Information
KB.Sc. Economics A2. Business, Management and Finance
LB.Sc. Actuarial Science A2. Business, Management and Finance
 A5. Business Law
MB.Sc./HND Insurance A2. Business, Management and Finance
 A5. Business Law
NB.Sc./HND/B.A Business Admin/Management/Public
 A2. Business, Management and Finance
 A5. Business Law
OB.Sc./HND Banking and Finance A2. Business, Management and Finance
 A5. Business Law
PB.Sc./HND Marketing A2. Business, Management and Finance
 A5. Business Law
QMBA/MBF in addition to B.Sc./HND in non- accounting discipline A2. Business, Management and Finance
 A5. Business Law
RB.Sc. (Ed.) Accounting or B.Ed. Business Education (Accounting option) A2. Business, Management and Finance
 A3. Financial Accounting
 A5. Business Law
SB.Ed. Education Management (Accounting Option) A2. Business, Management and Finance
 A5. Business Law
TB.Ed. Business Education A2. Business, Management and Finance
UB.Sc./B.A Commerce A2. Business, Management and Finance
 A5. Business Law
VB.Sc./HND Cooperative and Rural Development A2. Business, Management and Finance
 A5. Business Law
WLL.B/LL.M/LL.D A5. Business Law

Professional Exemption

 Professional qualifications
AAssociate Chartered Institute of
Bankers of Nigeria (ACIBN)
 All subjects in Foundation level except Taxation
BAssociate Institute of Financial
Services, UK (Formerly Chartered
Institute of Bankers, London)
 A2. Business, Management and Finance
 A3. Financial Accounting
CAssociate Chartered Institute of
Stockbrokers of Nigeria (ACIS)
 A2. Business, Management and Finance
 A3. Financial Accounting
 A5. Business Law
DAssociate Institute of Chartered
Secretaries and Administrators
 A2. Business, Management and Finance
 A3. Financial Accounting
 A5. Business Law
EAssociate Chartered Institute of
Insurance of Nigeria (ACIIN)
 A2. Business, Management and Finance
 A5. Business Law
FAssociate Chartered Institute of
Taxation of Nigeria (ACITN)
 All subjects in Foundation level except
Management Information
GCertified National Accountant of
Nigeria (CNA)
 All subjects in Foundation and Skills
HFederal Treasury Academy with
effect from 1987 (Formerly
Federal Treasury Training School)
 All subjects in Foundation Level
 B2. Audit and Assurance
IICAEW All subjects at all levels
J*CIPFA, UKAll levels except the following subjects in each of the levels:
 A5. Business Law
 C4. Advanced Taxation
K*CIMA, UKAll levels except the following subjects in each of the level:
 A5. Business Law
 B5. Public Sector Accounting & Finance
 C2. Advanced Audit and Assurance
 C4. Advanced Taxation
All levels except the following subjects in
each of the levels:
 A5. Business Law
 B5. Public Sector Accounting & Finance
 C4. Advanced Taxation
MAIA (Final) with effect from 1994
 A2. Business, Management and Finance
 A3. Financial Accounting
 A4. Management Information
 B2. Audit and Assurance
NAIA (Pre-1994) A2. Business, Management and Finance
 A3. Financial Accounting
 A4. Management Information

Frequent Asked Questions About ICAN Foundation Level

What's the ICAN foundation level exam fee??

Exam registration fee for the Foundation-level of ICAN depends on the number of courses you want to register for. Writing 4 courses at this level will cost you N48,510. See fee breakdown here:

How many courses are in the foundation level of ICAN?

There are five courses in the foundation level of ICAN. They are; Taxation, Business, Management, and Finance, Financial Accounting, Management Information, and Business Law.

How do I register for the foundation level of ICAN?

Candidates must register online for the examinations. Visit the institute’s website for guidelines on students’ registration.

How long does it take to complete the foundation-level exams?

The Foundation level examinations can be completed in one diet sitting. Candidates writing the examinations may register for any number of papers at a level and shall be credited with each paper passed. However, they are expected to complete the examination at a level before attempting papers at a higher level.

When will registration for the ICAN examinations begin?

ICAN examination is done twice a year, usually in May and November. However, registration for the exam starts 3 months before the exam dates.

What is the ICAN pass mark for the foundation level?

The pass mark for each paper of the ICAN examination is 50%.

Do I need to attend tutorial to pass this exam?

You can choose “self-study” or attend tutorials. It is advised that you study for the exams using the updated ICAN syllabus which available at

Are graduates exempted from foundation-level stage of ICAN?

Yes, Graduates with a B.Sc or HND in Accounting obtained from ICAN-accredited institutions or obtained under the Mutual Co-operation Agreement with Tertiary Institutions (MCATI) are exempted from all or some courses in the foundation level. Please check academic and professional exemption sections for more information


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