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ICAN Skills Level Syllabus

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

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About Skills Level of ICAN

The Skills level of the ICAN (Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria) is the second level in the ICAN-ACA professional examination. The Skills level examinations are taken by individuals who aspire to become chartered accountants or professionals in the field of accounting and finance.

These exams are designed for students who have completed the foundational knowledge covered at the foundation level and are ready to delve deeper into public sector accounting and other specialized areas of accounting.

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 requirements for ICAN – ACA qualification are set out in this syllabus in the form of learning outcomes and competencies

Candidates with a BSc, M.Sc, and PhD in Accounting are exempted from the Skills level of the ICAN professional examination, while others having fewer qualifications might be exempted from one or more papers at this level. (Please see the academic and professional qualification exemption below).

The Skills level of accounting has 6 courses.

Skills Level in ICAN

The Skills level builds on the foundation knowledge and takes students to a higher-level knowledge, developing further, their skills and competencies. The emphasis is on application of skills to business situations. There are six courses in this level including.

  1. Financial Reporting
  2. Audit and Assurance
  3. Corporate Strategic Management and Ethics
  4. Performance Management
  5. Public Sector Accounting & Finance
  6. Taxation ( Moved from the Foundation Level)

    candidates are at liberty to attempt them in any order.

Course 6 : Taxation (B6)

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

Aim 

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.

B6 Taxation Syllabus

 Syllabus for ICAN Foundation Level 
 LevelFoundation 
 Course NameB6 – Taxation 
 AbbreviationTax 
 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.
20%
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
(VAIDS)
(h) Explain the role and relationship between Fiscal Policy, Tax legislation and
Administration
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
(IESBA):
(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
inventories.
(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
liability.
(g) Explain the treatment of VAT on imported and exported goods and
services.
(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
stamping.
(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
duties.
(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
trade.
(ii) Computation of assessable profit of a trade or profession
 Identify taxable and non-taxable income.
 Identify and explain allowable and non-allowable
expenses.
(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
expenditure.
 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
treatments.
 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
partner.
(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
restrictions.
 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
taxation.
(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
(TETFund).
(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 5 : Public Sector Accounting & Finance

About Public Sector Accounting & Finance

In the dynamic world of accounting, studying Public Sector Accounting and Finance (PSAF) with the updated ICAN syllabus is a sure bet to broadening your expertise and acing the ICAN-ACA  professional examinations.

This PSAF syllabus extensively covers topics on planning and budgeting, audit, public finance, and regulatory frameworks of Public Sector Accounting. These topics provide a deep understanding of the principles, concepts, and laws associated with Public Sector Accounting and Finance.

By studying the updated ICAN syllabus on Public Sector Accounting and Finance, you pave your way to success in the ICAN professional exams and establish yourself as an expert in Public Sector Accounting.

Aim & Competencies

Aim

Candidates are expected to:  

  • Understand the activities/services in the public sector environment, legislative and financial frameworks as well as the accounting practices required to ensure accountability in the sector;
  • Identify the nature of public sector organizations and their objectives, the role and significance of accounting standards, the structure of government and key aspects of legislation in public sector accounting; and  
  • Understand the concept of public goods and how the government finances and optimally provides these goods.

 

Main competencies

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

  • Understand the concepts and frameworks of public sector accounting; 
  • Understand the roles, duties and powers of officers and various organs in the public sector; 
  • Understand basic principles of public sector financial management

B5 - Public Sector Accounting & Finance

 Syllabus for ICAN Skills Level 
 LevelSkills 
 Course nameB5- Public Sector Accounting and Finance 
 AbbreviationPSAE 
 A. Regulatory and conceptual frameworks of public sector accounting 
 TopicBreakdownMarking guide
1The constitutional and regulatory frameworks of public sector accounting(a) Discuss the importance of the constitutional, legislative and regulatory
contexts of Public Sector Accounting with specific emphasis on:
(i) The constitutional provisions on revenue, revenue allocation and
public expenditure (federal, states and local governments);
(ii) The provisions of the Finance (Control and Management) Act of
1958 (as amended); and
(iii) Financial regulations for Federal and State Governments and
financial memoranda for Local Government Councils.
(b) Discuss the provisions of:
(i) Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2010 in relation to:
 The medium term expenditure framework (MTEF);
 The annual budget (computational question may be
examined);
 Budget execution and achievement of targets
(computational question may be examined);
 Savings and assets management;
 Transparency and accountability; and
 Enforcement.
(ii) Public Procurement Act, 2007 in relation to:
 Fundamental principles of procurement;  Organisation of procurement;
 Procurement methods (goods and services);
 Special and restricted methods of procurement;
 Procurement of consultant (services);
 Disposal of public property; and
 Offences.
(iii) International Public Sector Accounting Standards
IPSAS 11 – Construction Contracts (IAS 11). Computational
question may be examined; and
(iv) IPSAS 12- Inventories (IAS 2). Computational question may be
examined.
c) Assess ethical issues in public sector accounting in respect of functions
and powers (offences and penalties) of the following bodies:
(i) Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC);
(ii) Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences
Commission (ICPC);
(iii) Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB);
(iv) Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT); and
(v) Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
20%
2Public sector accounting concepts and pronouncementsa) Discuss:
(i) Accounting concepts, bases and principles relevant to public sector
accounting;
(ii) Concept of funds, its relationship to the entity concept and its
implications for income measurement and valuation;
(iii) Professional pronouncements on public sector accounting by the
United Nations, the International Committee on Public Sector
Financial Management and International Federation of Accountants
(IFAC) through IPSAS Board; and
(iv) Standardisation of Federal, State and Local Governments reporting
formats in Nigeria.
b) Discuss Pension Reform Act, 2014, in respect of:
(i) Objectives;
(ii) Rates of contribution to scheme;
(iii) Exemption from the scheme;
(iv) Retirement benefits;
(v) Retirement savings account;
(vi) Transitional provisions for the public sector;
(vii) Pension fund administrators (PFA)and pension fund custodians
(PFC);
(viii) Investment of pension fund; and
(ix) Offences, penalties and enforcement powers. (c) Discuss IPSAS 25 – Employee benefits (amended by IPSAS 39).
(d) Assess emerging issues in Nigerian public sector in relation to:
(i) Government Integrated Financial Management Information System
(GIFMIS);
(ii) Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS);
(iii) Treasury Single Account (TSA); and
(iv) Accounting Transaction Recording and Reporting System (ATRRS).
 
 B. Planning and budgeting20%
1 Discuss the:
(a) Importance of planning and budgeting in the public sector; and
(b) Objectives and the use of annual budget in the public sector.
 
2 Evaluate types of budget:
(a) Line–item budgeting system;
(b) Traditional/incremental budgeting system;
(c) Planning programming budgeting system (PPBS);
(d) Programme performance budgeting system (PPBS); and
(e) Zero–base budgeting system (ZBB).
 
3 Distinguish among rolling, development and perspective plans. 
4 Discuss the steps in the budgeting process and budgetary control. 
5 Evaluate and discuss IPSAS 24 – Presentation of Budget Information in Financial
Statements. Computational question may be examined.
 
 C. Report and audit30%
1Accounting and financial reporting(a) Present and evaluate the public sector accounting processes in relation to:
(i) Treasury cash book and transcripts;
(ii) Cash management and borrowing guidelines;
(iii) Types of vouchers and their uses;
(iv) Bank reconciliation statements;
(v) Subsidiary accounts – deposits, advances and imprest;
(vi) Journal entries for loss of public funds;
(vii) Vote book and expenditure control; and
(viii) Revenue control procedures.
(b) Discuss the roles of the following bodies:
(i) Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC); and
(ii) Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).
(c) Prepare and discuss the following:
(i) Federation Accounts;
(ii) Federal public sector independent revenue; and
(iii) Charges to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF). (d) Prepare statutory financial statements for federal, state and local
government treasury in accordance with cash basis IPSAS in respect of the
following:
(i) Cash Flow Statement;
(ii) Statement of Consolidated Revenue Fund;
(iii) Statement of Capital Development Fund;
(iv) Notes to the accounts;
(v) Performance reports;
(vi) Statistical reports; and
(vii) Accounting policies.
(e) Prepare statutory financial statements for federal, state and local
government treasury in accordance with Accrual Basis IPSAS in respect of
the following:
(i) Cash Flow Statement;
(ii) Statement of financial performance (Consolidated Revenue Fund);
(iii) Statement of financial position (statement of assets and liabilities);
(iv) Statements of changes in net assets/equity;
(v) Comparison of budget and actual amounts; and
(vi) Notes to the accounts.
(f) Discuss IPSAS 33 – First-time Adoption of Accrual Basis IPSAS.
(g) Interpret public sector financial statements using relevant and appropriate
techniques such as:
(i) Ratio analysis;
(ii) Variance analysis;
(iii) Budget performance indices; and
(iv) Revenue and expenditure profiles
 
2Accounting for public sector organisations and government business
entities
(a) Discuss the general nature of and differences among public sector
organisations:
(i) Organisations without the features of a private company e.g.
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Niger-Delta
Development Commission (NDDC), etc; and
(ii) Government business entities (i.e. hybrid organisations that have
features of private companies and public organisations e.g. Nigerian
Ports Authority (NPA), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigerian
Security Printing & Minting Company (NSPMC) Ltd, Securities and
Exchange Commission (SEC), etc.
(b) Discuss financial provisions of enabling laws for relevant utilities,
authorities, parastatals, boards, corporations, agencies and tertiary
educational institutions. (c) Prepare the financial statements of relevant utilities, authorities, parastatals,
boards, corporations, agencies and tertiary educational institutions in
accordance with Accrual Basis IPSAS, considering the following:
(i) Statement of financial position;
(ii) Statement of financial performance;
(iii) Statements of changes in net assets/equity;
(iv) Cash flow statement; and
(v) Notes to the accounts.
(d) Discuss the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) on
cash basis in relation to its structure, objectives, responsibility,
characteristics, and components.
(e) Discuss the following International Public Sector Accounting Standards
(IPSAS) on accrual basis in relation to the definitions, applications,
recognition, measurement and disclosures;
 
  IPSAS – Standards IAS/IFRS IPSAS 1- Presentation of Financial Statements – IAS 1
IPSAS 2 – Cash Flow Statements – IAS 7
IPSAS 3- Accounting Policies, Changes in Accounting Estimates and
Errors -IAS 8
IPSAS 4- The Effects of Changes in Foreign Exchange Rates – IAS 21
IPSAS 5- Borrowing Costs – IAS 23
IPSAS 6- Consolidated and Separate Financial Statements
(Replaced with IPSAS 34) -IAS 27
IPSAS 7- Investments in Associates (Replaced with IPSAS 36) – IAS 28
IPSAS 8- Interests in Joint Ventures (Replaced with IPSAS 36) -IAS 31
IPSAS 9- Revenue from Exchange Transactions – IFRS 15
IPSAS 10- Financial Reporting in Hyperinflationary Economies- IAS 29
IPSAS 13- Leases – IFRS 16
IPSAS 14- Events After the Reporting Date -IAS 10
IPSAS 15- Financial Instruments: Disclosure and Presentation
(Superseded by IPSAS 28 and IPSAS 30)
IPSAS 16- Investment Property -IAS 40
IPSAS 17- Property, Plant and Equipment -IAS 16
IPSAS 18- Segment Reporting -IAS 14
IPSAS 19- Provisions, Contingent Liabilities and Contingent Assets -IAS 37
IPSAS 20- Related Party Disclosures -IAS 24
IPSAS 21- Impairment of Non-Cash-Generating Assets – N/A
IPSAS 22- Disclosure of Financial Information About the General
Government Sector -N/A
IPSAS 23- Revenue from Non-Exchange Transactions (Taxes and
Transfers) -N/A
IPSAS 26- Impairment of Cash-Generating Assets- IAS 36
IPSAS 27- Agriculture -IAS 41 IPSAS 28- Financial Instruments: Presentation -IAS 32
IPSAS 29- Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement -IFRS 9
IPSAS 30- Financial Instruments: Disclosures -IFRS 7
IPSAS 31-Intangible Assets -IAS 38
IPSAS 32- Service Concession Arrangements: Grantor -IFRIC 12
IPSAS 34- Separate Financial Statements -IAS 27
IPSAS 35- Consolidated Financial Statements -IFRS 10
IPSAS 36- Investments in Associates and Joint Ventures -IAS 28
IPSAS 37- Joint Arrangements -IFRS 11
IPSAS 38- Disclosure of Interests in Other Entities -IFRS 12
IPSAS 40-Public Sector Combinations -IFRS 3
 
  Note: Applicable new standards and laws may be examined six months after the
date of issue.
 
3Public Sector AuditDiscuss the:
(a) Legal requirements for audit in the public sector and the roles of the
Accountant-General and Auditor-General;
(b) Processes of appointing auditors in the public sector;
(c) Basic steps in the process of auditing public sector financial statements;
(d) Concept of public accountability in the public sector;
(e) Financial guidelines for the operation of the public sector;
(f) Financial responsibilities of public sector officers;
(g) Nature and types of financial control in the public sector;
(h) Financial control institutions within the public sector (including their
functions and procedures), in respect of:
(i) Ministry of Finance;
(ii) Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation;
(iii) Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation;
(iv) Budget office;
(v) Expenditure control unit; and
(vi) Fund section.
(i) Roles of national and state assemblies, and local government councils in
financial management and control;
(j) Financial management and virement procedures;
(k) Application of International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions
(ISSAI), standards for assurance and audit and their relationship with
Nigerian/International Standards on Auditing (NSA’s/ISA’s); and
(l) Value-for-money audit.
 
 D. Public finance30%
  (a) Evaluate the roles of the public sector in relation to the:
(i) Performance of the Nigerian economy; and
(ii) Objectives of fiscal responsibilities. (b) Discuss the main sources of revenue and capital finance.
(c) Discuss the roles of revenue collection agencies, such as:
(i) Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC);
(ii) Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS);
(iii) State Internal Revenue Service (SIRS);
(iv) Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR);
(v) Nigerian Customs Service (NCS); and
(vi) Local Government Revenue Authorities.
(d) Assess revenue collection and monitoring procedures.
(e) Justify the importance of grants as a source of revenue to federal, state and
local governments.
(f) Assess and evaluate the expenditure and revenue frameworks of public
finance in relation to:
(i) Public expenditure:
 Efficient provision of public goods:
 Deriving the efficiency contribution; and
 Problems in achieving efficiency.
(ii) Public goods:
 Justify government intervention in the provision of public
goods; and
 Evaluate how government spending creates positive
externalities in provision of public goods.
(g) Discuss the national privatisation policy with respect to:
i. Public versus private provision;
ii. Public versus private production;
iii. Public goods and public choice; and
iv. Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE).
(h) Assess borrowing policy and public debts in the context of:
(i) Funded and unfunded debts;
(ii) Debt burden;
(iii) Deficit financing (to tax or to borrow?); and
(iv) External loans: multilateral, Paris Club, London Club, promissory
notes and others.
(i) Evaluate debt management strategies in relation to:
(i) Loans pooling and consolidation;
(ii) Loan re-scheduling;
(iii) Debt-equity swap; and
(iv) Debt forgiveness.
(j) Evaluate and discuss principles and practice of federalism (fiscal
federalism, fiscal capacity and needs in multi-level public sector structures).
(k) Evaluate inter-public sectoral fiscal relations and Nigeria’s experience with
revenue allocation. (l) Appraise projects in the public sector, using:
(i) Cost-benefit analysis;
(ii) Cost-outcome analysis;
(iii) Cost-effectiveness analysis; and
(iv) Net present value and internal rate of return.
(m) Discuss the nature, causes and types of externalities.
(n) Evaluate emerging issues in Nigerian Public Finance.
 

Course 4 : Performance Managment

About Performance Management

To be successful in the ICAN  Performance Management examination, you are expected to be capable of analysing financial and non-financial data and information to support management decisions.

To achieve this, you need to be well-schooled on the application of strategic performance measurement techniques in evaluating and improving organizational performance and studying with the ICAN syllabus ensures that.

Studying with the ICAN syllabus gives you the most relevant knowledge and skills needed for excellent organisational management. With it, you are guaranteed of an excellent performance in the forthcoming ICAN-ACA professional examinations.

Aim & Competencies

Aim
Performance management develops and deepens candidates’ capability to provide information and decision-support to management in operational and strategic contexts with a focus on linking costing, management accounting and quantitative methods to critical success factors and operational strategic objectives whether financial, operational or with a social purpose. Candidates are expected to be capable of analysing financial and non-financial data and information to support management decisions.

Main competencies

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

  • Identify and apply appropriate budgeting techniques and standard costing to planning and control in business;  
  • Select and apply performance measurement techniques; 
  • Apply strategic performance measurement techniques in evaluating and improving organizational performance;  
  • Discuss the accounting information requirements and the role of accountants in project management; and 
  •  Select and apply decision-making techniques to facilitate efficient and effective business decisions in the use of scarce resources.

Performance Management (B4) Syllabus

 Syllabus for ICAN Skills Level 
 LevelSkills 
 Course nameB4-Performance Management 
 AbbreviationPM 
 A. Cost planning and control 
 TopicBreakdownMarking guide
1Overview of costs for planning and control(a) Discuss and evaluate the sources of performance management information.
(b) Analyse fixed and variable cost elements from total cost data using high/low
method and regression analysis.
(c) Differentiate between marginal costing and absorption costing.
(d) Analyse overhead costs using activity based costing.
20%
2Cost planning and control for competitive advantage(a) Discuss and apply the principles of:
(i) Target costing;
(ii) Life cycle costing;
(iii) Theory of constraints (TOC);
(v) Throughput accounting;
(vi) Back flush accounting;
(vii) Environmental accounting; and
(viii) Kaizen costing.
(b) Learning and experience curve theory
(i) Discuss and apply the learning and experience curve theory to
pricing, budgeting and other relevant problems.
(ii) Calculate and apply learning rate to cost estimation.
(c) Cost of quality
i) Explain quality costs.
ii) Analyse quality costs into costs of conformance and costs of nonconformance.
iii) Discuss the significance of quality costs for organisations.
 
3Ethical issues in performance management(a) Discuss ethical issues in performance management.
(b) Discuss the professional accountants’ code of ethics as it relates to
performance management.
 
 B. Planning and control20%
1Budgetary system, planning and control(a) Discuss and apply forecasting techniques to planning and control.
(b) Discuss budgetary system in an organization as an aid to performance
management.
(c) Evaluate the information used in budgetary system.
(d) Discuss the behavioural aspects of budgeting.
(e) Discuss the usefulness and problems associated with different types of
budget.
(f) Explain beyond budgeting models.
 
2Variance Analysis(a) Explain the uses of standard cost and types of standard.
(b) Discuss the methods used to derive standard cost.
(c) Explain and analyse the principle of controllability in the performance
management system.
(d) Calculate and apply the following variances:
(i) Material usage and price variances;
(ii) Material mix and yield variances;
(iii) Labour rate, efficiency and idle time variances;
(iv) Variable overhead expenditure and efficiency variances;
(v) Fixed overhead budget, volume, capacity and productivity variances;
(vi) Sales volume variance;
(vii) Sales mix and quantity variances;
(viii) Sales market size and market share variances; and
(ix) Planning and operational variances.
(e) Identify and explain causes of various variances and their inter-relationship.
(f) Analyse and reconcile variances using absorption and marginal costing
techniques.
 
 C. Performance measurement and control20%
1Performance analysis(a) Select and calculate suitable financial performance measures for a business
from a given data and information.
(b) Evaluate the results of calculated financial performance measures based on
business objectives and advise management on appropriate actions.
(c) Select and calculate suitable non-financial performance measures for a
business from a given data and information. (d) Evaluate the results of calculated non-financial performance measures
based on business objectives and advise management on appropriate
actions.
(e) Explain the causes and problems created by short-termism and financial
manipulation of results and suggest methods to encourage a long term
view.
(f) Discuss sustainability consideration in performance measurement of a
business.
(g) Select and explain stakeholders based measures of performance that may
be used to evaluate social and environmental performance of a business.
(h) Explain and interpret the Balanced Scorecard and Fitzgerald and Moon
Building Block model.
 
2Performance analysis in not-for-profit organisations(a) Discuss the problems of having non-quantifiable objectives in
performance management.
(b) Explain how performance may be measured in not-for-profit
organisations.
(c) Discuss the problems of having multiple objectives.
(d) Demonstrate the Value for Money (VFM) as a public sector objective.
 
3Divisional performance and transfer pricing(a) Discuss the various methods of setting transfer prices and evaluate the
suitability of each method.
(b) Determine the optimal transfer price, using appropriate models.
(c) Explain the benefits and limitations of transfer pricing methods.
(d) Demonstrate and explain the impact of taxation and repatriation of
funds on international transfer pricing.
(e) Select and explain suitable divisional performance measures for a given
business using return on investment, residual income and economic value
added approaches. Evaluate the results and advise management.
 
 D. Decision making30%
1Advanced decision-making and decision-support(a) Select and calculate suitable relevant cost based on given data and
information. Evaluate the results and advise management.
(b) Select, calculate and present cost-volume-profit analyses based on given
data and information including single and multiple products, using both
numerical and graphical techniques. Advise management based on the
results.
(c) Apply relevant cost concept to short term management decisions including
make or buy, out-sourcing, shut down, one-off contracts, adding a new
product line, sell or process further, product and segment profitability
analysis, etc. (d) Apply key limiting factors in a given business scenario to:
(i) Single constraint situation, including make or buy; and
(ii) Multiple constraint situations involving linear programming using
simultaneous equations, graphical techniques and simplex method.
(The simplex method is limited to formulation of initial tableau and
interpretation of final tableau).
NB. Computation and interpretation of shadow prices are also required.
(e) Explain different pricing strategies, including:
(i) Cost-plus;
(ii) Skimming;
(iii) Market penetration;
(iv) Complementary product;
(v) Product-line;
(vi) Volume discounting; and
(vii) Market discrimination.
(f) Calculate and present numerically and graphically the optimum selling price
for a product or service using given data and information by applying
relevant cost and economic models and advise management.
(g) Evaluate how management can deal with uncertainty in decision-making
including the use of simulation, decision-trees, replacement theory,
expected values, sensitivity analysis and value of perfect and imperfect
information.
 
2Working capital management(a) Discuss the nature, elements and importance of working capital.
(b) Calculate and explain the cash operating cycle.
(c) Evaluate and discuss the use of relevant techniques in managing working
capital in relation to:
(i) Inventory, including economic order quantity model and Just-in- Time
techniques;
(ii) Account receivables including cash discounts, factoring and
invoice discounting;
(iii) Account payables; and
(iv) Cash including Baumol and Miller-Orr Models.
 
3Capital budgeting decisions(a) Discuss the characteristics of capital budgeting decisions.
(b) Calculate and discuss various investment appraisal techniques such as:
(i) Traditional techniques:
 Accounting Rate of Return; and
 Pay-back period.
(ii) Discounted cash flow technique:  Net Present Value; and
 Internal Rate of Return.
NB: These may include basic profitability index and inflation but excluding
tax consideration and capital rationing.
(c) Evaluate asset replacement decision for mutually exclusive projects with
unequal lives.
 
 E. Strategic performance measurement5%
1 Analyse and evaluate business objectives and strategies using techniques such
as:
(a) C-analysis;
(b) Five forces analysis;
(c) The Boston Consulting Group Model;
(d) Value chain analysis;
(e) Ansoff’s matrix;
(f) Benchmarking; and
(g) SWOT analysis.
 
2 Analyse and evaluate suitable performance measures for:
(a) Profitability (GP, ROCE, ROI, EPS, EBITDA, etc.);
(b) Liquidity; and
(c) Solvency.
 
 F. Performance and management system5%
1 Evaluate and advise management on suitable information technology and strategic
performance management system, covering:
(a) Sources of information;
(b) Information technology tools for performance management at various levels
(strategic, tactical and operational); and
(c) Use of internet technologies for performance management and key
performance indicators.
 
2 Evaluate and advise management on suitable approaches that may be used to
manage people, issues and change when implementing performance management
systems.
 
3 Discuss the accounting information requirements and analyse the different types of
information systems used for strategic planning, management control and
operational control, and decision-making.
 
4 Discuss roles of accountants in:
(a) Project management;
(b) Project planning; and
(c) Project control methods and standards.
 

Course 3: Corporate Strategic Management & Ethics

About CSME

By studying the Corporate Strategic Management & Ethics course (CSME) using the ICAN syllabus, you don’t just aim to pass, you strive to excel with the skills and knowledge gained from this course.

The CSME course offers invaluable insights into corporate strategic management, effective risk management, sound corporate governance, and good ethics which support professional practice as an accountant.

This ICAN syllabus on CSME is aligned with the latest industry trends, practices, laws, and regulatory practices on Corporate Strategic Management & Ethics making it easy for you to study exactly what you need to excel in your forthcoming ICAN exams and corporate governance.

Aim & Competencies

Aim

This syllabus element takes knowledge from the first level to contemporary professional and business contexts in which excellence in corporate strategic management, effective risk management, sound corporate governance and good ethics support professional practice and business operations in private and public-sector entities.

Candidates will be equipped with knowledge and skills that will position them to effectively achieve objectives, meet expectations and remain focused on long-term sustainable success as professional accountants. Candidates are expected to be capable of analysing simple scenarios in terms of global best practices and compliance with laws and regulations in the context of the knowledge and skills they have cumulatively acquired and developed.

Main competencies

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

  • Analyse a business position, make informed choices and implement chosen strategies;  
  • Appreciate the impact of risk on corporate performance and implement programmes to mitigate it;
  • Differentiate between management and corporate governance and adopt best global practices to direct the affairs of an organisation; and 
  • Appreciate the impact of ethics on organisations and develop skills for ethical decision-making.

Corporate Strategic Management & Ethics Syllabus

 Syllabus for ICAN Skills Level 
 LevelSkills 
 Course nameB3- Corporate Strategic Management & Ethics 
 AbbreviationCSME 
 A. Introduction 
 TopicBreakdownMarking guide
1
Introduction
Explain the concept of strategic management and its importance.5%
 Distinguish strategic management from strategic planning, long term planning and
corporate planning.
 
 Distinguish the various levels of strategy: corporate; business; and functional. 
 Explain approaches to strategic planning, using:
a. Rational model;
b. Logical incremental model; and
c. Freewheeling opportunism model.
 
 Discuss the strategic management process: analysis; choice; implementation; and
evaluation.
 
 Explain the concept of corporate governance and discuss:
a. Perspectives on corporate governance;
b. Historical development of corporate governance: global and national; and
c. Structure, principles, functions and mechanisms of corporate governance.
 
 B. Strategic management30%
1Strategic analysis(a) Analyse a business and its strategy, given its purpose, mission, vision and
objectives from shareholders’ and stakeholders’ perspectives. (b) Analyse the external business environments and examine the opportunities and
threats that could arise from events or potential events at the global, national,
industry or competitive levels.
(c) Analyse the internal environment of a business to identify the strengths and
weaknesses and align them with the opportunities and threats in the
external environments.
(d) Analyse the position of a business in terms of its competitive strategy, plans and
current markets, drawing conclusions and giving simple recommendations on the
chosen plans.
(e) Analyse the position of a business with a chosen strategy in the context of its
environment, based on an assessment of its resources, processes, people,
information technology (IT), products, core capabilities and competences. Give
simple recommendations on the best options.
(f) Draft an overall analysis, drawing conclusions with recommendations based on
given financial and non-financial data and information from a variety of sources in
a given scenario.
(g) Determine sustainable competitive advantage and the core competence of a
business in a given scenario.
Note: Models for analyses include PESTEL, SWOT, SOAR, Porter’s diamond,
Porter’s Five Forces, Life Cycle, Value Chain, Benchmarking, Customer
Relationship Management and BCG Matrix.
 
2Strategic choice(a) Analyse the appropriate choices of strategy that a company may adopt
based on a given scenario. This should include competitive advantage, the
strategic clock, cost leadership differentiation, lock-in strategies and
collaboration.
(b) Identify and explain, based on an analysis of choices of strategy, the
impact of strategy on commercial, ethical, corporate social responsibility
and sustainability objectives.
(c) Evaluate the appropriateness of a chosen strategy that supports business
objectives, considering constraints, conflicts and other issues based on a
given scenario. The following models and tools may be employed in
carrying out the evaluation:
Models
(i) Porter’s generic competitive strategies;
(ii) Johnson, Scholes and Whittington (JSW) model of strategic
planning; and
(iii) Boston Consulting Group (BCG) model in strategic
management.
Tools
(i) Forecasting tools;
(ii) Trend analysis;
(iii) System modelling; and
(iv) Delphi technique.
(d) Draw conclusions based on market and product analyses that support a
business strategy concerning pricing, positioning, placing and other product
decisions in a strategic marketing plan.
(e) Determine the appropriate corporate growth strategy in a given scenario:
i) Internal development;
ii) Diversification;
iii) Forward and backward integration;
iv) Mergers and acquisitions;
v) Product portfolio management;
vi) Griener’s Growth Model; and
vii) Other growth models.
(f) Select a strategic growth direction of a company using Ansoff’s matrix
 
3Strategic implementation(a) Discuss and evaluate the alternative functional strategies that are
appropriate to deliver a chosen strategy in a given scenario such as
production, marketing, finance, IT and human resources.
(b) Develop and evaluate alternative business plans and proposals and select
the best option to implement a chosen strategy.
(c) Evaluate the tools and techniques for strategy implementation applicable to
different business units in a given scenario.
(d) Evaluate strategic performance using: balanced scorecard, performance
pyramid, and Fitzgerald and Moon building blocks.
(e) Appraise organisational structures and related activities that may be
appropriate to deliver a chosen strategy set out in a given scenario:
entrepreneurial, functional, divisional, conglomerate and matrix.
(f) Communicate chosen strategies and performance targets to operational
and tactical managers through annual budgets, monthly and weekly targets,
linking critical success factors (CSFs) to key performance indicators (KPIs)
and strategy.
(g) Evaluate and explain how information technology and information systems
can support the effective implementation of a business strategy including
issues of competitive advantage.
(h) Evaluate and explain the potential issues of change that may arise from
a chosen or given business strategic implementation plan.
(i) Evaluate the impact of organisational change on organisation culture
including cultural web and Mckinsey’s 7S model. (j) Evaluate the role of leadership in managing the change process, including
building and managing effective teams.
(k) Evaluate tools, techniques and strategies for managing and leading the
change process.
 
 C. Risk management20%
1 Explain the meaning of risk, including risks arising internally or externally and relate
them to achievement of:
(a) Strategic objectives;
(b) Operational efficiency and effectiveness;
(c) Reliable reporting; and
(d) Legal, regulatory and ethical compliance.
 
2 Identify and assess risks in a given scenario in relation to their impact(s) on
objectives.
 
3 Measure and prioritise risks. 
4 Discuss the role of board of directors in risk identification and assessment. 
5 Minimise risk using the ALARP (As Low As Reasonably Practicable) principle
(objective and subjective risk principles; related and correlated risk factors).
 
6 Evaluate appropriate responses to risks identified in a given scenario. 
7 Explain the roles of a risk manager and risk committees in risk management. 
8 Discuss risk auditing and monitoring. 
9 Identify and explain appropriate high-level procedures to mitigate risks in a given
scenario using TARA (transfer, avoidance, reduction and acceptance) framework.
 
10 Identify and explain appropriate mechanisms to monitor risk and risk management
processes including information and communication systems such as enterprise
risk management and ISO 31000 framework on risk management.
 
11 Evaluate both inherent and residual risks after mitigation in relation to
shareholders’ and stakeholders’ risk appetites in a given scenario.
 
12 Discuss alternative risk management approaches: risk diversification; risk transfer;
risk sharing; and risk hedging.
 
 D. Governance20%
1 Identify the issues and bases of decision making, employing theories and
philosophies of corporate governance in a given scenario. These include:
(a) Agency theory;
(b) Transaction cost theory;
(c) Stewardship theory;
(d) Resources dependency theory;
(e) Managerial and class hegemony theory;
(f) Psychological and organisational perspective theory;
(g) Stakeholders’ theory; and
(h) Systems theory.
 
2 Explain the nature, significance and scope of enterprise governance and threats to
effective governance, including:
(a) Concept of good governance;
(b) Roles of internal and external auditors;
(c) Board structure; and
(d) Audit committee.
 
3 Identify and assess roles and responsibilities of an effective board in a given
scenario.
 
4 Discuss ‘non-compliance with laws and regulations’ (NOCLAR) in relation to the
responsibilities of the board.
 
5 Discuss oversight functions of a board and institutional shareholders over
management in a given scenario.
 
6 Assess transparency of an entity through the quality of its disclosures. 
7 Discuss the importance and implications of probity as a principle of governance. 
8 Assess the extent to which a board in the public sector focuses on the value of
sustainable long-term success.
 
9 Assess the extent to which a board in the public sector focuses on: delivery of an
effective and appropriate public service; and acting in the public interest.
 
10 Discuss global developments in enterprise and corporate governance and
elucidate the rules-based and principles-based approaches to corporate
governance. Also, evaluate relevant national and international codes of corporate
governance.
 
11 Discuss the concept of corporate social responsibility and specify its background
and scope.
 
12 Discuss the concept of sustainability in business, sustainable asset management
(SAM) and full cost analysis (FCA).
 
13 Explain governance and management issues relating to the use of information
technology in organisations
 
 E. Ethics25%
1 Explain the nature, scope and sub-divisions of ethics (descriptive, normative and
meta-ethics; professional ethics and business ethics), and the relationship between
(a) morality and ethics; and
(b) ethics and law.
 
2 Explain and illustrate, using information in a given scenario, the importance of
professional and business ethics in the public and private sectors
 
3 Discuss and apply ethical theories to decision-making in professional practice:
consequential or teleological theories (egoism and utilitarianism); non–
consequential or deontological theories (ethics of duties and ethics of rights and
justice); ethical relativism; ethical absolutism; ethical subjectivism; and situation
ethics.
 
4 Discuss influences (individual, situational, cultural and religious), stages (Kohlberg’s
stages of moral development and the Heinz’s dilemma) and models for ethical
decision-making (Tucker’s five question model, American Accounting Association
(AAA) model, systems development ethics,).
 
5 Discuss the alternative models of professional-client relationship; agency, contract,
paternalism and fiduciary.
 
6 Identify and explain in the context of a given scenario, how the issues of moral
duties and moral dilemma may arise in professional and business ethics.
 
7 Discuss the nature of ethical conflicts and ethical threats confronting the
accountant in a professional practice, ethical safeguards and tests for resolving the
conflicts.
 
8 Examine the nature, procedure and challenges of whistle-blowing in the
accountancy profession.
 
9 Discuss the alternative ethical stances and culture of an entity (personal versus
corporate ethical stance), using:
(a) Johnson and Scholes four ethical stances;
(b) Gray,Owen and Adam’s seven-level classification of social
responsibilities;
(c) Johnson and Scholes conception of the cultural web; and
(d) Edgar Schein’s three levels of culture.
 
10 Identify and assess issues of professional ethics and corporate governance as they
may arise within the context of ICAN code of professional conduct and IFAC code
of ethics for professional accountants in a given scenario.
 
11 Discuss the ethical dimension of corruption (bribery, money laundering,
embezzlement, theft, fraud, extortion, and blackmail).
 

Course 2: Audit & Insurance

About Audit & Insurance

As an aspiring chartered accountant, studying for your Audit and Assurance examination using the  ICAN syllabus doesn’t just bring you closer to passing the ICAN-ACA exams or advancing your profession; it ensures you become an expert auditor.

The ICAN syllabus for Audit and Assurance is carefully designed to help accountants like you understand complex audit and assurance principles/standards and their real-life applications to simple situations requiring audit opinion.

Studying with this syllabus guarantees your success in the forthcoming ICAN examinations and becoming an expert auditor at a go.

Aim & Competencies

Aim

Candidates are expected to possess knowledge of accounting systems, generally accepted accounting principles, audit and assurance principles and practice to build a firm foundation for internal and external audit engagements. There is an emphasis on knowledge of national and international auditing standards and their application to simple situations requiring audit opinion. 

Main competencies

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

  • Appreciate the objectives, processes and need for external audit and assurance;  Recognise and explain ethical and legal issues arising in audit and assurance scenarios; 
  •  Apply and advise on the specific provisions of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) in carrying out the audit of companies;  
  • Advise on appropriate internal controls to deter or detect mistakes, errors and frauds in the preparation of financial statements; 
  •  Prepare letters and circularise relevant parties in the course of the audit by the standards; 
  •  Understand and apply audit evidence that is sufficient and appropriate in aiding the expression of opinion on financial statements, in line with the International Standards on Auditing; and 
  •  Report to those charged with the governance of companies, in line with regulations and standards.

Audit & Insurance Syllabus

 Syllabus for ICAN Skills Level 
 LevelSkills 
 Course nameB2- Audit and Assurance 
 AbbreviationAA 
 A. Objectives, need for and process of audit and assurance 
 TopicBreakdownMarking guide
1Objectives of audit and assurance (ISA 200)(a) Discuss the concepts of audit and assurance.
(b) Identify and explain the reasons for audit and assurance.
(c) Explain the benefits of different types of audit and assurance assignments.
(d) Identify the parties in audit and assurance engagements including the
members of the audit and assurance team and discuss their roles, duties
and rights.
(e) Compare and contrast the different levels of assurance that may be
obtained from audit and assurance assignments.
(f) Discuss audit expectation gap.
30%
2Need for audit and assurance(a) Discuss the legal and regulatory frameworks for statutory audit and
assurance in line with the provisions of:
(i) CAMA CAP C20 LFN 2004 (as amended);
(ii) BOFIA CAP B3 LFN 2004 (as amended)and with relevant circulars;
(iii) Insurance Act 2003, NAICOM Act, 2003;
(iv) Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria Act, 2011; (v) Nigerian standards on auditing (NSA); and
(vi) International standards on auditing (ISA).
(b) Discuss the role of the internal audit department in maintaining an effective
internal control system.
(c) Compare internal and external audits.
(d) Discuss the peculiarities of public sector audit.
 
3Process of audit and assurance(a) Explain the basic steps of audit and assurance process in relation to:
(i) Nomination;
(ii) Acceptance;
(iii) Engagement;
(iv)Planning (ISA 300, ISA 320);
(v) Performance:
 Evaluation of internal control;
 Evidence and obtaining evidence (ISA 500);
 Records and working papers;
 Testing and other works;
 Evaluating results (ISA 540);
(vi) Conclusion; and
(vii) Reporting (ISA 700).
(b) Explain public interest and the need for professional scepticism in carrying
out audit and assurance engagements.
(c) Discuss the concept of materiality (ISA 320).
(d) Explain reasonable assurance.
(e) Explain opinion and assurance report.
 
 B. The nature and use of internal control (ISA 315)20%
1 Discuss the meaning, objectives and nature of internal control. 
2 Discuss effective internal control. 
3 Discuss the different types of internal control. 
4 Discuss responsibilities for instituting and evaluating the effectiveness of internal
control.
 
5 Discuss the main components of internal control. 
6 Explain how accounting systems and related internal controls may be identified,
recorded and analysed.
 
7 Discuss the techniques required for evaluating internal controls (walk-through, spot
check, compliance test, substantive test)(ISA530);
 
8 Evaluate internal controls in a given scenario. 
9 Discuss the limitations of internal control. 
10 Discuss the contents of a management letter. 
11 Discuss internal controls in a computerized accounting environment (ISA 315). 
 C. Gathering evidence30%
 The nature of audit evidence and the selection of sufficient and appropriate audit evidence
(ISA 500)
  
1 Justify the need to maintain and keep working papers and other documentation. 
2 Evaluate the different sources and quality of evidence and the methods of obtaining
evidence.
 
3 . Document appropriate procedures for gathering evidence based on a given scenario
(ISA 505, ISA 520).
 
4 Identify the circumstances where written representations may be required (ISA 580). 
5 Evaluate the circumstances requiring discussion with senior assurance team members
(ISA 450) and advise on how this should be communicated and documented.
 
 D. Professional ethics and public interest20%
1 Discuss the importance of professional ethics. 
2 Differentiate between rule-based and principle-based approaches to professional ethics. 
3 Explain the meaning of public interest in the context of audit and assurance. 
4 Discuss ethical issues under IFAC code and ICAN professional code of ethics and guide
for members.
 
5 Compare ethical issues in the governance of private and public entities. 
6 Discuss actions to deal with ethical dilemmas. 
7 Assess the ethical threats to independence and safeguards. 
8 Assess the ethical conflicts an accountant faces as an employee in a private or public
entity.
 
9 Assess the ethical conflicts facing an accountant when charged with governance in a
private or public entity.
 
10 Discuss the concept of whistle blowing in relation to audit and assurance (non compliance
with rules and regulations – NOCLAR).
 
 Applicable Standards 
1International Standards on Auditing (ISA) 200 – Overall Objectives of the Independent Auditor and the Conduct
of an Audit in Accordance with International Standards on Auditing.
 230 – Audit documentation
 300 – Planning an Audit of Financial Statements
 315- Identifying and Assessing the Risks of Material Misstatement Through
Understanding the Entity and its Environment
 320 – Materiality in Planning and Performing an Audit
 450 – Evaluation of Misstatements Identified during the Audit
 500 – Audit Evidence
 505 – External Confirmations
 520 – Analytical Procedures
 530 – Audit Sampling
 540- Auditing Accounting Estimates, Including Fair Value Accounting
Estimates and Related Disclosures
 580 – Written Representations
 700 – The Auditor’s Report on Financial Statements.
 
2Nigerian Standards on AuditingNote: All the approved and released standards may be examined after six months
from date of issue
 

Course 1: Financial Reporting

About Financial Reporting

This ICAN syllabus on Financial Reporting is fully stacked with every topic that helps you, the learner, understand the principles of accounting, international accounting standards, regulatory frameworks for accounting and reporting amongst other courses

If you’re preparing for the ICAN-ACA professional examinations,  all you need to come out top is right here.

Studying this syllable will fully endow you with the necessary skills and expertise required for excellence in your forthcoming ICAN examinations.

Aim & Competencies

Aim

Financial accounting from the Foundation level is taken up a notch to financial reporting in the context of more complex events and transactions with a greater emphasis on compliance with regulations including international accounting standards and generally accepted accounting principles. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate an understanding of and competence in financial statements preparation, analysis, interpretation and reporting.

Main competencies

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

  • On successful completion of this paper, candidates are expected to be able to: 
  • Explain the importance of regulatory frameworks for accounting and reporting;  
  • Identify and state the circumstances in which private sector entities are required to prepare and present statutory financial statements;  
  • Identify and state the laws, regulations, accounting standards and other requirements that govern the preparation of financial statements by public and private sector entities;  
  • Account for specific transactions in accordance with relevant international accounting standards; 
  • Draft and present financial statements, or extract from them, of an entity and simple groups in accordance with its chosen policies and in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and local laws; 
  •  Assess the circumstances in which the use of IFRS may not be required for companies;
  • Analyse and interpret financial statements of entities and simple groups; and 
  •  Understand recent developments and ethical issues in the area of financial reporting.

Financial Reporting Syllabus

 Syllabus for ICAN Skills Level 
 LevelSkills 
 Course NameB1-Financial Reporting 
 AbbreviationFR 
 A. Conceptual and regulatory frameworks for financial reporting 
 TopicBreakdownMarking guide
1Conceptual Framework(a) Explain the meaning and purpose of conceptual framework.
(b) Explain the objectives, qualitative characteristics and limitations of
financial statements.
(c) Discuss the underlying assumptions in preparing financial
statements.
(d) Identify users of financial statements and their information needs.
(e) Identify and discuss the components of financial statements.
(f) Explain the concept of capital maintenance.
(g) Differentiate between principle-based and rule-based financial
reporting frameworks.
(h) Discuss accrual, cash and breakup bases of accounting.
10%
2Regulatory framework(a) Identify and discuss laws, regulations, accounting standards and
other requirements that govern the preparation of financial
statements.
(b) Identify and discuss relevant provisions of Companies and Allied
Matters Act, Cap C20 LFN 2004 (as amended), and special
pronouncements by regulatory authorities (CBN, NDIC, FRCN,
NAICOM, NSE, SEC, PENCOM, etc.)
(c) Explain the standard setting process of International Accounting
Standards Board (IASB) and the relationship with national standard
setters.
(d) Discuss the process of adoption of IFRSs and applicable local
standards.
(e) Explain the peculiar nature and relevant frameworks of specialized,
not-for-profit and public sector entities including IFRS, national
standards and International Public Sector Accounting Standards
(IPSAS).
 
 B. Accounting standards and policies relating to specific transactions in
financial statements
20%
1Tangible non-current assetsCalculate, where necessary, discuss and account for tangible non-current
assets in accordance with the provisions of relevant accounting standards
(IAS 16, IAS 20, IAS 23, IAS 40, and IFRS 5).
 
2Intangible non-current assets (IAS 38)Calculate, where necessary, discuss and account for intangible non-current
assets in accordance with the provisions of IAS 38.
 
3Impairment of tangible and non-intangible assets (IAS 36)Calculate, where necessary, discuss and account for impairment of tangible
and intangible non-current assets (excluding financial assets and liabilities)
in accordance with the provisions of IAS 36.
 
4Fair value measurement, financial assets and liabilities(a) Differentiate between debt and equity financial instruments.
(b) Calculate, where necessary, discuss and account for fair value
measurement of financial assets and liabilities in accordance with
the provisions of relevant accounting standards (IAS 32, IFRS 7,
IFRS 9 and IFRS 13) with respect to measurement, recognition, derecognition and disclosures, excluding hedging but including simple
impairment cases.
 
5Inventories and revenue from contracts (IAS 2, IAS 41, IFRS 15)Calculate, where necessary, discuss and account for inventories and
revenue from contracts in accordance with the provisions of relevant
accounting standards (IAS 2, IAS 41 and IFRS 15).
 
6Provisions, contingent liabilities and assets, and events after the reporting period (IAS 10, IAS 37)Calculate, where necessary, discuss and account for provisions, contingent
liabilities and assets as well as events after the reporting period in
accordance with the provisions of relevant accounting standards (IAS 10,
IAS 37).
 
7Income taxes (IAS 12)Calculate, where necessary, discuss and account for income tax including
current and deferred tax in accordance with the provisions of IAS 12.
 
8Earnings per share (IAS 33)Calculate, discuss and account for earnings per share (EPS) in accordance
with provisions of IAS 33.
 
 C. Preparation and presentation of general purpose financial statements 20%
Preparation of financial statements
20%
1 (i) Discuss accounting policies and changes in accounting policies in
accordance with the provisions of IAS 8, where necessary.
(ii) Prepare and present general purpose financial statements including
statement of financial position, statement of profit or loss and other
comprehensive income, statement of changes in equity and relevant notes
in accordance with IAS 1.
(iii) Prepare and present statement of cash flows for single entities in
accordance with IAS 7, using direct and indirect methods.
 
 D. Preparing and presenting financial statements of simple group (parent, one
subsidiary and an associate)
25%
1Understanding a simple group(a) Explain the concept of group especially a simple group and the
objectives of preparing group financial statements.
(b) Discuss the provisions of the relevant accounting standards for the
preparation and presentation of financial statements of simple group
– (IAS 27, IAS 28, IFRS 3 and IFRS 10), including the use of fair
value for non-controlling interest.
(c) Calculate non-controlling interest using alternative methods and
effect necessary adjustments required to prepare the financial
statements of simple group.
 
2Preparation and presentation(a) Prepare and present statement of financial position of a simple group
(one subsidiary and an associate in accordance with the provisions
of relevant standards (IAS 1, IAS 27, IAS 28, IFRS 3 and IFRS 10).
(b) Prepare and present statement of profit or loss and other
comprehensive income of a simple group (one subsidiary and an
associate), in accordance with the provisions of relevant standards
(IAS 1, IAS 27, IAS 28, IFRS 3 and IFRS 10).
(c) Prepare and present statement of cash flows of a simple group (one
subsidiary and an associate), in accordance with the provisions of
IAS 7.
 
 E. Analyses and interpretation financial statements20%
1Analyses of financial statement(a) Identify and discuss types of analyses and interpretation of financial
statements.
(b) Discuss various aspects of financial position and performance that
may be assessed (profitability, liquidity/solvency, gearing, investors’
returns) through the analyses and interpretation of financial
statements.
(c) Define ratio, identify and calculate various types of ratios used in the
assessment of financial position and performance of a business
entity.
(d) Analyse and interpret computed ratios and assess the current period
financial position and performance of a business entity in
comparison to
(i) its prior period
(ii) another given entity for the same period and
(iii) industry average for the same period.
(e) Analyse and interpret computed ratios and assess the current
period financial position and performance of a simple group (one
subsidiary and associate) in comparison to
(i) its prior period,
(ii) another given simple group entity for the same period and
(iii) industry average for the same period.
(f) Discuss the use of statement of cash flows in assessing liquidity and
compare its usefulness with that of a statement of profit or loss
and other comprehensive income when assessing liquidity and going
concern of a business entity.
(g) Explain the use of earnings per share (EPS) in assessing the
performance of corporate entities in the capital market, especially
capital market reaction to earnings announcement. (h) Where necessary, write reports as may be required when analysing
and interpreting the financial position and performance of a
business entity and simple group, drawing conclusions, making
recommendations and giving advice from the perspectives of
different stakeholders.
 
2Limitations of analyses and interpretation of financial statements(a) Discuss the limitations of historic financial information in the analyses
and interpretation of financial statements.
(b) Explain how financial statements may be manipulated and discuss
the impact of window dressing and creative accounting on calculated
ratios and how they can distort analyses and interpretation of
financial statements.
(c) Explain how analyses and interpretation of financial statements of
specialized and not-for-profit organizations differ from those of profitoriented organizations.
(d) Explain why earnings per share (EPS) trend may be a better
indicator of performance when compared with a company’s profit
trend and discuss the limitations of using EPS as a performance
measure.
(e) Explain why and how the use of consolidated financial statements
might limit analyses and the use of interpretation techniques.
(f) Discuss the use of other information, including non-financial
information relevant to the assessment of an entity’s performance.
 
 F. Ethics and current developments in financial reporting 
1 Discuss and apply ethical issues in financial reporting 
2 Discuss developments around the inclusion of non-financial information in
financial reporting.
 
3 Discuss new accounting standards in issue as may be specified from time
to time.
 
 Applicable Accounting Standards 
   Preface to IFRS
 Conceptual 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
Errors
 IAS 10 – Events after the Reporting Period
 IAS 12 – Income Taxes
 IAS 16 – Property, Plant and Equipment
 IAS 20 – Accounting for Government Grants and Disclosure of
Government Assistance
 IAS 23 – Borrowing Costs
 IAS 27 – Separate Financial Statements
 IAS 28 – Investments in Associates
 IAS 32 – Financial Instruments: Presentation
 IAS 33 – Earnings Per Share
 IAS 36 – Impairment of Assets
 IAS 37 – Provisions, Contingent Liabilities and Contingent Assets
 IAS 38 – Intangible Assets
 IAS 40 – Investment Property
 IAS 41 – Agriculture
 IFRS 3 – Business Combinations
 IFRS 5 – Non-current Assets Held for Sale and Discontinued
Operations
 IFRS 7 – Financial Instruments: Disclosures
 IFRS 9 – Financial instruments
 IFRS 10 – Consolidated Financial Statements
 IFRS 13 – Fair Value measurement
 IFRS 15 – Revenue from contracts with customers New standards may be examined after six months from the date of issue.
All applicable laws may be examined after six months from date of amendment
or enactment.
 

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
Administration
 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
SNQualificationsExemptions
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
(AICSA)
 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
levels
HFederal Treasury Academy with
effect from 1987 (Formerly
Federal Treasury Training School)
(EMA)
 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
L*ACCA, UK
CPA, USA
ICAS, UK
ICAI, UK
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
AAT (UK)
 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 Skills Level

What's the ICAN skills level exam fee??

Exam registration fee for the skills-level of ICAN depends on the number of courses you want to register for. Writing 5 courses at this level will cost you N84,740. See fee breakdown

How many courses are in the skills level of ICAN?

There are five courses in the skills level of ICAN. They are; Financial Reporting, Audit and Assurance, Corporate Strategic Management and Ethics, Performance Management, and Public Sector Accounting, Finance and Taxation.

How do I register for the skills level of ICAN?

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

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

The Skills 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 examination begin?

The ICAN professional 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 syllabus.ng.

Are graduates exempted from skills-level stage of ICAN?
  •  Candidates with a BSc, M.Sc, and PhD in Accounting are exempted from the Skills level of the ICAN professional examination, while others having less qualifications might be exempted from one or more papers at this level. (Please see the academic and professional qualification exemption below).

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