Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria
Member | Established: 1965 | Member since 1977
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), whose membership is comprised of accountants, auditors, and accounting technicians, was established in 1965 by the Act of Parliament No. 15 of September 1, 1965 (the ICAN Act). ICAN is a mandatory membership organization and is legally responsible for determining membership requirements. ICAN establishes and maintains a register for its members and contributes to setting financial reporting standards.
Statements of Membership Obligations (SMOs)
The Statements of Membership Obligations form the basis of the IFAC Member Compliance Program. They serve as a framework for credible and high-quality professional accountancy organizations focused on serving the public interest by adopting, or otherwise incorporating, and supporting implementation of international standards and maintaining adequate enforcement mechanisms to ensure the professional behavior of their individual members.
ICAN, with shared responsibility for the quality assurance (QA) review system in Nigeria, supports the implementation of an effective QA review system that is in line with the requirements of SMO 1. Prior to the mandatory requirement for a QA review system in the jurisdiction, ICAN implemented a QA review system for its audit firm members that is mostly in line with SMO 1. The institute continues to operate that QA review system while it liaises with the leadership of the public oversight body, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), on the future approach to QA reviews under their joint responsibility.
The ICAN conducts regular seminars to raise members’ awareness of the QA review system, and the Nigerian Standard on Quality Control 1 (NSQC 1). It provides technical guidance on NSQC 1, and also developed and published a practice manual for small- and medium-sized practices (SMPs) by adapting the Guidelines for Practice Management issued by IFAC for SMPs, to support members. The institute includes courses on NSQC 1 in the annual continuing professional development program.
To strengthen the QA review system, the ICAN organizes training for QA reviewers, develops quality assurance review system guidelines, and reviewed and updated questionnaires for the QA review system. It adopted a five-year review cycle for all practices in May 2015.
The ICAN is encouraged to link its existing system to its investigative and disciplinary system to bring its QA review system fully in line with the requirements of SMO 1. The ICAN is also encouraged to share information with IFAC’s Quality and Membership staff on developments in the area once the FRC commences its QA reviews and the roles of all parties involved in the process are clearly defined.
The ICAN, with shared responsibility for the initial and continuing professional development (IPD and CPD, respectively) of professional accountants in Nigeria, continues to promote the adoption of International Education Standards (IES) to the National Universities Commission and the National Board for Technical Education that are responsible for University and Polytechnics, respectively.
The ICAN has improved its practical experience requirements for granting membership to better comply with IES 5, and revised its education syllabus in June 2014 to incorporate revised IES requirements. It monitors revisions issued by the International Education Standards Board (IAESB) and updates its educational requirements accordingly. It continues to keep members abreast of all new, proposed, and revised IES and of other pronouncements issued by the IAESB. It offers courses on new and amended accounting and auditing standards. It also encourages its members to comment on Exposure Drafts and other pronouncements issued by the IAESB. In an ongoing manner, a Technical Team updates the training curricula in accordance with new and amended IES, accounting and auditing standards.
The ICAN is encouraged to report to IFAC’s Quality and Membership staff on the extent of compliance of IPD and CPD requirements in Nigeria with the requirements of IES and to provide more information on the legal framework for accountancy education in Nigeria, as well as on the role of the FRC in the process.
The ICAN, with shared responsibility for the adoption of auditing standards in Nigeria, continues to streamline and enhance the process of adoption of International Standards on Auditing (ISA) as Nigerian Standards on Auditing (NSAs), modified according to the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB)’s Modification Policy. As part of the process, it issues exposure drafts of NSAs to obtain stakeholder comments prior to adoption, and raises awareness of the objectives of ISA. To support the implementation of NSAs, the ICAN develops and presents regular technical seminars/workshops to raise members’ awareness of new and revised NSAs and improve understanding of the requirements of the standards. The ICAN updates its initial professional development and continuing professional development syllabus and programs to incorporate courses on new and revised NSAs, and also disseminates updates on new and revised IAASB material to its members. It also encourages small- and medium-sized practices to adopt audit software to improve the quality of their processes and services.
With the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) responsible for the adoption of ethical requirements at the jurisdiction level, the ICAN, under the ICAN Act, is responsible for establishing ethical requirements for its members and has adopted a Code of Ethics. ICAN reports that it is in the process of comparing its Code of Ethics, the ICAN Professional Code of Conduct and Guide for Members, to the 2013 version of the IESBA Code of Ethics in order to align the two Codes. Once it has completed the process, it intends to provide copies of the revised ICAN Professional Code of Conduct and Guide for Members to all members. The ICAN intends to publish the revised code on its website, in the print media, and in information booklets, and will send copies to various stakeholders to raise awareness of the new requirements. The institute plans to update the initial professional development and continuing professional development programs by incorporating courses on the revised ICAN Code of Ethics. In 2014, it introduced an examination module on ethics based on the 2013 IESBA Code. The ICAN continues to notify its members of all new, proposed, and revised provisions of the IESBA’s Code of Ethics, and other pronouncements issued by the IESBA.
The ICAN is encouraged to continue the efforts to review and compare the existing Code of Ethics with the IESBA Code and share progress during the next update of its SMO Action Plan. The ICAN should also consider working closely with the FRC and Association of National Accountants of Nigeria to establish uniform ethical requirements in the jurisdiction.
The ICAN has no direct responsibility for the adoption or implementation of IPSAS in Nigeria but does exert its best efforts to support the adoption and implementation process. The ICAN supports the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) in its standard-setting role through the nomination of its representatives on, and participation in, the FRC’s governing board. The institute’s Public Finance Management Faculty collaborates with the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and the FRC to raise awareness on the importance of adopting IPSAS and to build implementation capacity in the public sector. For example, one of the capacity-building initiatives involves a “twinning” arrangement with the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, the UK’s Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), and ICAN to strengthen the Federal Treasury Academy. In addition, CIPFA and ICAN are working on developing a joint certification in Public Financial Management.
The ICAN continues to notify its members of all new, proposed, and revised IPSAS, and other pronouncements issued by the IPSASB, and encourages its members to comment on IPSASB Exposure Drafts.
The ICAN is encouraged to explore ways in which it can include IPSAS topics in its initial professional development and/or continuing professional development programs to enhance its members understanding of the standards.
The ICAN, with shared responsibility for the investigation and discipline of members’ misconduct and breach of professional standards, exerts its best endeavours to achieve full compliance with SMO 6 requirements.
The institute continues to review the country’s legal framework to ensure that it has adequate powers to investigate and discipline members per the requirements of SMO 6. It also reviews its investigation of complaints processes to ensure they are functioning as intended. The ICAN presents seminars and workshops to ensure that members are aware of the rules and responsibilities outlined in the ICAN Professional Code of Conduct and Guide for Members and also of the investigation and disciplinary processes themselves. It disseminates information on appeal procedures via ICAN’s journals, website, annual reports, and through a special publication of cases decided by the Accountants’ Disciplinary Tribunal.
In addition, to strengthen the investigative and disciplinary (I&D) system, the ICAN regularly conducts training and re-training for I&D Panel members and the staff of the institute’s Legal Department on investigations, including information-based approaches and confidentiality, and evaluates the independence of Panel members to ensure objectivity.
The ICAN is encouraged to work toward closing the gaps in compliance with SMO 6, as identified in the self-assessment, and report to IFAC’s Q&M staff on the progress achieved. The ICAN should also consider ways to establish a uniform I&D system for professional accountants in the jurisdiction in cooperation with the Financial Reporting Council and Association of National Accountants of Nigeria.
While the ICAN has no direct responsibility for adoption or implementation of IFRS in Nigeria, it does exert its best efforts to support the implementation process. It continues to raise awareness of the importance and implications of adopting IFRS and supports the national standard setter, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), through its participation as a member on the governing board.
The ICAN is actively involved in strengthening the knowledge and technical competency of its members in the application of IFRS by offering training and learning opportunities, individually and jointly with the FRC. It has updated and continues to review its certification program on IFRS and offers standards-related courses in its continuing professional development programs. The institute also encourages the use of IFRS for small- and medium-sized entities in seminars and workshops. The ICAN continues to inform its members about new, proposed, and revised IFRS and other pronouncements issued by International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), and encourages its members to comment on IASB Exposure Drafts.
IFAC bears no responsibility for the information provided in the SMO Action Plans prepared by IFAC member organizations. Please see our full Disclaimer for additional information.