Recognized Professional Accounting Bodies in Nigeria

Recognized Professional Accounting Bodies in Nigeria

Accounting professional bodies in Nigeria is one of the most regulated. From conduct of examination to licencing and induction, it is very difficult to shortcut your way to becoming a chartered accountant.

Previously, we wrote on the history of accounting in Nigeria, the role of Pa Akintola Williams, the father of accounting in Nigeria in creating the first professional accounting body and the unending battle for supremacy between ICAN and ANAN.

This article answers the question "How many professional accounting bodies do we have in Nigeria" and "list of professional bodies in Nigeria"

What Are The Accounting Professional Bodies In Nigeria?

There are three (3) professional accounting bodies in Nigeria which are recognised by law through an act of parliament, namely Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) and Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) of Nigeria.

Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN)

ICAN is the first and the most popular or widely recognized accounting body in the country, in terms of membership, recognition, number of examination and study centres across the country. Also when you see job vacancies for accountancy position, employers request more of ICAN certified chartered accountants compared to other bodies. ICAN also gives licence to. They also accreditates Nigerian universities to run accountancy courses if they are qualified and pass accreditation.

ICAN was established in 1960 and as at 31st May, 2020, has more than over 50,000 professional members and thousands of students on its Register.

Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN)

On the other hand, ANAN was established on 1st January, 1979, and was incorporated on 28th September, 1983 then had to wait for ten years to finally become chartered by Decree 76 of 1993 on 25th August, 1993. As at December 2019, ANAN has a total membership of 10,260.

Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) of Nigeria

One of the fastest growing professional accountancy body is CIMA-Nigeria. CIMA was established in 1977, then registered in 1985, and had to wait till 1989 to be incorporated. Then the bill requesting to establish CIMA was passed by Nigerian Senate on the 4th day of November, 2010.

Another Nigerian professional accounting body with nationwide membership mainly amongst civil servants is the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Nigeria (ICPAN). ICPAN was established in May 1988. It became incorporated on the 6th of May 1996 after it was registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

The ACCA (Association of Certified Chartered Accountants) is a globally recognized accountancy body. However, it is not officially recognized in Nigeria by the Nigerian accounting system, though Employers still recognize ACCA certified accountants which still makes them a force in the employment industry in country. 

Based in London, ACCA offers certification to accounting professionals across the globe. ACCA qualification is accepted and recognized anywhere around the world. Nigeria only recognizes ICAN and ANAN but employers looking for accountants still hire candidates with ACCA certification.

One of the main problems of writing ACCA exams in Nigeria is the examination fees. Since ACCA is a UK body, students writing their exams across the world will have to pay in UK ponds (£) and the Naira to Pounds exchange rate is very high making the exam fees very expensive compared to some countries.


ICAN, ANAN and CIMA-Nigeria are the recognized professional accountancy bodies in Nigeria, they have their standards associated with them. To be a chartered accountant you must pass ICAN, ANAN, ACCA or CIMA  qualifying examinations.
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