Life After Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN): The Job Hunt
In this part of the world where any means of gaining an advantage for an employment opportunity is pursued to the lengths, one cannot talk about the people in the accounting profession without talking about Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN). ICAN is a professional body that oversees accountants in Nigeria. Apparently, all accountants in Nigeria at the point or the other have gone through the certification processes of ICAN. Most people are of the misconceptions that only people that studied accounting as a course gets to be accountants in Nigeria, but the qualification in its least consideration is a BSc or HND in an approved course. If you do not have the knowledge of accounting principles, you will start from the foundation class of the certification course, after which you will take the standard courses.
Being recognized as an ICAN registered member requires that you pass the examination that comes after the test. Chances are that ICAN has over the years been thought to be examinations only. This is probably because people who are preparing for this certification are always seen with past questions, studying for exams. But let’s not get intertwined with the processes that lead to being among accountants in Nigeria. So let’s talk about being among accountants in Nigeria.
THE JOB HUNT
Having the ICAN certificate gives you the license to be a practicing accountant in Nigeria. But it is important to define what I mean by job hunt. Accountants in Nigeria are basically in every sector of the economy, from the private to the government institutions. With the high demand for this profession, one cannot deny the popular belief that once you are certified by ICAN, you will get a job. But then again, an accountant might not need to be employed. That is, he might decide to start his own private firm – self-employment. In this case, his job hunting will be centered on looking for clients.
Now that we have established that, we will discuss job hunting in the form of looking for an employer first. The unemployment rate in the country is on the high side, no doubt, one of the benefits of being an ICAN certified account in Nigeria is that it increases your ability to land your dream job. But it is not in any way a guarantee. The advancement of the use of technology by industries has in years past threatened the accounting profession. The emergence of machine learning and the improvement of artificial intelligence have therefore raised the bar a bit higher. The world is gradually moving towards a skill-based job market, whereby someone who can work with the right skill to get the best for his employer is preferred over someone with a certificate to show for it. Hence, life after ICAN is not just job hunting, it is getting acquainted with the right skill.
If you are a recent graduate with no reasonable job experiences, when you get your certification as an accountant, you will have to look for internship or graduate trainee positions. And if you have job experience, you can go on applying for your dream job. And with the internet, you can be in Nigeria and apply for a job anywhere in the world, as the good thing about being certified with ICAN is the recognition as an accountant anywhere in the world. You might also decide not to be a practicing accountant, being ICAN certified will be a great addition to your curriculum vitae (CV).
On being self-employed, Accountants in Nigeria generally have a solid foundation in marketing, economics and project management. With the recent trends in technological advancements, accountants in Nigeria can set up their own firms, taking on the position of business advisors, auditing consultants, project analysis, economic planners and product developers. Many accountants in Nigeria also employ their expertise to form their own businesses outside the accounting profession, becoming highly successful entrepreneurs.