Why You Should Consider Both ACCA and ICAN Certifications for Your Accounting Career

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in accounting, you may be wondering which certification to pursue – ACCA or ICAN. Both certifications are highly respected and recognized globally, and each has its unique advantages. However, instead of choosing between the two, why not consider pursuing both ACCA and ICAN certifications? In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of having both certifications and how they can enhance your accounting career.

The Benefits of Pursuing ACCA and ICAN Certifications

  • Increased Career Opportunities:
    By having both ACCA and ICAN certifications, you’ll have a wider range of career opportunities available to you. ACCA is recognized in over 180 countries and provides access to a global network of accounting professionals. ICAN, on the other hand, is recognized in Nigeria and some other West African countries, which can be beneficial if you’re looking to work in those regions. By having both certifications, you’ll be able to pursue job opportunities in a wider range of countries and industries.
  • Enhanced Skills and Knowledge:
    ACCA and ICAN certifications have different focuses, and by pursuing both, you’ll be able to develop a wider range of skills and knowledge. ACCA emphasizes international accounting standards, financial management, and business strategy, while ICAN focuses on Nigerian accounting regulations and practices. By having a strong understanding of both international and local accounting practices, you’ll be better equipped to handle complex financial issues and make strategic decisions in a variety of settings.
  • Competitive Advantage:
    In today’s competitive job market, having both ACCA and ICAN certifications can give you a competitive advantage over other candidates. Employers value candidates who have multiple certifications, as it shows that they are dedicated to their profession and willing to invest in their career development. By having both certifications, you’ll be able to demonstrate a broader range of skills and knowledge, making you a more attractive candidate for job opportunities.
  • Enhanced Career Opportunities:
    By obtaining both certifications, individuals can expand their career opportunities and increase their chances of securing high-level positions in the field of accounting. Employers often prefer candidates who have multiple certifications, as it demonstrates a commitment to their profession and a willingness to go above and beyond the minimum requirements.
  • Comprehensive Knowledge and Skills:
    ACCA and ICAN cover different aspects of accounting, finance, and taxation, providing a well-rounded education to those who pursue both certifications. This comprehensive knowledge can help individuals to excel in their current roles and make informed decisions about their organization’s financial strategies.
  • Increased Earning Potential:
    Obtaining both ACCA and ICAN certifications can also lead to increased earning potential. According to a study by Robert Half, professionals who hold both certifications earn an average of 15% more than those who hold just one certification.
  • International Recognition:
    Both ACCA and ICAN are recognized and respected globally, providing opportunities for professionals to work in various countries and industries. This international recognition can also open doors to networking opportunities and career advancement.

Benefits of Pursuing ACCA Certification

ACCA certification is a globally recognized qualification that can open doors to a wide range of career opportunities. Here are some of the key benefits of pursuing an ACCA certification:

  • International Recognition: ACCA is recognized in over 180 countries worldwide, making it a valuable credential for accounting professionals who want to work internationally.
  • Emphasis on Practical Skills: ACCA’s curriculum emphasizes practical skills and knowledge, preparing students for real-world accounting challenges.
  • Wide Range of Career Opportunities: ACCA certification can lead to a variety of career opportunities, including public accounting, corporate finance, investment banking, and more.
  • Flexible Exam Structure: The ACCA exam structure is flexible, allowing students to take exams at their own pace and choose the order in which they complete them.

Benefits of Pursuing ICAN Certification

ICAN certification is designed specifically for accounting professionals in Nigeria and offers unique benefits tailored to the local industry. Here are some of the key benefits of pursuing an ICAN certification:

  • Focus on Local Industry: ICAN’s curriculum focuses on the specific needs and challenges of the Nigerian accounting industry, providing students with relevant and practical knowledge.
  • Industry Recognition: ICAN certification is widely recognized by employers in Nigeria and can be a valuable asset in the local job market.
  • Membership Benefits: ICAN membership comes with a variety of benefits, including access to networking opportunities, professional development resources, and exclusive events.
  • Exam Structure: ICAN exams are structured in a way that allows students to build on their knowledge and skills as they progress through the program, preparing them for success in the industry.

Why Pursuing Both Certifications is a Smart Choice

While each certification has its unique benefits and requirements, pursuing both ACCA and ICAN certifications can offer significant advantages for accounting professionals. Here are some reasons why:

  • Broadened Knowledge Base: Pursuing both certifications can expose you to a wider range of accounting concepts, principles, and practices, providing a more comprehensive understanding of the field.
  • Increased Career Opportunities: Holding both ACCA and ICAN certifications can increase your career opportunities, especially in Nigeria and other countries where both certifications are recognized.
  • Enhanced Professional Credibility: Holding both certifications can enhance your professional credibility and reputation, demonstrating a commitment to excellence and a dedication to ongoing learning and development.

How to Pursue Both ACCA and ICAN Certifications

To pursue both ACCA and ICAN certifications, you’ll need to complete the requirements for each certification. The ACCA certification requires passing 14 exams and meeting work experience requirements, while the ICAN certification requires passing 16 exams and meeting work experience requirements. It’s important to note that the requirements for each certification may vary depending on your location, so be sure to check with the relevant authorities.

Choosing the right study materials is also crucial for success in both the ACCA and ICAN certification exams. There are many resources available, including textbooks, study guides, practice exams, and online courses. When choosing study materials, look for those that are comprehensive, up-to-date, and aligned with the exam syllabus.


In conclusion, pursuing both ACCA and ICAN certifications can be highly beneficial for your accounting career. By having both certifications, you’ll have a wider range of career opportunities available to you, enhance your skills and knowledge, and gain a competitive advantage in the job market. If you’re considering pursuing both certifications, be sure to plan and prepare adequately to ensure that you are successful in both exams. Good luck on your journey to becoming a highly qualified and respected accounting professional.

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