Personal reflections

ACCA: I’m done

Update: On 21st January 2019, I published a follow-up article 

On the 15th of January 2018, It’s 1 am-ish and I’m still waiting for my final result — P2 — Corporate reporting, P3 — Business Analysis, P4 — Advanced Financial Management, were the last set of exams I wrote in December 2017.

ACCA — Founded in 1904, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants is the global professional accounting body offering the Chartered Certified Accountant qualification.

ICAN — The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) is a professional accountancy body in Nigeria. It was formed on 1 September 1965.

My result usually comes shortly after Midnight via email but this time it lingered, I’m not sure why but I wasn’t feeling good due to cold so I was drowsy but because I had slept in the afternoon I couldn’t sleep. I was looking out for a mail and then a text message comes in, I was doing something else on my phone but I saw the notification and it stayed long enough for me to read the message, I had seen my result. I didn’t really see it well but then I saw 3 passes and some figures. So I opened my text message app and walah! I’m done!

Truecaller messenger app won me over, and Wow two 50s Yikes! Praise God!

I had always known I would write this article because, for the last two years, ACCA has been a major part of my life, just like any other professional exam, constant reading and attending classes and writing exams. It was like I was in school again but with more freedom and focus perhaps. I’m glad that when I started in June 2016, I had set the date to finish as December 2017, based on my calculation it was fair time span I had given myself. Some people tried to talk me into finishing earlier but naah I didn’t want pressure on my life. I wouldn’t really have mattered if I didn’t finish in December, I’d still be glad because things don’t always go the way we plan, actually, they didn’t but somehow I still finished when I wanted to.

I decided to take ACCA professional exam after considering a number of factors.

It was ideal step to take since my first degree was in Accounting and I found it fairly convenient understanding the concepts and passing exams, It was a better option compared to ICAN for me ( I would address this later in this write-up or you can just scroll to the end if you just want to read that now), I had time — I started during NYSC, I wasn’t going to pay for it (Parents).

Yes, that’s what the syllabus looked like, it has changed slightly now.

Fundamental knowledge

I didn’t have to do these because my Bsc. in Accounting exempts me — assumed knowledge. I would have been exempted from two more if the Accounting department of my school had signed an MOU with ACCA but there was some push back from the department which pledged it’s loyalty to ICAN. I’m glad the MOU has been signed now.

Fundamental Skills

F5 — Performance Management

While I liked the flexibility F5 offers, that same flexibility and maybe the way it was taught was why I didn’t like the course. The fact that you could see a question and not even know the topic it was from was disturbing, It also was part of the first two papers I wrote so let’s just say my preparation technique was still crude. I had to write it twice.

Thank You to Mr. Abel for teaching me.

F6 — Taxation

I wrote this paper 4 times, December 2016 to September 2017. I had to repeatedly write this course till I could pass it. To be honest, I already didn’t like tax from school, the seeming complexities just didn’t appeal to me. Upon doing  UK tax I found myself saying this isn’t even relevant to what I want to do and UK tax is more complex than Nigerian Tax.  For example, In UK tax, tax is paid on a person’s death, there’s tax Co2 emission from cars…

An inheritance or estate tax is a tax paid by a person who inherits money or property or a levy on the estate (money and property) of a person who has died.

I remember the first time I wrote I had 48 (pass mark is 50) it was too painful and annoying that I didn’t open anything related to course for the next 2 weeks after the result came out. I wrote again and had 30 something. Lol, I knew I needed help so I took classes for it and really I was all hyped up and I learnt a lot of new things but then when the result came I had 47. Argh, I was slightly pained but also indifferent as I couldn’t do more than that- I cannot come and kill myself. I knew there was something I was missing. I hadn’t convinced myself that I was going to use this so a part of me wasn’t interested.

This course was a tough nut to crack for two reasons: There are many tax rates and rules to remember that it most times got mixed up in my head and I had no plan of utilizing this knowledge. A drawback about being pragmatic is that I couldn’t make myself like the course, it just didn’t come naturally to me, at times the joy of learning helped but after a while as I got into more details I got reminded of the fact that I didn’t need all these crammed up in my head to succeed in life — I could always ask google or consult my textbook in real-life scenario. Somehow, somehow, in the end I passed this.

Caveat: Now I think I’ve painted a bad image of the course but the truth is everything can’t appeal to everyone. My friend Amara loves tax and did well in it in one sitting, so it’s different strokes for different folks.

Thank You to Mr. Udoh, Miss Dami and Mr Yinka for teaching me.

Lol, that’s all I could say after I passed with 52, funny thing I actually expected a higher score.

F7 — Financial Reporting

A good understanding of Debit and Credit principles helped here, it was an introduction to learning the accounting standards, for me one of the best ways to know the standards is by understanding what each is about and not just memorizing them. Also looking back Group accounts was quite straightforward, the adjustments have always been where the problems came from but oh well-knowing everything isn’t necessary to pass.

Thank you to Mr. Etienne and Dr. Umoren for teaching me.

F8 — Audit and Assurance

Audit came about as a result of Trust Issues between owners and Managers of a Business.

I find theoretical courses easy to read and pass. There’s the flexibility and room to understand it your own way and write it in your own words. I didn’t take classes for this course because it was majorly theoretical and people said I could read on my own and pass so I said why not? It was a struggle at times because there was much to read and at times I wished I had attended classes. I was in Uyo, Akwa Ibom then so I didn’t have the links for tutorial videos, having those would have fulfilled my craving for someone to put the knowledge in my head. I passed this in one sitting tho.

One key thing I learnt was that Audit was put in place to ensure that the owners of a business can trust the financial statement that the managers of the business presentation to them by having external knowledgable parties ( Auditors) inspect and give them an opinion on the state of the financial statement prepared.

F9 — Financial Management

You see what I mean

All my life I had known F9 to mean Failure until now, but then that was just my mind playing tricks with me. Mr. Faleye made me like the course because he taught it well, I was familiar with the concepts taught here because in University I took a course titled Banking & Finance for 4 semesters that introduced these concepts to me but then I never really understood what I was learning. I never got to understand the “why” like I did here. Working Capital Management, Business valuation, Risk management…It was an interesting course.

Thank you to Mr. Faleye and Mr. Udoh for thank you for teaching me.

Professional Essentials

P1 — Governance, Risks & Ethics

Owners of Businesses be asking the management

Corporate governance is the system of rules, practices and processes by which a company is directed and controlled

Similar to audit, structures had to be put in place to ensure that managers of a business were doing what the owners of the business wanted, structures had to be put in place to ensure that the managers of a business are not misleading the owners of a business. This course explains all the systems and processes in place to ensure that companies are compliant and we have fewer causes of

Ensuring that a company has a Board of Directors made of different people representing different stakeholders thereby creating a healthy balance of diverse interests so views are almost never one sided. Board of Directors put the management team in check.

Separation of power, ensuring the CEO is separate from the Chairman of the board of Directors. You can’t be both without a really good reason which even at that people might not care.

Ensuring that financial statements are audited annually to ensure transparency and accountability.

These principles/rules mostly apply to public companies and serve as a best practice that could be adopted by private companies. Another purely theoretical course, read for it and passed it.

P2 — Corporate Reporting

I remember the morning of the exam, It was my first paper of the last 3 papers I wrote in December, It was on a Tuesday, I hadn’t printed my docket- a document used as a pass to enter the exam hall. On that morning there was an unusual traffic delay, then I got to two shops to print in Ikeja and they wasted my time, by the time I had printed my docket it 5 mins to 10 am ( exam starts by 10 am) I was 20 minutes away from the exam hall, I was sweating and trying not to panic. I got to the exam hall 30 mins after the exam had started, I had to use 15 minutes to settle down and read through the questions, I saw somethings I didn’t know. The thought of failure started creeping in but then I was like naah there’s still time, so I started from the theoretical questions, I find it easier to answer theoretical questions so I just started writing and explaining. I actually did more writing than calculation. In the number 1 question – the calculation question, I just drew the format of the financial statement — Group Profit or Loss statement, did the basic computations put in the default figures and just kept on filling the financial statement till I was done, I was sure I was writing rubbish but then the marking guide doesn’t mark for correctness but a display of understanding so I tried to show that I understood how this statement is supposed to look like, It felt off computing wrong figures but then I knew my passing depended on displaying effort.

I was grateful I passed but I felt like without the whole docket sage I would have done better because I put in a lot of effort in learning the course. I even went as far as reading Man City and Man United’s Financial statement — I was trying to verify how players were to be treated in a financial statement.

Understanding International Financial Reporting standards is everything really, well you should know Debit and Credit too. It was interesting getting to understand the motive behind certain standards, the level of subjectivity that was still present and how imperfect many standards were because the business world is changing and humans were of course always looking for loopholes.

Thank you Mr. Jide and Mr. Ola for teaching me.

P3 — Business Analysis

The mini MBA of ACCA, pretty much the most exciting course for me, I was happy to learn this course partly because of my interest in Business. I opted for taking lessons for this as opposed to reading because I wanted to be in a class setting and get to interact with other people. A downside of liking a course and it being theoretical is that I sometimes didn’t feel the need to read more. The exams were scenario-based and I was sure having understood the course content I would be able to interpret and apply the knowledge to the scenario.

Thank you Ikenna and Nse for teaching me.

Professional Options

P4 — Advanced Financial Management

I liked F9 – Financial Management so it was a no-brainer that I would pick this as an optional. Learning about business valuation, International Investment appraisal, Capital restructuring and reconstruction and Risk Management was very enlightening. Ahhh! Segun Jimoh did a good job.

I had issues understanding Risk management especially Interest. it was partly due to the fact that I missed two classes that set me off balance and then I was gambling that it wouldn’t come out as Question 1 which is a 50 marks question. Funny thing is the 3 times I wrote it Risk management wasn’t Question 1 and it didn’t need to be before I realized that the other topics could be bloody and Risk Management was many times the simpler of the 4 questions. I finally passed and yeah it was Risk Management that most definitely saved me because I didn’t calculate anything reasonable in the Question 1.

A number of people have quipped that I do CFA because of the interest I showed in class. It’s not on the list. Stay off 😑

Thank you Segun Jimoh and Mr. Patrick for teaching me.

P7 — Advanced Audit and Assurance

Audit! I decided to not read by myself for this because I felt I was missing out on class interaction and additional lecturer knowledge. Well it was pretty interesting seeing how the emphasis was on understanding the accounting standards. I like the knowledge of audit but the practice doesn’t interest me.

P5 — Advanced Performance Management

Naah, I don’t like you 🌚

P6 — Advanced Taxation

After my experience with F6 😂😂😂
The mail came a few minutes afterwards


  • Motivation. It’s a tough journey and you have to be motivated by the right reasons to begin this. A first degree in Accounting isn’t enough reason when you’re interested in something else. 💪🏾
  • Different strokes for different folks: Know what works for you and do it. I went for classes because I prefer knowledge been poured into my head than wasting time trying to understand or figure out something that could be easily explained, you might prefer to read by yourself. It’s up to you 🙃 I used tutorial videos sometimes. They helped when reading was getting boring 💤
  • Understanding the concepts is the first step after that comes solving questions, or it could be the other way around, sometimes I get to understand a concept better when I attempt a question and read the answer — I’m like what have they been trying to explain in the textbook since 🤷🏾‍♂️
  • Solving Questions is too important to ignore. You can understand the concepts and still fail. To show you how bad it was, sometimes I read a question with the intention to answer the question, when there was nothing reasonable coming to mind, I went to the answer read it and wrote it out word for word. I did this partly because it helps me internalize the answer better and it would be easier to revise since the answer is in my note. In times like that, I had to console myself that at least I learnt something new or I understood a concept better even if I couldn’t or didn’t know by heart.
  • I believe in Grace and Favor but please try to cover the syllabus, that’s really what helps differentiate between what is easy or difficult.
  • Do the easy stuff first, Everyone needs encouragement in a tense exam situation, based on numerous feedbacks it’s been said that there are 50 easy marks and 50 difficult marks in the exam. Easy and difficult are relative, irrespective of how you mix it up the end goal is to reach or exceed 50! I wrote more than I calculated in P4 because explaining concepts come more natural to me than calculations. If I had started with calculations I would have been demoralised by the time I got to the writing part.
  • Keep writing: Don’t stop, Don’t stop writing. Well, stop to think then keep writing. Remember P2 exam, I keep thinking about how if I had given up I wouldn’t have passed. A narrow escape that saved me some 100 something pounds of exam fee and extra reading.


In the 1990s ICAN was dominated by members holding qualifications from the London-based Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). Although the ICAN claimed complete independence of the ACCA, it was under attack for defending the status quo in accountancy practices and for suppressing changes to address local requirements.

In 2015, I was at a seminar organized by ACCA for its student envoys — representatives from different Universities. Many questions were asked and one that stood out for me was the question of whether the ACCA exam we write in Nigeria is for Africa alone and how relevant is it to write it ? About 2 or 3 Nigerian members of ACCA present explained and debunked every myth.


In July, 2014, The institute of chartered accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) stated that there are only two chartered accounting bodies in Nigeria that have the authority to license professional accountants. They are ICAN and the association of national accountants of Nigeria (ANAN).

ICAN said it made the clarification due to enquiries from Nigerian students and the general public on the proliferation of foreign accountancy bodies operating in the country without the required enabling act from the national assembly.

A statement from the institute further stressed that students that sit for examinations of foreign professional bodies “cannot practise in Nigeria without being admitted as members of ICAN or ANAN.”

It added: “In the public interest, ICAN will still test candidates in subjects peculiar to the Nigerian market and assure that required experience is obtained before candidates are licensed to practice.

“The training of ICAN is strictly based on three “Es” namely: Education, Examination and Experience.”

It specifically stated that under its 2014 examination syllabus, holders of association of chartered certified accountants (ACCA) and many other foreign professional accountancy certificates would still be tested in business law (bl), advanced taxation (atax) and public sector accounting and finance (psaf).

The battle between ICAN and ACCA is about market share and Quality. If more people choose ACCA as an alternative to ICAN then more exam fees and annual subscription fees go ACCA, now that’s a lot. Also, It’s important to ICAN that trained accountants are taught concepts relevant to the Nigerian market — Taxation.

While I chose ACCA because many people said the course content is richer and ACCA has a wider reach — An ACCA qualification is a passport to working as an accountant in over 170 countries. ICAN to my knowledge is restricted to Nigeria and West Africa, I’ve heard it’s reach is getting wider but then it’s obviously not as wide as that of ACCA yet.

In terms of disparity, Cost is a major differentiator, ACCA is clearly more expensive than ICAN so that could be a good reason to choose to do ICAN over ACCA.

The other major differences are Taxation (I spent my time doing UK 🇬🇧 Tax that’s isn’t relevant in Nigeria 🇳🇬 ) and that you can’t sign off an audited account statement or own an accounting firm in Nigeria without ICAN certification.

If you want to or think you would want to go into Audit practice then it’s important to be approved by ICAN. If you want to own an audit firm or think you would want to then it’s important to be accredited by ICAN.

Now on the flip side, An audit firm is simply a type of business, consulting to be precise. If you want to own one then most audit firms like any type of business are set up and owned by a group of people. You could always partner with someone else with an ICAN certificate.

About signing off an Audited account statement, In most cases you wouldn’t do the audit work alone — it’s usually a lot of work, if the audit work is shared then is the person who signs the audited financial statement anymore more special or more significant than the other person(s) who also did the audit work? Now that’s arguable but for me No she/he isn’t.

Do you want to work in Nigeria or Abroad ?

The most asked question, most people have the idea that people who want to work abroad write ACCA and if you want to work in Nigeria you write ICAN. I think this line of thought is faulty, few Indigenous firms give preference to ICAN partly because of the battle and many don’t really care because it’s about the same knowledge gained from both exams. Multinational companies are expanding to other countries— duh isn’t that why they’re called multinationals — with many having their branches in Nigeria, you might not need to travel abroad to work for many companies as they are expanding. Of course, If you want to do Taxation then it’s obvious you have to learn Nigerian Tax but that’s all that’s peculiar in terms course content.

In conclusion, You can do both professional Exams and not worry about what is true or not, I just felt it would be nice to address this issue.

  • Disclaimer: I haven’t written ICAN exam or read any related material so I can’t compare the quality of course content.

What’s next for me?

No exams in view, I’ve learnt a lot…I would explore a number of learning opportunities, more of practice now.

Thank God for the conclusion of this phase, I would continue living my life! ✌🏾😊


Update: On 21st January 2019, I published a follow-up article 

Thanks to Harriet for reading the first draft of this and making helpful recommendations.


Extra: I’m open to help out in any way I can, If you’d like to get in touch, please send an email to or send a message on social media @danieltadeyemi. I typically respond within 24 hours but it could take longer.

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61 replies on “ACCA: I’m done”

Hello. I’m happy for you on your success. As an Acca student, my wish is to be where you are right now. You said pretty much everything apart from the qualification/induction. What next for you now that you’ve completed the exams? How do you go about getting inducted?

Hello Anthony,
Thank you for your feedback, I wish you all the best, I’d love to hear about your progress, you can hit me up any time on Social media or maybe when you write your article if you choose to ( I hope you do).

Oh after passing exams, you need 3 years work experience to become a member, I’m currently working whenever the work experience is complete I’d be inducted as a member, for now, I’m an affiliate.

Wow, Thank you, so great to read about ACCA experience. You totally summed it up as exciting and tiring it could get.
I am currently writing my Professional paers and looking forward to qualifying by June 2019. I see familiar names (Miss Dami, Mr Yinka, Mr Segun Jimoh, Mr Ola), did you at any point attend The New Synergy Specialist(TNSS)?

Hello Folake,
Yes, I did attend TNSS, forgot to mention that in the article.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Yesss I wish you all the best, hoping you qualify by June 2019 so we can turn up!

Hi Daniel,
Thanks for the article, please what if I have the experience before ACCA qualification, do I still need the 3 years experience before I can become ACCA member?

Hi Felicia,
Oh no the experience starts to count from when you start working, not when you start the exams. So you can become an ACCA member immediately you’re done with your exams.

hi Daniel,

please i will like to chat you up on whatsapp, i need to discussed more with you on ACCA, i want to start mine soon but need someone to mentor me in that regard. look forward.
Please send your contact to me via this mail:

This is inspiring .But I need a breakdown on the total Amount that I need to budget for ACCA .I just recently graduated and I intend to register this year once I get NYSC call up letter as well as my statement of result.

Hello Judith, best option to get an idea of the pricing would be to visit a tuition centre close to you they’ll put you through. Depends on what you studied in school and a couple of other things.

Hello pls I don’t really know much about this
I need you to enlighten me on it
I need to chat with you on WhatsApp

Hi Daniel.
Nice write up. I am also considering ACCA. As a graduate of accounting, approximately how much did you spend? I currently work, but what I earn is not much, but I want to give it a try. What do you think?

Hello Gideon,
It’s best to visit a nearby tuition centre to get a more precise estimate.

I know registration is not less than 30,000 Naira
and exemption fees are not less than 150,000 Naira.

You can always save up and take the exams one at a time.

Hi Daniel,
Your article was inspiring.
I’m a fresh graduate and currently undergoing nysc program. I will be applying for exemptions and I will like to take acca December exam and plan of writing f5, f6 and f7. is taking 3 papers too much and how difficult is the exam.

Hello Moyin,

Congratulations on starting out early,

I think the answer to this question depends on you. The sweet spot number of exam papers to take in Acca is 2 papers.
In all, It depends on how much time you have to prepare for the exams and how close the exams are?

One thing I know for sure is that ACCA is about understanding the course content and this takes time because the syllabus is quite lengthy.

I could give further guidance if you buzz me privately but for lack of information, this is all I can say.

Hi Daniel,
Congratulations, and am really happy for your success.
Please I need to chat u up on whatsapp because i intended writing the exam this Dec, my email is

Thanks in anticipation.

This is the most beautiful and inspiring story I have read in a while. Thank you, Daniel, for sharing your experience. It was indeed stimulating.

I have always had plans of becoming ACCA certified, and that dream is still very much alive. I am currently a Marketing student and hopefully, I will start my ACCA journey once I graduate.

Once again, congratulations on your success!

Hello William,

I’m happy to hear that. I’m glad you found my experience stimulating.

Oh sure, I hope you keep up with your dreams.

All the best!

Yes, you can start after leaving school, you’d start at a lower level and would have to write more papers than graduates.

On the plus side, Going straight to do ACCA after secondary school is arguably a better option than going to University.

Thanks for the write up Daniel, I find this very inspiring and enlightening,. I am an accounting graduate but currently self employed so the work experience (3 years) part is confusing to me and please I want to be clear if I am going to pay per paper or one payment covers 2 or 3 courses like regular exam fees …oh, and again I want to know if I can easily continue abroad ..thank you so much .

Hello Orire,

Papers are paid for individually.

You can write ACCA anywhere in the world where there are exam centres.

Thanks Dan for your encouragement…pls what’s your Facebook handle I would like to ask more questions..

This is so nice. Thanks for the information. God bless you. Please can you kindly send your contact to me, I want to ask some vital questions because I’m about to start.

Very resourceful I must say. I’ll be starting my exams this December. please i need to chat privately with you so i can connect with Uyo centre. gannyray@gmail com

Nice one Daniel..
God sure crowned your efforts with SUCCESS..
Looking forward to writing ACCA with my ICAN certificate. I hope there are exemptions to that..

Thanks for sharing this great experience.. All the best in your future endeavors..

Hi Dan, I got a lot of inspiration from your article. I have passed F1 to F9 except F8 which I failed at 49 percent. I want to switch to ICAN due to exchange rate palava. What do you advise?

Hmmm, wow, that’s sad. I think this requires further conversation.
I can’t just reel out advice like that.

Hello Funmi,
I’m glad you found the write-up inspiring.
It is written 4 times (March, June, September, December) in a year.

Hi Daniel.

Your article finally helped me reach a reasonable conclusion.


P.S I’d send you a follow up mail on this

Hello, thank you for sharing your experience with acca journey. However, idle like some few clarifications. Particularly after completing the examinations. I am currently an affiliate and I have no idea how to be a member and all. Does acca do induction? Do i get any certificate till i qualify as a member? Is there a timeline to it?
Please I ll appreciate if you could share the journey to membership and all. Thank you

Hello Adedamola,

I’m glad you found this article helpful.

Congrats on completing the examinations.

Well, ACCA has a briefing session for Affiliates, I suggest you attend (they should have sent a mail about that or if not they would soon) or better still contact ACCA via their helpline.

While I haven’t bothered trying to become a member because I’m not keen on that yet, I know there’s no induction, you become a member after 3 years relevant work experience and filling some stuff online.
It’s kind of different when compared to ICAN’s process.

Thanks for sharing your experience here. Learnt a lot.
Was planning to take ICAN, talked to my uncle about it and he suggested ACCA.
I want to ask if someone with a B.Sc can also register for the program.

Hello Omolola,
I’m glad to hear you learnt a lot.
Yes, anyone can take ACCA.
If you studied Accounting you get some exemptions too. Depends on your school and the relationship they have with ACCA.

Thanks for sharing your experience. It’s really helpful particular at this time when I’m trying to make decision on what to do. I’ll like to contact you for more information.

Hello Daniel,
Thank you for this piece. I would like to ask how much it cost to write ACCA for someone with economics

Hello Oreofe,

It’s a cumulative cost that’s always increasing every year (adjusting for inflation) but the total cost shouldn’t be less than 700,00k start to finish. I can’t put a pin on the exact cost.

Hello Danniel,
Please which tutorial house will you recommend for someone leaving aroud Obanikoro axis.
Thanks for your time

I would start by saying a big Congratulations to you Mr. Daniel, from your write up it’s really not an easy journey. once more accept my Congratulatory message.
Your write up is indeed an inspiring and encouraging one, have made concrete details of your experience and efforts, u just rekindled my taste.
Am a graduate of Economics and just concluded my CIS ( Chartered Institute of Stockbroking) exam. I had in mind to writing ICAN compared to ACCA due to financial constraints at the moment, but I love the analysis you made about the 2 bodies, it was wonderful! u just encouraged me to keep going and after my ICAN I will sure go for ACCA. I would love you to mentor me sir. I will send a mail to you soon so we can be communicating. Once more Accept my Congratulatory Message. Great achiever.

Hello Chioma,
I’m glad to hear from you and happy you found the article inspiring and encouraging. Thank you!

Sure, Please keep at it. I look forward to hearing from you.

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