The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, ICAN, has made Technology Competence a prerequisite for inducting its new members. Thus, from 2008, every graduate of ICAN is expected to acquire Information Technology skills under the Institute’s Technology Competence Initiative (TCI) or show proof of such competence before he or she can be inducted. Arrangements are in top gear by the Institute to accredit the Accounting and Auditing software as well as the training centers for the effective take-off of programme nationwide.
Essentially, the TCI programme will cover four modules: Module 1(Computer Fundamentals) will last one week or 40hours; Module 2 (Use of Accounting Packages), 3 days or 24 hours; Module 3 (Audit Software), 3 days or 24 hours; and Module 4 (Professional Technology Competence), 4 months and training is only on weekends. The first two Modules will be the precondition for induction of new members.
TCI is a deliberate effort of the Institute aimed at building Information Technology competence in Chartered Accountants. This is expected to enable them serve their clients, employers and the nation at large more effectively in the knowledge economy environment.
TCI had earlier been introduced to qualified members essentially as a post-qualification initiative to assist them in acquiring and applying IT knowledge and expertise. The Institute’s move was in response to the International Education Guideline (IEG) 11 issued by the International Federation of Accountants’ (IFAC’s) Education Committee. The Guideline, which is on “Information Technology for Professional Accountants” is intended to assist member bodies of IFAC to prepare professional Accountants to work in the Information Technology environment. According to the Guideline, the society expects professional accountants to do their work competently, and to do so, the professionals must demonstrate competence in the use of IT computer-based information systems.
Therefore, TCI is the Institute’s instrument for implementing the IFAC guideline and a strategic institutional support to empower Chartered Accountants to meet the emerging challenges of the information age.
The recent decision to make TCI a precondition for induction of new members is the outcome of the ICAN Council’s review of its earlier decision on the matter.
ICAN, which is the only Nigerian member of IFAC, has over 2,000 fellows, over 16,000 associate members and close to 120,000 students on its registers and conducts examinations twice in a year. In all its years of existence, the examinations have been conducted without leakage. Since it came into existence more than forty years ago by the Act of Parliament No. 15 of 1965, ICAN has been the premier professional Institute in Nigeria, producing world-class professionals. Its qualification entitles members to be called “Chartered Accountants” and the world recognizes it as a prestigious qualification. From time to time, the Institute raises its standards in line with the provisions of the International Federation of Accountants, IFAC, which is the umbrella association for accountancy bodies all over the world.