The Accountant is the person charged with keeping the books and stating the financial health of a company. At the secondary school level, you are required to have at least five credits in Mathematics, English, any of Economics, Accounts, Commerce, Government, Geography, Literature-in- English, anyone of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, or any Language subject (Yoruba, lbo, Hausa).
For your JAMB subjects, you’ll need Mathematics, English and any two from the subjects listed above. Accountancy is offered as a four-year degree programme in almost all the universities in Nigeria. In the Polytechnics, it is available as a two year ordinary diploma course and another two years of higher diploma called financial studies with a one-year industrial attachment in between, making a total of five years. It is possible to cross over to the university after your O.N.D.
However, you must graduate with nothing less than a second-class upper division and with this, you will be offered admission into the second year at the university. First Year In the first year, you’ll not take courses directly relevant to Accountancy. You'll more or less take introductory courses in the social sciences like philosophy, psychology, sociology, English, History (Nigerian people and culture), business mathematics etc.
Second Year As from the second year you’ll be introduced to general accounting courses like Financial Accounting, Cost Accounting, Management, Statistics, Business Finance, and Economics.
The third year opens you to special Accounting courses. Courses will be taught in Taxation, Auditing, Management Accounting, Political Economy, Accounting Standards and an Introduction to Computer Application. You’ll be given further grounding in Financial Accounting and Cost Accounting.
Fourth Year The fourth year broadens your scope on all what you would have been taught in previous years. You’ll be taught advanced forms of Management Accounting, Taxation, Financial Accounting, Public Finance, Management Information System and Computer Application. As part of the degree requirement, you’ll be required to undertake a research project under the supervision of an academic staff.
Post Degree Programme At the end of your four years at the university, you’ll proceed on a one year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme.
During or after this (as a matter of fact, it could be well before this), it will be to your advantage to register and start taking examinations of Professional bodies in order to broaden your horizon in the Accounting field. Foremost among them is the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Nigeria (ICAN), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), etc. It will also be to your advantage if you have an in-depth knowledge of Computer Accounting Packages, most especially the Microsoft Excel (MS Excel). These you can learn, from a reputable Computer School. Job Opportunities The Accountant has been found to be indispensable and even more today with the complexities of the financial world as no organization can survive without proper accounting. Therefore, as long as there is an organization, there will be a job for an Accountant.
Generally, an Accountant can work in diverse sectors like Audit (Internal and External), Taxation, Financial Accounting, Investigation, etc. The Accountant will be charged With the responsibility of preparing and monitoring the accounting records of the organization. He will also be responsible for proper financial planning, which is the bedrock of every organization.
The Muslim Accountant should remember that he is first a Muslim, before an Accountant. He should not sacrifice his hereafter because of this life by using his acquired skills in that which is haraam e.g. By working in Riba based institutions like banks and insurance companies present in our economy. Also he is accountable not just to his organization, but also to Allaah. He must therefore be sincere and shun all acts of fraud, either individually, or collectively.
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited