There have been many controversies relating to this issue. It is fair to say that most believe that the BSC in Accounting is gradually becoming obsolete and won’t stand the test of time. This is worsened by the fact that university accounting syllabuses are disconnected from professional curricula. I strongly believe that an academic degree in Accounting is unnecessary for the most part. I will give some reasons why and recommend combinations.
√THE AAT CERTIFICATION IS EQUATED TO A BSC BY ICAN
Truth is, an AAT certification is equated to a BsC in Accounting by ICAN even though universities don’t see it as degree equivalent. A Bsc Accounting graduate is exempted from 5 papers and catapulted to the skills level. This is the identical treatment for AAT holders. But here is where it gets tricky:
1)AATWA can be acquired with just WASSC certification and little else within a period of 1 year and six months or 2 years. The degree is acquired after 4 years with a series of exams like JAMB and post UTME before entry.
2)Ironically, AATWA certificate holders fair better, are better prepared and are held in higher esteem than their BSC counterparts.
√ANYBODY CAN BE A CHARTERED ACCOUNTANT
Apart from the fact that people could qualify as ACA via the AAT route, there is still the fact that a graduate in any discipline is still welcomed to ICAN even without prior qualification like AAT.
√BSC ACCOUNTING IS DISCONNECTED FROM THE ICAN PROGRAM
Many graduates of Accounting will agree that the first time the studied the IFRSs meaningfully was in ICAN. Some will still go all out and say that the degree did not prepare them for depth of ICAN exams. So why study a degree which rarely covers the professional curriculum it relates to?
√AUDIT FIRMS DON’T CARE WHAT YOU STUDIED IN SCHOOL
Audit firms like KPMG, PWC, Ernst & Young etc don’t care what you studied at school. In fact it has been said by some insiders that these firms appreciate science and math degrees more! Imagine. All these firms care about is a second class (upper) and the ACA certification. Any other issue (e.g the course studied) is left variable.
√IF YOU GET A BSC IN ACCOUNTING AND DON’T PASS ICAN OR ACCA YOU ARE IN TROUBLE. BIG ONE
Ultimately most people now do ACA program just as trial. If it works fine. Chartered accountant. If not its OK. But if you got a BSC in Accounting, forgot about that excuse. Your BSC says accounting. If you don’t get chartered the BSC is worth less than the paper used.
~SO WHAT SHOULD I STUDY THEN?
If you want to be tax accountant, get the LL.B and even go to law school. Then get your ACA. This would increase your skills in taxation considerably and will set you up for very juicy positions. Again you have plan A & B.
If you want to be an auditor study Statistics, Economics or Computer Science. Frankly speaking the blunt audit courses taught in the BSC Accounting teach nothing. In real world, audit is all about data analytics & statistical methods. Instinct is the third element and is acquired on the job.
~BUT WHO SHOULD DO THE BSC IN ACCOUNTING THEN?
Well the only person who should do it is someone who either can’t like any other course or who wants to be a lecturer or something.