Accounting technicians scheme, west africa atswa regulations


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To examine candidates’:

    • Understanding and appreciation of audit processes from the planning stage to the reporting stage;

    • Understanding of the risks associated with audit;

    • Understanding of the nature and essence of Audit;

    • Ability to carry out audit in computerized operating and accounting systems;

    • Appreciation of the audit needs of various organizations;

    • Understanding of the regulatory framework and ethical issues of auditing and

    • Ability to effectively communicate audit findings.


On completion of this paper, candidates should be able to:

(a) Appreciate and describe the function and purpose of internal and external financial reporting system;

(b) Highlight the role of audit in external financial reporting;

(c) Explain the principles of internal control;

(d) Appreciate control objectives for an accounting system under focus;

(e) Measure audit risk and formulate appropriate audit procedures;

(f) Draw logical conclusions from the results of conducted audit tests, and

(g) Formulate simple and preliminary reports relating to audit assignments.

The paper will be a three-hour paper divided into two Sections:

Section A: (50 Marks)- This shall consist of 50 compulsory questions made up of 30 Multiple Choice Questions and 20 Short Answer Questions covering the entire syllabus.
Section B: (50 Marks) - This consists Six Questions out of which candidates are expected to answer any four. Each of the questions attracts 12.5 marks

1. Auditing Principles and Theory

(i) Basic principles and concepts in auditing.

(ii) Differences between auditing and accounting.

(iii) Auditing and other services.

(iv) Impact of Law and Accounting Standards on audit.

(v) Concepts of “true and fair view”, materiality, judgment and audit risks.

2. Rights, Duties and Responsibilities of Auditors

  1. Appointment, removal and independence of auditors.

  2. Auditors’ qualification.

  3. Auditors’ responsibilities for objectivity, integrity, confidentiality, skill, care, and


3. Regulatory Framework and Ethical Issues in Auditing

  1. Scope of audit function under the Companies and Allied Matters Act Cap C20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004; Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act 1991; Insurance Act 2003.

  2. Audit Implications of Professional Pronouncements and Guidelines.

  3. Conflicts of interest, beneficial holding and personal financial relationships.

Candidates are advised to refer to Acts, Legislations and Regulations, etc. that are relevant to their home countries. For example, Nigerian candidates should refer to Acts peculiar to Nigeria.

4. Professional Ethics

  1. Fundamental principles of ICAN Code of Ethics and Conduct.

  2. Detailed requirements and application of professional ethics in the conduct of auditor’s independence, objectivity and integrity as set out in ICAN’s Code of Ethics and Conduct.

(iii) Auditors’ responsibilities with regard to confidentiality as set out in ICAN’s code of Ethics and Conduct.

5. Auditor’s Liability

(i) Definition and sources of Auditor’s liability.

(ii) Auditor’s liability for negligence under common law, statute, civil and criminal law.

6. Internal Control

  1. Objectives of an internal control system.

  2. Types of internal control.

  3. Inherent limitations of internal control system.

  4. Importance of internal control to auditors.

  5. Control procedures to meet specified objectives for each of the following functional areas: purchases and trade creditors, sales and trade debtors, wages and salaries, tangible/ fixed assets, stocks, bank receipts and payments, and cash receipts and payments.

  6. Application controls and general controls in computer-based systems and identification of the objectives of each control type.

  7. Typical control problems encountered in small computer-based systems.

  8. Techniques used by auditors to record and evaluate manual and computer-based accounting systems.

  9. Format and contents of Internal Control Questionnaire (ICQ’s) and internal Control Evaluation Questionnaires (ICEQ’s)

  10. Purpose of tests of control.

  11. Tests of control and substantive procedures.

7. Audit Tests and Sampling Techniques

  1. Relevance of sampling to the auditor.

  2. In-depth tests, graphing tests and sampling techniques.

  3. Testing of the system of internal controls.

  4. Compliance test, walk through test and substantive tests.

  5. Sampling selection methods – random, systematic and haphazard selection.

  6. Main factors affecting sample size.

8. Audit Planning, Evidence and Verification Procedures

  1. Physical examination.

  2. Third party confirmation.

  3. Audit programmes to meet specific audit objectives with regard to the following balance sheet items: fixed assets, investments, trade debtors, prepayments, bank and cash, trade creditors, accruals, long-term liabilities and provisions.

  4. Types of audit tests.

  5. Importance of evidential material in the audit process.

  6. Factors that influence the reliability of audit evidence.

  7. Vouching process.

  8. Audit observations and Management representation.

  9. Internal Control Report/ Letter of Weaknesses.

  10. Verification of Current Assets and Liabilities.

  11. Audit of intangible assets, such as goodwill, patents, trademarks, copyrights, franchise etc.

  12. Quality control and peer review.

9. Audit Practice

  1. Preparation, control, maintenance of audit files and working papers.

  2. Evaluation of audited accounting systems using Internal Control Questionnaires, and


  1. Verification of Balance Sheet items.

10. Audit of Computerized Systems

  1. Approach to computer audit – audit through the computer/audit round the computer

  2. Audit Trail.

  3. Computer Assisted Audit Techniques (CAAT).

  4. Security and computer crimes; prevention and control.

11. Introduction to Public Sector Audit

  1. Auditor General of the Federation, State and Local Government – appointment, powers and functions.

  2. Auditing for compliance with legislative and related authorities.

  3. Public Accounts Committee.

  4. Internal Audit function in public sector.

  5. Due Process and the Public Procurement Act, 2007.

12. Assurance Reporting

(i) Subsequent events review.

(ii) Evaluation of going – concern status.

  1. Management Representations Appraisal.

  2. Truth and fairness assessment of financial statements.

  3. Audit Committee – composition and functions.

13. Audit Report

  1. Standard audit report.

  2. Qualification in audit reports.

  3. Forms and content of auditors’ report with an unqualified opinion on the financial

statements of a company.

  1. Circumstances which may warrant the auditor to issue a report with:

  • A Qualified opinion.

  • An Adverse opinion.

  • A disclaimer of opinion.

14. Audit Completion

Purpose and nature of carrying out an overall review of the financial statements prior to expressing an audit opinion and outline the purpose and nature of:

  1. Application of analytical procedures.

  2. A review of opening balances and comparatives.

  3. A review of events after the end of the reporting period.

  4. An evaluation of going concern.


1. ATSWA Study Pack on Preparation and Audit of Financial Statements

2. Aguolu Osita - Fundamentals of Auditing, Rex Charles & Patrick Ltd, Nimo, Anambra State, Nigeria.

3. Okai I.J (1966) Auditing for you: National Science and Technology press csir Accra.


1. Woolf E. - Auditing Today, Prentice-Hall International.



To examine candidates’ knowledge and understanding of Cost Accounting Princples, Methods and Techniques


On completion of this paper, candidates are expected to be able to:

  • understand the concepts and principles of cost accounting and their applications to support

management processes of planning, decision-making, and control;

  • identify the various types of costs by behaviour and classification;

  • collect , classify and present cost information using appropriate methods and techniques;

  • accurately determine product and service costs ;

  • relate the various costing methods to different business entities and other activities;

  • prepare information for performance appraisals.


The paper is a three –hour paper divided into two sections:


50 compulsory questions made up of 30 multiple choice questions and 20 short answer questions covering the entire syllabus. 50


Six questions out of which candidates are expected to answer any four 50

{Each of the questions is to attract 12½ marks}.



  1. Definition of Cost Accounting and related terms.

  2. Nature, Purpose and Scope of Cost Accounting.

  3. Value of cost information (financial and non- financial) in management decision-making process

  4. Impact of information technology on the generation, evaluation and presentation of cost information.

  5. Roles required of accounting technicians in collection, analysis and presentation of cost information.


  1. Classifications of cost according to nature, functions, elements, responsibilities and behaviour patterns.

  2. Cost coding systems.

  3. Identification and use of fixed, variable and semi- variable costs in cost analysis.

  4. Analysis of the effect of changing activity levels on unit costs.


(a) Materials:

  1. Definition and basic classifications

  2. Procedure and documentation of :

  • Procurement

  • Receipts, storage and issues

  1. Inventory control and valuation:

  • Methods of pricing issues including FIFO, LIFO, Weighted Average Cost,

Standard Cost and Replacement Cost Methods.

  • Just- In- Time purchasing and production.

  • ABC Analysis Techniques.

  • Inventory control system including basic control levels, re-ordering

Procedures and Economic order quantity.

  • Types and procedures of stock taking.

(b) Labour:

  1. Basic methods of remuneration.

(ii) General features of incentive schemes.

  1. Labour costing and labour cost control.

(iv) Job evaluation, merit rating, work study, methods study and work measurement

(c) Overheads:

  1. Definition, classifications and analysis

  2. Allocation and apportionment – bases and methods

  3. Absorption – bases and calculation of overhead absorption rates

  4. Activity Based Costing

4. Integrated Accounts

(a) Book-keeping entries for costing systems, integrated and interlocking systems.

(b) Reconciliation of financial and cost accounting profits.

(c) Budget classifications and Chart of Accounts.

(d) Computer Assisted Costing Techniques.
5. Costing methods

  1. Specific order costing methods – Job, Batch and Contract costing

  2. Non-specific order costing methods – Service and Output costing

  3. Process costing including determination of WIP, Equivalent Units, Treatment of Losses, Gains and Accounting for Scrap

  4. Accounting treatment of By – Product and Joint Products

6. Standard Costing Technique

  1. Types and bases of setting Standards

  2. Methods of determining Standard Cost and the uses of Standard Cost

  3. Basic Materials, Labour, Overheads and Sales Variances

  4. Computation of Standard Ratios - Activity, Capacity and Efficiency Ratios

7. Costing Techniques and Decision Making Tools

  1. Use of Marginal and Absorption Costing Techniques in the preparation of Income Statements.

  2. Decision Making:

  • Concept of Relevant Cost.

  • Short Term Decisions.

  • Optimal Production Plan, given a Scarce Resource.

  1. Cost Volume – Profit Analysis.

Break Even - Analysis

- Computation and Graphical Presentations.

- Limitations.

- Methods of calculating Breakeven Point and other levels of activities.

- Margin of Safety and Angle of Incidence.

- Target Profit.

- Contribution/Sales ratio

(d) Discounted Cash Flow Techniques:

(i) Discounted Cash Flow

(ii) Pay Back Period

(iii) Annuities and Perpetuities
8. Recent developments in Cost Accounting

- Just-In- Time

- Kanban Inventory Control

- Back-Flush Accounting

- Life Cycle Costing

- Target Costing

- Advanced Manufacturing Technique (AMT)
9. Cost Reduction and Control

- Value Analysis

- Value Engineering

- Organisation and Methods

- Zero Base Budgeting methods, Programme Planning Budgeting System

- Work Study

- Cost Audit

1. ATSWA Study Pack on Cost Accounting and Budgeting

2. Adeniyi A. Adeniji……Cost Accounting: A Managerial Approach

3. Appiah-Mensah, K.B - Principles of Cost Accounting, Fiona Press, Accra


1. Lucey, T. …………………..Costing, DP Publications Limited, London


The aims of this paper are to examine candidates’ knowledge and understanding of:

  • the meaning of taxation and various aspects of tax system (tax policy, tax law and tax administration) of the ABWA member countries.

  • tax computations for individuals and businesses resident in member countries for the purpose of Personal Income Tax, Corporate Tax, Capital Gain Tax, Value-Added Tax and Education Tax as applicable to member countries.

  • all issues relating to filing of returns to appropriate tax authorities of (ABWA) member countries.


On completion of this paper, candidates should be able to:

  1. Prepare adjusted profit or loss computation for trade and vocations

  2. Compute Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax as it relates to employees

  3. Prepare direct assessment on individuals

  4. Prepare Companies Income Tax

  5. Compute Capital Gain Tax

  6. Compute Value Added Tax and Stamp Duties

  7. Compute Tax on property and investment income

  8. File the necessary returns to the appropriate tax authorities and

  9. Attend to the queries from the State Internal Revenue Service and Federal Inland Revenue Service as applicable in Nigeria.


The paper will be a three-hour paper divided into two sections:

Section A (50 Marks): This shall consist of 50 compulsory questions made up of 30 multiple choice questions and 20 short answer questions covering the entire syllabus.

Section B (50 Marks): Six questions, out of which candidates are expected to answer four, each at 12½ marks

1. Background to Income Tax

  • Definition and objectives of Taxation

  • Principles of Taxation

  • Classifications of Taxes

  • Sources of Nigerian Tax Laws

2. Administration of Income Tax

  • Composition, Powers and Duties of:

- Joint Tax Board

- Federal Board of Inland Revenue

- State Board of Internal Revenue

- Technical Committees of the Boards

- Body of Appeal Commissioners

  • Practical Procedures for Registration of Tax Payers

  • Knowledge of documents necessary for filing returns for taxes and dealing with the relevant tax authorities.

  • Returns

  • Individual Tax payer Returns

  • Corporate Tax payer Returns

  • Timing of filing of Returns

  • Types of Assessment

  • Self Assessment Scheme – nature and benefits

  • Provisional Assessment

  • Best of Judgment Assessment (BOJ)

  • Turnover Assessment

  • Terms of payment

  • Failure and Penalties for late payment

  • Pre-operation Levy

  • Introduction to ethical issues- confidentiality and conflict of interest

  • Distinction between Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion

  • Tax Clearance Certificate-nature, relevance and problems

3. Personal Income Tax

  • Imposition of Tax

  • Taxable Persons

  • Income Chargeable

  • General Provisions as to Valuation of Benefits

  • Valuation as to living accommodation

  • Allowable and Non-Allowable Deductions

  • Relevant Tax Authority

  • Reliefs and Allowances

  • Taxable Income of Partnership

  • Basis for computing Assessable Income

  • Old/New trades

  • Cessation of trades

  • Change of Accounting Date

  • Ascertainment of Assessable Income from Employment

  • Collection and Recoveries

  • Objection and Appeals

  • Offences and Penalties

4. Companies Income Tax

  • Basis for computing Assessable Profits

  • Commencement of Business

  • Cessation of Trade or Business

  • Reconstruction and Investment Allowance

  • Payment of Minimum Tax

  • Rural Investment Allowance

  • Export Processing Zone Allowance

  • Local Plants and Fabrication of Spare Parts

  • Capital Allowances – Types of Allowances and conditions for granting allowances

  • Chargeable Profits And Tax Liability

  • Exempted Incomes

  • Allowable and Non- Allowable Deductions

  • Education Tax- Assessment, Collection, Rates and Payment

5. Withholding Tax

  • Withholding Tax on Rent, Interest Royalty, Dividends, Directors Fee, Professional

Fees, Technical and Management fee and Contract of supplies

  • Withholding Tax Rates

  • Exemption from Withholding Tax

  • Remittance to Tax Authorities

  • Treatment of Withholding Tax Receipts

6. Capital Gains Tax

  • Relevant Tax Authority

  • Administration

  • Computation of Chargeable Gain

  • Artificial and Fictitious Transactions

  • Exemptions and Reliefs

7. Value Added Tax (VAT) and Stamp Duties

(a) Value Added Tax

  • Administration

  • Registration

  • Taxable Persons, Activities and Services

  • Input and Output

  • Exempted Goods and Services

  • VAT Records and Returns

  • Output VAT Records

  • Recovery

  • Zero Rated Supplies

  • Offences and Penalties and VAT Tribunal

(b) Stamp Duties

8. Education Tax

  • Assessment and Collection

  • Rate and Payment

  • Offences and Penalties

  • Management and Administration of the Education Tax Fund

1. ATSWA Study Pack on Preparing Tax Computation and Returns

2. Ariwodola J.A. - Personal Taxation in Nigeria including Capital Gain Tax A.A. Nigeria Ltd, Lagos.

3. Ali-Nakyea Abdallah - Taxation in Ghana, Principles, Practice & Planning


To examine the candidates’ knowledge and understanding of business and non- business organizations as well as the managerial knowledge attitude and skills required to achieve efficient and effective operations of such organization in a dynamic environment.


At the end of this course candidates must be able to:

(a) Define and explain the nature of business and non-business organisations

(b) Understand the nature of business environment and its relevance for policy decisions of management

(c) Understand the concept of corporate social responsibility and ethics in business and their relevance in business environment

(d) Define and explain the basic concepts, principles theories, techniques of management and their application to management problems

(e) Understand the nature, role, function, procedures and the inter-relationships of the organic business functions of marketing, production personnel and accounting

(f) Understand the management of people for effective working relationships

(g) Apply strategic management principles in modern organisation

(h) Understand the importance of health and safety

(i) Identify and understand the elements of office practice and procedures

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