The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), on Monday called on its members to sharpen their skills and tap from the enormous business opportunities in emerging financial technologies.
Alhaji Razak Jaiyeola, ICAN President, made these known at the opening of the institute’s 5th Annual International Academic Conference on Accounting and Finance, holding at Kaduna State University (KASU), Kaduna.
Jaiyeola, who was represented by the institute’s 1st Deputy Vice-President, Mrs Onome Adewuyi, noted that financial technology provided both threats and opportunities for accounting practitioners.
According to him, failure to keep pace with global trends can have a serious negative impact on the accounting profession.
“It is on this ground that we will be holding the Accounting Technology Summit scheduled for April 29 to April 30 for practical discussions on emerging technologies.
“Key discussions will be on artificial intelligence, robotics, machine learning, blockchain technology and Internet of Things (IoT).
“The goal is to look at the implications of this trend for chartered accountants in various sectors of the economy,” the ICAN chief said.
He explained that the annual academic conference was organised for members of the institute in the academia to contribute to the growth of the accounting profession through their research findings.
Jaiyeola said that the theme of the conference, “Contemporary Issues in Business, Accounting and Financial Technology”, was apt considering the crucial place of technology in the profession.
The president said that the institute had supported members in the academia severally, adding that five members had benefited from a N1 million token to support members’ inaugural lectures.
“We are equally awarding N500,000 grant each, to qualified candidates undertaking doctoral degree programmes in Accountancy and related fields in recognised universities.
“About 40 doctoral students have so far enjoyed this grant.
“Similarly, ICAN is publishing an academic journal titled: `ICAN International Journal of Accounting and Finance (IJAF)’, to provide publication avenues for members and non-members.
“We have also built lecture theatres and supplied computer systems, textbooks and other learning kits to tertiary institutions,” Jaiyeola added.
On her part, the 1st Deputy Vice-President, said that the conference would continue to provide a veritable platform for academics to share their research findings to deepen the quality of research work.
“We will also have Ph.D Colloquiums in the course of the conference and the best three papers will be awarded cash prizes.
“This is part of ICAN’s contribution to the expansion of the frontiers of knowledge in the accounting profession.’’
In a keynote address, the KASU Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Muhammad Tanko, commended ICAN for the choice of the theme which, he described, as “appropriate and in line with global trend’’.
Tanko said that the theme was apt because businesses in Nigeria and around the globe were adopting emerging technologies in offering commercial and financial services.
He noted, however, that cybercrime had been and would continue to be an issue for firms that had adopted modern technologies in the provision of commercial services.
“There is, therefore, the need to keep vigil and employ a holistic approach to addressing the threats posed by emerging technologies to the accounting profession and its business environment,’’ the KASU vice-chancellor said.