21 year old Michael Siaw Larbi has graduated from the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ghana (ICAG) as the 1st Rank Holder and Overall Best Candidate in the Final Level CA Examinations. The ICAG held a ceremony at the Accra International Conference Centre on the 24th of October, 2015 to graduate 278 Chartered Accountants who passed the Final Level exams in May 2015 and to formally admit 292 Chartered Accountants into Membership of the Institute.
Michael qualified as a Chartered Accountant within a record time of less than 2 years, at age 21, with first time passes in all 16 professional level papers in exactly 4 consecutive exam sittings. For this remarkable feat, he was also awarded as the “Overall Best Candidate (First Attempt) – CA Final Level Exams” in addition to his 1st Rank Holder award as “Overall Best Candidate – CA Final Examinations”. Michael has indeed become a great source of inspiration to the youth and all those who want to follow this path. With no prior business and accounting background, Michael has dispelled the myth that you need an accounting background to thrive in the CA exams.
With a General Arts background from the Presbyterian Boys’ Senior High School (PRESEC-Legon), Michael topped the West African Exam Council (WAEC)’s May/June 2012 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) in the General Arts program with electives in Economics, Geography, Government and Further Mathematics. He self-studied for his CA Part 1 Exams and wrote the exam in November 2013 whilst he was a 2nd year student (Level 200) at the University of Ghana.
He completed the entire CA program whilst in his 3rd university year (Level 300). Even though he described his first foundation level accounting paper as “not so good” since it was his first ever accounting exam, he passed all 4 papers in the same exam session and was Nationwide Topper for the November 2013 CA Part 1 Exams. Michael was also awarded as “Overall Best Candidate – Economics” in the Part 1 exams for scoring the highest mark that year (91 marks) in the Economics paper, and finally as “Overall Best Candidate – CA Part 1 Examinations”.
With a new source of inspiration, he began believing it was possible to even do greater things since he “never expected to top the CA exam”. He therefore began studying for the Part 2 CA exams and wrote the exam in the May 2014 CA exam sitting. He wrote and passed all 4 papers again in that exam session and once again was Nationwide Topper for the May 2014 CA Part 2 Exams. Michael was also awarded as “Overall Best Candidate – Quantitative Tools in Business” in the Part 2 exams for scoring the highest mark that year (92 marks) in the Quantitative Tools in Business paper. He once again was awarded as “Overall Best Candidate – CA Part 2 Examinations”. This served as a great confidence booster for the November 2014 Part 3 CA Exams as he studied and wrote all 4 Part 3 papers; namely Financial Reporting, Financial Management, Public Sector Accounting and Cost & Management Accounting. Michael once again cleared all 4 papers in a single exam sitting; a feat that rarely occurs in the Part 3 exam.
With the final level exam approaching, he worked extra hard as he intended to top the finals. In May 2015, he sat for the final level papers and once again cleared all 4 papers on the first attempt and topped the entire CA Exams as 1st Rank Holder and Overall Best Candidate only at age 21. He was also recognized as Overall Best Candidate for clearing all the exams on his first attempt. Michael is currently a First Class student in his final year (Level 400) at the University of Ghana Business School majoring in Banking & Finance and would be graduating in 2016. Michael is indeed a great source of inspiration to the youth of Ghana and to all those with fears of chasing their dreams and pursuing their passion. Congratulations once again to 21 year old Michael Siaw Larbi, 2015 CA All Ghana Topper.