The accounting world mourns the loss of a true icon as Mr. Akintola Williams, affectionately known as the “Doyen of Accounting,” passed away at 9 a.m. this morning.
Mr. Williams, who recently celebrated his remarkable 104th birthday on August 9, 2023, leaves behind a legacy that has forever shaped the field of accounting and the nation of Nigeria.
Born in 1919, Akintola Williams embarked on a journey that would redefine the accounting landscape in Nigeria and beyond.
He pursued his passion for accounting at the University of London, where he honed his skills and earned his qualifications as a chartered accountant in 1947.
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His return to Nigeria marked the inception of an illustrious career that would span decades.
In 1952, Mr. Williams made history by establishing his accounting firm, Akintola Williams & Co., a firm that would later evolve into the globally renowned Deloitte & Touche.
His vision, dedication, and unwavering commitment to excellence contributed significantly to the growth and recognition of this firm on the international stage.
Beyond his pioneering work in the accounting profession, Akintola Williams was a fervent advocate for the development of the accounting sector in Nigeria.
He stood as a founding member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and served as its president from 1963 to 1965.
His leadership played a pivotal role in shaping ICAN into the respected institution it is today.
Additionally, he served as a member of the National Board of Accountants and Auditors, further underscoring his dedication to advancing the accounting field.
Throughout his illustrious career, Mr. Williams was the recipient of numerous accolades and honors, reflecting the indelible mark he left on the profession and his country.
He was awarded the prestigious Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) and the Nigerian National Order of Merit (NNOM), celebrating his invaluable contributions to Nigeria’s growth and development.
As a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, he maintained an international presence and reputation for excellence.
Perhaps one of his most enduring contributions was his role as the first president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria.
His leadership in this role was instrumental in establishing the association of accountants in Nigeria in 1960, with a primary focus on the training and development of accountants, a legacy that continues to bear fruit today.