APPRAISAL OF THE ACCOUNTING SYSTEM IN NIGERIAN PUBLIC SECTOR (A CASE STUDY OF SELECTED GOVERNMENT ESTABLISHMENT IN ENUGU)
Accounting can be defined as the recording summarizing analyzing and interpretation of an organization. Accounting system is a set of rules regulations and procedures which are articulated by a appropriate theoretical force into a system. The process data into information which are required as input in the decision making system of the organization. Based on these definitions accounting of public sector involves activities of collecting analyzing recoding summarizing reporting and interpretation of transaction of government units. The objective of the study is to determine the effectiveness of the existing system of accounting of government units to appraise the system and ascertain their suitability to analyze the problem associated with the system of accounting adopted (if any) by these organization and to identify future improvement. Both primary and secondary sources of data were used in this research. Research question were formulated and a questionnaires comprising statement drawn from the research question were prepared as well. Interviews as a primary sources and textbooks as a secondary sources were also used. Some of the major finding form the analysis of data collected are appointment of unqualified accountants to act as accounts supervisor negative attitude of most accountants towards accountability resulting to inadequate keeping of records and accounts the effect of self accounting system which is now used as an act for embezzlement/ self enrichment by the public sector accountants inadequate training and development of public sector accountants which results to lack of proficiency of public sector accounting system incompetent among accountants in the public sector and the delay is presenting and preparation of annual financial statement in the public sector. On the basis of these finding the following recommendation are made viz. Adequate internal control system has to be institute by the management for the prevention and detection of fraud and irregularities is the public sector. Training of the account personnel should be adopted in the public sector service. Financial statement must be prepared and present to members annually to have the related information on their loopholes and area to improve on. The above recommendation of fully implemented will enhance government accounting system and records and also stimulated improved financial reporting system in the public sector
TABLE OF CONTENT
Table of content
1.2 Statement of problem
1.3 Objective of the study
1.4 Research question
1.5 Significance of the study
1.6 Scope of the study
1.7 Limitation of study
2.1 Review of related literature
2.2 Principles of accounting
2.3 Users of accounting information
2.4 Objective of accounting in the public sector
2.5 Limitations of financial information
2.6 Legal basis and basis of accounting
3.1 Research design
3.2 Area of study
3.3 Population of the study
3.4 Sampling method
3.5 Validity and Reliability of the instrument
3.6 Sources of data
3.7 method of investigation
Presentation and analysis of data
4.1 Data Analysis
4.2 Data Presentation
4.3 Testing of Research Questions
Summary of finding Recommendation and Conclusion
5.1 Summary of finding
Government accounting and financial reporting is a very important component of the public sector financial management process in Nigeria. As Adams (2001) noted that government accounting entails the recording, communicating, summarizing, analyzing and interpreting financial statement in aggregate and in details. In the same vein, Prenchard (1999) argues that government accounts have the dual purpose of meeting internal management requirements while providing the public with a window on government operations. Government financial reports should be prepared with the objective in mind of providing full disclosure on a timely basis of all material facts relating to government financial position and operations (Achua, 2009). Financial reports on their own do not mean accountability but they are an indispensible part of accountability.
Accounting provides financial information about economic activity. Economic units like business or firms, governmental agencies, charity organizations, non-profit organization, families and individuals, engaged in economic activities.
According to Douglas Garbutt, he defined accounting as a disciplines concerned with the recording, analyzing and other entities.
Walgenbach Dittrich and Hanson defined accounting as the process of recording, classifying, reporting and interpreting the financial data of an organization.
Accounting is a dynamic profession just like language it does not stay static, it grows embrace additional rolls in its development trail. Extensively accounting records has to be maintained not just because these records are required by law but to avoid confrontation with a multitude of complex variables.
According to Bello (2001), huge amount of Naira is lost through one financial malpractice or the other in Nigeria, which to say the least, drains the nation’s meager resources through fraudulent means with far-reaching and attendant consequences on the development or even socio-economic or political programmes of the nation. Billions of Naira is lost in the public sector every year through fraudulent means.
This represents only the amount that is ferreted out and made public. Indeed much more substantial or huge sums are lost in undetected frauds or those that are for one reason or the
hushed up. Appah and Appiah (2010) argues that cases of fraud is prevalent in the Nigerian public sector that every segment of the public service, could seem to be involved in one way or the other in some of these nasty acts.
In other words, Accountants should not only observe daily operation, instead, it must depend on the accounting process to convert business transaction into statistical data that can be summarized in accounting reports. The institute of chartered accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), an accounting body in Nigeria has lately being accredited two institutes as recognized training countries for the purpose of training accountants solely for the public sector through the curriculum for government accounting yet to be fully developed and integrated into the accounting programmes of our institutions. There is also a great search of textbook on governmental accounting is the country these are problem that must be promptly tacked.
Government establishment are set up to provide social amenities for public welfare. These establishment finance their activities principally from government subventions which are derived directly or indirectly form government various sources in come (such as fees charges central or local taxation and borrowing), the need for a good book-keeping and accounting system together with proper accountability for public fund cannot be over accounting officers operate as an internal security men and through records control what goes on inside the business.
They have to preserve the company’s property form loss by embezzlement fraud or carelessness.
Apart two decades ago, pandy state that ‘the scope of the financial management was limited [circumscribed] to the raising of fund whenever, and no significant use attached to day-to-day financial decisions making and solving problem’.
In other words, mangers and accounting officers entrusted with public funds must ensure that such funds are properly distributed and adequately accounted for. They should also exercise due care, skill, diligence and prudence in the management of public funds.
1.8 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
It is worthy to note that accounting information often suffer lots of distortion due clerical technical and non-professional errors. Accounting process as an information system serve persons both inside and outside an organization but most operators/ practitioners of government accounting are unable to provide perfect accounting information desired by user.
1.9 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The aim of this study includes:
1. To determine the effectiveness of the existing system of accounting of government units.
2. To appraise the systems and ascertain their suitability.
3. To identify and analyze the problem associated with the system of accounting adopted by these organizations, examine their root causes and based on the outcome of the analysis draw the conclusion.
4. To undertake a prospective view of government accounting need and identity possible future improvement of it’s application by the public sector.
1.10 RESEARH QUESTION
1. Self accounting system introduced in government accounting, do not helpto make accountability more efficient?
2. Extensive accounting training in the public sector which does not enhance the performance of government accountants.
3. Extensive accounting training in the public sector which enhances the performance of government accounting.
4. The existing problems of accounting are the public sector the product of human deficiency?
5. The existing problems of accounting are the public sector which is not the product of human deficiency?
1.11 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The significance of the study is that, it will hightlight the consequences of not having adequate accounting system in a pubic sector organization.
Having identified the problems and consequences this will pave was for preparation and presentation of improved quality of accounting by government accounting personnel practitioners.
This project work will enhance decision making of user of accounting information. The following group of user will benefit from this research work, thus;
a. Staff and practitioners of government accounting who would need the information for improving their job
b. It will serve as a reference material to accounting students lectures and researcher that might lay their hand on a copy in the library for academic and research purpose in the future.
c. Moreover the success of this work could be of immense benefit to the operators of government establishment who need financial information for decision making and also help them to understand the concept of stewardship accounting. Millchamp define stewardship accounting as “the process whereby the managers of a business accounts or report to the owners of the business”
1.12 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
Basically, this study covers the accounting system of the selected government establishment is Enugu.
It aimed at finding out the administrate proceed problems associated with public sector, causes of negative attitude of government functionaries towards accountability.