Appraisal of the Accounting System in Nigerian Public Sector

 Appraisal of the Accounting System in Nigerian Public Sector


Appraisal of the Accounting System in Nigerian Public Sector


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Chapter one on Appraisal of the Accounting System in Nigerian Public Sector



Accounting system is an organization has a significance impact is the efficient management  and administration of the organization accounting has been called the “language of business and financial decision” because it provide management with data needed for decision making and for efficient operation of the firm. Walgenbach Dlttrich and Hanson defined accounting as the process of recording  classifying reporting and interpreting the financial data of an organization. Once an accounting system has been defined and installed recording and classifying data become some what  routine and repetitive.  Accounting is a dynamic profession 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.  Accountants cannot just observe the daily operation instead he must depend on the accounting process to convert business transaction into statistical data that can be abstracted and summarized in accounting reports. 
It is a thing of joy that an accounting body in Nigeria the institute of chartered accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) has lately accredited two institute as recognized training countries for the purpose of  training accountants solely for  the public sector though the curriculum for government accounting yet to be fully developed and integrated into the  accountancy programmes of our institutions. Based 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 goods and service 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. 
Pandy state that about two decades age the scope of the financial management was circumscribed to the raising of funds whenever needed and no significant use attached to day-to-day financial decisions making and problem solving’2 In other words mangers and accounting officers entrusted with public funds must ensure that such funds are properly distributed and adequate accounted for. They should also exercise due care skill diligence and prudence in the management of public funds. In the light of this it is necessary for an investigation to be conducted to find out the problem often encountered by operators of government establishment in maintaining a good accounting system with a view enhancing accountability and the prospects  of accounting in these establishments.   


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 produce perfect accounting information desired by user. Although theses problem are common to the private and public sectors it appears that the public sector suffers more. Among the common problems of the government unit accounting are: 
a.   Inconsistency in government accounting system comparison impossible. 
b.  Delay in presentation and preparation of annual financial statement 
c.  Ineffective control systems 
d.  Lack of proper and   suitable accounting system 
e.  Using untrained  personnel to do accounting work 
f.   Delay in receiving report from out stations with subsequent delay in preparing financial reports. 
g.  Untimely reconciliation of accounts. 
h.  Inefficiency of accounting and internal control  
i.   Negative attitude of government functionaries towards accountability   
On this background the researchers intends to find appropriate answers to these problems by understanding their root caused so as to find a lasting solution if possible or ameliorate the incidence of inaccurate accounting is government establishments.    


The aims 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 organization examine their root causes and based on the outcome of the analysis draw conclusion 
4.   To undertake a prospective view of government accounting need and identity possible future improvement of  its application by the public sector. 


The significance of the study it that it will nightlight the consequences of not having adequate accounting system is 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. It will also  highlight the benefits a public sector organization will derive if and when a good accounting system is efficiently and adequately applied. This project work will enhance decision making of user of accounting information. The following group of user will benefit from this research work. 
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 is 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”.
d.   Finally the public also sand a ground to benefit from this work in various ways.   


H0:    Self accounting system introduced is government accounting do not help  to make accountability more efficient?  
Hi1:    Self accounting system introduced is government accounting helps to make accountability more efficient?
H0:    Extensive accounting training is the public sector  do not enhance the performance of government accountants
Hi2:    Extensive accounting training is the public sector enhance the performance of government accountants.  
H0:    The existing problems of accounting is the public sector is not  the product of human deficiency?
H3:    The existing problems of accounting is the public sector the product of human deficiency? 


For the purpose of time and cost involved is this research work the study is limited to selected government establishment is Enugu (Enugu state capital) Moreover is carrying out the research certain category of people which include accountants other account personnel audit and stores personnel is these organization were selected for interview. I feel that these selected ones are best suited for a research work of this kind. Other limiting factors which might further create some constraints includes: 
1.    Resources at the researcher’s disposal 
2.    Availability of relevant data/ information. 
3.    Financial constraints involved is gathering the data and other important documents necessary for smooth work.     


The method of data collection obviously suggests the method of analyzing it. In the course of preparing this work the researcher used primary and secondary sources of data but reliance was placed more on the primary sources. This is due to its relatively factual nature. 
Consisted of questionnaires and direct interview with staff the firms.
In the secondary sources of data collection newspaper magazines and textbook were extensively used   


This research study followed a case study approach.   But because of time effort and finance which it will taken to study all the government establishment in Enugu hence the selection of three government establishment in Enugu. Enugu state. These are Nigeria telecommunications  Ltd (NITEL) national electric power authority (NEPA) and Nigeria postal service (NIPOST) Nigeria telecommunication came into existence is 1985 as a result of emergence between post and telecommunication (NET) with a staff strength of 16000 then. It operates three- tier organizational structure as follows: 
1.    The corporate headquarter 
2.    Zonal which is six is number 
3.    Territorial which is forty is number   
Nigeria   telecommunication Enugu  is Enugu state is one of the territorial. Ti has a staff strength of about 400 and it is located at Okpara Avenue Enugu the capital of Enugu state National electric power authority (NEPA) is located along Okpara Avenue Enugu. It  came into existence is 1972 due to amalgamation of Niger. Down and electricity corporation of Nigeria. The two emerged and became national electric power authority (NEPA) it has district and zones. Each district is dependent on imprest as approved by  the corporate headquarters at Abuja and the revenue generated is remitted to the corporate headquarters. It operation is mainly based on remittance and imprest account. Nigeria postal service which was together with Nigeria telecommunication was spitted out to start and stand on its own is 1976 it become independent and there is no working together and transfer of staff with Nigeria telecommunication. It is located long Okpaar Avenue Enugu. It render both local and international service to the pubic. 


ACCOUNTING: Is the act of recording classifying and summarizing reporting and interpreting in a significant manner the finance data of an organization.  
FINANCIAL STATEMENT   A summary of figure and facts showing the financial condition of a business. It is also an itemized list of assets liabilities and net worth of capital account.   
PUBLIC SECTOR By definition public sector include all organizations not privately owned not privately owned which are operated or established by government on behalf of the public.   
ACCOUNT OFFICE The title of the post held by the minister as the head of a central government department. He is responsible for the general supervision of the accounts of his ministry and is expected to observe and comply fully with the checks and balances spelt out is the existing guidelines and financial regulations. He is also responsible fro the fund voted to his department by national assembly   
PUBLIC SECTOR ACCOUNTING Is the composite activity of collecting analyzing recording summarizing reporting and interpreting the financial transaction of government  units.   
SELF ACCOUNTING UNIT  Is a unit entrusted with the receipt custody and disbursement of public money rendering monthly account to the accountant general.   
STEWARDSHIP ACCOUNTING   Is the process whereby the managers of a business account or report to the owners of the business.   
INTERNAL CONTROL It is the measures used by the management to regulate and control the affairs of the business which includes day to-day transactions.
FRAUD    Is defined as misappropriation of cash or goods and also intentional falsification of  book of account.   
FUND It relates to a sum of segregated for he purpose of carrying on specific activities or attaining certain objective in accordance  with special regulation restrictions limitation and constituting an independent fiscal and accounting entity.




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