The Role of Internal Auditing in the Effecting Management Control of Local Governments
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Abstract on The Role of Internal Auditing in the Effecting Management Control of Local Governments
The subject of this research investigation is the role and functions of internal auditing within the local government councils in EnuguState, specifically, this study has empirically investigated the present situation functions and problems of the internal audit department within the local government councils in Enugu. The major problem of the researcher was to find out their relevance to the to the effective and efficient performances of the local government areas. The research methodology in this investigation is descriptive approach, based an the answers to certain research questions. Data for the \descriptive analysis were generated through an empirical investigation of the activities of the internal audit department in Ezeagu local government area. The methods of data collection were interviews, direct observations and study of secondary materials. The major findings of this study are:
a. That Ezeagu local government area has an internal audit department.
b. That internal auditing helps to know how well the policies of management were executed.
c. That the duties of the internal auditor could be performed by either the accounts division or the external auditor who must be statutorily appointed.
d. That all the internal auditors of the local government report to the auditor general, through the executive chairman of their local government areas.
The conclusions of this study are:
a. Management needs to know whether the report it relieves are accurate and adequate and whether its policies are being effectively translated into action in all sections of the local governments.
b. It also needs to know whether staffs are being properly trained and that they understand the rules and procedures they are expected to follow.
Chapter one on The Role of Internal Auditing in the Effecting Management Control of Local Governments
This research investigation falls within the area of internal auditing in Ezeagu local area. Internal Auditing is an audit function which is being used by local governments as a part of its overall system of internal control. Such auditing is carried out by local government employees who are responsible to local government management. The activities of internal auditors were originally intended to verify secrecy and dependability of the accounting systems, data and information, but currently they are operating in non-accounting functions, verifying local government operation and efficiency. From the foregoing, internal auditing is therefore, a day to day verification process, which operates continuously throughout the local government financial year. According to Akanyanwu (1990) internal auditing is “The independent appraisal within a local government of the accounting, financial and all other operations as a basis for protective and advisory services to management”.
The new civil service move with designed to made the service more functional, professional, productive and responsive to the socio-economic needs of the nation. The federal government has also recently revamped and restructure the local government system to enable it perform its role of promoting, co-ordinating and implementing community services, enhancing citizens participation and maximizing the use of local resources. Enormous amount of money if flowing to the local government from the federation accounts (20%), the 10% if the state internally generated revenue and the revenue of the local government.
The federal government of Nigeria came up with a financial instruction in 1979 instructing all local government to set up internal audit unit in each local government. But the behavior and attitude of operation of local government system resulted in many local governments not setting up internal audit units or if set up, they were not functional. The federal government in 1988 set in motion a real wave of change. A real frame work of internal auditing in the local government was spelt out in order to make it less difficult for management of the local government to have perfect control of the activities of staff of the local government as the greatest contributing factor to the poor performances of the local governments.
STRUCTURE OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT
Local government forms the third tie of government in Nigeria; in Nigeria so to say we have the federal government at the apex, the state government at the middle and local government at the bottom. Local government was created to help in catering for the rural populace. Its operations include the provision of same social amenities, such as cottage hospitals, rural roads, and bridges, management of primary schools that is before now. At the head of affairs in each local government is the chief executive of the local government who is referred to as the local government chairman. We also have the legislators of the local government who were elected in various wards. The local government administration has the chairman at top of affairs, followed by his deputy, and then come the secretary, the personnel executive officer (PEO), the treasurer and the internal auditor. The internal auditor reports to the auditor general of the state through the executive chairman of the local government.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The local government has three broad sources of revenue. They include 20%direct from the federation accounts, 10% of internally generated revenue of the state government and revenue internally generated by the local government herself. The internal source available to the local government area include, rents from market stores, royalty paid by some residents companies in a local government, contractors registration, sales of car/bus emblems, etc.Since the local government has a whole lot of possible source of revenue the problem therefore include:
a. How can efficient management controls be achieved?
b. What is the role of internal auditing in ensuring this control?
c. How can the internal auditing be made a useful tool for management control?
METHOD OF STUDY
The major method of this research investigation will be descriptive, based on the answers to certain research questions. Detailed discussion an methodology will be presented in chapter three.
OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
a. The researcher intends to find out; the role of internal auditing in management control.
b. Whether the function of the internal audit department are performed in compliance with the established standards and policies and how much it has succeeded in achieving the objective of the local government.
c. In the end the researcher shall establish some acceptable benefit that may be derived from effective audit control system.
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE STUDY
This research is an attempt to survey the constructive parts, which internal auditing can play in the local government system in Nigeria with particular reference to Ezeagu local government area – EnuguState. A lot of problems are facing the local government areas as not having an effective audit control system. One of these problem is the management seems to gloss over the operation of the local government, which are carried out in disorganized manner. The researcher was motivated to choose this topic because of her belief that if management of Ezeagu local government have complete control of the activities of the members and staff of the local government, an efficient management which is pre-requisite for high productivity will be assured. This is so because an efficient control system will enable the management to monitor the performance of the executives and take necessary and adequate corrective actions to ensure high performance of the executives and take necessary and adequate corrective actions to ensure high performance at the levels.
SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study is limited to Ezeagu local government area of EnuguState. This is because of the limited time available for the researcher for the submission of the report and the financial involvement of the scope is further widened. Furthermore, from the related literature reviewed, it was observed that there was enough bases for generalizing the result of the study.
LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study has been limited by a number of factors. Notable among the limitations was our people’s poor reaction to researches question and reading meaning into any attempt at any form of interview.
One of the vital documents needed for this investigation could not be supplied because it was audited account for 1998 and 1999 financial year. The last audited account was in 1983.
It took the researcher much time and effort to convince some respondent that she is not in any way trying to find out how well or otherwise they are carrying out their work.
DEFINITIONS OF TERMS
The following terms, which due to their technical nature carry special meanings, need some definition to aid proper understanding of this paper. The writer therefore, wishes to define them briefly here but those of them that need further explanations were explained in later chapters.
Internal Audit: This is a continuos review of operations and records understanding within an organization by specially assigned staff.
Internal Control: This is the whole system of control established by the management to enable it carry out its management function efficiently. Institute of Chartered Accounts of England and Wales (ICAEW) defines internal control as “the whole system of control, financial and otherwise, established by management in order to carry on the business of the company in an orderly manner, safeguard its assets and secure as far as possible the accuracy and reliability of the records.
From the above definition, it is clear that the main purpose of internal control is to safeguard assets and keep proper records. The important features of internal control are:
i. The plan to the organization with particular reference to the allocation of staff duties (segregation of duties)
ii. Authorization, recording and custody procedure including internal checks.
iii. Managerial supervision and reviews (including internal checks). This is the point where the internal auditor comes into focus.
WATCH DOG: This refers to one who is always around at the center of activities of the business. He carefully watches every person on the activities, only running back to the master to report errors committed.
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