THE ROLE OF ACCOUNTING RECORDS IN PROPER MANAGEMENT OF THE PUBLIC SECTOR.
( A CASE STUDY OF THE FEDERAL MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT).
This project work examines the role of accounting records in proper management of the public sector in the federal parostatals (Federal Ministry of Environment as the case study). There has been significant attempt by the researcher to examine whether the role of accounting records as should be kept is being adopted by the ministry. The problems facing the good accountability in the sector was identity and solution has been provided to enhance the system of accountability in the federal parastatals. To accomplish the aim of this project work, some related literatures were reviewed and duly acknowledged in the appropriate reference sections. Two hypotheses were formulated and thereafter tested using chi-square. The data used were from both primary and secondary sources. Based on the data collected and analysis some findings were made which proceeded to conclusion and some recommendation. It has been generally concluded that there is no good internal control system and technological facilities, which if quickly restored will improve the role of accounting record in the public sector and nation at large.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1.1 Background of the study
1.2 Statement of the problem
1.3 Objective of the study
1.4 Research questions
1.6 Significance of the study
1.7 Scope of the study
1.8 Limitation of the study
1.9 Definition of terms
2.0 Literature Review
2.1 Theoretical Review of Related Literature
2.1.1 History of Accounting
2.1.2 The structure of Accounting Theory
2.1.3 Objective of Accounting
2.1.4 What is Public Sector Accounting
2.1.5 Purpose of Government Accounting
2.1.6 Basis of Government Accounting
2.1.7 What is Financial Reporting
2.1.8 Objective of Financial Reporting
2.1.9 Components of Financial Reporting in Public Sector.
2.2 Empirical Review of Related Literature
2.2.1 Internal Control System for Effective Operation
in Public Sector.
2.2.2 Standardization of the Accounts of Federal and
2.2.3 Significance of Financial Reporting in the
3.0 Research Design and Methodology
3.1 Research Design
3.2 Area of Study
3.3 Population of Study
3.4 Sources of Data
3.5 Sampling Method
3.6 Research Instruments
3.7 Validity and Reliability of Research Instruments
3.8 Method of Investigation
4.0 Presentation and Analysis of Data
4.1 Presentation and Analysis of Result
4.2 Test of Hypotheses
5.0 Summary of Findings, Conclusion and
5.1 Summary Findings
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Accounting as a profession has its origin in the necessity for the institution of some system of recording financial transaction, mainly the receipt and cash disbursement. In early stages of civilization, the methods of accounting were so crude and the numbers of transaction to be recorded are so small that every individual has no doubt to be able to keep records of the financial transaction by himself. As the ancient states and empires acquired some coherence system of administration, some regular systems of accounting became inevitably evidence by skill eliciting records of the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans.
The various ancient records of accounting are confined principally to public accounts but, there are these indication that accounting records were kept for notable manners and estate of the ancients that the great impetus were given to commerce and trade generally by the renaissance in Italy (that is, the period of revisal of art and literature in the Europe) led to the evolution of a system of accounting which was capable of recording completely all kinds of mercantile transactions and principle of double entry were first published in 1494, at Venice, by an Italian named Luca Pacioli are necessary. The accounting records are designed in a standard for a general use. They bear the treasury numbers, although some of them have some other references (Price, 2003: 26).
Accounting records maintained in the ministries are numerous. This is as a result of various functions performed in the account division. The account division is usually divided into a number of sections which handle the accounting records that suit the duties and functions rendered in them. The accounting systems in the ministries are well set-up-to realize the objectives of providing information on control and decision making purposes. These objectives have not been realized as a result of the problem of work-load and the inefficiency and ineffectiveness of clerical staffs.
The law provides for the audit on the account of the various ministries that made up the public sector from time to time so as to ensure that they run good and proper account. This is established by section 24 of the finance (control and management) Act of 1958 in conformity with audit act section 13, 14 and 15 of 1856. The auditors are able to do this by examining the accounts which have first been prepared and kept by the accountants in the ministries. The accountant General of Federation serves as the chief accountant, and with others including the accounting officers (permanent secretary). They jointly run the business on behalf of the public.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The following problems, hinder the effectiveness of accounting records in the public sector.
1. Poor internal control system
2. Lack of adequate staffing and skills
3. Ignorance of the accounting concepts
4. Incomplete, inaccurate and late records of finance data.
5. Lack of technological infrastructure.
Thus, the study set out to proffer a solution to these constraints that militate against the effectiveness of accounting records in the public sector.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main objective of the study is to determine the role of accounting record in the management of the public sector. The specific objective of the study are:
1. To ascertain the effectiveness of internal control system in order to prevent fraud.
2. To find the effect of modern technological facilities on accounting recording of the public sectors.
3. To ascertain the role of accounting records as well as their uses in the public sector.
4. To determine the effect of accounting record on the productivity of the public sector.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
To attain these objectives the following question will provide good guide for the accomplishment of the objective and the study.
1. To what extent does the internal control system prevent fraud?
2. Does the introduction of the modern technological facilities help in improving the accounting system/standards of the public sector?
3. Of what relevant is accounting records in the public sector?
4. What is the effectiveness of accounting record in the productivity of the public sector
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
The following hypothesis will be tested in this study.
Ho: Majority of frauds in the public sector have been due to lapses in the internal control system.
Hi: Majority of frauds in the public sector have not been due to lapses in the internal control system.
Ho: The modern technological facilities has not brought about improvement in accounting records in the public sector.
Hi: The modern technological facilities has brought about improvement in accounting records in the public sector.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The research will be significant in examining the role of accounting records as an information system.
1) The study will enlightening all the staff of government parastatal on the needs to keep proper accounting records.
2) This study will also direct government parastatals to such effect.
3) Warning not only the public sector but all department, agencies, etc from the neglect of accounting record or system. The beneficiary of this research are as follows:
b) Research students
c) Practicing accountant
This study will serve as a source of material to further research on the role of accounting record in proper management of the public sector. It can also serve as further research for effective system of accounting in public sector and as a literature review.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study could have covered the role of accounting records in proper management of the public sector for the development of the entire nation or Nigeria economy but due to some limitation, it is delimited to only the ministry of Environment as the scope to cover.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
1. Public Sector: This is all organizations which are not privately owned, and operated, but are established, run and financial by the government on behalf of the public (Adams, 2006)
2. Public Sector Accounting: The composite activity of collecting, analyzing, recording, summarizing reporting and interpreting the financial transactions of the government units (A useful pheumonic here is (A CACARSRI). (Ani and Ugwu 2008).
3. ACCOUNTANT GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION: Is the chief accounting officer of the receipt and payment of the federal government, charged with the duty of general supervision of the accounts of all ministries and department within the federations, and preparation of the annual financial statement of accounts as may be required by the minister of finance.
4. ACCOUNTING OFFICER (PERMANENT SECRETARY): He is charged with the duty to run the day to day financial affairs of the ministry or extra ministerial department upon his appointment by the minister of finance.
5. AUDITOR GENERAL FOR THE FEDERATION: He is recognized by the laws of the federation of Nigeria, 1979, 1982 and 1999 and the audit ordinance of the 1956 to audit the account of all accounting officers and all persons entrusted with the collections, custody, receipts, issue or payment of public money.
6. EFFECTIVENESS REVIEW: This involves a study to assess if or not the activities are achieving their stated aims.
7. EFFICIENCY REVIEW: An investigation carried into activities with high cost unit, poor performance measure or poor management suspicion so as to try and determine the reasons behind them and also put up a remedial action towards them.
8. CONTROL SYSTEM: The system of controls, financial or otherwise, established by management, in-order to secure, as far as possible, the accuracy and reliability of the records, run the business in an orderly manner and safeguard the organization assets, its objectives being prevention or early detection of fraud (Okpara, 2004: 28).
9. FRAUD: It is intentional distortion of financial statement to secure particular advantages such as the misappropriation of assets.
10. ERRORS: It is unintentional mistake in financial statement whether of mathematical or clerical nature or whether due to over sight or misinterpretation of the relevant facts
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