AUDITING NIGERIAN COMPANIES: ISSUES AND PROBLEMS
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
Background of the Study
Statement of the Research Problems
The Research Objectives
The Research Hypothesis
The Scope of the Study
Significance of the Study
Limitation of the Study
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
Definition of Auditing
History of Auditing
Objective of Auditing
Qualification of Auditors
Institution of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN)
Appointment of Company Auditors
Removal and Resignation of Company Auditors
Problem Facing the Auditor in Auditing Nigeria Companies
CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY
The Population and Sampling
Sources of Data
The Research Instrument
Operationalization of Variables
Model Specification and Data Analysis Plan
CHAPTER FOUR: DATA ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION
4.2 Descriptive Statistics
4.3 Test of Hypothesis
4.4 Discussion of Findings
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, RECOMMENDATION AND CONCLUSION
Summary of Findings
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In Nigeria, auditors play an important role as ‘gatekeeper’ to public capital markets. By attesting to the accuracy of a company’s financial statements, the auditor lends his credibility to that company and its financial health as he expresses a professional opinion on whether the financial statement gives true and fair view and are properly prepared in accordance with companies and allied matters Act (Hope and Langli, 2009).
Auditing has been a very important aspect of the accounting profession, since the report of business activities from a sole proprietorship to large public enterprise must be rendered. It forms the bedrock of placing reliance on the report presentation by the stewards of companies on the state of affairs of the companies. Many group are interested to be assured of their interests being protected in the business organization.
In market societies people routinely have to trans act with faceless corporations about whom they have little personal knowledge. In such societies auditors are promoted as a trust engendering technology and watchdog. With the capacity to promote depositors in a number of companies in Nigeria have lost several billions of naira due to the anti-social practice of accountants and auditors, which has resulted in the distress of a number of companies. The purpose of thus study is to stimulate debate about contemporary auditing and the role of accountants and auditing firms in causing the collapse of companies. The study locates the role of auditors within the broader dynamics of professionalism and the pursuit of profits to argue that major accountancy firms are becoming more and more willing to increase their profits by indulging in anti-social practices that show scant regard for social norms and even legal rules and regulations contrary to their claims to be protecting the public interest, accountants and auditors may be partly responsible for cases of distress and the collapse of companies e.g banking sector in Nigeria, as they failed to qualify their reports when there were indications of financial difficulties in the company.
There is also evidence to show that auditors have collected large sums in audit and non audit fees, such events raise questions about the value of company audits, auditor independence and the quality of audit work. This study argues that the basic auditing model is flawed since it makes auditors financially dependent on companies. The conventional approach to “audit quality” is also inadequate as it pays little attention to the organizational pursuit of profits and the social context of auditing.
The cause of audit failure have been attributed to poor audit reporting resulting from sloppy accounting inadequate regulation, crony capitalism, multiple regulations, and economic and political factors influencing the incentives of managers and auditors (Dabor and Adeyemi, 2009: Sikka 2009). It has also been stated that, where there is a separation of ownership from the control of a business, there is a tendency for managers of companies to engage in fraudulent financial reporting in order to maximize their own personal welfare to the detriment of the interests of the users of financial statements, the investing public and bank depositors (Sikka et al, 2009; Dabor and Adeyemi 2009). Bank failures have also been associated with endogenous forces, lack of scruple, lack of knowledge and information, poor judgment, speculation, greed and fraud. In Nigeria the bank failures of the Abacha era were attributed to an inadequate capital base, the fraudulent self-serving and corrupt practices of the owners and managers, the meddlesome interference of board members in the day-to-day running of the institution and to regulatory laxity. (This Day, 18 August 2009)
The recent banking crisis in Nigeria has shown the role that regulate laxity, greed and avarice have played in management of bank. It has be claimed that towards the end of former CBN Governor Soludo’s era at the Apex Bank that the regulator got the damage that did to credibility was enormous because at a point it became difficult to ascertain what was happening between the banks and the CBN” (This Day, 18 August 2009)
A number of scholars have shown that many accountants, particularly members of the institute of chartered accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) have been responsible for the crisis in the banking and manufacturing sectors in Nigeria (Okike, 2004, Bankre 2007). These studies show that the regulatory framework in Nigeria is weak, because members of the professional firms implicated in a number of anti-social practices in Nigeria have not yet been sanctioned (Okike; 2004; Bakre, 2007). The studies have suggested that the accounting profession in Nigeria and other regulators (such as the central bank of Nigeria, the national Deposit insurance corporation and the Nigerian Accounting standards Board) must continue to monitor development in both the external and internal reporting environment.
Auditors which seems to deviate from their primary role as watchdogs of shareholder wealth and as protector of the public interest in recent years accountants have accused of being involved in what has been describe as harmful and anti-social behavior purely for the sake of high fees (Christensen, 2006; Bakre, 2007).
Traditionally, regulators, investors and financial analysis have relied upon corporate financial statement to make sense of bank liabilities, risk and economic exposure, but this has been highly problematic (Stiglitz, 2003; Arnold and Sikka, 2001). The credibility of financial statements prepared by directors of limited liability companies and audited by auditors remains the primary means of informing shareholders and other stakeholders about the financial performance progress and position of the business (Tahinakis and Nicolaou, 2004; Okike, 2004; Bakre, 2007; Sikka et, al, 2009, Dabor and Adeyemi 2009; Evbodaghe, 2009). The key issue in the field of auditing and assurance is to recognize that auditing can be of even greater value if it looks beyond traditional financial issues and focuses on areas that matter to a wide range of shareholders and the public (Sikka, 2009; Evbodaghe, 2009).
The company’s advisers (the legal and financial analyst) make use of the auditor’s report to advise the management. The legal adviser interprets the legal implantation of some information disclosed in the financial statement. The financial analyst also uses the result shown by the auditors, to advise the clients on the source of fund to embark on, where to invest and how much to invest in each alternative. The competitors may also be attracted to merge with the auditor’s client through the report issued by him.
Oladipupo A. O (2005) explained that according to the auditing standards, an audit is an independent examination of an expression of an opinion on, the financial statement of an enterprise.
However, the auditor can always be seen as the watchdog of the entire economy by presenting the interest of all these groups, their peculiar position therefore, calls for a conducive atmosphere, but it is unfortunate that most auditor face serious problems in the performance of their duties. In any case, this research work tends to investigate the nature and causes of these problems and also tries to provide solutions to them.
STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEMS
There are many problems facing auditors in Nigeria Auditor in Nigeria, even the most successful ones find it very difficult to audit Nigeria companies as a result of business activities, illiteracy, moral laxity, lack of adequate technical skill and training. This work will studies these problems, their causes, effect and tries to recommend remedies.
In carrying out thus work, the following question, were in the mind of the researcher:
What is the nature of the problems of auditors in auditing Nigeria companies?
What are the effects of such problem in the work of auditors?
THE RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
The major objective of the study is to find out the problems encountered when auditing, Nigeria companies. The specific aim of embarking on the study are:
To ascertain the nature of the problem the auditors encounter in auditing Nigeria companies
To identify the cause of such problem faced by the auditors., in auditing Nigeria companies
To ascertain the effect of these problem encounter by the auditors, in auditing Nigeria companies
To recommend measure that could enable us solve these problems.
THE RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
These are different opinions about the problems of auditors in auditing Nigeria Companies, some experts are of the view that they do not have any problems in auditing Nigeria Companies, while others, contest that they do have. As a result of these opposing ideas, to facilitate this research work. There are two hypothesis stated below,
Null Hypothesis(Hi) auditors do not have problem in auditing Nigeria companies
Alterative (Hi) have problem in auditing Nigeria companies
THE SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study does not exceed the issues and problems encountered by auditors in auditing Nigeria companies and their effect on the work of auditors. The auditors considered here, are those engaged is the different forms of business in Nigeria.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is a true saying, that people can suffer for lack of knowledge. If auditors are not aware of the problems they will encounter in the performance of their duties, they will invariably not be able to guard against them. This work serves as an eye opener to draw their attention to these problems and the way to tackle them.
Again, it enables the government to know how it can play it role in creating better auditing atmosphere in the Nigeria companies
Furthermore, it is expected that this should study the contributions of directors of the Nigeria business enterprise towards a better auditing environment in their companies. This study will also form a good reference material for any other student who wants to write on a related topic in future.
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
There are however lots of considerations facing the researcher who is doing her study. They include:
Time factor: the period of time available for carrying out this research is very short.
Shortage of finance: some researcher procedures techniques, methods and processes will not be applied in this work because of the cost involved, there are no sufficient funds to meet up with them.
Scanty of local Data: most of the tests that deals with the problem under review are foreign texts and are currents. There is only little local material available. This makes the collection of data not to be easy.
Non-Response problem: inspite of all explanation as to be responsibility of this study, some people did not find the need to answer the research questions that were passed across to them. This is why some questionnaires were returned blanks.
Dabor, E. L. and Adeyemi, S. B. (2009) ‘Corporate Governance and Credibility of Financial Statements in Nigeria’, Journal of Business Systems, Governance and Ethics, 4 (1): 13-24.
Sikka, P. (2009) ‘Financial Crisis and the Silence of the Auditors’, Accounting, Organisations and Society, 34: 868-873.
ThisDay newspaper, several editions.
Evbodaghe, J. I. (2009) ‘Global Trends in the Accountancy Profession’, The Nigerian Accountant, 42 (4): 36-47.
Arnold, P. And Sikka, P. (2001) ‘Globalisation and the State-Profession Relationship: The Case of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International’, Accounting, Organisation and Society, 26 (6): 475-499.
Bakre, O. M. (2007) ‘The Unethical Practices of Accountants and Auditors and the Compromising Stance of Professional Bodies in the Corporate World: Evidence from Corporate Nigeria’, Accounting Forum, 31(3): 277-303.
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