INTERNAL AUDIT: A TOOL FOR CONTROLLING FINANCE IN NIGERIA LOCAL GOVERNMENT

(Accounting)

INTERNAL AUDIT: A TOOL FOR CONTROLLING FINANCE IN NIGERIA LOCAL GOVERNMENT

ABSTRACT

This study is motivated by a desire to examine the determinants of disclosure of environmental audit report in annual reports and accounts. A sample of 100 companies listed in the Nigerian Stock Exchange was selected as the sample size covering the period of one year (2009) financial year. In light of the empirical review and other discussions, a number of questions arose as to whether leverage, profitability, or company size exerts a positive influence on firm’s decision to voluntarily disclose environmental audit report. Using the Ordinary Least Square (OLS) regression technique with the aid of a computer software E-view 7.0, the empirical findings revealed among other things that, leverage, profitability, and company size exerts a positive influence on firm’s decision to voluntarily disclose environmental audit report. We recommend among other things that, Environmental auditors working as consultants, in industry, and in government must continue to educate clients as to what various types of environmental auditing are and are not, and what they can and cannot do for the client.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS                                                                                                         

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

  1.         Background to the Study                                    
  2.         Statement of Research Problem                           
  3.         Objectives of the Study                                        
  4.         Hypothesis of the Study                             
  5.         Scope of the Study                                               
  6.         Significance of Study                                 
  7.         Limitations of the Study                            

References                                                

CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW

  1.         Introduction                  
  2.         Review of Empirical Work on Environmental Auditing
  3.         Conclusion

References                   

CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY

  1.         Introduction        
  2.         Research Design  
  3.         Population and Sample 
  4.         Data Collection Method and Measurement of Variables

3.5     Sources of Data

3.6     The Research Instrument       

3.7     Data Analysis Techniques: (Binary Logistic Regression

Models)                         

3.8     Model Specification                                                                 

chapter four: data presentation and analysis

4.1        Introduction                                              

4.2        Data Description 

4.3        Binary Regression Results               

  1.         Discussion of Regression Result       
  2.         Test of Hypotheses        

 

CHAPTER FIVE:           SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONCLUSION

  1.         Introduction
  2.         Summary of Findings
  3.         Recommendations
  4.         Conclusion          

References                             

Appendix                      

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

  1.        BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

An audit refers to “the activity, which involves the collection and evaluation of evidence about the performance and position of an entity with a view to forming an opinion on the quality of that performance and position as measured by established criteria” Oladipupo (2005).

Okolo (1988) defines an audit as “a conscientious and objective examination of and inquiry into, any statement of account relating to money or money worth, the underlying documents and the physical assets where possible as it will enable the auditor to form an opinion as to whether or not the statement of account present a true and fair view of whatever it purports to represent, and to report accordingly”. 

Auditing itself is defined by Meigs et al, (1982) as an examination or investigation by independent public accountant of a set of financial statements, and the accounting records and other supporting evidence both within and outside client’s business. Auditors roles are being regulated by legislations, standards, case laws, rules and regulations, professional ethics and other factors. They ensure proper accountability and transparency in financial reporting by directors so that they will not just run the business to collapse by manipulating the financial statements to look interesting.

Izedonmi (2000), defined an Audit as “the examination of the financial statements prepared by management of an enterprise so as to enable the auditor to express a professional opinion as to whether or not such financial statements present the true and fair view of the company”.

The proper administration of any organization is solely dependent in the management which sees to the effective and efficient utilization of the limited resources available to it through proper planning controls to ensure the realization of corporate objectives. Managers therefore need to be made aware of the need for effective and efficient auditing and accountability in the corporate organizations.

There is no doubt that auditing within public sector has increased in profile during the past decade. This is mainly due to increased pressures placed on organizations due to the restrictions on funds and the need to ensure good value for money exists within organizations.

The internal audit has always been viewed as an integral part of government financial management and increasingly as an instrument for improving the performance of the public sector. Auditing and Accounting covers a broad range of activities which have different objectives. Traditionally, it has been a mechanism for assuming the government or its ministries (Internal Audit) and the legislature (External Audit), that public funds are received and spent in compliance with appropriations and other relevant law that the government’s reported use of funds fairly and accurately represents its financial position (Financial Audit) IMF (2002).

While internal audit and external audit face similar issues, generally more attention has been paid to the functions of the latter. In OECD (Organistation for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries and other developing economics like Nigeria, the demand for improved accountability and greater transparency in the public sector has resulted in a call for more information about government programmes and services OECD (1999), INTOSAI (1995).

The increased emphasis on accountability and improving the Nigerian public sector performance has caused managers to protect themselves by improved IAF (Internal Audit Functions), accountability and procedures that will provide them some minimal assurances of meeting public demands and avoiding adverse audit reports. Internal audit is a managerial tool which function by  examining, evaluating and reporting on the adequacy of internal control are contribution to the proper economic, efficient and effective use of resources within an organization, (Oladipupo, 2005).

The growth of the public sector calls for proper accounts or record keeping and according to Johnson (1992), the nature of public sector accounting is quite different from that adopted by the private sector. Accountability is traditionally concerned about ensuring effective and efficient use of state resources (Odesoni, 1992).

Accounting officers are ultimately held accountable for the design and implementation of a fraud prevention strategy and plan. The success of such plan will require and acceptance and commitment by all role player in both private and public sector. Every official need to be held accountable for activities/assets under his/her control. It must be further emphasized that an understanding of overall internal audit functions and accountability in relation to fraud risk in public is critical to the success of a fraud prevention plan.

In the light of this, the researcher intends to investigate the impact of internal audit in controlling finance in Nigeria Local Government.

1.2       PROBLEM OF THE STUDY

          Internal audit function is an integral part of the finance structure in the Nigerian public organization. A constant complaint in the sector is that there is a gap between internal audit in the public sector. Public fund are not also spent in compliance with appropriations and other relevant laws and that the governments reported use of fund does not represents its financial position due to fraudulent practices.

There is lack of accountability in Nigerian public sector because accounting officers are not held accountable for activities/assets under their control.

Management hierarchy has also been a factor that militates against the smooth running of government organization sector, due to overbearing influences of top managers and has resulted independency lack of transparency in government establishments.

Against this backdrop, the following researcher questions are raised:

  1.            Has auditing served as an effective tool towards the minimization of financial impropriety in local government council?
  2.            Is the internal audit department responsible for the control of government finance at the local government council?
  3.            Is the report of the auditors being given recognition and the work being carried out by qualified and sufficiently independent auditors?

1.3       OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The objective of this study is to examine the impact of internal audit in controlling finance in the Nigeria local government.

The specific objectives are:  

  1.            To investigate if internal auditing served as an effective tool towards the minimization of financial impropriety in local government council.
  2.            To find out whether internal audit department responsible for the control of government finance at the local government council.
  3.            To verify if the report of the auditors being given recognition and the work being carried out by qualified and sufficiently independent auditors.

 

  1.        RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

The following hypotheses shall be tested in this study

Hypothesis I

Ho:     Internal auditing has not served as an effective tool towards the minimization of financial impropriety in local government council.

H1:     Internal auditing has served as an effective tool towards the minimization of financial impropriety in local government council.

 

Hypothesis II

Ho:     Internal audit department is not responsible for the control of government finance at the local government council.

H1:     Internal audit department is responsible for the control of government finance at the local government council

 

Hypothesis III

Ho:     The report of the auditors has not being given recognition and the work being carried out by qualified and sufficiently independent auditors.

H1:     The report of the auditors has being given recognition and the work being carried out by qualified and sufficiently independent auditors.

 

  1.        SCOPE OF THE STUDY

This research work is an empirical study on impact of internal audit in controlling finance in the Nigeria local government. The population of the study is the local government councils in Nigeria, while the sample is restricted to the staff of Estako Central Local Governmental Council of Edo State.

This study will involve assessing the impact of internal audit in controlling finance in the Nigeria local government.

  1.        SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This research work on its conclusion, together with whatever solution or findings that may arise, will prove useful to some particular group of persons or otherwise for various reasons in accordance with their varying needs.

 

Beneficiaries

  •               Stakeholders: This study will be important and beneficial to stakeholders to know the impact of internal audit in controlling finance in the Nigeria local government.
  •               The Government: It will acquaint the government of the importance of internal audit and how it should be managed.
  •               The public: This study will help to restore the lost confidence of the public as regard internal audit in controlling finance in the Nigeria local government.
  •               Academic/future researcher: Both academic and other future researchers in this similar subject matter will find it a useful source of learning and research.  

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