ACCOUNTING IN THE NIGERIA PUBLIC SECTOR, ISSUES, PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS

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 ACCOUNTING IN THE NIGERIA PUBLIC SECTOR, ISSUES, PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Accounting has often been described as the language of business and accounting profession as the back bone of organization. This is because accounting besides duties plays the role of custodian of the finances of such organization and also serves as the vehicle for employing these funds in such ventures as to promote survival and growth. But accounting is a dynamic profession. Like language it is not static it grows, embracing additional roles in its development trail. The accounting profession, as it affects the public sector of the economy, provides figures and information on the past performance of this sector for planning for the future. Government budgets depend on information supplied through accounting. It is a thing of joy that an accounting body in Nigerian, the institute of chartered accountant s of Nigerian (ICAN), and the association of National, Accountants of Nigerian (ANAN), has lately accredited two institutions as recognized training centre for the purpose of training accountants solely for the public sector.

Today a new scheme, the accounting technicians scheme (ATS). The Nigerian college of accounting, Joy has been designed to train and develop the manpower required for the public sector. However, laudable as this innovation is the content of the is the ATS is grossly inadequate to turn out the required manpower for the public sector. The truth is that the curriculum for government accounting is yet to be fully developed and integrated into the accountancy programmes of our institutions. Beside, there is a great dealt of textbook on government accounting in the country, which almost makes the ATS NON-starter. These are problems that must be promptly tackled.

The government treasury schools has provide the public sector accountant the technical skill, but awards no certificates. As a result of various development over the years, the complex system of federal, STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT departments and training organizations as well as various public sector organisations, operating at national, state and local level. These organisations, which are non-proprietary in nature provides goods and services, , which are often decided no political and collective basis of what is thought to be needed or signals.

Government establishment are set up to provides social goods and services for public welfare, since this establishment finances their activities principally from governments sub venture which are derived directly and indirectly from governments various sources of revenue (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 funds at the operations disposed cannot be over emphasized. The problems often encountered by operators of government establishment in maintaining a good accounting system with a view of enhancing accountability and the prospect accounting in these establishment is the object of this research work.

1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
It is worthy to note that accounting information often sufferer a lots of distortion due to clerical technical and non-professional errors consequently. Most operators or practitioners of accounting information desired for management decisions. Although, these problems are common to the private and public sector suffer more. Among the problems common to the government accounting unit are

(a) Delay in receiving reports from out stations which subsequently delay the preparation of financial report.

(b) Delay in presentation and preparation of annual financial statement

(c) Actual values of expenditures are not reported due to tack of technical skills amongst most of the accountants in the various sub-sectors

(d) Untimely reconciliation accounts

(e) Inconsistency in government accounting system and circum venations of government accounting regulations and procedures is also making comparism and evaluations difficult for planning

(f) Using untrained personnel to do the accounting work.

(g) Irregular balancing of books of accounts

(h) Lack of proper and suitable accounting systems.

(i) Inefficiency of accounting and internal audits.

(j) Ineffective control systems.

(k) Negative attitude of government functionaries towards accountability

1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
Certain objective have informed the choice of this study. The purpose of the study include:

1. To establish the effectiveness of the existing systems of accounting of government unit.

2. To appraise the system and ascertain their suitability

3. To identify and analysis the problems associated with the system of accounting adopted by these organisations, 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 identify possible improvement development of its application by the public sector

1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
Having identified and analyzed the problems and prospect of accounting in the public sector accompanied by the desired recommendation to remedy these problems so as to pave a way for improved quality of accounting information prepared and presented by government accounting personnel or practitioners, it is hoped that this project work will enhanced decisions making of users of such accounting information. To this end, it is felt that the following group of users would benefit from this projects

1. Staff and practitioners of government accounting who would find the information in improving their job.

2. It will serve as a reference material to accounting students, lectures and researchers who might lay their hands on a copy in the library for academic and research purposes in the futures.

3. Moreover, the success of this work could be of immense benefit to the operations of government establishment whose financial information need for decision making purpose in very paramount

4. Finally, the general public also stands to benefit from this work in a various ways.

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 ACCOUNTING IN THE NIGERIA PUBLIC SECTOR, ISSUES, PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS