THE IMPACT OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT) ON ACCOUNTING PROFESSION IN NIGERIA

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ABSTRACT

This study evaluates the relationship between ICT and accounting profession in Nigeria. The research instruments employed in this study is a closed ended structured questionnaire administered to the staff members of the selected companies. The data collected and gathered from the research instrument employed, are analyzed using chi-square statistical tool, a non- parametric test used to determine whether a systematic relationship exists between two (2) variables. The statistical package for social science (SPSS) was employed for the data analysis. The result generated from the study, indicates that there is significant statistical relationship between ICT and accounting profession in Nigeria. The study concluded that a positive and strong relationship of ICT has an impact on accounting profession in Nigeria. ICT infrastructure is the key to rapid economic and social development of a country, which has also impacted on accounting profession in one way or the other. (Hajela, 2005).This finding is also in line with Buseni James(2003) who found out that ICT use is correlated with workers skills suggesting that firms that use high levels of ICT also employ more knowledge workers

TABLE OF CONTENTS

page

Title page                                                                                                                                    -i

Declaration                                                                                                                                 -ii

Certification                                                                                                                              iii

Dedication                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          iv Acknowledgements                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         v Abstract                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            vi Table of Contents                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         vii List of Tables                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 xi

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

  • Background of the study                                                                                                  1
  • Objectives of the Study                                                                                                     4
  • Statement of Research Problem                                                                                         5
  • Research Questions                                                                                                             5
  • Research Hypothesis                                                                                                          6
  • Significance of the Study                                                                                                  7
  • Scope of the Study                                                                                                            7
  • Organization of the Study                                                                                                   7
  • Operational Definition of Terms                                                                                         8

CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW——————————————————– 9

  1. Introduction                                                                                                                          9
    1. Conceptual Clarification                                                                                                         9
      1. Information Technology                                                                                                   9
      1. Accounting Profession                                                                                                   10
      1. Information and Communication Technology—————————————- 11
        1. Information Technology Functions———————————————– 11
        1. Uses of ICT in Accounting Profession———————————————- 12
        1. Human treats to Information Technology————————————————— 13
        1. Measures against Technology Fraud                                                                                   15
        1. The Roles of Accountants in an Organization————————————————- 18
        1. Types of Accountants                                                                                                        20
    1. Theoretical Framework                                                                                                          21
      1. eyance Theory                                                                                                                      21
      1. echnology Acceptance Theory                                                                                          22
      1. Information and Communication Theory———————————————— 21
    1. Review of Empirical literature                                                    21 2.4.1 Summary of Review of Empirical Literature                                                              28

CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY                                                                                33

  1. Introduction———————————————————————————- 33
    1. Research Population                                                                                                                 33
    1. Sampling and Sampling Techniques                                                                                       34
    1. Research Instrument ————————————————————————-       34 3.5 Validation and Reliability of Research Instrument      34
    1. Data Collection Techniques                                                                                                 34
    1. Data Analysis Techniques                                                                                                    35

CHAPTER FOUR: Data Presentation and Analysis————————————————- 36

  1. Introduction                                                                                                                           36
    1. Data Analysis and Presentation                                                                                           36
      1. Analysis of Demographic Characteristics of Respondents—————————– 36
    1. Analysis of Chi Square Statistical Test                                                                                         40
      1. Test of Hypothesis One                                                                                                 49
      1. Test of Hypothesis Two——————————————————————- 50
  • Test of Hypothesis Three                                                                                                51
  • Test of Hypothesis Four                                                                                                     52

CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Summary of Major Findings                                                                                                      54
  • Conclusion                                                                                                                                     55
  • Recommendation                                                                                                                        55
  • Contribution to Knowledge       56 Bibliography                                                                                                                         57 Appendix 1                                                                                                                                  60 Appendix 2                                                                                                                             61

LIST OF TABLES

NoTablesPages
1Distribution of respondents by organization36
2Gender distribution of respondents37
3Marital status of respondents37
4Age distribution of respondents37
5Academic qualification of respondents38
6Professional qualification of respondents38
7How long respondents have spent in their respective organization38
8Respondents Department39
9Management level of respondents39
10The Organization uses ICT for its financial transaction40
11The implementation of ICT has helped to improve financial transaction report of the organization40
12The use of ICT has enhanced the financial transaction process of the organization41
13Adoption of ICT has increased the efficiency of account and it staff member in the organization41
14There is audit trail for all financial transaction performed in the organization42
15ICT implementation has enhanced timely financial report for business decision42
16Information reported are accurate and reliable for effective decision making42
17Frequent evaluation of the organization financial performance is made easy with the use ICT43
18ICT directly affects the organization’s financial performance44
19Cost of ICT installation for accounting processes is high44
20: Maintenance cost of equipment is considerably high45
21Accidental destruction or loss of data by operator or software error might occur anytime45
22Only Accountant with the technical expertise can use the automated accounting system46
23There is uninterrupted power supply to ensure proper function of ICT46
24Accountants in the organization are ICT compliant47
25ICT skills is a requirement for employing accountant in the organization47
26Job performance of accounting staff without ICT skills are highly constrained48
27Information and communication technology enhances the company’s financial performance48
28Accounting staff that lacks ICT skills are often redundant 
29Chartered Accountant in the organization have been certified through the Technical Competence (TCI) of Institute of Chartered Accountant in the Nigeria (ICAN)49

CHAPTER ONE

  • BACKGROUND OF STUDY

Accounting is the process of identifying, classifying and recording, and presentation of financial economic activities of an entity with the aim of facilitating decision making by the users of the information. This process is usually done manually with the use of separate ledgers to record financial transactions. It involves the use of paper, books and pen to record and prepare financial statements and manual calculations. This task is tedious and time consuming and can therefore lead to several human errors. This occurrence might be minimal in small entities such as sole proprietorship. However, in big entities such as a public limited liability company, these errors could occur more often without possibility of being detected which could affect the entity on the long run.

There is no doubt that the manual system of accounting is cheaper than the automated accounting system which is one of the reasons why small businesses still use it. But as a business grows, there is a need for a shift from manual accounting of financial transactions to automated processes i.e. Information and Communication Technology especially in today’s generation where most transactions are performed with the use of electronic gadgets such as Computers, Computer software and the internet. The Accountant only needs to enter the transactions into the software which simply performs computations and presentation thereby relieving the accountant of such task. Any company with large size seeking to be efficient and effective in it financial operations would need to adopt an automated system of accounting. For a company to attain efficiency and effectiveness, it would require capacity to process accurate and timely information, hence, the need for Information and Communication Technology.

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Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is often used as an extended synonym for information technology (IT), but is a more specific term that stresses the role of unified communications and the integration of telecommunications (telephones lines and wireless signals), computers as well as necessary enterprise software, middleware, storage, and audio- visual systems, which enables users to access, store, transmit and manipulate information. ICT is an umbrella term that includes any communication device or application, encompassing; ratio, television, cellular phones, computer and network hardware and software.

Information technology has been around for a long time as long as people have been around because there were always ways of communicating through technology available at that point in time. There are four (4) main ages that divide up the history of information technology. These ages include; pre-mechanical, mechanical, electromechanical and electronic only the latest age

i.e. electronic and some of the electromechanical age really affects us today.

In the recent past, before the inception of ICT, accountants of an organization were using a socially acceptable behavioral method of reporting accounting and economic reports, carried out during accounting year ends. Accounts prepared include statement of account, statement of financial position, cash book, and statement of cash flow. The ICT, on accounting practice in Nigeria has become a subject of fundamental importance and concerns to all business enterprise and is gradually becoming a prerequisite for local and international competitiveness. It is obvious that the way accountants plan and take decision on what and how to provide their service in the accounting profession has been affected immensely by Information and Communication Technology (ICT). This has continued to change the manner in which accounting practice and their corporate relationships are organized worldwide and the variety of innovative device available to improve and facilitate the speed and quality service delivery. A major ICT has been

made on accounting is the ability of companies to develop and use computerized system to track and record financial transactions properly and accurately. The recording of business transaction manually on ledgers, papers, spread sheets etc has been translated and computerized for quick and easy presentation of individual financial transaction and give report on it. (Granlund & Mouritsen, 2003).Shanker(2008)ascertains that the use of ICT in many organization has assisted in reducing transactional cost, overcome the constraints of distance and have cut across geographic boundaries thereby assisting to improve coordination of activities within organizational boundaries. It is very clear that, the computerized accounting system have improved the functionality of accounting departments by increasing the timeliness of accounting information and report preparation of statement of cash flow, market shares report and departmental profit&loss are now more accessible with computerized system.

Computerized accounting systems have internal check and balance measure to ensure that all transactions and accounts are properly balanced before the financial statement is finally prepared. It also will not allow journal entries to be out of balance when posting, ensuring that individual transactions are properly recorded.

Since the inception of information and communication technology (ICT), accountants can now process large amount of financial information and process it quickly through computerized accounting system. Quicker processing time for individual transactions has also lessened the amount of time needed to choose out each accounting period. Transactions that would have taken an accountant months or years to prepare are done quickly and faster and thereby cutting high cost that would have resulted in preparing the reports (Pricewaterhousecoopers, June 2008).This study therefore seeks to examine the impact of Information and Communication Technology on accounting practice in Nigeria. This study focused on the overall performance of accounting and

auditing firms and how the adoption of Information and Communication Technology impacts on their daily operations.

            STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

The manner in which accountants can potentially add value to economic entities and societies is undergoing a metamorphosis. Accountant worth is now reflected in higher order critical-thinking skills, such as designing, business processes, developing e-business, model in providing independent assurance and integrating strategic knowledge. Hence, most companies have derived a way of recording and reporting transactions. Accounting professionals are expected to take advantage of ICT to automate existing processes for conducting business in new and innovative ways. Growth within management accounting and information system is becoming prominent with the advent of ICT. Enterprise Resource Planning(ERP)system, Software and ancillary equipment such as Automated Teller Machine(ATM), Debitcards, Electronic commerce, Computer hardware, Database, Internet, Intranet, Telecommunication, Oracle, Peachtress, Accounting software and Statistical Package of Social Sciences etc. are related products emanating from ICT. Information and communication technology is presumed to have affected accounting profession positively in so manys,research in these areas have shown that ICT has perceived importance due to its usage across several groups of business firms, especially in the field of auditing.

This study seeks to evaluate the degree of ICT adoption by accounting professionals in the preparation and presentation of financial reported accounts. To what extent are accountants literate with the use of ICT? How relevant is ICT in today’s accounting profession?

            OBJECTIVES OF STUDY

The primary objective of the study is to examine the impact of Information and Communication Technology on accounting profession in Nigeria

The specific objectives of the study are to:

  1. Assess the impact of ICT on financial transaction report of selected companies.
  1. Examine the effect of ICT implementation on the financial performance of selected companies
  2. Evaluate the challenges associated with integration of ICT in accounting profession.
  1. Analyze the importance of ICT in training requirement of an accountant.

            RESEARCH QUESTIONS

For the purpose of this study, the following questions have been put forth in line with the statement of research problem;

  1. To what extent has ICT impacted on the transaction report of selected companies?
  1. What are the challenges associated with adoption of ICT in Accounting profession
    1. How has ICT improve the financial performance of the selected companies
  1. What are the importance of ICT in training requirement of accountants

            RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

The following null hypotheses are formulated to be and tested in the research study:

Hypothesis One:

H0; ICT has no significant impact on transaction report of selected companies H1; ICT has significant impact on transaction report of selected companies Hypothesis Two:

H0; ICT has no significant impact on improved financial performance of selected companies H1; ICT has significant impact on improved financial performance of selected companies Hypothesis Three:

H0; There are no challenges associated€ with integration of ICT into accounting profession in Nigeria

H1; There are challenges associated with integration of ICT into accounting profession in Nigeria.

Hypothesis Four:

H0; ICT has no importance in training requirement of accountant H1; ICT is important in training requirement of accountant.

            SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The efficiency of accounting practice and the factors that affect the use of ICT covers a wide aspect; ranging from the profession, statutory and a host of several other factors but this work is restricted to cover the impact within accounting practice and profession. The level of ICT investment by companies obtained will help our result to be generalized of financial statement.

This study also serves as a guide for further research work in the impact of ICT on business and finance. Findings from the study will also prove useful to students in the field of accounting.

            SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The scope of this study is to evaluate the impact of ICT on accounting profession in Nigeria. The research work adopts three (3) reputable companies in Abuja that have employed ICT in the preparation and reporting of their financial structures. The companies are Federal Inland Revenue Service Wuse Abuja, Adebola Sobanjo & Co Labour House Abuja and Trustfund Pensions Labour House Abuja. The period of study is 2015.

            ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY.

CHAPTER ONE; This chapter comprises of the background of the study, statement of the problem, objectives of the study, research questions, research hypothesis, significance of the study, scope of the study, organization of the study and definition of terms.

CHAPTER TWO; critically review related literature, conceptual clarification and theoretical framework relevant to the research study.

CHAPTER THREE; Examined the research methodology. It presents the research design, the population, the sample size, the nature and source of data, the method of data collection, the techniques of data analysis, the decision rule and the summary.

CHAPTER FOUR; Discussed data analysis which includes; data presentation, test of hypothesis and the results of findings.