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EFFCTIVENESS OF AUDITING AND ACCOUNTABILITY IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR (A CASE STUDY OF THE OFFICE OF THE AUDITOR GENERAL OF IMO STATE).
The study dealt on the effectiveness of auditing and accountability in the public sector. The rapid development of financial management initiative in public sector and financial control has led to the need for improved performance measurement, reporting and individual accountability. The researcher t3ested five hypotheses which stability results mat states that. An audited work must be independently examined, opinions must be expressed by a qualified and appointed auditor in pursuance/compliance with the relevant statutory obligations; that an auditor must posses the expected qualities the auditor generates office is a watching of public fund and as such, government must be appropriately configured. Based on this finding the researcher recommended that government should at all level employ professional accountants to ensure that funds are expanded in accordance with the terms by which they are appropriated while auditors should conduct their activity independently in order to protect the interest of the public. Thus, with integrity and in full compliance with the law guiding their profession.
The term audit is derived from the latin verb “audire”, which means to hear the origin of audit allowed tenant former to work on their land owners themselves, did not become involved in the business of farming. The land owners relied upon overseer who “listened” to the account of stewardship given by the tenants. Oaring this period till date, and with reference to the companies and allied matters act of 2004, the word “audit” is described as:
The independent examination of and expression of opinion on the financial statements of an enterprise why an appointed auditor I pursuance of that appointment and in compliance with any relent statutory. In order to form an opinion as to the accuracy, truth and fairness of such account.
The business world prior to industrial revolution in the 19th century till present day, has witnessed a lot of changes and developments. In the early economic development, the mode of recording and analyzing of accounting dates was by manual means. Auditing during this time was orally because the business of writing was get to develop. The modernization of in the business world led to the areas where writing and recording analysis evolved with the use of some electro mechanicals. .
Accountability on the other hand is the obligation to answer for a responsibility that has been concerned, (the 2006). During the era when accounting system evolved, the business transition which took placed to be recorded, analysis and based on the principles, methods and procedures laid down by the accounting profession. Also certain development which occurred, gave rise to the right to examine the books and to obtain all the information and explanation necessary for giving a report on the truth and correctness of the business sheet. In view of this auditing was redefined according to (CAMA 2004) as an exercise whose objective is to enable auditors express on opinion on whether the financial statement gives a true and fair view of the entities affairs at the period and of its profit and loss for the period than ended and have been properly prepared in accordance with greater emphasis placed on the information value of the business balance sheet and prospective investor becoming increasing conscious of the need for the rejection of error and fund was regarded as the province of the business management. These developments further gave rise to the owner of the business. Which in turn led to the emergence of the financial statement legislation and recognition of auditing. As required by the company’s act, the audited is meant to provide a written report, expressing their opinion regarding the freeness and “fairness” of words, auditing both in the past and at present is fanned at enquiring that the stewardship account being centered to owners of business is a time representation of the event that took place. Also development in the business coupled with technological breakthrough led to the advent of electronic data processing business dates.
This, in the world of business implies the computerization of accounting system which still demands that auditors should perform their role as opinionist. Based on this, the question that strike one’s mind could effective auditing lead to proper accountability has it origin in stewardship accounting (especially in the state government system). The function which accountings serve s in the earliest times of our society is providing owners of wealth, the means of safe guarding it from embezzlement as noted by Smith (2007).
1.1 HISTRORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The historical background of the office of the state auditor general dates back to the creation of states, specifically Imo State from the former east central in 1976 it was then headed by sir. S.C okoroafor who hailed from Oguta.
Then to present date, there has been series of appointment, Auditor general, employment of staff and other changes. After the creation of states, most staff of the office of the auditor general of East central which was formally at Umuahia, general now in Owerri by law. The present auditor general is sir Anthony Kamalu .
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The concept auditing and accountability has been relegated to the background in the public sector. In spite its importance the further of the public sector lies in its auditing and accounting. Auditors perform important function in those aspects of government that are crucial for promoting credibility, equity and appropriate behaviour of government officials which reduces the important roles auditing and accountability plays some problem are still left unsolved and new one have been created by the audit activities itself hence problem like
- Misapplication of audit report towards management decision.
- Poor allocation of owners resources and organizational administration.
- Non segregation of functional duties
- Financial impropriety in the public sector as a result of inefficient auditing and accounting.
- These and many more problems are faces by the Nigeria public sector and enterprises.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The general objective of the study is to evaluate the effect of auditing and accountability in the public sector specifically, it tends to determine the cause of poor allocation of owners resources and organization administration. To determine the factors that result to non-segregation of functional duties to being to light the financial impropriety lines) in the public sector which is due to inefficient auditing and accounting system.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION
For this study, it is pertinent to ask some question, such as
- What is the relationship between auditing, accountability in the public sector?
- To what extent are significant effects between misapplications of audit report towards management decision?
- What possible effect could poor allocation of owners resources cause towards organization administration?
- Is there any reason for non-segregation of functional duties?
- Is there any significant reason why financial improperly in the public sector should occur?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The problem and objectives for which the study seeks to particular and specific terms the study is meant to achieve the following through.
- For the researcher: it will provide an extensive tool for proper management and administration of such institution or a state.
- For student: it is an avenue for student to acquire secondary information
- For government: it helps to inform both the present and future government of the need to audit and account properly for every transaction
- To the public: when fully adopted it clearly states the concept of auditing and accountability to the public there by showing the need for it and it consequence.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study examined the effectiveness of auditing and accountability in the public sector, with special reference to the office of the auditor general of Imo State.
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This study is limited to Imo State public sector with particular reference to the office of the auditor-general of the state due to the following contractors.
- TIME: This is the first major problem encounter in the work and it is due a very short semester and the academic pressures emanating from lectures, assignment, project works, seminars etc
- FINANCE: This is the second major problem experienced during this work and it so, based on the allowing reasons.
- SCARCITY OF FUND: High cost of transportation infringed on the efforts of the research in pursing of relented information. Increase in the cost of photo copywriting materials typing and binding internet browsing.
- RESPONDENT ATTITUDE: Many of the respondents refused to fill and return the questionnaire given to them, some wrongly filled and some deliberately refuse to provide the researcher with certain information’s which they termed
Official secrets “as it might constituted a
- Threat to their positions or that of the organization.
- Distance of the supervision
- Due to the supervision in other business of his a gap is being created between him (supervision) and the student (researcher) but with commitment on the side of the supervision alongside the persistence and patience of the researcher, such gap will be eradicated.
1.8 DEFINITIONM OF TERMS
Terms meaning auditing it is the independent examination of and expression of opinion on the financial statement of an enterprise by and appointed qualities auditor to presence of that appointment and incompliance with any relevant statutory obligation.
Accountability: This is the obligation to answer for a responsibility that has been concerned.
Auditor: This is a person appointed to examine the accuracy of the books of an organization in such a way as to express an opinion on the trueness and fairness of the books in relating to the organization state of affair (Adeniyi 2010)
Stewardship: This is an act of rendering account to one’s employer. (Uzor 200)
Internal Audit: This is the constant appraised of the efficiency of management control system in an organization by an internal audit executive who report directly to the management. (Adeniyi 2010)
External Audit: This is an independent examination of financial statement being carried out by non-employees of the business enterprise. (Adeniyi 2010)
Public sector: These are organizations not printed owned and operated but which are established and operated by the government.