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THE ROLE OF ACCOUNTING IN THE CONTROL OF PUBLIC EXPENDITURE (A CASE STUDY OF ISOKO NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT COUNCIL)
Over the years, the management and control of public expenditure owing to its spectacular increase both intensively has not only become a consistent concern of the government, but the above is section, this research work is among other things comprehensively examine the role of accounting in the control of public expenditure in Isoko North Local Government Council in particular and in all other levels of government in the country in generals, based on the inflationary trends of government activities in recent times. It is equally carried out to erase the enormous belief of accounting and being of any relevance in the public sector organization. Besides, the need to ensure the greatest practicable stability of decision on public expenditure also informed the writing of the research work. This project work consists of five chapters, the summary of which is given below. Chapter one contains the introduction which emphasis on the statement of the problem, purpose and significance of study. It on the hypothesis, limitation and the definition of terms used in the project. Chapter two essentially concerned with the literature review which deals extensively with public expenditure itself and the various control measures needed to guarantee accountability and efficiency in government operations. Chapter three is the methodology which is made up of source of data, research design used, and population of the study with the proposed method of data analysis. Chapter four is the interpretation of data collection and general comment on the topic. Chapter five focused on the summary, conclusion and recommendations. The last part is the bibliography and appendix which contains the questionnaire administered for the purpose of this project.
1.1 Background Of The Study
For some years ago, public expenditure remains an area of study relatively unexplored. Despite the significant increases that have been recorded in public expenditure in recent times, the field have still not gained a prominent position in our national economy, nor has the focal point been a well-balanced one. Our early economists who were actually concerned with the economic of public spending were more fascinated with the taxation aspects rather than the expenditure of public monies.
The circumstances surrounding the law speed of development in this field of human endeavour could perhaps be ascribed to many potent factors such as lack of readily accessible information about the composition and incidence of expenditure. The lack of being appropriate which characterizes many public expenditures, the multitude of difficulties surrounding estimates of the value to be attached to public expenditures which and finally the structure of institutions which surrounds public expenditure decisions.
However, in the most recent years, there had been rapid increases in public expenditure in West African countries particularly Nigeria, due to the fact that the functions of the various levels of government have equally increased both intensively and extensively.
In modern times, the application of public expenditures by the government as a veritable tool for development is a clear manifestation of its over riding importance.
Though public expenditure the upliftment of the economic and industrial lives of any country can be facilitated.
Besides, the role of public expenditure in a developing nation like Nigeria cannot be over-emphasized. A properly planned and executed public expenditure promotes social and economic overhead; facilitate balanced regional growth, rapid development of Agricultural and Industrial sectors and an efficient exploitation and spectacular development of mineral resources of any nation. Thus, it can be safely concluded that the role of public expenditure as a pivot of economic development in any nation is both tremendous and fascinating.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
One of the most fundamental requirements of any government, be it local, state or central government, is the provision of the basic needs for her citizens which the government does through public expenditure. Public expenditure in this country has been categorized in the past by reckless spending embezzlement, mobilization for contracts not eventually executed and a host of other sharp practices.
Budgeting has becomes a ritual exercise, without a corresponding control of its systematic implementation.
It is the intention of this study to examine the impact of effective accounting procedure on the control of public expenditure.
The recommendation of this study is expected not only to enhance accountability in public office but as well ensure that there is a commensurate infrastructure development to account for such expenditure.
However, the statement of the problem is that the burden of public expenditure in the local government council has financial management arising from effective planning and control. Hence, the knowledge of accounting aids the local government executives to maintain an effective budgetary control and check over leakage wastage, diversions and misappropriation of funds that are usually associated with public expenditure.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study is to examine the rate of accounting in the control of government expenditure and whether effective use of such control measures can aim to improve the operations of the various levels of government.
The study will further reveal if the accounting records adopted by the government really satisfied its present and immediate needs.
Besides, this study is expected to serve as a guild to those levels of government that have not actually established proper accounting records as a measure of control in the discharge of public expenditure. Thus, in this research work, it would be vividly clear whether accounting has a role to play in the control of expenditure.
1.4 Research Questions
i. Does the local government embark on public expenditure?
ii. Does the local government have an accounting record?
iii. Are the accounts prepared in compliance with the laws and regulations of the local government?
iv. Does their preparation show efficiency in operation?
v. Can there be accountability in respect of public expenditure if accounting records are not kept?
vi. Can there be evidence of public expenditure if accounting records are not kept?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
i. H0: Accounting has no role in the control of public expenditure.
H1: Accounting has role in the control of public expenditure.
ii. H0: Without the accounting section in the local government council there can be no accountability in respect of public expenditure.
H2: Without the accounting section in the local government there can be accountability in respect of public expenditure.
1.6 Significance of the Study
At the end of the study, one will be able to ascertain the role of accounting in the control of public expenditures generally and that Isoko North Local Government council particular. This is centred on the basic fact that effort will be made to find out why the role of accounting in the control of public expenditure is essential for the effective and efficient operations of the various levels of government.
It is also relevant to note however, that the various users of accounting information will benefit from this study immensely.
Furthermore, it will equally be of tremendous relevance to the academic community as an effort will be made to enhance their knowledge on the role of accounting in the control of public expenditure generally.
1.7 Scope of the Study
Having studied the aims and the significance of the study, it would be important to point out the scope of public expenditure, is so wide that given time and resources available, it will be difficult to make an in-depth analysis of all the issues worth mention in this type of study. The study will therefore, limit it to the cause and effects of some factors which the researcher opinion is negatively approached result in the days functional operation of public expenditure.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
This research will involve the use of oral interviews, questionnaires and the library. Other field studies involving extensive travelling will not be embark upon due to time constraint and limited financial resources.
1.9 Definition of Terms
Accounting- This is defined as the process of measuring, recording, classifying and summarizing financial information that is used in making economic decisions.
Public Finance- This is defined as the ways and means by which the government deals with income and expenditure of a country.
Public Expenditure- This is the expenses which the government incurs for its own maintenance and also for the society and economy as a whole.
Government Accounting- This may be defined as the process of recording, analyzing, classifying, summarizing, communicating and interpreting financial information about the government in aggregate and in detail reflection all transaction involving the receipt, transfer and disposition of government funds and property.
Budget:- Is referred to as a financial and quantitative statement prepared and approved prior to a defined the period of the policy to be pursued during that period for attaining a given objective, which may include income expenditure and the employment of capital.
Budgetary Control:- This could be defined as the establishment of budgets relating to the responsibilities of executives to the requirements of a policy and the continuous comparison of actual with budgeted results either to secure by individual action the objectives of that policy or to provide a basic for its revision.