This work is on Accounting Professions And Its Role In Accountant General Office, Kogi State. The study is survey research type where cross-sectional design was used. The population of this study comprised of sixty (60) staff of the office of the Accountant-General of Kogi state and the sample size of forty two (42) respondents were obtained using convenient Non- probability sampling technique. Primary source of data was used through which questioner and interview methods were used in collection of collect data. Data collected were presented via tables, descriptive statistics – percentages, mean and standard deviation and data generated were analyzed using Chi-square. The study revealed that Checks and balances which is the primarily aim of enhancing transparency and accountability is not effective, as a conseavence financial records are not been properly kept and updated. The study therefore recommends that:- the office of the Accountant General of Kogi State should ensure that each payment to be made is properly approved and authorize to ensure check and balances. This if done will enhance their level of productivity and also simplify their job schedules.
- BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Public sector is mainly established to provide services to the general public; these services cannot be efficiently and effectively provided without government accounting. The focus of government accounting is the determination of how much money was received and the sources of such receipts, how much money was spent and for what purposes and what remains after meeting the financial obligations. In line with this statement, Public finance and particularly the financial management and accounting of government institutions have become fundamentally important:-
Public finance has been described as the collection and disbursement of funds for public use (Corbally, 1962, Osuntokun, 2003). It has also been regarded as the financial activities of public authorities in terms of taxing, spending, borrowing and lending and it involves the means of providing for the expenditure involved in the staffing, equipment and maintenance of educational institutions (Adesua, 1981, Charles, 2002).
Accountant-General of the Federation is referred to as the Chief Accounting Officer for the receipts and payments of the government of the federation (Financial Regulation 107(a) 2009), also at the state level, the Accountant-General of a state is referred to as the “Chief Accounting Officer for the receipts and payments of the government of the state.
As a result of more interest in receipts and payments account, the government accounting practice that evolved over the years focused on cash receipts and disbursements on the basis of budgetary headings to reveal the balances available at a given time under various heads and sub-heads of votes. This therefore means that the basis of accounting in government is normally the cash basis (or modified cash) rather than the accrual basis of the private sector. Under the cash basis, the government revenue is recorded and accounted for when cash is received and expenditure is incurred when cash is paid irrespective of the accounting period in which the benefit is received or the service rendered.
The Accountant-General being the chief accounting officer of receipts and payments is also concerned with efficient management of public resources and to also give evidence of accountability of those resources. Okoh and Ohwoyibo (2009) opine that accountability reflects the need for government and its agencies to serve the public effectively in accordance with the laws of the land. Appah (2010) point out that with the number and monetary value of public sector activities has increased substantially. This increase in activities has brought with it an increased demand for accountability of public officers who manage these activities of the public
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The problems of this study include: One of the most prevalent problems facing the office of the Accountant General of Kogi state towards ensuring effective management of public funds is mediocre and unqualified personnel, hence giving loopholes for embezzlement and financial misappropriation. Secondly, keeping adequate records of collections and disbursements which is essential to management of public funds is very difficult. Thirdly, proper accountability is not ensured towards collection and disbursement of public funds and fourthly, Public officers saddled with the responsibility of managing and ensuring effective public funds are the same officers that misuse the advantage of their offices to misappropriate funds thereby eroding the confidence in the minds of tax payers. And as such, substantial development in the society will be hindered. Availability of adequate fund, coupled with efficient financial management constitutes the required catalyst necessary for timely execution and completion of development projects and other activities by the state.
It is in light of the above that this study analysed Accounting Professions And Its Role, where the office of the Accountant-General of Kogi state was used as a case study
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The study set to achieve the following set objectives:-
1.To assess whether the accountant-general abuse the authority given to them with respect to management of public funds.
- To assess whether the staff of the accountant-general office is adequate and qualified to effectively collect and disburse public funds.
3.To assess the contributions of state Accountant-general in ensuring proper accountability of public funds.
- RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- Does accountant-general abuse the authority given to them with respect to management of public funds?
- Does the staff of the accountant-general office is adequate and qualified to effectively collect and disburse public funds.?
3.What are the contributions of state Accountant-general in ensuring proper accountability of public funds?
- Staff of the Accountant-general office of Kogi state are not adequate and qualified to effectively manage public
- Accountant-general and his staff do abuse the authority given to them in ensuring effective management of public funds
- Accountant-general does not ensure proper accountability in the management of public funds
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research work which focuses on Accounting Professions And Its Role In Accountant General Office, Kogi State will be of great importance to federal, state and local governments who are basically responsible for incurring public expenditure. This is because this research work will awaken their consciousness on the enormous role accountant general plays on the control of public expenditures.
This research will also be of great importance to administrators of public institutions who before now may be ignorant of the roles accounting plays in ensuring transparency and accountability in the execution of public expenditures.
Finally, this research will also serve as a stepping stone for students of institution of higher learning who may be researching on similar or topic related to this. It could help precisely on the review of related literature.
1.7 SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
In the course of this research the researcher examined the role of accounting in the control of public expenditure in Nigeria. However, this research covered only the FIST Bank of Nigeria, Enugu branch.
This research work is not free of limiting factors. The researcher was constrained by the following factors:
FINANCE: Previously, research project such as this use to be a joint or group work, but now is embarked upon individually. Thus, the meager fund at the disposal of the researcher constrained her from extending the research to other branches.Some other public (government) establishment in addition to the FIST bank would have been visited by the researcher if not for this constraint.
SCARCITY OF RELATED LITERATURE: Most of the libraries visited lacked journals with articles related to the topic of this study. Even when there is related article, such article will not give detailed analysis of the topic. More so, there is scarcity of already made research on this topic. Although one was gotten in the course of the research for it, but its contents were insufficient for this study. All of these constrained the research from making intense analysis.
STANDARD COSTING: Nweze (2014:80) defined it as a system of cost accounting which makes use of predetermined cost relating to each element of cost layout, material and overhead for each line of product manufactured or service supplied.
BUDGETING: Adeniji (2009) defined it as the processes involved in making a budget. That is the act of constructing a budget.
BUDGET: Adeniji(2009:596) defined it as a financial summary of estimated incomes and expenditure of government for a fiscal year.
BUDGET IMPLEMENTATION: The is defined as the execution of budget through either revenue generation or public expenditure.
BUDGETARY CONTROL: This is the methodical control of an organization’s operations through establishment of standards and targets regarding income and expenditure and a continuous monitoring and adjustment of performance against them.
ACCOUNTING CONTROLS: These are measures instilled by a good accounting system to ensure accurate recording of transaction, adherence to rules, safety of assets and accuracy of financial statement.
ACCOUNTING SYSTEM: This is defined as an organized set of manual and computerized accounting methods, procedures and controls established to gather, record, classify, analyze, summarize, internet and present accurate and timely financial data for management decisions.
PUBLIC INSTITUTION: This is defined as an institution or organization owned and majority managed by the government for the interest of the general public. ADMINISTRATOR: This is an individual who administers affairs, one who directs, manages, executes or dispenses, whether in civil judicial, political or ecclesiastical