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THE EFFECTIVENESS OF AUDITING AND ACCOUNTABILITY IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR (A STUDY OF THE OFFICE OF THE AUDITOR GENERAL OF IMO STATE)

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 ABSTRACT

The study dealt on the effectiveness of auditing and accountability - in the public sector. The rapid development financial management initiative in public sector and financial control has led to the need for improved performance measurement, reporting and individual accountability. The researcher tested 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 possess the expected qualities the auditor-generals office is a watchdog of public fund and as such, government must be appropriately configured . based on this findings 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.

           CHAPTER ONE

1.0 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

The term audit is derived from the Latin verb "audire", which means "to hear" the origin of audit allowed tenant formers to work on their land while the land owners themselves, did not become involved in the business of farming. The landowners relied upon an overseer who "listened" to the accounts of stewardship given by the tenants. During this period till data, 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 :y an appointed auditor in pursuance of that appointment and in compliance with any relevant 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 Developments, the mode of recording and analyzing of accounting dates was by manual means. Auditing during this time was done orally because the business of writing was get to develop. The modernization of in the business world led to the areas where writing and receding analysis evolved with the use of some electro mechanicals. Accountability on the other hand is the obligation to answer for a responsibility that been concerned, (the 2006). During the era when accounting system evolved, the business transitions which took place - = d to be recorded, analysis and based on the Dtinciples, 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's (company) balance  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 it's profit  and loss for the period then ended and have been properly prepared in accordance with the applicable reporting frame work, ,with greater emphasis placed on the information value of the business balance sheet and prospective investors becoming increasing conscious of the need for the rejection of error and fraud was regarded as the province of the business management. These development further gave rise to the restructuring accounting function of the owners of the business

which in turn led to the emergence of the financial statement legislation and recognisition of auditors. As required by the company's act, the audited(s) 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 (computer) as a means of processing business dates. This, in the world of business implies the computerization of accounting system which still demands that auditor should perform their role as opinionist.

Based on this, the question that strike one's mind is

could     effective      auditing      lead      to      proper accountability   In   recent   times,   the   concept   of accountability has it's origin in stewardship accounting (especially in the state government system). The function which accounting serves 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). Accountability and it twin brother auditing were ushered in when owners were no longer managers of their resources and as such managers should look over such business with utmost care to avoid negligence and confusion of management in the affairs of the company, Furthermore auditing and accountability in the public sector otherwise called "public sector auditing and accounting", comprises of the auditor- general of the "federation, auditor-general of the state and auditor general of local government that serves as external a.: tors to the three tiers of government in Nigeria. Their approaches and techniques are similar to that of   various   firms   of   chartered    accountants   bat different occurs in their method of appointment to those of firms of chartered accountants. Regardless of this fact, (differences) and in recognition of the former,   a   committee   called   the   public   account committee

(Pac) was formed   with duty to consider the auditor,

general's   report  submitted   to  the   assembly   with

functions as follows.

i.      To deliberate on the auditor- general's report.

ii.     To summon accounting officer to appear before them

iii.     To examine any offer on oath if need to be

 iv.    To recommend to the president any action to be taken on the  

         offending officer.

v.     To enforce the auditor   section as required by decree 43.

vi.   To  report  to  the  president the recommendation's

vii.   To   carryout   any   duty   as   required   by   the national assembly.

In conclusion, the effectiveness of auditing and accountability in the public sector which refers to 'all organizations which are not privately owned and operated but which are operated and established as this effectiveness has brought about good internal

and external control and checks, minimized fraud; defalcations Enhanced effectives policy and implementation and management while non-effective auditing and accountability would result to regulates lack of there and fair representation and reporting of

financial statement alongside, poor policy implementation.

1.0.1 AUDITING AND ACCOUNTABILITY AS STATUTOYR OBLIGATIONS

during which the accounting carried out by suitable qualified auditors during which the accounting records and financial statements of an organization B-e subjected to examination by independent auditors with the main objective of expressing an opinion in accountancy with relevant terms of appointment purpose, (the, 2006).

1.1   HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

the historical background of the office of the states auditor general dates back to the creation of states, specifically Imo state from the former east central in 1976 which was then headed by Sir. S.C. Okorieafor, who haiked from Oguta from then to present date, there has been series of appointment c" auditor generals, 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 formerly at Umuahia, relocated to Imo state to the office of the Auditor-general now in Owerri. It's capital, as required by law. The present auditor-general is by name, sir. E.A. Ugunwa.

1.1.1    DEPARTMENT   IN   THE   OFFICE   OF   THE AUDITOR-GENERAL (STATE)

The office of the state's auditor-general is made uj of six (6) departments namely.

I)General service department    (GSD):-  this department is in change of the general administration of the state auditor-general office. ii) ii)Project monitoring and  evaluation  department (promade):- As the name suggests, its  duty   is   to   take   care   of  the   evaluating    in   and monitoring   of   all   government   project   and   also, audits, government parastatals.

I Government accounts department (GAD):- this department is in charge of the audit of government ministries,

ii.     Revenue department (RD):- this department is in charge of the  audit of government revenues.

iii.    Finance   and   supply   department   (FASD): this   department  is  vested   with   the   duty   of critical  monitoring of the expenditures of the office   itself,   i.e   (the   office   of  the      AG   in particular). these department are headed by 3 directors/3 acting directing (6) for effective operation of the office of he AG. These director a rely name:

1)   Mr.   Tony   camaly,   who   lead   the   (GSD) department

1.1.3 THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE STATE AUDITOR-GENERAL

(section 125 c2) of the constitution of Nigeria, 1999 amended) authorized the auditor-general- to carry out of all co-operations, government ministries, government parastates and local government councils through out the country regardless of it being either the primary or secondary responsibility, and this is periodically, according to the activities of such organization.

1.1.4 ORGANIZATION OF REPORTS FROM THE STATE AUDITOR-GENERAL'S OFFICE

The   reports  from   the  office   of the   auditor-general is organized base n the type of opinion in recognition to the evidence he given. This opinion could be qualified, unqualified, subject to etc.

1.1.5 PROBLEM ENCONUTERED IN THE OFFICE OF THE STATE (IMO) AUDITOR-GENERAL

Problem encountered in the state AG's office are numerous but specifically, the problem of misapplication of audit reports towards management decision, poor collection of owners recourse towards

.