AWARENESS OF CONFIDENCE ACCOUNTING AMONGST ACCOUNTING LECTURERS IN NIGERIA
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The study examined the awareness of confidence accounting amongst accounting lecturers in Nigeria. The use of a single number for accounting terms such as profit or balance sheet value is clear and simple, but wrong. ’Confidence Accounting’ is a term for a proposal to use distributions rather than discrete values in accounting and auditing. The term was coined by Long Finance proponents as part of a shift from using specific values in accounts to the use of interval estimates and confidence levels, making accounting and auditing practices more closely resemble other measurement sciences. Teachers, administrators, parents, business owners, and community members need to know the importance and value of a Personal confidence Finance class. In this study a survey was made in universities to ascertain the awareness of lecturers on the subject of confidence accounting, to determine the importance they placed on financial literacy curriculum and what content they think should be included in a financial literacy curriculum in universities. The results of this survey showed that most participants of the survey thought confidence accounting literacy was important and that confidence financial literacy curriculum was also important. The conclusions of this study were that financial education is beneficial and that the concepts taught in that type of curriculum were valued.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
In a world of Confidence Accounting, the end results of audits would be presentations of distributions for major entries in the profit and loss, balance sheet and cash flow statements. Accountants would present uncertainties as ranges to investors and managers, rather than as discrete numbers: ‘the balance sheet of Company X is worth £Y, plus or minus £Z, and we are 95% confident that it falls within this range’. Auditors would verify these ranges. This would move auditing towards ‘measurement science’, in line with the way most laboratories report measurements. Audited accounts would be presented in a probabilistic manner, showing ranges. Over time, investors could evaluate an audit firm on the basis of how closely historic accounts fell within the stated ranges. Such evaluations might conclude that firms were too lax or too strict. Clients would be able to make their own decisions about audit quality on the basis of historic evidence rather than having to rely on assertions of quality.
Criticism perhaps reached a peak in the early 2000s after a series of telecommunications and Internet company failures, coupled with Enron’s collapse. More criticism has followed the financial crises since 2007. These crises have been systemic failures, where interactions among banks, rating agencies, regulators, governments, financial instruments, and auditors mattered more than the specific behaviour of a particular actor. Still, as important actors, it is incumbent on accounting professionals to explore how auditing and accounting could be improved.
Something akin to Confidence Accounting was raised in 1977 in a letter to the New York Times by Professor Joshua Ronen of New York University’s Stern School: ‘The myth of certainty, with its accounting for the past, holds the accounting profession to a single number’. In the 1990s and early 2000s, Mainelli and Harris used the term ’Stochastic Accounting’ (Mainelli and Harris 2002). In the mid 2000s the term ’Confidence Accounting’ was coined by Long Finance (www.longfinance.net) proponents as part of a shift to interval estimates and confidence levels, making accounting and auditing more closely resemble other measurement sciences. In 2006 Gresham College held a symposium in conjunction with New York University, ‘Reforming Auditing – Incremental Change or Radical Action?, with Professor Ronen, where the connection to Ronen’s earlier thoughts was made.
The knowledge of confidence accounting is not popular among Nigerian university lecturers, other areas of confidence accounting like cost accounting is mostly used for study in Nigerian schools.
1.2 Problem Statement
The problem is that lecturers need to know if confidence accounting class is valuable enough to be added to a university curriculum.
The knowledge of confidential Accounting exposes the learner to a number of skills that can be useful in the world of works and even in the conduct of one‟s own business.
It is as a result of these problems that the researcher was prompted to carry out an investigation on the awareness of confidential accounting among university lecturers.
1.3 Purpose Statement
The purpose of this quantitative descriptive research study was to discover the importance that lecturers place on having a confidence Finance class and the content that should be included in a financial literacy curriculum in Nigerian schools.
1.4 Research Questions
The study asks:
- What importance do lecturers place on the teaching of confidence accounting?
- What content do lecturers in confidence accounting think should be included in schools curriculum.
1.5 Significance of the Study
The results of the study can be used to determine confidence finance classes at accounting schools. It will indicate what content for the class the stakeholders find to be most valuable. With the results, it would be possible to present the information to administrators, and school board members with the rationale that, yes; or no a Confidence accounting class is a viable class to be added to the curriculum at universities in Nigeria. It can serve as a tool for planning and implementing a Confidence accounting class.
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