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FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING COMPETENCIES REQUIRED BY LECTURERS FOR EFFECTIVE TEACHING IN CONSULTANCY UNITS OF TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS IN TARABA STATE

ABSTRACT

The major purpose of the study was to determine the financial accounting competencies required by lecturers for effective teaching in consultancy units of tertiary institutions in Taraba state. Five research questions and five null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. Descriptive survey design was adopted for the study. Thirty two financial accounting lecturers in consultancy units of tertiary institutions in Taraba State formed the population of the study. A questionnaire on financial accounting competencies required by financial established accounting lecturers was used for the study. The reliability of the instrument was  using Cronbach Alpha formula with overall reliability index of .94 Mean and standard deviation was used to answer the research questions, t-test and ANOVA was used to test the hypotheses. At o.o5 level of significance while Findings revealed that the financial accounting competencies required by lecturers are in the area of ledger account competencies final accounts competencies bank reconciliation competencies manufacturing account competencies and ICT-based accounting competencies. Finally it was recommended among others that in-service training should be provided to financial accounting lecturers so as to enable them acquire the requisite competencies for practical financial accounting transactions.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the study 

Accounting is a field of study offered as both academic and professional programme in most tertiary institutions in Nigeria. As a result of the increasing population of students applying for part-time programme in accounting, the tertiary institutions in Taraba State now have separate unit which is popularly known as ‘Consultancy Unit’ for teaching financial accounting. Accounting, according to Hongreen (2002), is the language of business that is used for recording, measuring, summarizing and reporting economic activities in monetary value for the users of financial information to make decision. Accounting information reveals the financial position of any business to determine whether there is profit or loss in a given period as well as to know the book value of assets, liabilities and owners’ capital. In practice, accounting can be broadly divided into financial accounting and management accounting.  However, this study will deal on financial accounting.

Financial accounting is a practice and body of knowledge concerned primarily with methods of recording, classifying, analyzing, reporting and communicating the financial transactions in monetary terms to the internal and external users (James, 2010). It is also the systematic and comprehensive way of measuring, recording, analyzing, interpreting, summarizing and communicating the finance of a business to the appropriate users. Financial accounting provides the external users outside the business organization such as creditors, tax authorities, regulatory bodies, prospective investors, financial analysts, customers and other members of the public with information on the worth of a business entity.  Amat (2002) defined financial accounting as the process of recording, classifying, selecting, interpreting, summarizing and reporting financial data of an organization to the users for objective assessment and decision making.

Financial accounting is also concerned with providing both financial and non-financial information that will help decision makers to make good decisions. Okoli (2013) explained that financial accounting as a specialized branch of accounting that helps to keep track of both financial and non-financial information using standardized guidelines. It enables the general public to assess the potentials of the business for investment, understanding the concept of assets and liabilities so that the functions in business cycles can be easily analyzed by the users of accounting information. According to the Australian National Training Authority (2003), there are fundamental financial accounting competencies required for business functions namely ledger competencies, final account competencies, bank reconciliation competencies, manufacturing account competencies, ICT- based accounting competencies among others, which must not be compromised for effective teaching of the basic principles needed in preparing financial accounting information.

Effective teaching is the impartation of knowledge. In the words of Sowande (2002), effective teaching depends on competency acquired by the teacher/staff in carrying out a set of specific tasks. Effective teaching in this study refers to ideas, attitudes and skills into students in order to properly measure, record, analyze, interpret, summarize and communicate the financial transactions of business to the appropriate users. It is conceived that the availability of competent financial accounting lecturers who are abreast of the trends, innovations, strategies and international accepted standards will ultimately improve the effective teaching of financial accounting in the consultancy units in the tertiary institutions of Taraba States. Abubakar and Dantani (2005) noted that a teacher cannot teach that which he does not know and knowledge alone does not make a teacher because it is the teachers’ task to create or influence desirable changes in behavior of students through his\her competencies.

Competency is a generic word that refers to the sum total of skills, knowledge and attitudes manifested in an individual; behavior about a particular task, subject or activity.  It is also a quality or state of being functionally adequate in terms of knowledge, skills and capability to perform a particular duty or task (Baffa, 2013).  Penney (2014) defined competencies as the knowledge, skills and behavioural attributes necessary for acceptable job performance. Chagbe (2009) defined competency as the knowledge, skills, attitudes and judgments which are required in order to perform successfully at a special proficiency level in a programme. Ekong (2000) explained further that to be competent means that an individual has acquired the knowledge, skills, attitude and judgement which one requires in order to performed a specific given task effectively. To be effective, according to Olaitan, Nwachukwu, Igbo, Onyemachi and Ekong (1999), is an indication of the impact of a group of activities performed on the achievement of intended learning outcomes (the quality of education or professional training students acquired). This implies that there is a strong relationship between effective teaching in consultancy units and the financial accounting competencies of lecturers working in the units. Gbadamosi (2006) explained that effective teaching occurs when the measure of output or outcome of a specific activities meet the set goal/objectives based on quality of human and material resources, and way or manner such activities are performed in line with the laid down procedures and standards.   In this study, competencies are the fundamental knowledge, skills and ideas that are useful and required for effective teaching of financial accounting in the consultancy units.

Teaching is a process of transferring knowledge from one person (the teacher) to another person (the learner). Akamobi (2009) defined teaching as a body of actions intended to induce learning through conscious and deliberate efforts by an experienced person to impart knowledge, information, skills, attitudes and beliefs to less experienced person. Teaching according to Onabanjo (2000) is a deliberate effort by a matured or experienced person through a process that is morally and pedagogically accepted to impart information, knowledge and skill to an immature or less experience person.  Moore (2000) defined teaching as the action of a person imparting skills or knowledge or giving instruction to another person. Teaching involves guiding students through learning experiences based on planned activities. Lecturers teaching financial accounting in consultancy unit require financial accounting competencies to enable them impart positively to the learner.  Ajoma (2009), stated that the lecturer must also have a deep understanding of the manner in which the subject matter can be effectively taught by the application of technology.  Lecturers teaching financial accounting in the consultancy units are expected to be competent in teaching ledger books, final accounts, bank reconciliation, manufacturing accounts, ICT -based among others.

The ledger is generally called the principal book of account.  Chukwuma (2008) defined ledger as a book which contains in a classified and summarized form a permanent record of the transaction.  Long and Kazeem, (2012) defined the ledger as a book which contains in a classified and summarized form, a permanent record of all transactions which is used for double entry book-keeping. The financial accounting lecturers in the consultancy unit are also required to be competent in the preparation of final accounts.   Final accounts consist of trading accounts, profit and loss account and the balance sheet. Financial accounting lecturers in consultancy units are therefore required to possess the following final accounts competencies: ability to identify opening stock, ability to determine the cost of goods available for sale and distinguish items for trading, profit and loss account and the balance sheet. Besides being competent in final accounts, lecturers should be competent in bank reconciliation. Chukwuma, (2008) defined bank reconciliation statement as a book which is prepared by the casher showing the transaction between bank and the customers.  Another competency required by the lecturer is manufacturing accounts. Manufacturing accounting competencies is the ability to ascertain the cost of goods manufactured and the amount of any profit on the manufacturing process. It is also the responsibility of the accountants or lecturers to have the knowledge of factory cost or work cost, expenditure incurred on raw materials which can be traced to a particular production unit and wage of employees who are directly engaged in the production process. Akintelure and Oguobi (2003) observed that manufacturing account is prepared for organizations that are into manufacturing because of its production process and the basic aim is to ascertain the cost of production and the profit made from the sales of the manufactured goods. This of course is in line with the work of consultancy unit.

Consultancy unit is a special department that renders expert services or special training to people on a particular subject matter or field of study (Joanna, 2010).  In the context of this study, consultancy unit in tertiary institution in Tarabe state operate as sub-section in the tertiary institutions under accounting department mainly for part-time students.  The operations of the consultancy units cover both the academic activities of part-time students and training for students that intend to write professional exams in financial accounting, operations in this context refers to teaching and learning activities.  The consultancy unit provides teaching and learning activities, consultancy services and professional training on part-time basis. The consultancy units register students and clients from different subject areas including financial accounting.  Though the output of students’ in the consultancy units may be affected either positively or negatively by gender and years of experience of the financial accounting lecturers.

Factors such as gender of lecturers (male and female), years of experience between junior and senior lecturers working under consultancy units and type of tertiary institutions may have significant contributions towards competencies required for effective teaching of financial accounting in the consultancy unit. Matzler and Woessmann, (2010) described an experienced lecturer as one who has a teaching qualification at least ten to fifteen years teaching experience and possess good reputation for teaching. Also, Offorma (2010) noted that academically qualified lecturers of accounting succeed more than their non-qualified counterparts and they are regarded as lecturers who possessed Bachelor’s degree in business (accounting) education or related discipline as their initial or minimum entry qualification, and subsequently post graduate degree in education (PGDE), Masters Degree and Doctor of philosophy (Ph.D) in the same discipline which can all be obtained in tertiary institutions.

Tertiary intuitions include post-secondary institutions such as colleges of education, monotecnics and universities.  Federal Republic of Nigeria, FRN (2004) in National Policy on Education describes Tertiary intuitions as the third level of education which includes universities, colleges, polytechnics and monotechnics. Ajoma (2009) described a tertiary institution as a center for excellence, a place where people are trained to become professionals who contribute to the knowledge and skills required for national development.  Nuru (2008) referred to tertiary institutions as post-secondary school institutions that award degree, diploma or other equivalent certificates legally acceptable for job entry most especially in government employment. The tertiary institutions in Taraba State have a consultancy unit admitting students on part-time bases in different courses including accountancy. The accounting students are offering financial accounting. Acquiring financial accounting competencies required by the lecturers will enhance effective teaching in consultancy units of tertiary institutions in Taraba State and will enhence this study.

Statement of the Problem

Financial accounting both in theory and practice requires that graduates of accounting should be able to demonstrate competency in recording, classifying, examining, analyzing, summarizing and communicating of financial transactions to the appropriate users. However through the preliminary study carried out by the researcher, it was observed that most of the part-time students in the accounting department under consultancy units in tertiary institutions in Taraba State complained of not being exposed to the fundamental financial accounting practices required for business functions.  Such practice include: balancing ledger accounts, final accounts, bank reconciliation accounts manufacturing accounts, and ICT- based accounting among others. It was also observed that the consultancy units in tertiary institutions in the state do employ part-time lecturers who may not have the requisite competencies in ledger, final accounts, bank reconciliation, manufacturing accounts.

This is because the Nigeria Accounting Standard Board (2001) noted that most of the schools that operate part-time accounting programs through separate unit or distance learning centre are performing below minimum standard because of incompetent personnel that lack appropriate competencies, ethical practice, and modern ICT skills. Consequently, students are not well taught which ultimately affect their performance for successful career advancement.  The problem of this study therefore is to find out the financial accounting competencies required by lecturers for effective teaching of accounting students in consultancy units of tertiary institutions in Taraba State in order to enhance the performance of the students and as well, to equip them with the necessary skills and competencies for employment.

Purpose of the Study

The major purpose of the study was to determine the financial accounting competencies required by lecturers for effective teaching in consultancy units of Tertiary institutions in Taraba State.  Specifically, the study will determine:

  1. The ledger account competencies required by lecturers for effective teaching of students in consultancy units in Tertiary Institutions in Taraba state.
  2. The final accounts competencies required by lecturers for effective teaching of students in consultancy units in Tertiary Institutions in Taraba state.
  3. The Bank reconciliation competencies required by lecturers for effective teaching of students in consultancy units in Tertiary Institutions in Taraba state.
  4. The manufacturing accounts competencies required by lecturers for effective teaching of students in consultancy units in Tertiary Institutions in Taraba state.
  5. The ICT- Based accounting competencies required by lecturers for effective teaching of students in consultancy units in Tertiary Institutions in Taraba state.

Significance of the Study

Theoretically, the finding of the study would provide supportive evidence conscious competency, theory of learning and theory of performance.

Practically, the findings of this study would be of immense benefit to the financial accounting lecturers, financial accounting students, researchers, society as well as the consultancy firms/units.

Financial accounting lecturers will benefit from the findings of this study. This is because the findings will help them to improve in the competencies required for teaching financial accounting courses effectively. The finding will also help them to demonstrate ledger and final accounts transactions that will lead to effective job performance of graduate accountants. The study will also provide the financial accounting lecturers with the needed bank reconciliations, manufacturing accounts and ICT- based accounting competencies required for effective teaching in consultancy units in tertiary institutions in Tataba state. This will also help to reposition the lecturers in such a way they could impact the required knowledge skills and attitudes needed for practice of financial accounting in the students.  The lecturer will benefit from the findings of this study as the outcome of this study will help lecturers update their skills and improve their competency especially in financial accounting.

The finding of the study will be of benefit to accounting students because, when the lecturers have the required competencies in financial accounting, it will help them to prepare the student for successful job entry career advancement. The knowledge of the findings will assist the lecturers to help the students with necessary accounting competencies required to analyse, summarise and communicate financial information to the users.  Students of financial accounting will equally benefit from the findings of the research as they would also use the knowledge of the findings to learn more and enhance their financial accounting knowledge. The improved competencies of the lecturers arising from the findings of the study would help the students to gain more effective knowledge, skills and attitudes for financial accounting.  This will provide them the opportunity of learning useful employability skills and competency thereby making them prepared for later or future employment.

The findings of the study will be of benefit to the researchers because it will serve as a source of literature to researchers researching on a related study.  It will also serve as a guide to their own work and to also enable them discuss on the ideas which was not discuss on this work but related to their own.

The society will benefit from the services of these competent lecturers in the sense that they would be producing competent students who will in turn be employed as teachers or lecturers who are able to teach financial accounting effectively in the consultancy unit of tertiary institutions in Taraba state. The after effect is that the society will not only benefits from the services of the consultancy lecturers but the student’s (their wards) who will now be adequately prepared for career in financial accounting and other related professional area.  Their wards will no longer spend much time in labour market before securing employment thereby improving the economic status of the home and the society at large.

Other accounting consultancy firms/units who offer professional training or weekend programmes will also benefits from the findings of the study in that it will help them to identify financial accounting competencies needed by their staff to achieve the minimum requirements of the Nigerian Accounting Standard Board (NASB) for teaching financial accounting in consultancy units in tertiary institutions and other firms.

Research Questions 

The following research questions were developed to guide the study:

  1. What are the ledger competencies required by lecturers for effective teaching of financial accounting in consultancy units of tertiary institutions in Taraba State?
  2. What are the final accounts competencies required by lecturers for effective teaching of financial accounting in consultancy units of tertiary institutions in Taraba State?
  3. What are the bank reconciliation competencies required by lecturers for effective teaching of financial accounting in consultancy units of tertiary institutions in Taraba State?
  4. What are the manufacturing accounts competencies required by lecturers for effective teaching of financial accounting in consultancy units of tertiary institutions in Taraba State? lecturers for effective teaching of financial accounting in consultancy units
  5. What are the ICT- Based accounting competencies required by of tertiary institutions in Taraba State?

Hypotheses

The study formulated the following null hypotheses tested at 0.05 level of significance:

Ho1:  There is no significant difference in the mean responses of junior and senior lecturers on ledger account competencies required by them for effective teaching of students in consultancy unit in tertiary institutions in Taraba State.

Ho2:  There is no significant difference in the mean responses of male and female lecturers on the final account competencies required by them for effective teaching in consultancy units in tertiary institution in Taraba state.

Ho3: There is no significant difference in mean ratings of respondents on the bank reconciliation competencies required by them for effective teaching in consultancy units in tertiary institutions in Taraba state based on their ranks.

Ho4: There is no significant difference in mean ratings of respondents on the manufacturing accounts competencies required by them for effective teaching in consultancy units in tertiary institution in Taraba state based on their educational ranks.

Ho5There is no significant difference in the mean responses of lecturers on the ICT-based accounting competencies required by them for effective teaching in consultancy units in tertiary institutions in Taraba State based on types of institutions.

Delimitation of the Study

The study was delimited to the determination of competencies required by lecturers for effective teaching of financial accounting in consultancy units of tertiary institutions in Taraba State.  There are three tertiary institutions that operate consultancy units in the state namely Taraba State College of Education, Zing; Taraba State Polytechnics, Suntai and Taraba State University, Jalingo. Thestudy covers only five accounting prime books competencies: ledger account competencies, final accounts competencies, bank reconciliation competencies, manufacturing accounts competencies and ICT-based accounting competencies required by lecturers for effective teaching of financial accounting to students in consultancy units of tertiary institutions in Taraba State in order to improve the performance of part- time financial accounting students towards job entry and career advancement. The opinions of accounting lecturers in the tertiary institutions will be solicited to achieve the purpose of the study.

 

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