INTERNAL AUDITING AS AN INSTRUMENT FOR EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT AND ACCOUNTABILITY OF FINANCIAL RESOURCES IN THE PUBLIC SECTORS
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1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Recently effective management and accountability of financial resources vike cash in the public sector has begun to receive much emphasis primarily in response to increase in fraud and high inflations rate that devalue idle or unaccounted cash and most especially defeat of aims of establishing such emprises and extra ministerial department most government establishments are tightening their internal control system to ensure strategic management planning and transparency in the affairs of the department. This duty call made imperative due to the near collapse of government institutions occasioned by misuse of cash and its vulnerability to corrupt official who are ever at work to defraud and Erich themselves from the origination. In order to protect its financial resources from being plundered an organization must know exactly its income and expenditure vouching system accounting system and basis authorization procedure cash control system etc. with respect to cash inflows and outflows. This explains the geometric rise in the embezzlement of public funds by official and government technocrats who are supposed to secure such funds. It is patients to recall that cash and other near-money resources either real or financial is the most improvement current asset for the smooth running of her machineries. It is input needed to keep the business on continuous basis such resources are needed for payment of salaries payment for contacts and other infrastructural development need to make for a good standard of living. An integral part of real and financial assets administration is concerned with the effective utilization of corporate fund. The planning and control of such activity is made possible by stringent internal auditing which embodies strict internal controls observation of accounting standards and principle vouching and authorization procedure. This is made necessary by the fact that business is cyclical in nature with dwindling government revenue and a considerable amount of time during which factors inputs must be purchased and wages paid elapses between the receipt of an order its shipment and the banking of cash. An investment in cash and real assets is required in order to meet with pressing operational demand the uneven flow in the receipt and disbursement of fund causes seasonal fluctuations and so on moreover the receipt and disbursement of fund is useable in daily basis and within the month with a strong cash management and control system (models) recognize the uncertainty inherent in forecasting both cash inflows and outflows. An effective cash management and accountability is necessary for the overall performance of an organization one is surprised at the complete lack of legal cash control and other real asset management system in many public sector organization in Nigeria especially those ones owned by government and the state. While some organizations prepare cash budget at the beginning of their financial year without any follow up authorization and control process others just more cash control to monthly basis in the form of bank reconciliation statement which are doctored to clan up their augean stables unfortunately, it is only when cash problem arises that management starts to look for the immediate and remote causes and possible remedies while they are the problem themselves.
According to Stever (1994 page1) auditing in all its ramification whether internal or external in nature provides a unique platform and tool for accountability as no manager would like himself or herself to be found wanting for failure to give an accurate account of the fund entrusted to him or her. It therefore saves as a determent to managers of public funds from perpetrating frauds. More importantly internal auditing which is an independent appraisal of activity within an organization for the review of the accounting financial and other operations as a basis for protective and constructive services to management is a type of control which functions by measuring and evaluating the effectiveness of other types of control. The researcher intends to look into the nature of internal auditing as a probable tool for effective management and accountability of financial instrument with particular reference to the public sector the third tier of government using Udi local government council as a case study and to evaluate the internal control system in line with approved international standard and principles.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Among the worst economic crimes prevalent in out economy today fraud and embezzlement of public funds stands out conspicuously. This social use is common thin the government circle as the people who are entrusted with the paraphernalia of government defy any from of internal audit designed to check and detect frauds they usually maraud the system alongside the civil servants in the quest to each themselves the reason being that the appropriate internal control system is not in place or non-existent. And where it is rules and regulations guarding the system are battered and manipulated in order to perpetuate fraud and embezzlement is what the present research intends to examine in addition to establishing internal auditing in us true perspective as an instrument for effective management and accountability the statement of problems includes
1. Impact of various department towards the establishment of internal control in the planning and controlling of real and financial assets of the public sector.
2. How effective is the controls for prevention and detection of fraud and other financial inequalities
3. Effects of internal auditing and control in the public sector
4. Difficult that internal auditing ahs encountered towards achieving and activating organizational
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The cardinal objectives of the research study are:
1. To know the extent various departments have helped in the establishment of internal control in the planning and controlling of real and fiancnail as of the public sector.
2. To find out how effective is the control for prevention and detection of fraud and other financial irregularities.
3. To highlight the effects of internal auditing and control controls in the public sector.
4. To ascertain the difficulties institutionalization of internal auditing ahs encountered towards achieving and attaining organizational goals
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION
To guide this project work four research question were formulated to ensure clarity.
1. To what extent does various department helped in the establishment of internal controls in the planning and controlling of real and financial assets of the public sectors
2. To what extent does the controls being effective for the prevention and detection of fraud and other financial irregularities.
3. To what extent does internal auditing and controls have affected the public sector
4. To what extent does the difficulties institutionalization of internal auditing ahs encountered towards achieving and attain organizational goals.
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
Towards verifying the subject matter of this work the following preposition were formulated and tested.
1. Ho1: There will be no significant difference (P<0.05) (at the probability level of .05) between the mean perception of finance dept and stores department on the impact of valued department towards the establishment of internal control in the planning and controlling of real and financial assets of the public sector.
H1: There is a significant difference (P<0.05) (at the probability level of .05) between the mean perception of finance and stores department on the impact of various department towards the establishment of internal control in the planning and controlling of real and financial assets of the public sector.
2. Ho: There will no significant difference (P<0.05) (at the probability level of 0.05) on how effective is the control for prevention and detection of fraud and other financial irregularities.
H1: There is a significant difference (P<0.05) (at the probability level of 0.05) on how effective is the control for prevention and detection of fraud and other financial irregularities.
3. Ho: There will be no significant difference (P<0.05) (at the probability level of 0.05) between the mean perception of finance and stores department on the effects of internal auditing and control in the public sector.
4. Ho: There will be no significant difference (P<0.05) (at the probability level of 0.05) between the means perception of financial and stores department on the difficulties institutionalization of internal auditing ahs encountered towards achieving and attaing organizational goals.
H1: There is a significant difference (P<0.05) (at the probability level of 0.05) between the means perception of financial and stores department on the difficulties institutionalization of internal auditing ahs encountered towards achieving and attaining organizational goals.
1.6 THE SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This students engagement is meant to analyze the need for operators of the public sector to adopt and establish internal auditing and control as an instrument for effective management and accountability of financial resources no the public sector like real and fiancnail assets with a reference to Udi local government council in Enugu state. The study delved extensively on the magnitude of looting plundering and embezzlement of public funds and stressed on the effectiveness of internal auditing towards curbing the ugly trend.
1.7 THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research will be benefit to private and government establishment in that if the recommendations are implemented public funds currently being siphoned through avoidable embezzlement conduct peoples and fraud in many public enterprise and department will be conserved. The staff of such organization will benefit because the conserved fund can be used to improve their condition of service and the provision of social amenities for the public. When this is attained to works will be well motivated. This will have a positive impact on their level of productivity and output. As a result, better services will now be provided to the society and mankind through improved efficiency of management this study will equally help the management of public and private establishment in planning and control which are basic ingredients of strategic decision making.
The research is also an attempt to finding solution to the disturbing problem posed to the corporate existence and growth of government establishment by office perpetrators of fraud and embezzlement that made the research to hose the topic.
This piece of work will equally be of immense benefit to:
a. The general public.
b. Practicing accountants
c. Those in fiduciary positions
d. Accounting officers in both private and public establishment and
e. Students of accountancy and allied disciplines since they can use it as a guide for carrying out future research and to educate their minds generating.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Real assets: These are fixed assets in an organization which are used in the production process it may be machines vehicles factories office blocks etc.
Financial assets: These are inventible assets of an organization in the form of cash and near money instruments like cheques bonds shares etc.
Internal: This simply means carrying out an activity or working within the immediate environment
Auditing: This is defined according to the audit operational standard as the independent examination of and expression of opinion on the financial statements of an enterprise by an appointed auditor in pursuance of the appointment and in compliance with any relevant statutory obligation
Instrument: Implement or apparatus used in performing an action a complex administrative organization (Webster Encyclopaedia) dictionary OT 1993)
Effective: This means having the good quality of achieving or accomplishing the goal management seeks to pursue.
Management: This is employment and application of both human and material resources to achieve the objectives of an orgnaization in the most economic way
accountability: The act of giving explanation or reckoning for something entrusted to one
Fraud: Intentional distortion of financial statements.
Embezzlement: To man private the funds and fiancnail records of an organization in order to enrich oneself
Public sector: That part of the aggregate economy being owned and controlled by the government state or the central government
Fiduciary relationship: Means that the management of funds is not completely and exhaustively in the hands of owner but entreated by owner to somebody else.
Control: Any deliberate act to forestall the Mis. Management of funds and the perpetration of fraud in an organization
System: A group of things or parts working together as a whole.
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