The topic of this research is problems and prospects of auditing in government organization, the population of the study was 200 while the research used yaro Yamani formula in the determination of the sample size which was 133.The researcher used both the primary and the secondary sources in obtaining the relevant data used in the course of the study. The primary data was collected using the questionnaire while that of the secondary data was obtained using written textbooks, journals, magazines, newspapers, and the use of library. The researcher used chi-square in the testing of the hypothesis formulated while simple percentages were used in analyzing the research questions. Some of the problems bound to be encountered when auditing government establishments are embezzlement of funds by some government officials, deficiency in confirming accounts receivable and failure to exercise due professional care. Some findings were made of which one out of them is that financial reports submitted are not in consonance with the transactions carried out by the government establishment. Recommendations were also made of which one out of them is that the auditor should maintain his position of independence as much as possible.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Government organization have played a greater part in the economic growth of any economy, especially in the Nigerian economy. The contributions they have made so far cannot be overemphasized because their utmost aims of establishment is to provide some vital or essential services to improve the social and economic well-being of the people.
These government organizations are mainly being funded either by the federal or state government through their budgetary allocations made to them yearly and they can also obtain loans or overdraft from commercial bank as well as subvention from government. These funds are expected to be utilized effectively and efficiently. But in most practices they are being misappropriated or embezzled by some government officials.
As a result of this mis-appropriation which has characterized most of the government organizations. Honestly and prudently managed. The audit is expect to show whether proper principles of accounts and audit ethics have been adhered to and that financial statements prepared give a true and fair view. Overall, performance audit is not just a tool like financial audit that can be easily standardized. Performance audit is a management tool that provides information and feedback for organization improvement. The reviews in performance audit are not limited to the financial accounting, but also include evaluation of the organizational structure, standard of procedures, operating methods, and any aspects in the organization that individually or together, have an impact to the organization’s performance. From a mere accounting exercise, auditing is nowadays looked upon as a social planning tool with an unmatched ability to measure the usefulness of investment of public resources for social change (Dutta, 2000).
Effective audits are the outcome of auditor’s efforts which are directly affected by best human resources practices-training, career development, knowledge sharing and management, performance appraisals, promotion systems and job security- which have a positive impact on employee performance. In addition to it, knowledge, skills and educational level are important to affect performance of auditors. Training of auditors is another important factor. There is a positive relation between training and employee performance. If auditors are trained to conduct audits with the help of new auditing methods, effectiveness of audit can be increased. Availability of human, physical, intellectual and financial resources to the auditors are another important issue.
Since government organization have been encountering some problems like fraud, misappropriation of funds and properties, lack of effective management and others that made people to be asking whether auditing plays any significant role towards ensuring efficiency and judicious use of funds set aside for various purposes.
Some activities and programmes organized by people as re- assumed to be done on behalf of the people. They are deserved to be assured that eh resources which they put at the disposal of these programmes are effectively, efficiently and economically managed since it is known that not all are judicious in public affairs entrusted to them.
Therefore, for proper and efficient accountability, it is obvious that auditors will manifest their principles to be able to arrive at what is expected of them in order to be convinced that the financial position of the organization as presented show a clear and fair view of the organization.
Consequently, because of biased nature of the organization as a result of poor investigation of the organization position, past rulers have pledged to introduce a more responsible system of government with accountability but their subsequent conduct has shown that they have little or no understanding definition and application of efficiency in the improvement of companies’ performances.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
All organization can be a risk of fraud. As we know, large fraud will lead to the collapse of the entire organizations, causing major losses to investors, an important legal cost affecting directly to key individuals, and loss of confidence in capital markets. Publicized fraudulent behavior by key executives has negatively impacted the reputation, brands, and images of many organizations in the worldwide.
The definition of ‘fraud prevention and fraud detection’ are related to each other, however it is not the same concepts preventing fraud include policy, procedure, training and communication to prevent fraud happening. While the detection focusing on the activity and technique in order to quickly recognize fraudulent whether fraud has happened or is happening.
In any business Organization in which allocation and application of funds serves as a backbone for financial activities to be carried out the following are problems in which are bound to be encountered.
1. Embezzlement of fund by some government Officials
2. Failure to exercise due professional care and the appropriate level of professional skepticism.
3. Overreliance on inquiry as a form of audit evidence
4. Deficiency in confirming accounts receivable
5. Failure to recognize related party transactions and assuming internal control exist when they may not.
These and other factors contribute to problems of auditing in government organization.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of studying this topic is to examine the importance, problems and prospects of auditing in government institution. But for the successful completion of the study the researcher intends to achieve the following objective;
- To ascertain the problems encountered while auditing in government establishment.
- To know if auditors exhibit enough professional competence in conduct of their work.
- To know how effective auditing is in government establishment
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
This research work seeks to ask the following questions among others, deduced from the purpose of the study.
- Are auditors being threatened or intimidated during their audit work?
- Are auditors being faced with some problems during their audit work?
- Are vital documents needed for the audit of the organization being held from the auditors
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
Based on the purpose, and research questions the following hypothesis are put forward.
H0: Financial reports submitted are not in consonance with the transactions carried out by the government establishment
H1: Financial report submitted are in consonance with the transactions carried out by the government establishment.
H0: Treats and intimidation do not positively affect the quality of auditors work in government establishment.
H2: Treat and intimidation positively affect the quality of auditors work in government establishment.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Where audit principles and procedures are carried out in government organizations the following benefits are derived of which these work will be beneficial to the following people and establishments:
Government good audit work will prevent, expose fraud, errors and irregularities in government establishment. Auditors: will benefit by knowing the challenges facing them in their audit work and thereafter the prospects. Banks; will also benefit because it will give them insight on how to handle audit work successfully. Students and researchers will benefit by gaining knowledge on the audit challenges to banks and the prospects.
1.7 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This project would cover arrears such as audit principle(s) and procedures giving as in depth analysis on how audit work is carried out in government organizations.
Attempts have been made by the researcher to discuss in depth the various short comings behind this operational framework of auditing in government organization and also self-investigation carried out.
Part of the constraint encountered by the researcher and limitations are as follows.
Cost of carrying out the research
Short duration of time limit dedicated on the project
Distance and financial constraint.
Restriction placed upon by some organization to have access to some vital documents.
Secrecy maintained by some government officials by not revealing certain information which they term as “Keep government secrets secret”.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Fraud: Is a mis-presentation of data with the intention to theft which is dishonest act involving the theft of assets and the falsification of accounting records and financial statements (Akpankpan, 2000.126)
Embezzlement: The fraudulent appropriation of property lawfully in one’s custody, (Kohther, 1970:173)
Auditing or Audit: Is concerned with an independent examination of financial statements and accounting records by an independent certified or chartered accountant and expression of an opinion by the public accountant on the financial statements of an organization stating whether the finance; al statements present fairly by the financial position of the firm concerning the period covered by the financial statement.
Auditor: An auditor is the qualified accountant who is professionally licensed to audit or examine financial statements or report of business or non-business organizations.
Government organization: A government or state agency, often an appointed commission, is a permanent or semi-permanent organization in the machinery of government that is responsible for the oversight and administration of specific functions, such as an intelligence agency. There is a notable variety of agency types.