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This research work is aimed at evaluating the role of independent auditors in ensuring public accountability in Enugu State with particular reference to some selected audit firms and state ministries in Enugu metropolis, this work examined the following: The role of independent auditor on public account ability in Enugu State. The problems and challenges faced by the independent auditors in ensuring public accountability in Enugu State. Data for the study was sourced from two main sources which include Primary and Secondary sources of data collection. Primary data: Questionnaires and oral interviews were used to collect information from the respondents. Secondary data: Journals, magazine and other relevant materials relating to the area of my investigation will be review. Extensive literature review was carried out on direct literature and indirect literature on books, journals and past works. The research instrument used in this study includes oral interview and questionnaire. The questionnaire is structural as to contain both close and open ended question. Simple tables, pie-charts and percentages were used in treatment of data while chi-square was used in the research work. The researcher found out that independent auditor has significant role to play in the development of Enugu State Ministries. Based on the findings I recommend that Client should allow the auditors to exercise his independent, free from bias and compromise in the discharge of his duties. All government establishments should as a matter of urgency embark on yearly auditing of their books and records and fraud early.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In an economy where resources abound, funds are being disbursed for the government to effectively carry out its assignments. Since a lot of public funds are being disbursed for government assignment it calls for accounting that is of the receipts and disbursements of these funds. The accountants in these units perform these assignments by preparing the profit and loss accounts and also balance sheet showing the state of affairs of the years in reviews. It is important to note that inspite of the accountant and the internal auditors (who serves as the custodian of financial resources and watch-dog respectively). There are still reports of large scale fraud in most of there government unit. The organization had to be addressed and it also needs various attentions Again, it is the requirement of law that the financial activities of the state should be subjected to audit section 83 (2) of the 1989 constitution states that the public accounts of the federal and state government shall be audited by the auditor-General of any person authorized on his behave shall have access to all book records, return and other documents relating to his accounts. Also some of government institutions has public influence like government companies allowing interesting members of the public to own a share. Section 148 (2) of companies and Allied Matters Act of 190 states that a companies must be audited these people who has interests need to know about the operations of these companies through, the instance of audited reports. So, in the view of the above and also for the state government to maintain an effective financial base in the system. The role independent auditors in Enugu State cannot be over-emphasized the need for indigent bias free examination of the financial records books and accounts of Enugu State by an auditors is not only a matter of compliance with the law but also a means of protecting detecting and correcting of errors and frauds. An audit has been defined by many authors such as: According to Clive an Attwood 1999 auditing is an examination by the auditor of a balance sheet and profit and loss account prepared by other so as to be able to express his opinion that such a balance sheet and profit and loss account have been properly drawn up to show a true and fair view of the state of affair and of the particular concern and comply with the relevant states. According to Bigg (2001), an audit is an examination of the books, account and voucher of any business, as will enable the auditor to satisfy himself that the balance sheet is properly drawn up so as to the a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the business according to the best of his information and explanations given to him and as shown by the books and if not in what respects he is not satisfied. Sontochi (2001) defined audit as an examination and evaluation of the authenticity and therefore the reliability of an organization business documents and records it also involves making inquires to ascertain that financial statements on which the auditor is reporting and which have been prepared form the records display a true and fair view of state of affairs at the years end. The auditing standard and guideline define audit as the independent examination of the financial statement of any enterprise by an appointment auditor in pursuance of that appointment and in compliance with any relevant statement obligation from all these definition given above, an auditor is one whose job is to examine the records of a business in order to be able to give an opinion on the state of affairs of the business at a particular time. He may also examine the records of non-trading organization. Club sets for the same purpose. He may also perform specialized investigation work when asked to do so by proprietor of business or by court. It can be seen from the above definitions that the auditor is presented with the account and balance sheet himself, his role is to complete and audit work. In the course of his work, if the auditor notice any form of inefficiency and weakness in the working system he has to bring such matters to the notice of the client or his staff. Here, he is doing the sense that since as the auditor, it is his duty to advocate certain methods of working. But never the less, with his still and experience, the auditor can be most helpful to these by whom he is engaged but any accounting work he does must always be considered a part from the audit. Auditing of public funds entrusted to him. Auditing in that sense serves as deterrent to public officers and those in fiduciary.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEMS
In stating the problems, it is divided into two main problems:
Since this study loitered towards ascertaining the role of independent auditors in Enugu state, attempted to find out whether independent auditors roles affect the economy of the state in resent time.
1. The problem of liabilities, remuneration and removal of independent auditors.
2. The problem encounter by the auditors, in the course of their audit work.
3. The duties, rights and powers of the auditors.
4. The ascertainment of history and development of audit.
5. The problem of quality consideration in the appointment of auditors.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The aim of this research work is to evaluate the role of independent auditors in ensuring public accountability in Enugu State with particular reference to some selected audit firms and state ministries in Enugu metropolis, the specific of objective of this project work includes:
1. To determine the role of independent auditors in the development of Enugu State ministries.
2. To determine the role of independent auditor on public account ability in Enugu State.
3. To examine the problems and challenges faced by the independent auditors in ensuring public accountability in Enugu State.
4. To proffer solution to the problems identified.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION
The following research questions were formulated by the researcher:
1. Do independent auditors have any role to play in the development of Enugu state ministries?2. What are the roles of independent auditor on public accountability in Enugu state?
3. What are the problems encountered by independents? auditors in ensuring public accountability in Enugu state?
4. Does independents auditors contributes to public sector accountability in Enugu state?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
For the research to carry out extensive study on the role of independent auditors in ensuring public accountability in Enugu state the following research hypothesis where formulated:
H0: Independent auditors do not have any role to play in the development of Enugu state ministries.
H1: Independent auditors does significant role to play in the development of Enugu state ministries.
H0: Independent auditors do not contribute to public accountability in Enugu State.
H1: Independent auditors contribute to public accountability in Enugu State.
H0: There are so many challenges faced by independent auditors in ensuring public accountability in Enugu State.
H1: There is no many challenges faced by independent auditors in ensuring public accountability in Enugu State.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study is expected to be useful to the Enugu State Government if they will utilize and apply the recommendation in the study so as to check adverse influence on the economy. Again, since the project work would be kept in the library, there is that accessibility to the members of the public it is so in the sense that they can now read and also know the basis difference between accountant and the independent auditors. It will also help the research students both from this school and others. It is also pertinent to note that the recommendation in this work will help to solve some of problem encountered by the auditors.
1.7 SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
Since independent auditors are found all over the state and the researcher was not able to cover the whole state due to its fertility, she limited her work on some selected audit firms in Enugu state. Due to the face that all independent auditors practice as stipulated by law, the chosen audit firms represent other firms. Also some selected states ministries were chosen in other to appraise the effect and impact on the role of independent auditor in Enugu state.
Lack of adequate fund: Due to recent transport fare increase and with about eight audit firms and four state ministries as case study, the researcher was unable to finance the travel to other organizations as and when due so she had to trek a times to these place for information gathering.
Lack of information: Due to the attitude of some ministries officials and independent auditors the researcher was unable to elaborate more on the research. They do not give all that is required because of the secrecy provision they have.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Auditing: It is the act of examine the book, accounts and vouchers of a business so as to enable the auditors to satisfy himself that the balance sheet is properly drawn up in other to given a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the business and also whether the profit and loss account thus a true profit and loss for the financial fear according to the best of his information and the explanation given to him as shown by the books and if not in what respects she is not satisfied.
Auditor: An auditor is one who carries out the independent examination and expresses her opinion on the financial statement of an enterprise in compliance with the relevant statutory obligation and auditing standard and guideline.