1.1Background of the study
The return of Nigeria to democratic governance in 1999 has been accompanied by various reforms to facilitate transparency and accountability in the governance of government activities and to improve the quality of financial information produced in public financial reporting. The decision of the Federal Executive Council to adopt IPSAS (International Public Sector Accounting Standards) of the three levels of government of Nigeria by January 1, 2016 is an important initiative that should include reporting on financial reporting. in Nigeria, the public sector is improving. IPSAS has become the cornerstone of the global public accounting revolution in response to calls for greater fiscal accountability and greater government transparency (1). IPSAS addresses issues related to the preparation of general purpose financial statements for public sector enterprises that do not refer to SOEs. Barrett (2001) described accountability as a relationship based on the obligation to provide evidence, verification and accountability for the outcome, both in terms of the results achieved in terms of agreed expectations and in terms of the resources used. In other words, the government must be accountable when it conducts its activities in an open, transparent and engaging manner (John 2011).
IPSAS has two accounting bases: cash accounting and the provisioning basis. The accounting bases for accounting are practiced in the private sector, but the introduction of the New Public Management Initiative (NPM) has made it a program to improve financial management in the public sector (Lyfee, 1993). NPM is committed to applying private sector management approaches and techniques to the public sector.
The introduction of IPSAS, including accrual accounting, should serve a number of useful purposes, such as:
(1) improving the assessment of financial performance, as the financial statements reflect all paid and unpaid expenses and all revenues generated; (2) provide information on whether sources of revenue are sufficient to meet short and long-term commitments;
(3) Provide comprehensive information on expenditures that help to understand the impact of the policy on costs and allow comparison with other policies;
(4) determine the future viability of the programs, the liquidity situation and complete information on the government’s financial position or assets and liabilities at the end of the year; and
(5) Improve good governance (Benice, 2014).
However, the achievement of the above objectives is doubtful, as several attempts have been made in the past to improve the public sector accounting system in Nigeria. Among these attempts, the federal government’s efforts to standardize federal, state and local government degrees, where a committee had been created in 1984 to harmonize the presentation of diplomas in the public sector, were important. The Committee noted the differences in explanations and formats of presentation between the reports of federal, state and local authorities and recommended 16 statements adopted by the three levels of government. Key recommendations have been adopted and implemented, but standard reporting formats have not been adopted consistently (Fedric et al., 2005).
1.2 Problem statement
The purpose of government accounting is to determine how much money has been deposited and where it comes from, how much has been spent and for what purposes and what financial obligations have been incurred. Profit is not the objective, unlike the private sector, whose main purpose is profit and determines the profits of the enterprise over a given period. As a result, many factors influence the government’s accounting, for example: For example, the role of the government in various areas such as the armed forces, health and education, and policies mandated by the government to achieve its goals and goals. As a result, public accounting is interested in gathering information that will enable it to generate revenue and payment accounts (Ntowole, 2008). According to Smith (1999), although the operations and public accounts in Nigeria were conducted within the general framework of fund accounting rules, the absolute application of accounting principles is a major problem. Mckane (1999) proposed the use of accounting information as an additional control mechanism because of its impact on economic performance and corporate governance. Meelna (2003) estimated that the state budget and the contribution of public spending to gross domestic product are very high, especially in emerging economies. When considering the concepts and techniques used, there is a close link between the public and private sectors. In addition, emerging needs and the use of information technology in the public and private sectors have made public sector accounting an important part of accounting studies around the world. Jolena (2016) reported the impact of the level of corruption in Nigeria, that corrupt tendencies so pervaded the strata of Nigerian society that the young people who are supposed to be the leaders of tomorrow are being investigated and that Internet fraud, above all the Lagos State Commission.
1.3 Purpose of the study
The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of the International Public Sector Accounting Standard (IPSAS) on the Nigerian civil service, using the Lagos State Service as a case study. specifically, the study:
1. Identify the perceptions of Lagos officials on the implications of adopting IPSAS for public sector accounting in Nigeria
2. Examine the implications of the introduction of IPSAS on accountability in public sector public accounting in Nigeria
3. To note that there are differences of opinion between accounting staff, auditors and academics about the impact of the introduction of IPSAS on accountability in the Lagos Public Commission.
1.4 Significance of the study
The study aims to help the public sector take a comprehensive approach to accounting standards. The study will also be of interest to public universities, higher education institutions, research institutes and individual researchers interested in accounting standards and will use the results for further research. This study will encourage researchers to identify the effectiveness and efficiency of the sector. The research will help individual public companies understand their position relative to the standard of their financial report.
The study hypothesis is:
HO: there is no significant differences existin between the views of accounting personnel, auditors and academics regarding the effect of IPSAS adoption on accountability in lagos state civil service financial reporting.
Scope and Limitations of the Study
The study scope is limited to investigating the impact of international public sector accounting standard (IPSAS) in Nigeria public service in Lagos state civil service. Limitation faced by the research was limited time and financial constraint
Definition of Basic terminologies
Accountability: The obligation of an individual or organization to account for its activities, accept responsibility for them, and to disclose the results in a transparent manner. It also includes the responsibility for money or other entrusted property
Public sector: The part of national economy providing basic goods or services that are either not, or cannot be, provided by the private sector. It consists of national and local governments, their agencies, and their chartered bodies. The public sector is one of the largest sectors of any economy.
Organization:A social unit of people that is structured and managed to meet a need or to pursue collective goals. All organizations have a management structure that determines relationships between the different activities and the members, and subdivides and assigns roles, responsibilities, and authority to carry out different tasks. Organizations are open systems–they affect and are affected by their environment.
Performance: The accomplishment of a given task measured against preset known standards of accuracy, completeness, cost, and speed. In a contract, performance is deemed to be the fulfillment of an obligation, in a manner that releases the performer from all liabilities under the contract.
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