Church, like any other organization needs to keep adequate accounting records in order to report its financial dealings to its reader. This study focuses on accountability in Nigeria churches, relevant data was collected from respondents using very well prepared questionnaires and oral interviews and analyzed by the means of simple percentages. It was found that churches do not maintain any known accounting system and do not use those knowledgeable in accounting for its records. It is then concluded that mismanagement in churches and records which allows lack of accountability. It is our recommendation that churches should employ proper formal accounting and use persons capable of keeping accounting records in their organizations.


Title page

Approval page                                                        ii

Dedication                                                             iii

Acknowledgment                                                    iv

Abstract                                                                v

Table of contents                                                    vi

Chapter one

  1. Introduction                                                    1
    1. Background of the study                                   2
    2. Statement of the problem                                 5
    3. Objectives of the study                                     6
    4. Research questions                                          6
    5. Significance of the study                                   7
    6. Scope of the study                                           8
    7. Limitation of the study                                     8
    8. Definition of terms                                           9

Chapter two

2.0 Literature review                                               12

2.1 Introductions                                             12

References                                                      14

Chapter three

Design and methodology                                         32

3.1 Introduction                                              32

3.2 Research design                                                32

3.3 Sources/method of data collection                33

3.4 Population and sample size                          34

3.5 Sample techniques                                     35

3.6 Validity and reliability of measuring instrument 35

3.7 Method of data analysis                               36

Chapter four

  • Presentation and analysis of data                42
    • Introduction                                             42
    • Presentation of data                                         42
    • Analysis of data                                        41
    • Interpretation of result(s)                          50

Chapter five

  • Summary, conclusion and recommendations 54
    • Summary                                                54
    • Conclusion                                               56
    • Recommendations                                    57

References                                                     58




As a matter of fact, accounting is not very new in the history of men. Anywhere and whenever economic activities have progressed beyond the most elementary conditions of service and production, the accounts system have appeared. As far back as 4500BC, accounts system have been found, hence Greek, Romans, Egyptians, early European and medieval accounting records are in existence. In fact man have used accounting recording at any stage of his development according to their needs.

Accounting environment has undergone vast changes on the past and an accelerating rate of change is in prospect for the future. As at today what is been accepted as accounting would have been recognized as such fifty years ago, as such, one may safely predict that in fifty or more years time, the subject will bear little resemblance to what it is today. Accounting from the view point of American Accounting Association (AAA, 1996) they defined it thus: “is the process of identifying, measuring and communicating economic information to permit informed judgment and decision by the users of information”. Well according to the Bible, “church” is defined as “the body,” which Christ is the head. Therefore, church is assembly of citizens that acknowledge Jesus Christ as their supreme ruler. Church as an organization possessed the characteristics of non-profit making.

According to B.N Okezie, FCA (2000) Defined non-profit making organization as those that possess following characteristics:

“Non-profit making organization thereby non-trading and non service rendered except to their members and having their major source of funding through subscription from such members.


The primary objective of the churches, though non-profit maximization but this churches realized revenue as they meet for fellowship through tithes, offering, donations, persuasions etc, this revenue as a matter of facts, have to be properly accounted for, hence the members may wish to know if this revenue are properly utilized by the management. On this note, there is that need for accountability by the management hence nature demands that any one who is given work to perform must be accountable to it. According to Kohe’s Dictionary for accountants, 6th edition, he defined accountability as ‘the obligation of an employee, agent, or other person to supply a satisfactory report after periodic of action or of failure to act following delegate authority”.

Accountability in this perspective is stewardship. As a matter of fact, stewardship accounting has its origin in the function which accounting serve from the earliest time in the history of our society. Essentially, accountability can not be achieved without involving orderly recording of the organization financial and non-financial transactions, and this agrees with the accounting term “fairness”. “Adequacy and propriety” in other words, the ability of financial statement to convey in ambiguous and adequate information.

The word stewardship have been considered so important that St. Luke Gospel chapter 16 verse 2, said “and he called him and said unto him, how is it that I hear this? Give an account of the steward for thou sayest be no longer steward”.

Therefore, if accountability and fairness is to be achieved in any organization which includes church as a focus of this research, there must be an adequate and constant accounting system.

At this point, we consider the word accounting system, according to Eric L Kohler, he defined accounting system as: “The classification of account, form, procedures and control by which assets, liabilities, revenues, expenses and the result of transactions generally are recorded and controlled”.

On this note, this research aim of examining the accountability in churches. To know when they have general accepted accounting principle different from the one used by profit making organizations.


This project work geared towards examining orderly recording of church accounts. Most of the churches encountered problems like the following:

mismanagement of fund

not adopting the required accounting system

Churches do not audit their accounts to know if their account is true and fair view.

Churches do not keep proper record of their assets.

Churches do not employ professional accountant instead they may use their secretary, treasurer and any other person to do the recording which is an abuse to the accounting profession. In a situation like this, accountability which is the watch word in an organization will see impossible and there by disunity and misunderstanding is inevitable.