This research work is titled “The role of Accounting in the control of public expenditure” the incessant incident of budget deficit, misappropriation and embezzlement of project fund due to lack of good accounting system constitute the problems that necessitated this research. The main objectives are: To ascertain whether adequate budgeting can regulate public expenditure, to ascertain whether a good accounting system can ensure transparency and accounting in execution in public expenditure and evaluate standard of costing impact on the control of public expenditure. Data for this work was obtained using questionnaire. The z test formular was used to test the hypotheses, the sample size is (50) fifty, this actual sample size was used because the size was not large. Some of the findings were that: public revenue and expenditure constitute an integral aspect of government budget and that the execution of public project by government entails incurring public expenditure. Recommendations made were that: Adequate government budget can regulate public expenditure, and an efficient and effective accounting system can ensure transparency and accountability during public expenditure execution. Recommendations proffered were: government should seek for the services of professional accountant during budget preparation. Government and other public institution should instill good accounting and internal control system to check embezzlement
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Public expenditure is the spending made by the government of a country on the collective needs and wants of her citizenries such as spending on; the provision of infrastructures, pension provision etc. Until the 19th century, Public expenditure was limited as Laissez faire philosophies which believed that money left in private could bring better returns. In the 20th Century John Maynard Keyness argued the role of Public Expenditure in determining levels of income and distribution in the economy. Since then government expenditures has shown an increasing trend. In the 17th and the 18th Century Public Expenditure was considered as wastage of money. Thinkers are of the view that Government should stay with their traditional functions of spending on defense and maintaining law and other.
Public Expenditures are incurred through budget implementation. The macro-economic goals of the state budget are administered in specific and complex systems which were developed in the managerial information unit of the General Accounting department under the name of “Budget Implementation macro system” The role of accounting in the control of public expenditures relates mostly on setting of standards via budgeting and ensuring that the standard set are adhered to. The accounting controls also ensure the actualization of the macro-economic goals which are viz:
- Maintaining the total framework of the planned expenses.
- Adjustment of expenditure rate to the rate of the reception of incomes.
- Regular follow-up of compliance with deficit goals.
- Planning of the financing of the deficit in order to reduce the national debt-product
In Nigeria, public enterprises are engaged in a wide spectrum of economic activities including agriculture, mining, construction, manufacturing commerce and services. The classification of public enterprises in Nigeria has been made according to varieties of criteria by different authorities. The Public Service review commission (1975:101) classified public sector into:
- Public Utilities
- Regulatory of Service body
- Financial Institutions
- Commercial and Industrial Enterprises.
Nigeria being a mixed enterprises. Eze (2013) opined that a firm is classified as private enterprises when it is funded, owned and managed by an individual or group of individuals.
These firms are expected to be registered in the state within which they operate. The activities of the public enterprises have been on the increase in recent times which necessitated the introduction of the accounting to check and monitor the financial activities of these enterprises.
According to Onyekwelu (2010:2) Accounting is defined as the process by which data relating to the economic activities of an organization are measured, recorded and communicated to interested parties for making informed decision. The earliest methods of accounting records were kept in physical quantities. These records came from Eastern early civilization which involved countries around the Mediterranean sea such as Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece Italy etc. Money was recorded as soon as it was received. Money took the place of barter as a medium of exchange and unit of account. This practice has been closely related to economic development of countries. If the operation of Public enterprise grow in size and complexity, management and other stakeholders will like to be informed on the enterprise’s operation. Accounting is the only means via which such information which are financial in nature can be communicated to the stakeholders.
The role of accounting in enterprises in Nigeria is primary to ensure accurate accountability in these sectors and true and fair financial position of the enterprise. This role is of utmost importance in any organization. An organization can only grow or profit when the resources at its disposal are well managed. The role of accounting seems to be more pronounced public enterprises. In recent times, there are cases of mis-appropriation of funds in the public enterprises and improper accountability. These factors have led to a lot of public enterprises into oblivion, if the government had recognized the role of accounting all most of the problems witnessed would not have occurred. No Enterprise can move forward without having a well-organized and functional account department which will provide accurate financial information for the Enterprise and other interest group(s).
In summary, the role of accounting in the control of public expenditure deals with the process of setting cost standards and ensuring that the standard set are maintained, However, if the already set standards appear to be in realistic such standard can be reviewed and adjusted for it to be more realistic. Control of public expenditure can be done through adequate budget implementation.