Analysis Of Financial Control System In Government Commercialized Enterprises

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Project and Seminar material for Public Administration


Abstract


This research work analyses the financial control system in government enterprises in Nigeria. The National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) Enugu was chosen as a case study.

The purpose of the study is to examine if there are financial control measures in NEPA Enugu, to see if these measures are adequate and in line with provisions of the regulations of the state and federal government, to determine if these measures are effectively applied and thus examine the implication of financial control NEPA Enugu.

Twenty workers in the accounts department of NEPA, Enugu both district and zonal offices were chosen as the respondents of the study.

Responses were collected from them with the use of questionnaire and oral interview were administered personally on them.

The researcher was able to ascertain from the study. That a good financial control system is in line with the regulations of the federal and state government. the adoption of this financial regulations serves as a guideline for workers which they have to comply. Also for the effective control on the movement of materials specific precautions are taken to ensure accountability.

It was also revealed from the research that an internal checking and auditing unit exist and the organization maintained two accounts in order to exercise control over cash.

It was ascertained that there were fewer cases of fraud in the enterprise and that financial control system of establishment have been able to stand the test of time having assisted in checking fraud, and misappropriation.
Finally the researcher made some recommendations which if adopted will enhance greater efficiency. Some of the key recommendations are that the financial control system of the organization should not revolve around a person, no matter how highly placed, otherwise in his absence there would be flows rather the financial control should revolve around procedures, processes and techniques.

Also the personnel management board of this organization should ensure that honest, well qualified and sincere workers with integrity are employed.

This is because it is a control weakness to very stick and advanced control mechanism manned by cheap and unqualified staff with a history of fraud and incompetence. Hence dishonest and negatively ingenious staff with dubious motive can beat any system no matter how right.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background Of The Study

Every organisation profit and non-profit making has objectives and goals to achieve. The goal of the profit making it to make optimal profit while that of the non-profit making organization is to satisfy the social needs of the society and in achievement of these purposes supervision and controls plays a dominant role.

The social needs, due to their absolute important in the welfare needs of the economic units of the society are provided by the government.

The government thus handles the provision of such goods and services as electricity, water, education, roads, communications, etc. in its different parastatals and ministries. But the size and scope of these organizations have sometimes made it possible for the execution of the exercise of personal and first hand supervision of operation.
It is in this light that financial control which coordinates methods and measures adopted within the business to safeguard assets, check accuracy and reliability of financial accounting data, promote operational efficiency and encourage adherence to prescribed management policies initiated.

“Controlling is the managerial function of measuring performance of activities of subordinates in order to ensure that enterprise objectives and plans are being accomplished”.

The controlling functions can be compared to the control process which include:

  1. Establishment of standard, which is done during planning.
  2. Measuring performance
  3. Comparing of performance against the standards ascertaining deviation if any.
  4. Correcting unfavourable deviation from standards.

This study however, deals with the financial control system as applied to NEPA, Enugu zone and district office.
NEPA being one of the social enterprise owned by government the provision of funds for their operation is the responsibility of the government. recent events in Nigeria shows that inefficiency in the performance of government organizations is not just financing but also mismanagement of funds.

In Nigeria authority for finance management in government palatals/ enterprise is denied from the constitution the finance (control and management) Act 1958, the audit Act 1956, Civil service reforms of 1988 and other activities having relevance to financial matters.

The financial regulations state the principles to be followed in respect of financial control over expenditure to avoid fraud, misappropriation, waste and embezzlement.

These rules and regulations apply in totality to government parastatals such as the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA).

Financial control therefore has been defined as the “method and procedures that are mainly concerned with the authorization of transactions the safeguarding of assets and the accuracy of record”.

This financial control, therefore depend much on the accounting system obtained in an organisation. “An accounting system is a set of records, procedures and equipment that routinely deals with the events affecting the financial performance and position of the organisation.

Considering the definition and the steps stated above, it becomes obvious that financial control is very important in any establishment whether government or private owned, this is due to the fact that the scope of financial control touches all activities of any establishment such as the method by which the top managemnt delegates authority and assigns responsibility to various levels of management for these controls to achieve their purpose, the aim and objectives of this organisation must be clearly defined.


1.2 Statement Of Problem

The duty of setting up an effective and efficient internal control system of financial control lies with the management. But despite the presence of these controls, some problems still persist in the organisation, which disrupt the attainment of the organisation objectives.

These problems includes:

  1. Misuse or lack of implementation of financial control.
  2. Inadequate accountability.
  3. Inadequate protection of company assets.

In an effect to investigate the effectiveness of financial control system in the operation of the enterprise one needs to understanding the nature of the organistion set-up to find out where the problem lies or comes from. This the following questions demand answers.

Are proper books of account kept with respect to:

  1. All sums of money received and expenditure by the company and matters in respect of which the receipt and expenditure take place.
  2. All sales and purchases of good by the compay.
  3. Does the internal audit department conform to its functions of:
  4. Enforcing compliance with laid down principles and procedures.
  5. Monitoring enforcement and compliance, ensuring that things are done, how and when they should be done.
  6. Making sure that the financial statement prepared by its is accurate and prepared with truth farmer so that the management can safely rely on them in making business decisions.

The above questions needs to be answered before the researcher can find out the impact of an effective financial control towards improving financial management.


1.3 Objectives Of Study

The objectives of this study are examine whether:

  1. There are any financial control measures in NEPA, Enugu.
  2. If this control measures are adequate and in line with the provisions of the financial regulations of the federal and state government
  3. If the financial control measures designed and installed in NEPA, Enugu are being operated effectively.
  4. To verify if the financial control are being operated at all levels of management and operational parastatals.
  5. To ascertain whether the absence of these control will affect the decisions making process of these enterprises e.g. NEPA.

1.4 Scope Or Delimitation Of The Study

The scope of this study will encompass the financial control measures in wage preparation, stores monetary receipt, payment and disbursement of cash expenditure control and budgeting controls.

The research will also study the:

  1. The internal accounting and financial policies procedures and regulations encompassing, recording, safeguarding, reconciliation and valuation of transactions of assets.
  2. Financial controls of internal checks, counter, checks and balances operating in NEPA, Enugu.
  3. Internal monitoring, review and audit.
  4. Internal planning and budgeting control system.

1.5 Research Questions

In the researchers effort to carryout this research, the following questions were asked in order to form the researchers guide for the study.

  1. What are the financial control measures in NEPA, Enugu?
  2. What are the executive capacities possessed by NEPA, Enugu?
  3. What are the provisions of the regulations of the federal government?
  4. Are the financial control measures done consciously or unconsciously?
  5. What aspect of financial control measures achieves the purpose of commercialization?
  6. Do these control measures have customer’s interest at heart?
  7. Does the government recognize the impact of financial control measures on commercialized enterprises and take BPE policies serious?
  8. Do the financial control measures have impact on the service investment of NEPA?

1.6 Significance Of Study

The significance of this research is to highlight on the inherent disability, limitation and non-compliance with financial or internal controls in government enterprises.

The research will provide a complement to the existing texts on financial accounting control, for professional accountants, graduates of accounting or finance and as a source of data for researcher.


1.7 Definition Of Terms

NEPA:

National Electric Power Authority

Financial Regulations:

Principles to be followed with respect to financial control to avoid fraud, misappropriation embezzlement and waste.

Financial Management:

Authority as derived from the constitution the finance Act 1956, civil service reforms of 1988.

Commercialization:

Reorganization of enterprises wholly or partly owned by the federal government in which such commercialized enterprises shall operate as profit making commercial ventures.

Organisation:

Combination of people or undivided efforts working together in pursuit of certain common purposes called organizational goals, in this case profit making

Enterprise:

Alternative name for a firm.

BPE:

Bureau of public enterprises.


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