The following sample essay focuses on the impact of information technology on the accounting system in Nigeria. Read the introduction, body and conclusion of the essay, scroll down.
Effect of I. T on Accounting System in Nigeria 1. 0 Introduction Information Technologies significantly affect human as well as other animal species’ ability to control and adapt to their natural environments. The human species’ use of technology began with the conversion of natural resources into simple tools. Information technology (IT) has created significant benefits for various profession as well as deferent aspect of the world economy.
The application of the networks system has shortened the lead time needed by accountants to prepare and present financial information to management and stakeholders.
Not only has IT shortened the lead time required to present financial information, but has also improved the overall efficiency and accuracy of the information. Advances in Information Technology (IT) have transformed many firms in professional services industries, but perhaps none as much as those in the public accounting industry.
Once a slow-paced and conservative industry, public accounting underwent tremendous changes at the turn of the millennium, sparked largely by the rapid changes in its IT environment (Elliott 2000). Audit software and knowledge-sharing applications are two crucial components of these changes.
Automation of audit tasks and use of specialized audit software has substituted IT for labor and changed the structure of audit teams. Equally important is the use of advanced systems to share knowledge bases across different parts of the organization that has enabled professional services firms to leverage their human resources more effectively (Gogan et al.
1995). With rapid advances in IT, numerous articles have appeared in practitioner-oriented accounting journals that discuss how to invest in IT to keep up with the current technology (Smith 1997; Zarowin 1998).
The pace of change brought by new technologies has had a significant effect on the way people live, work, and play worldwide. Information technology, while an important area of study in its own right, is having a major impact across all curriculum areas. Easy worldwide communication provides access to a vast array of data, challenging assimilation and assessment skills. In keeping with their complex nature and multiple applications, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) may be viewed in different ways. The World
Bank defines ICTs as “the set of activities which facilitate by electronic means the processing, transmission and display of information” (Rodriguez and Wilson, 2000). ICTs “refers to technologies people use to share, distribute, gather information and to communicate through computers and computer networks” (ESCAP, 2000). ICTs can be described as a complex varied set of goods, applications and services used for producing, distributing, processing, transforming information- (including) telecoms, TV and radio broadcasting, hardware and software, computer services and electronic media” (Marcelle, 2000).
ICTs represent a cluster of associated technologies defined by their functional usage in information access and communication, of which one embodiment is the Internet. Hargittai (1999) defines the Internet technically and functionally as follows: “the Internet is a worldwide network of computers, but sociologically it is also important to consider it as a network of people using computers that make vast amounts of information available.
Accounting as a broad field that involves several subjects and where several theories and modern technological tools are being applied has experienced several changes from such aspects as theories, principles and conventions as well as in the aspect of technology. The modern world also change as a result of several factors such as education, technology etc. The changes in different aspect of the globe are traceable to the invention and application of technology. The extent to which technology affected organizations, the modern society and individuals has attracted considerable attention.
The computer installations are widely distributed in universities, government departments and agencies, banks, commercial establishments, and industries. It must be realized that the private sector has, however, risen to a position of dominance in the use of computers. 1. 1Background to the Study History of I. C. T in Nigeria In Nigeria, the ICT space is still a twin with a clearly fast-paced telecommunication sector and growing Information Technology section with respected reports often citing Nigeria’s Telecommunication market as one of the fastest growing globally.
The Nigeria telecommunication industry is now over 100 years old. But it was only in 1999 that National Policy on Telecommunication was launched. A national Policy on Information Technology followed in 2001. Along with the establishment of the National Information Technology development Agent under the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology (Data and Sesan 2003). Nigeria is also one the countries in Africa that has benefited from support from the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa in the area of National Information and Communication Infrastructure (NICI) policy.
Even though, the discussion on the need to harmonized the various aspect of the nation’s ICT space met with initial skepticism and is only now being discussed at the level of National consultative group that it set to deliver and an ICT for development spurred on by Nigerians’ participation in world summits on the information Society process which helped shed more on the need for Nigeria to benefit from the undeniable convergence that has brought Information Technology.
Telecommunication and content together for good. In a bid to establish it seriousness about ICT harmonization, the Federal Government set up a 26 man presidential task force. On the 22nd of August 2006, the task force was saddled with the responsibility of restructuring government institutions and organizations in the Telecommunication and Information Technology sector in Nigeria. It worth of note that till date, the nation’s telecommunication sector has shown leadership in the nation’s overall ICT role.
In December 2000, Nigeria had 450,000 connected fixed lines, no connected digital mobile line, one national carrier eight (18) operation Internet service providers, Nine (9) active licensed fixed-line operators, and one licensed mobile operator (Ndukwe 2005). In same period, Nigeria had 200,000 internet users (internet world Statistic, 2005). Even though many expert disagreed with the figures. The reasons for the disagreement is not far from the fact that there always multiple users form the public terminals in the popular cyber cafes that dot the entire landscape, especially in the major cities across the various regions of the country.
Private investments in the ICT also rose from an almost zero value to about four billion dollar ($4,000,000,000) between 1999 and 2003 (Ndukwe, 2005). Nigeria’s ICT space has improved significantly from 400,000 line in 1996 to over 14 million lines in 2005 owing to independent regulation through the Nigeria Communication Commission, private sector participation on broadened competition. 1. 2Statement of the Problem
Long ago, Accountants in Nigeria carried out there professional duty of recording and reporting financial statement undergo extraordinary task of paper work and filling of documents that is prone to misplacement, time consuming, human error in computation of figures and several other financial datum to mention but just few. The introduction of computer services has created its own problems which rage from the type of installation, the employment of qualified personnel to operate them, the cost of installation and maintenance and cost of software packages etc.
The act of manipulating company’s account in order to make the company performance appeals more favourable than it is actually are (window dressing or creative accounting) is in practiced. The Nigeria banking sector has recorded numerous numbers of financial irregularities a problem that the Nation in general still hunt for it solution. This research work therefore intends to investigate how and to what extent has information technology contribute to the numerous financial irregularities reported daily? To what extend has technology shift the application of accounting principle and conventions in terms of manual recording of transactions?
Is there any significant difference between the pre-era and the era of technology in accounting as a profession? To what extent has the making, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, programs, and systems contributed to the growth and development of accounting? 1. 3The Purpose of the Study The main purpose of this research work is to ascertain: i)The effect of the application of Information Technology on accounting profession in Nigeria. ii)The factors influencing changes in accounting system. iii)The likely effect of Information Technology on Accountant roles in the future. 1. Significant of the Study The main purpose of this research work is to contribute to the existing body of knowledge on the impact/ effect of Information Technology on Accounting System and Development in Nigeria. The study/ research work will no doubt benefit the following group i)The users of financial statements ii)The professional accountants iii)The undergraduate accounting students iv)Financial organizations 1. 5 Scope of the study In this work, among other researches that will be included, attention will be mainly on the following areas a)The traditional role of accounting and accountants )Methods of recording transaction c)Presentation and analysis financial information as well as interpretation. d) The importance and relevancies of the technological tools, machines, techniques, programs (software packages) in performing above functions. 1. 6Research Questions (1)To what extent does Information Technology affect the Accounting principles and conventions? (2)To what extent does application of Information Technology contribute to financial crimes reported on daily basis? 3)To what extent does Information Technology contribute to the reliability of accounting productivity? Operational Definition of Terms Computer: A computer can be defined as an electronic machine that can accept data as input, process it, store and produce result as an output or an information. Information Technology: Computer based information management systems allowing a financial institution to collect information from many different sources and develop a composite picture about its customers, its market position in different financial centres, and its net exposure in those markets.
Profession: A profession is a vocation founded upon specialized educational training, the purpose of which is to supply disinterested counsel and service to others, for a direct and definite compensation, wholly apart from expectation of other business gain. Accounting: Accounting is the process of recording; classifying, selecting, measuring, interpreting and commutation of financial data of an organization to enable users make assessments and decision. It is a discipline which comprises a set of theories and concepts for processing financial data.
Auditing: Auditing is an independent examination and investigation of the books of account and vouchers of a business with a view of enabling the auditors to report whether the balance sheet and profit and loss account are properly drawn up so as to show a true and fair view of the state of affairs and the profit or loss of the business according to the best of the information and explanation obtained by the auditor(s). Automated Teller Machine: Device used by bank customers to process account transactions. Typically, a user inserts into the ATM a special plastic card that is encoded with information on a magnetic strip.
The strip contains an identification code that is transmitted to the bank’s central computer by modem. Internet: a worldwide network of computers. Hardware: are component devices which are typically installed into or peripheral to a computer case to create a personal computer upon which system software is installed including a firmware interface such as a BIOS and an operating system which supports application software that performs the operator’s desired functions. Softcopy is the unprinted digital document file. This term is often contrasted with hard copy.
It can usually be viewed through an appropriate editing program, such as word processing programs, database programs, or presentation software, depending on the file type Input is the term denoting either an entrance or changes which are inserted into a system and which activate/modify a process. Output: Information obtained from computer e. g. line printer, visual display unit (VDU). Effect: The powerful impact that something (computer or non computer) has on another thing, say Accounting profession. Data: This unprocessed fact from which information is processed.
Financial Information: The information stating the amount (N) a transaction existing between a fir and its clients or customer at a given period of time. Sources of financial information are invoice, receipt, debit and credit notes, etc. Financial Statement: This statement showing the assets and liabilities and the financial position of a firm at the end of an accounting period. Window Dressing: The act of manipulating company’s account in order to make the company performance appeals more favourable than it is actually are. Reference: L. A. Ogunsola and W. A. Aboyad.