Initially accountability of public funds did not receive very serious public notice of concern. The citizen did not have to worry to contribute to their governments, but with development of the scale and scope of governments, expenditures to finance those obligations consequently, the citizen we required to raise funds monthly or at intervals and as a result taxing too off officially.
This is the management of the public organizations funds were entrusted into the hands of some group of people who carry out the day to day running of the business of the organization. The shareholders who light not participate in the operation of the organization would need a third person (an auditor) to audit the submitted statement of account and check whether they show a true and fair view or not.
Audit has since its inception, received a lot of definitions and interpretations both from authors and auditing bodies. There is little or no need to say that it has suffered a lot of misinterpreted. Most of these misgiving interpretations see it as aimed at fraud and error detection De Paula, et at (1983:19).
But auditing essentially involves much more than that one of the most involved and most acceptable definition so far, in that issued by the consultative council of accountability Bodies, (CCAB), which sees audit as an independent examination of an expression of opinion of the financial statement of an enterprise by an appointed auditors in pursuance of that appointment and in compliance with any relevant statutory obligation (Howards, 1982:1).
Deductively, an audit is the objective scrutinization of someones work or presentation by a third part (an auditor) that is different from the users and prepares of the presentation. The general essence of an audit is to ascertain compliance of organizations records and operational polices of organization record and operational policies with certain prescribed standards (IBID, 1983:12). Further, it aims at increasing the usefulness acceptability and dependability of financial statements.
Accountability on the other hand as given by Webster Encyclopedia Dictionary of English is the state of been accountable, liable and responsible. The same dictionary goes for her to define accountable as liable to make good case of loss, responsible for a trust, liable to be called to account.
1.1 Statement Of The Problem
The increasing have of fraud and embezzlement of public funds and properties by offices in the public services has brought to limelight problems that are associated with accountability in the public service.
In this project, it is proposed that auditing will be help to enhance the much needed accountability to the public service.
1.2 Objectives Of Study
Based on these problems stated above, the purpose of this study can be stated as follows:
- To ascertain the role of audit in enhancing accountability
- To determine whether audit can actually make any difference to the deplorable state of accountability in the public service.
- To enable the employers of auditors have a good knowledge of what audit is all about and much to expect from audit. This is necessary because most of the employers do not see the audit job as aimed at confirming the preparation of financial statement in keeping with the statutory requirements, guiding the preparation and presentation of such statement, rather, the employers notice about the auditors is that of fraud detection which is from his primary function.
- To ascertain the problem independent auditors encounter in the discharge of their duties, the reason why accountability is yet to be achieved in the public companies or government parastatals.
- To plug the loopholes that have for some time now denied the public companies and parastatals the much needed accountability.
1.3 Significance Of The Study
The misconception of the functions of audit has no doubt ended in most minds, the confidence on auditors report and has depressed the creditability with which the audit profession was owned. The researcher has therefore taken to this study with that it will bring about the following:
- Restore peoples confidence and reliance on auditors report
- Emphasize on the need for government and top management compliance on auditors report.
- Bring back to full flame, the dividing image of the noble profession
- To reassure the employers of auditors on the indispensability of audit on the much towards the achievement of accountability in the public service
1.4 Scope Of Study
The study focuses on the public organization their accountability and the role auditing play in enhance it.
In the execution of this, the researcher has aimed at exploiting all revenues all avenues in order to convince the misinformed minds as to the accountability of public organizations with regards to auditing, I would not to venture into the use of computer for the attainment of this convenience and financial constraints.
Hence, the research selected and studied few of the departments in the public organization. The researcher also had direct contact with the strategic, tactical and functional or operational levels of management. Any information gotten from these people would be assumed to be a good representative of the entire department in the public organizations. The limitations of this study are financial constraints and limited time.
1.5 Assumptions Of The Study
Over the year, business organization and government gave auditing title or no attention because the properties took active part in management of their small business transactions. But, as business transactions increase and investment in limited liability companies came into existences, whereby shareholders are not managers. To account for shareholders became necessary and to ascertain the correction of the accounts by the shareholders and independent body (an auditor) is employed to look into the account presented by managers.
1.6 Definitions Of Terms
Audit: This is the independent examinations of an expression opinion, of the financial statements of enterprise of appointed auditors in pursuance of that appointment and in compliance with any relevant statutory obligation.
Audit Report: It is a written report of an audit no matter which an opinion is sought within the terms of an auditors appointment.
Internal Audit: It is an independent appraisal function within an organization to examine, evaluate and report on the adequacy of accounting and other controls of resources of the operations of the organization.
Audit Evidence: It is all the relevance and reliable information obtained and recorded by auditor which is sufficient to enable him, in arriving at conclusions on which he has based his independent opinion on the financial statement being audited.
External Audit: This is an audit or accounting entity carried out by an auditor, who is not employed by that entity or by its managers and is as far as possible independent of the management of the public organization.
Accountability: It is the state or condition of being accountable for an execution of duties.