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Public Sector Accounting System in Nigeria: A Comparative Study of Cash-Basis and Accrual-Basis of Reporting

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  • Federal University Otuoke, Bayelsa , Nigeria

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The objective of this study is to investigate the accounting system that should be adopted in the Nigerian public sector for achieving the financial, public and growth objectives of the government. To achieve this purpose, research questions were raised, hypotheses were formulated and a critical review of extant literature was made. The population of the study consists of eighteen(18) state legislators and thirty-nine(39) Directors of Finance and Accounts of the chosen ministries and extra-ministerial departments. In order to generate the necessary data for this study, the survey method of research design was adopted in which a well structured questionnaire designed in five-point Likert-Scale was administered on the study population. The data generated for this study were analysed using mean scores while the stated hypotheses were statistically tested with Z-test. The findings generated from this study indicated that cash basis of accounting does not significantly promote effective financial reporting of public sector entities in Nigeria, since the z-test result shows that the computer z-value (1.0) is less than the critical z-value (1.96). Similarly, it was gathered in this study that accrual basis of accounting significantly promotes effective financial reporting of public sector entitles in Nigeria. In view of the above findings we recommended the adoption of accrual basis of accounting in public sector entitles in Nigeria.
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... However, literature review on existing public accounting revealed that cash accounting system provides essential information and it is simple, easier to understand, facilitate decision making, and much more objective than other alternatives (Ross, 2003). Nonetheless, the system is not planned to provide information on the cost of services, earned revenues, account receivables, account payable, long-term assets and liabilities, accrued interest on external debt and stock value (Akenbor and Oghoghomeh, 2011;Zakiah, 2007;Saleh, 2007;Jones and Pendlebury, 1984). To add, cash accounting system is not significantly effective in providing accounting information for efficient performance of public sector organization as indicated by Okoye and Oghoghameh (2011). ...
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