THE RELEVANCE OF AUDITING AND ASSURANCE SERVICE TO CORPORATE REPORTING IN NIGERIA
1.1 Background to the Study
Over the years, public organizations have experienced gross monetary loss due to error and fraud, lack of documentation of statement of accounts and the general misappropriation of fund. This occurs as a result of lack of auditor in the organization. Carratu (2005) opined that all organizations, whatever the size and its financial potential, can suffer enormous monetary losses so long as there is no proper investigation .and tracing of assets of the organization. Thus, the need for auditing in corporate reporting cannot be over emphasized.
Auditing is the examination of records and reports of a company in order to check that what is provided is relevant and accurate. That is to say, its assets and abilities are vigorously recorded in the balance sheet and all profit and losses are properly assessed. This assessment is done through two (2) methods. Firstly, by assessing internal control procedures and secondly by checking the consistence of’ items in the book.
Taylor (2010), adopting a historical approach, stated that the word audit is a Latin word known as “he hears” in which an auditor had the accounts read to him.This arose from a practice whereby the stewardship accounts were checked by anindependent body (auditor) by summoning those who had prepared and compiled these accounts, in an account to ensure accountability and a reliable statement of accounts.
Also, Howard (2005), considers an audit as an examination by an auditor of the evidence from which the final revenue accounts and balance sheets of’ an organization have been prepared, in order to ascertain that they present a true and fair view of the summarized transactions for the period under review and of the financial state of the organization at the end date, thus enabling the auditor to report thereon.
Audit is a conscientious and objective examination of, and inquiry into any statement of account relating to money or money worth, the underlying documents and physical assets where possible as will enable the auditor to form an opinion as to whether or not the statement of account present a true and fair view of whatever it purports to represent and to report accordingly. It is a review of a statement of account prepared by the appointed financial officer of an organization by some other independent persons (Okolo, 2005).
However, in modem sense, Woolf (2007), as supported by Oladipupo (2011), stated that audit refers to a process whereby the accounts of business entities are subjected to scrutiny in such detail as will enable the auditor to form anopinion as to their truth and fairness. Primary objective which is to ensure adequacy and reliability of financial information distributed to shareholders and other interested persons; and secondly, to assure that the external auditor(s) have performed an effective, efficient and independent reporting channel for the internal auditor department and to monitor implementation of recommendation form external and internal auditors.
In a nutshell, the relevance of auditing is to guide, direct and provide the company with the trend of development through corporate reporting, and to detect any form of weakness on the part of the company and its sundries office in the form of losses of any kind including fraud in any office so as to curb/eradicate losses to its barest minimum.
Globalization has meant that financial statements are increasingly used by foreign investors and analysts. Hence clear labeling of the particular accounting and auditing framework is essential. Consequently, auditing system should he uphold and practically carried out to enhance the corporate reporting of any corporate organization. It is against this background that the study seeks to examine the effect 6f auditing and assurance services on corporate reporting in Nigeria (a case study of First bank plc. Anyigba).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The problem of financial crimes has been endemic in the Nigerian economy to the detriment of the nation as a whole. This has been a major challenge to the economy since been hit by western civilization. The law enforcement agencies and professional bodies have battled this dilemma with little success. Financial crimes have been a menace not only to the Nigerian economy but to the global economy at large. This can be by the large scale corporate and public scandals of the 21st century involving reputable global companies like Enron, global crossing, Siemens, Halliburton etc. and government official holding reputable positions.
The rising spate of corruption in corporate organisations has assumed an enormous dimension. This development has eroded public trust in financial statements. Auditors in their duty to expressing professional opinion on the truth and fairness of financials are ostensibly bedeviled with quantum of challenges which could result in the issuance of a clean bill of health to corruption-riddled organizations. It is against this backdrop that this study intends to examine the effect of auditing and assurance services on corporate reporting in Nigeria.
1.3 Objectives of the study
The main objective of this study is to examine the effect of auditing and assurance services on corporate reporting in Nigeria. The specific objectives are to:
i). Determine the extent to which auditors are fulfilling their statutory responsibility.
ii). Determine the extent to which auditors are independent in the execution of their statutory responsibility.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions will guide this study:
i). towhat extent are auditors fulfilling their statutory responsibility?
ii). to what extent are the independence of auditors guaranteed by management?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
In order to achieve the objectives of this research work, the following hypotheses are to be tested:
1. Ho: Auditing has no significant effect on corporate reporting in First bank plc. Anyigba.
H: Auditing has significant effect on corporate reporting in First bank plc. Anyigba.
2. Ho: There is no significant difference in the enhancement of external auditors function and audit committee.
H: There is significant difference in the enhancement of external auditors function and audit committee.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The result or outcome of this research will be helpful in the following manner;
Amplify the need for auditing to corporate reporting in Nigeria.
Emphasize the need for individual firm and public enterprises to incorporate audit committee to corporate reporting in various enterprises.
Identify problems associated with auditing to corporate reporting in Nigeria.
Proffer solution to such arising problems.
Serve as yardstick for further research on evaluation of relevance of auditing to corporate reporting in Nigeria.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The scope of this study is on the effect of auditing and assurance services on corporate reporting in Nigeria. Since it is not practically possible to conduct a research on the entire corporate organizations in the country due to their geographical spreads, the study will be limited theto First bank plc. Anyigba.
1.8 Limitations of the Study
The study was subjected to certain inherent constraints such as:
i. Low co-operation from the respondent, this stem from the fear that the auditing framework of the company will be criticized when compared to other companies auditing system.
ii. Another constraint encountered was time. There was no sufficient time to carryout elaborate study as the researcher would have desired.
iii. There was also a dearth of recorded information on auditing framework.
In spite of the afore-mentioned limitations, efforts were made to reduce their effects to ensure that the results of the study are reliable and consistent with actual expectation
1.9 Definition of Terms
It is essential to define certain key concepts in this study to enhance effective communication and avoid ambiguity.
Audit: Is the examination of all relevant records and reports of a company in order to check that what is provided is relevant and accurate.
Auditor: This is the person who go through the entire relevant document, reports or/and records of company as prepared by the company’s accountant/account department to verify their liability, adequacy and accuracy of the reports prepared by the department.
Audit Committee: This is made up of group representatives of shareholders and management of equal proportion with the minimum of six (6), whose function is to review the annual audit report(s) prepared by the external auditor before submission to the board of directors.
Organization: This could be refers to as a company or group of people with similar interest working together in common to achieve certain goal(s).
Reporting: is the act of relating or interpreting the findings accumulated from the investigation of a given statement.
Internal Auditor: This is made up of the company employee whose area is to carry out the auditing of the company’s records, assets and liabilities over a given period.
Financial Statements: This is a set of account or report which summaries the financial position and operating result of a business consist of balance sheet, income statement, cash flow statement, notes on accounts.
Audit Report: Is the means by which the auditors express their opinion on the truth and fairness of a company’s financial statements to benefit principally the shareholders and also for other users.