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THE ROLE OF STATUTORY AUDITOR IN CONTROLLING FRAUD IN GOVERNMENT OWNED ESTABLISHMENT

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1   BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

This chapter is concerned with the introduction of the research work. It deals with the background of the study, statement of problems, purpose of the study scope of the study research questions significance of the study and definition of terms. It has said that the traditional role of financial accounting is to give account of stewardship to the owners of the business who was divorced from the management of the business. There is a need for accountability of money spent by various government statutory corporations, commissions, agencies, authorizations and al person entrusted in position of trust. The need for management and staffs of any government owned establishment to pilot the affairs of the organization effectively and efficiently when it comes to financial matters calls for appointment of a statutory auditor as stipulated by section 149 and 154 of companies act of 1968 and chartered accountant act of Nigeria of 1965 respectively.

Section 85(4) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria constitution 1999 also provides that corporations, commissions, authorities, agencies including all persons and bodies established by an act National assembly which the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu is among shall be checked, examined and auditor by the Federal Auditor- general periodically, section 125 (4) provides same for the state.  The statutory auditor performs independent examination of an organization, its records and financial statement as been prepared by the management and this form an independent opinion on the accuracy and correctness of the competent and honest, so if their opinion a financial statement of an organization show a true and fair view of its state of affairs for the period under review, the users of such account ought to have faith in them.

The statutory auditor is primarily concerned with the responsibility of examining the financial statement and report whether in their opinion, the financial statement. Have been properly prepared in accordance with the requirements; give a true and fair view; proper accounting records have been kept; proper returns adequate for their audit have been received from branches not visited; they obtain all the necessary information’s and explanations required for the purpose of the study (auditor); The information given in the director’s report is in constituencies with the annual account. However, the responsibilities of the auditor with regards to deletion/controlling of fraud, errors and other irregularities cannot be overemphasized.

The auditing standards and guidelines defined an audit as the independent examination of and expression of opinion on the financial statement of an enterprise by an appointed auditor in pursuance of that appointment and in compliance with any relevant statutory obligation. His irregularities are limited to designing and evaluating his work with a view to detecting those errors and irregularities which might impair the truth and fairness of the view given by the financial statement. However, most people regard the auditor as frauds and error detector or controller. This research work tends to look critically into the roles of a statutory auditor in controlling fraud in government owned establishment, having university of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu as a case study.

1.1     BACKGROUND HISTORY OF (UNTH) ENUGU

The University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital Enugu has come a long way. The hospital began early in 20th century as a standard general hospital for Africans, built by the colonial Administrators. It later metamorphosed into a general hospital on the attainment of Nigeria independence in the 1960s. However, at the end of the Nigeria civil war in 1970, the then government of East central state transformed it into a specialist Hospital with effect from July 1970. At this time, the hospital had a total of 50 doctors 350 nurses who were working in the hospital. As at that time, the hospital had a total of ten wards of three hundred beds and a chest bay of sixty beds. By decree number 23 of 1974, the federal Military Government took over the Hospital, but left the management in the hands of the council of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

The University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital became in dependent in July 1976 with the appointment of an autonomous management Board. The University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu has broad objectives of services, Teaching and research. The hospital aims at to achieve these through the following functions; provision of inpatient and outpatients services; provision of adequate uncial materials for research, provision for adequate materials for services and training as well as equipment for research, provision of teaching facilities for the training of medical students, residence doctors, student nurse, pupil pharmacists, laboratory technology students, physiotherapist, and radiographers as well as other persons in the health delivery team.

The hospital also conduct and promote research on all matters pertaining to health. The management board of the UNTH is the highest decision and policy making body of the hospital. The chief medical Director /chief Executive, the chairman medical Administrator constitute the top management in the day to day running of the hospital while the head of department and consultants constitute the middle management. Altogether, there are forty-one (41) main departments on the present site of UNTH, with three outpost comprehensive health centers at Obukpa near Nsukka, Enugu State, Abagana in Njikoka L.G.A. of Anambra State and Isuchi in Abia State.

The hospital has seven training school/programmes. These in clued the school of: Nursing, Midwifery, Medical laboratory Technology; Nurse anesthetists; Community health; post basic ophthalmic Nursing; Peri operative nursing etc. The physical constraint at the present site of the hospital has made it impossible for the needed expansion to be implemented. Moreover it was appreciated that the present site was developed and use as general hospital, it cannot cope with challenges of a teaching hospital, hence the approval of the construction of a new site (complex) for the teaching hospital at Ituku-Ozalla in Awgu L.G.A. of Enugu State. The new site of UNTH is nearing completion.

1.2     STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

The primary responsibility of a statutory auditor is to examine, check, audit etc, company’s accounting records and state in his opinion whether the financial statement shows a true and fair view of the state of affairs for the period under review, and also whether the enterprise kept proper accounting records, and in compliance with the relevant statutory requirements, whether the proper information and explanations necessary for the audit was received from the branches not visited by the auditor (5). A statutory auditor, who is a legally appointed auditor, appointed to audit the accounts of government owned establishment has a role to play as regard controlling of fraud. But the problem is, as the auditor is not primarily concerned with the responsibility of preparation of accounts, he is only concerned with reporting to the members his opinion based on his findings from the account been audited.

The problem is how will properly prepared account help in controlling fraud in government owned establishment. It is also of a true and fair view of financial statement in controlling fraud. It is also difficult to determine the extent in which an account prepared in compliance with the relevant statutory requirement will enhance fraud control in government owned institution. The extent in which independent of an auditor will aid in controlling fraud in government owned institution (establishment).      

1.3     OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

To ascertain to what extent properly prepared accounts help in controlling fraud in government owned establishment.

To determine to what extent truth and famines of the financial statement can help in controlling fraud.

To find out to what extent the independent of an auditor can help in controlling fraud.

To determine to what extent the account prepared in accordance/compliance with relevant statutory requirement can aid in fraud controlling.  

1.4     SCOPE OR DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY

The scope of this study is an the role of statutory auditor in controlling fraud.

The study is concerned with the impact of properly prepared financial statement and its compliance with the relevant statutory obligation can serve as a tool for controlling of fraud in government owned establishment.    

1.5     RESEARCH QUESTIONS

To what extent does the independent of an auditor helps in controlling fraud? How does compliance with any relevant statutory obligation helps in controlling frauds in government owned establishment? What is the role of properly prepared account as regards controlling of fraud? How does truth and fairness of the financial statement enhance fraud control in government owned establishment?  

1.6     SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

To provide basic information on how to improve in keeping of proper account in government owned institution. To provide suggestions on how to strengthen the independent of a statutory auditor To provide suggestion on how financial statement should be prepared to improve in its truth and fairness. To proffer the possible ways of improving the auditor’s manner of compliance with relevant statutory obligation when discharging his duty. To proffer the possible ways of improving the accountants in government owed establishment to have the ability of compliance to relevant accounting procedures when preparing the account.  

1.7     DEFINITION OF TERMS

For the purpose of this research, the following terms can be defined this:
Auditing- This is an act of checking or examination and expression of an opinion on the financial statement of an enterprise by an appointed person called auditor who in pursuance of that appointment complies with any relevant statutory obligation. Statutory or statute means law or legal.
Statutory auditor – Is a person legally required to examine the accounts of an enterprise.

Stewardship accounting- This is the process whereby the managers of a business accounts or report to the owned (shareholders) of the business

Statutory corporations – Is an business organization, institution, etc established by an act of national assembly.

Financial statement – is annual report and accounts which include profit and loss account (income and expenditure), balance sheet and other relevant statement e.g. cash flow, directors report etc.

Role – is a task or duty in an undertaking.

Fraud – is the use of trivial deception to obtain unjust or illegal advantage.
Government – is a body of person that makes and enforce law in a given state.

Establishment – is an organization for special purpose or a large institution or hotel, for example educational establishment, research establishment etc

Constitution – is the system of laws and basic principle that a state, country, an organization is governed by. Agencies-is a government department that provide services, for example News agency of Nigeria.

Auditor- general – is a professional accountant appointed by the chief executive a state with the approval from the national Assembly for the purpose of checking the accounts of government and its corporations, agencies commissions, etc.

Irregularity – is intentional distortion of financial statements of assets whether or not accompanied by distortion of the financial statement. 

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