1.1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The emerging global economic scenario characterized by advancement in information technology, rapid changes in production processes, increased sophistry of the consumer, fierce market competition and unethical skimming activities of producers in the drive to survive the unpredictable and complex business dynamics, has brought to the fore the crucial role of accounting information in economic and business discourse especially in relation to administrative effectiveness (Curtis, 1995).
As we all know, accounting speaks the language of business as it records all transactions of an individual firm or other bodies that can be expressed in monetary terms. Predicated on the going concept, accounting is the scheme and art of collecting, classifying, summarizing and communicating data of financial nature required to make economic decisions.
Over several numbers of years the performance of accounting has increased right from the single entry system to double entry system. The main aim of the accounting system is to provide financial data like purchase, sales, expenses and income of the organization but in today’s modern world accounts maintenance is helpful in many ways. Previously accounts are maintain to know profit or loss of the organization but now a days it is also useful for increasing profitability of the organization by way of accounting information system. Businesses include transactions which produce information for better analysis of business performance and accounting information system is a delivery system for accounting.
Accounting Information Systems (AIS) are tools which, when incorporated into the field of Information and Technology systems (IT), were designed to help in the management and control of topics related to firms’ economic-financial area. But the stunning advance in technology has opened up the possibility of generating and using accounting information from a strategic viewpoint.
Accounting information systems as a part of company’s information systems (IS) are seen as facilitating decision making within organizations and should be tailored to an organization’s environment, requirements of task, and structure. An accounting information system is a structure that a business uses to collect, store, manage, process, retrieve and report its financial data so that it can be used by accountants, consultants, business analysts, managers, chief financial officers(CFOs), auditors and regulatory and tax agencies.
In addition, specially trained accountants work with accounting information system to ensure the highest level of accuracy in a company's financial transactions and recordkeeping and to make financial data easily available to those who legitimately need access to it, all while keeping data intact and secure, this indirectly boost the productivity and performance of the organisation.
Furthermore, Management of various organizations in Nigeria relies heavily on information generated from the accounting information system employed by the company. Moreover, quality reports are keys to arrive at an ideal investment, and a traditional way of recording, summarizing and reporting company financial reports led to less optimal decisions. Investment in good and reliable accounting systems has become a major concern for all managers as it leads to better management and analysis of firm’s performance.
Accounting information system is an ingredient in most, if not all, financial managerial decisions for various organisation. In developed economies, these decisions are worth billions of dollars each year. In some cases, the decisions are lacking in quality. Consequently, if researches can improve decision making through improved information, society will benefit.
The Accounting Information System is considered to be one of the most important systems of any organization. Its objective is to provide necessary information to the managers at different levels. This information helps them in discharging their responsibilities in an effective and efficient manner in the areas of planning, resource control, performance evaluation and decision making. Accounting Information Systems (AIS) are a tool which, when incorporated into the field of Information and Technology systems (IT), are designed to help in the management and control of topics related to organization’ economic-financial area. But the stunning advance in technology has opened up the possibility of generating and using accounting information from a strategic viewpoint.
Finally, the main purpose of accounting information system in any organization is to give information about profit or loss and financial position of the business to its owner. This information is also useful to investors, auditors, suppliers, buyers, bankers and other financial institutions etc. But more importance of accounting information is concern to the person within the organization. Since every decision involves a number of alternatives. Accounting information must help the user to decide his course of action.
1.2. STATEMENT OF THE GENERAL PROBLEM
Currently, the world and human life has been transformed from information age to a knowledge age (Curtis, 1995), and knowledge has been recognised as the most valuable asset. In fact, knowledge is not impersonal like money and does not reside in a book, a data bank or a software program (Choe, 1996). Choe believed that knowledge is always embodied in a person, taught and learned by a person, used or misused by a person. Accounting information is an unbiased tool for an effective administration. Poor accounting information jeopardizes administrative effectiveness, which makes managers malnourished administratively especially in Nigerian construction industry. The consequence of this has been the current distressed syndrome that Nigerian construction industries are facing. Huber (1999) stressed that companies must learn to manage their intellectual assets (i.e. knowledge) in order to survive and compete in the ‘knowledge society’. Indeed, knowledge management is concerned with the exploitation and development of the knowledge assets (Chang, 2001). It is on these premises that the study wishes to examine the effect of quality of accounting information on the organization performance with special reference to selected construction companies in Ibadan.
1.3. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major aim of the study is to examine the influence of accounting information system on companies’ performance. Other specific objectives of the study are;
1. To examine the need for an effective accounting information system in Nigerian companies.
2. To assess the level of accounting information system in Nigerian organizations.
3. To determine the relationship between accounting information system and organizational performance.
4. To assess how effective accounting information system is in achieving organizational effectiveness
5. To recommend ways of improving accounting information system, in business organizations.
1.4. RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What is the need for an effective accounting information system in Nigerian companies?
2. What is the level of accounting information system in Nigerian organizations?
3. What is the relationship between accounting information system and organizational performance?
4. How effective accounting information system is in achieveing organizational effectiveness?
5. What are the ways of improving accounting information system, in business organizations?
1.5. RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H0: There is no significant relationship between accounting information system and companies performance in Nigeria.
H1: There is a significant relationship between accounting information system and companies performance in Nigeria.
1.6. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
An accounting Information system is an orderly, efficient scheme for providing accurate financial information and controls. Regulatory requirements and internal administration policies are key considerations in the design of an effective accounting system. Thus accounting systems show the books, records, voucher, and files and related supporting data resulting from the application of the accounting process. It involves the design of documents and transactions flow through an organization.
The study is of key importance to the construction companies as well as other firms in the same sector in terms of determining the benefits accruing due to the integration of accounting information systems in their operations. This enabled constrcution industry in gauging the model in terms of enhancing organizational effectiveness. The study is useful to other researchers interested in the problem under investigation as the study has laid a platform on which further studies related to the subject can be undertaken.
This study will be of great significant to management of various organisations, companies, accountants, auditors, economist, financial analyst and other users of financial or accounting information, It will give them positive insight about the relevance of a Accounting Information System, it key features, advantages, types, it effect on organizational performance, productivity, and profitability, as well as enlightened the general public on the benefits of it application on the organization financial reporting.
The study would provide a theoretical basis about accounting information system successful adoption dimension to firms. It would provide practical guidance for accounting information systems implementation in small and medium business and it would also provide empirical and practical contributions for organization in effectively applying accounting information system in their operations.
Finally this study will be of great significance to schools and students, it will serve as a reference point for future researchers who will want to research more on the topic.
1.7. SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is restricted to the influence of accounting information system on companies’ performances using NAICON insurance company Lagos state.
1.8. LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
As with all studies, limitations exist and must be acknowledged.
The limitations of the study are as given below:
Inadequacy of required research Material: due to it complex structure, we were posed with problem of generating enough research material to fast track the completion.
Because the sample is chosen from the one state Of Nigeria. That’s why the findings and analysis is varying slightly in organization to organization.
Transportation constraints: this is also a limiting factor, as there are little or not enough money to transport to the case study location and this might not be enough to give us desired results.
1.9. DEFINITION OF TERMS
1. Accountant: An accountant is any person who possesses a professional license to practice accountancy from a recognized professional body and has legal capacity and authority to carryout the duties of accountants in taxation and audit practice.
A financial statement (or financial report) is a formal record of the financial activities of a business, person, or other entity. It also provide information regarding the position and performance of a business, such as its assets, liabilities, equity, income, expenses and cash flow.
3. Accounting Information Systems
Accounting Information Systems (AIS) are a tool which, when incorporated into the field of Information and Technology systems, are designed to help in the management and control of topics related to organization’ economic-financial area. But the stunning advance in technology has opened up the possibility of generating and using accounting information from a strategic viewpoint (El Louadi, 1998).
4. Accounting Software
Accounting software is an application that records and processes accounting transactions within functional modules such as accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, and trial balance. It is a part of the accounting information system.
5. Internal Controls
Internal controls encompass a set of rules, policies, and procedures an organization implements to provide reasonable assurance that; its financial reports are reliable, its operations are effective and efficient, and its activities comply with applicable laws and regulations.
Accounting is defined as the process of identifying, measuring and communicating economic information to permit informed judgments and decisions by the users of the information.
Profitability is referred to as the ability to make profits progressively over a long period of time. Profits itself has different meaning to the different people.. Profit is also sometimes taken as return accruing to shareholders.
Organizational effectiveness was succinctly defined by Daft (1983) as “the degree to which an organization realized its goals”. However, Mondy, (1990) defined it aptly as “the degree to which an organization produce the intended output”.
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