CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Accounting ethics has a very important role to play moulding and enhancing the students performance in tertiary institutions in Nigeria. As a measurement of reporting student performance, ethics tends to examine, analyses and evaluate students behavior and give detailed important about different students performance. (Akpekon, 2017). The task of accounting ethics therefore is to examine students performance in relation to the accounting ethics principles as to see whether students behaviour conforms with lay down rules, principles or norms.
The American Accounting Association (AAA 1986) states that the function of accounting is to provide qualitative information, primarily financial in nature, about economic entities that is intended to be useful in economic decisions. This information is provided by accounting ethics which influence students performance in any society. The need for accounting therefore arose in response to the desire to make judicious use of scarce resources, accumulate wealth and produce high quality of goods and services in a competitive economy. To perform these roles, accountants are needed both in number and in quality and this is a function of the level of accounting education available (Armstrong, 2010).
An appropriate level of accounting must embrace the development of the character of the aspiring accountant in such a manner as to engender in him or her a strong moral code; a sense of discretion; an almost total commitment to the confidentiality of information or data established as a result of work carried out; an enquiry and analytical mind consistent with providing clients with high standards of professional services; an ability to assess data and situations and to prepare reports in such a way as to impress upon users of accounting services that their problems have been addressed in ways consistent with the highest ideals of a true professional, a sense of dress and carriage designed to develop a confidence in the competence and probity of the practitioners within the profession (Kimmel,1995; Maher,2000;Ravenscroft & Williams, 2003).
Recently, there have been growing criticisms against the accountants in public and business on questionable acts. Users of the services of accountants want to receive efficient and reliable service from such accountant who they regard as experts. In consulting, a set of accounts users want to be sure that the accounts convey a true and fair view of the financial position of a company, in other words, they are concerned about competence and standards. Investors in Nigeria have lost several billions of dollars through the collusion of accountants and external auditors with companies’ management and directors to falsify and deliberately overstate companies’ accounts Bakre (2007).
Accounting education in a in tertiary institutions incorporates a package of instructional programmes designed to educate “would be” accountants, to make them versatile and adaptable to any of the numerous roles they may be called upon to play after graduation (Anao, 2009). Such education, among other things, seeks to develop concepts, rules, skills, procedures, theories and general knowledge for solving accounting problems (Andersone, 1985). It emphasizes the ability to differentiate and integrate alternative problem solving perspectives, the ability to identify accounting related information resources, the ability to structure solutions to problems and develop communication skills as well as the ability to analyze, and interpret problem situations and figure out lasting solutions (Baker et, al, 1995).
To ensure good professional discipline, the Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria (ICAN) has adequate ground rules as to what constitutes professional misconduct. The institute has an investigation panel to enquire into cases of alleged professional misconduct. But where there is conflict between ethical guidance and the foreign one, the local ethical guidance takes precedence. Ethical offences attract penalties which range from reprimands to expulsion from membership. Members are at liberty to seek clarification on ethical issues from the institute. Members in practice are required to comply with local laws and should adhere to the ethical guidance. Compliance with ethical guidance does not of itself constitute misconduct, but in answer to a complaint, members may be called upon to justify any department from the guidance. Ethical standards if strictly adhered to, become internalized and reflect extensively in professional assignments (Nwanyanwu, 2010).
Accounting is a profession that rests heavily on the need to exhibit a high sense of accountability and stewardship, hence the emphasis that all members be guided by professional code of conduct (Nwagboso, 2008). From the foregoing therefore, the study examines accounting ethics and students performance in Nigeria tertiary institution.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEMS
The training and production of accountants in Nigeria is anchored by both academic institutions and professional accounting bodies. Thus, a clear distinction exists between the professional mode and the academic mode of education, training and professionalization of Nigerian accountants. A professional accounting body, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales pioneered the development of the profession in the country even before independence in 1960. Though the training of the pioneer indigenous accountants was handled locally by the Nigerian affiliates of foreign accounting firms, the examination and certification was carried out by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales.
Even though recognized professional accounting bodies in Nigeria, like ICAN and ANAN, are trying very hard to ensure best practice in the auditing profession via the enforcement of professional code of conduct for their members, the strict observance of such codes is still questionable. This study examines accounting ethics and student performance in Nigeria. Since there is growing critism of accountants in public practice and their counterparts in private sectors then it is of significance to embark on a study such as this to further explore the relationship between accounting ethics and student performance in Nigeria.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main objective of the study is to examine accounting ethics and student performance in Nigeria tertiary institutions. The specific objectives are as follows:
iii. To find out whether accounting ethics improves student performance in tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
iii. How do accounting ethics improves students performance in tertiary Institution in Nigeria?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
The following hypotheses were formulated to guide the study:
HO1: There is no need for accounting ethics in tertiary Institution in Nigeria.
HO2: There is no relationship between accounting ethics and student performance in tertiary institution in Nigeria.
HO3: Accounting ethics do not improves student performance in tertiary institution in Nigeria.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Finding from the study will be of immense benefits in a number of ways and to different groups of persons.
For policy making, the expected result outcome shall serve as a useful guide for future policies as it relates to student performance in accounting.
For further studies, it will serve as a reservoir of knowledge for such academic exercises.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study could have covered accounting ethics and performance in Nigeria tertiary institution. The study limits scope to some selected tertiary institution in Port Harcourt metropolis, Rivers State which includes Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic, Port Harcourt polytechnic, Rumuola Port Harcourt.
1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The limitations encountered by the researcher of this work are given as follows:
The confidential nature of information in the institutions posed as a problem to this study.
The researcher was unable to reach all the members of the sample as a result of their frequent travels and busy schedule.
The sample used in the research though representative but it is relatively small compared to the population, as a result of lack of financial with which to carry out the research on a greater sample.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Ethics:-Ethics is a moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong.
Accounting Ethics:-Accounting ethics is primarily a field of applied ethics and is part of business ethics and human ethics, the study of moral values and judgments as they apply to accountancy.
Performance:-A performance, in the performing arts, generally comprises an event in which a performer or group of performers present one or more works of art to an audience. Usually the performers participate in rehearsals beforehand. Afterwards audience members often applaud.
Tertiary Institutions:-The world bank, for example, defines tertiary institutions as including universities as well as institutions that teach specific capacities of higher learning such as colleges, technical training institutes, community colleges, nursing schools, research laboratories, center of excellence, and distance learning centers.