What Are The Problems And Prospects Of Public Sector Accounting In Nigeria?

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There are two professional accountancy associations in Nigeria. These are the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria. Public sector accounting in Nigeria has both its problems and prospects. Problems have been caused by the competing nature of the two associations. Both the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAN) and the Association of National Accountants (ANAN) have fought for the control of the Chartered Accountants profession in Nigeria. This fighting caused standards to slip in the associations as the president of ANAN rejected an attempt made by ICAN to set auditing standards for its members. This rejection caused a delay in the organisation of fair and controlled standards of the accounting profession that finally came into light in June 2010. There have been many court cases taken out between the two associations that have caused standards to slip within the institutions and cost the country a lot of money. Both associations have been criticised for not providing enough training for their members.

Although the problems of public sector accounting in Nigeria seem to be very prominent, there are some good prospects of the associations within the country. The criticism of both institutions not providing enough training has lead to the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria to open its own training school for accountants. Since, the association has made further plans to build the leading accountancy campus in Africa in Jos, Plateau State. Although training is still occurring in temporary facilities, when finished the association claims it will make Jos the Mecca of the accountancy profession. Future prospects of public sector accounting in Nigeria include the ongoing attempt by the House of Representatives to replace the two competing professional accounting associations with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants of Nigeria. Introducing this merge is hoped to stop the associations fighting and competing and instead channelling the efforts into working together.

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