The Impact of Information Technology on the Accountancy Profession in Nigeria THE IMPACT OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ON THE ACCOUNTING PROFESSION IN NIGERIA By: Idongesit Efiong Utah
This research focuses on assessing the impact of information technology on the Nigerian Accounting profession by examining four areas: Impact on the public and private sector, the challenges and reaction to the challenges posed by information technological innovation and information technologies enhancing effect on the Accounting profession. INTRODUCTION
It is evident that we are in information driven age where information technology is a driving tool in the public and private sectors. The replacement of mainframe computers with personal computers which were affordable to most users has ushered us into an era of proliferation of information, speed of assess to and ability to disseminate information. The information technology revolution has brought about a drastic change in the business environment, its structure and the business process. Information technology has become a strategic tool that drives the strategic initiatives of organizations and businesses. Manual processes have been replaced with automated processes, routine bookkeeping and recording of financial information is being done electronically, and the ease and speed of transacting business has greatly increases. The accountant as a major player in the public and private sectors cannot afford to be left out. To function properly and competently the accountant must take the changes brought about by information technology in stride, the accounting professional must be proficient in the use of modern information technology tools in order to remain relevant , solve business problems and provide value added services to his clients in the public and private sectors. In this paper we seek to assess the impact of information technology on the Nigerian Accounting Environment. Has the impact been positive? What is the effect of the impact? What are the existing challenges and what is being done in view of addressing the challenges posed by information technology on the accounting profession in Nigeria? To adequately assess the impact of Information technology on the Nigerian accounting Environment the paper has been broken down into five sections. Section 1: The impact of information technology on public and private sectors. Section II: The information Technology challenge on the Accounting Profession. Section III: The professions reaction to the Information Technology Challenge. Section IV: The Enhancing effect of information technology on the practice of accounting. Section V: Conclusion I. IMPACT OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ON THE PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SECTORS The organizations in the public and private sector form a core of the accountants working environment. The accounting professional functions either as an employee in these organizations or as an external consultant rendering services to them. Information technology and the resulting information systems have had a tremendous effect on organizations. Information systems are becoming powerful instruments for making organizations more competitive and efficient. Information technology is being used to redesign and reshape organizations, transform their structures, scope of operations, reporting and control mechanism, work practices, workflows products and services. (Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria [ICAN],2006) The organized private sector is at the forefront of the use of technological innovations to improve its service delivery. Considering he fact that they are profit oriented they must constantly improve on efficiency and effectiveness in order to be able to survive the increasingly stiff competition. Though the public sector has been less responsive to the innovations of information technology, it has also been impacted. To examine the effect of information technology on both sectors we shall consider some...
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