History of Accounting

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Advancement of Accountancy Profession in Nigeria:
A Collaborative Effort of Practicing Accountants and the Academia

By

Abubakar Salisu
B. Sc, M.Sc, MBA, ACA, AMNIM
Lecturer, Department of Accounting, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

ABSTRACT
The Nigerian environment of accountancy profession has found it difficult to bring together accountants in the academics and in practice for the advancement of the profession. Whereas the accountants in practice are viewed as the real professional accountants; accountants in the academics are mostly considered as the providers of preliminary training to the would-be professional accountants. This paper looks into the present status of accountancy profession in Nigeria and the extent of harmony that exist between the accountants in practice and their counterparts in the academia. The paper also brings out the prospects of the profession in Nigeria when a collaboration of effort is employed by both parties. A conceptual approach and content analysis were used in order to bring to bare the extent of harmony that exist between the accountants in practice and in academics; and how collaborative effort can assist in advancing the accountancy profession in Nigeria. The discussions in the paper revealed that the accountants in the academia are not accorded the deserved recognition and their contributions to knowledge are mostly reduced to their literature contents only. It was also found that the practicing accountants are giving more superior roles in committees and boards set up for the purpose of advancing the accounting profession in Nigeria. It is recommended that the accountants in the academia should be giving the necessary incentives and recognition, which will ginger up their interest in carrying out more advanced researches in the field of accountancy. They should also be accorded appropriate representations and their researches used adequately.

INTRODUCTION
As an academic accountant, it is very funny to always hear students and the general public, when asked who is an accountant, saying “an accountant is a person that practice accounting or handles the financial records and prepare the financial statements of an organization”. This description, although true in its context, is very disgusting to us in the academics. We train the practicing accountants and in most cases possess the professional accounting qualifications in addition to our academic qualifications. In fact, we possess more qualitative and superior qualifications. Our acumen is more robust, detailed and current. Where we choose to be fully in the academics, our choice should not carve us from being referred to or described as accountants.

Most of the Nigerian universities and other higher institutions of learning that run accounting programs excel in the inculcation of qualitative and quantitative knowledge on diverse areas of accounting discipline. Many of the accounting departments of those institutions were established several years ago and maintain adequate standards in the teachings of accounting theory, techniques and practice. That is why majority of the institutions earned and maintain steady accreditations of the professional accounting bodies operating in Nigeria and recognized by law. The basis of practicing the accountancy profession is mostly provided by the accountants in the academics. The rudiments of the discipline are contained in the curriculum of all educational institutions that offer accounting course.

Accountants in practice represent the proportion of institution-trained accountants that obtain additional training from the recognized professional accounting bodies. These professional accounting bodies grant them recognition and licensed them to render accounting and financial services to the public. The bodies monitor and supervise them frequently to ensure strict adherence to the principles of best practice and ethical considerations.

In many circumstances, accountants...
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