1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Many accounting techniques and methods are available for appraising projects. Such techniques include: the net present value (NPV), internal rate of return (IRR), accounting rate of return (ARR), the profitability index (PI). Many of the accounting techniques available for appraising projects is based upon a basic assumption of certainty as regards the ultimate outcome of an investment opportunity. This assumption of certainty makes such techniques unrealistic and therefore inadequate in appraising projects in the practical world of business.
Since conditions of certainty are not tenable, or are at best very rare, in the investment world, it becomes imperative to make an enquiry into the use of accounting techniques in appraising rival projects in the situations of uncertainty and risk. In the practical world, mangers of business often have to make decisions in situations of risk and uncertainty as regard which project to invest in or which project to reject. Such decisions, if necessary made, could result in heavy losses to the organization. In order to be able to make the best decisions in such situations, mangers should be aware of the various techniques which could be used in appraising the projects to determine their viability or otherwise. Managers should also be aware of which particular techniques to use in any particular given situation.
To a large extent, it is this need for managers to be able to make decisions when appraising projects in situation of risk and uncertainty that motivates this study into this particular topic.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Investors in the business world of risks and uncertainties are confronted with problems of selecting rival projects. This may be due to in adequacy of funds, limited managerial ability and mutual exclusiveness of some projects, investors, have to choose between two or more rival projects.
This research will also try to compare the performance of those businesses that use accounting techniques to appraise their projects in situation of risk and uncertainty with the performance of those businesses that do not use .
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The objectives of this study will include the following:-
- An evaluation of the various accounting methods and techniques
available for appraising projects in situations of risk and uncertainty.
- Ascertain the extent, if at all, company management use accounting
techniques when appraising their rival projects in situations of risk
iii. A comparative analysis of the performance of companies that use
accounting techniques in appraising their rival projects in situations
of risk and uncertainty with that of companies that do not.
1.4 Significance of the Study
Up to now, companies and organizations have tended to dwell so much on those accounting techniques which assume certainty as regards the outcomes of projects. However since situations of certainty are indeed very rare in the investment world, the significance of this study can hardly be over-stressed.
When completed, this study will help in highlighting to companies, those accounting techniques available for appraising projects in situations of risk and uncertainty in order to achieve higher returns and maximize the utility of the organization.
This study will also serve to highlight the highpoints and short-coming of these various techniques and also establish which methods would be best to use under given conditions.
Finally, this study will also be significant in the area of aiding other researchers and research scholars who may wish to carry out further research on the subject matter or on other related topics.
1.5 Research Questions
- What are the various accounting techniques available for appraising projects in situations of risk and uncertainty?
- What are the highpoints and short-comings to these techniques?
iii. To what extent, if at all, are those techniques being used by organizations in practice?
- Does companies that use accounting techniques in appraising rival projects in situations of risk and uncertainty perform better than other companies that do not use these techniques?
1.6 Research Hypothesis
The following hypothesis shall be subjected to testing:
- Ho: Business, in practice, do not use accounting techniques in
appraising projects in situations of risk and uncertainty.
Hi: Business, in practice, use accounting techniques in appraising
projects in situations of risk and uncertainty.
- Ho: There is no difference between the performance of
businesses that use accounting techniques in appraising their
projects in situation of risk and uncertainty and those that do not
Hi: There is different between the performance of businesses that use
accounting techniques in appraising their projects in situation of
risk and uncertainty and those that do not use them.
1.7 Conceptual and Operational Definitions
- Cash Flow
“Is the same thing as the various receipts and payments that are made throughout the life span of a project”. These receipts are termed cash inflows, while payment are termed cash outflows.
This is a situation “Where a potential investor has full knowledge of the ultimate outcome of an investment opportunity”. A condition of certainty exist where the probability of realizing out come is one.
- Capital Rationing
This is the allocation of scare capital resources among competing economically desirable projects which cannot all be carried out due to capital or other constraints.
This refers to a group of people charged with the responsibility of directing, planning, controlling, organization to ensure the achievement of organizational goals and objectives.
This is the arrangement of projects in order of preference or viability.
A condition of risk exist “Where an investors knows the range of possible outcome to expect from an investment opportunity as well as the likelihood (probability) of each outcome.
This is a situation of near ignorance of the future outcome of decisions. It arises where the decision taken has no dependable information about the nature of significance of factors which affect the investment.
1.8 Limitations of the Study
The scope of this work is limited by the following:
- Time: The time available to the researcher to carry out this piece of research could not allow very extensive research into the subject matter. In addition, the researcher also has to carry out her normal class work along side this research project.
- Finance: the amount of funds available to the researcher also helped to limit the scope of this wok. Some materials that may have aided the research could not be acquired, also transportation costs and cost of other logistic did not allow the researcher to visit all the companies she would have wanted to visit.
1.9 Scope of the Study
This study has been designed to cover investment decisions of profit oriented organizations in situations of risk and uncertainty. Thus charitable organizations and non profit making organization are outside the scope covered by this study.