1.1 GENERAL INTRODUCTION
Internal control is the set of accounting and administrative control and practices that helps managers in operating their organization more effectively and efficiently. It ensures that both the accounting and administrative activities are in order with the laid down procedures, standards, and statutory requirements. It also detects deviation if any and calls for immediate corrective measure. In any profit oriented organization, the objective of management is to maximize profit, and internal control is a technique that can be of assistance in attaining such maximizations.
Banking is a venture undertaken primarily for profit and whose operation should at least include taking money on account and releasing of such money wholly or partly on demand or authority of the depositor.
An important object of banking particularly in the developing countries is the promotion of economic development. In pursuance of this economic development as well as banks’ profitability, banks tends to improve on their services by devising methods of sound and effective system of internal control.
This study therefore, intends to evaluate how the internal control policies have affected the profit performance of commercial banks with particular reference to Orient Bank of Nigeria Plc and United Bank for Africa Plc.
1.2 PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION
There have been incessant cases and stories been told about high frequency of fraud, embezzlement, overcharging, manipulation, missing files and ledger cards and other banking malpractices in banks today, with the management and shareholders not knowing how to handle the adverse situation.
The Orient Bank of Nigeria (OBN) Plc and United Bank of Africa (UBA) Plc were not left out in these increase in crime – wave problems and banking malpractices, despite the existence of inter-control and devices adopted to detect fraud. This situation has culminated in the lack of confidence by the staff, shareholders and customer over the growth and profitability of the banks.
Moreso, with the proliferation of banks and also the increase in rural banking, with commercial bank’s branches, the volume of accounting records has drastically increased, thereby necessitating the appraisal of the adequacy and reliability of records, and overall efficiency of operations.
Furthermore, with the public interest in the “truth and fairness” of financial statements – profit and loss account and balance sheet, whose stratum of reliable is on the internal control system, the research is therefore aimed at investigating the extent of adherence to the internal control system and its impact on the profit performance of the banks.
- STATEMENT OF OBJECTIVE
The objective of this research include among others the following:
- To identify and appraise the internal control designed, installed and operated by the management of OBN and UBA with a view to assessing its impact on profit performance.
- To examine the extent of adherence or compliance to the policies, standards and procedures by the members of the staff in order to recommend operating improvement.
- To identify possible deficiencies and weaknesses of the existing internal control to find means of ameliorating them.
- To review the profit performance of the banks OBN and UBA and relate it to their internal control.
- To critically analyze the effectiveness, adequacy and applicability of the various internal control.
- To offer useful recommendation to proper design, installation and operation of an adequate and good internal control system.
1.4 SIGNIFICANT OF STUDY
The research is intended to define the level of internal control and its impact on profitability of OBN and UBA Plc. It will be of great importance to the banking staff especially the managers and officers whose interest are geared towards the enhancement of the chances of bank profitability; in serving as a guide in the performance of their duties. It will assess the effect of fraud, manipulations, errors, improper authorization, dishonesty, inadequate accounting records etc on profitability in view of the existing internal control system.
A comprehensive knowledge of system of internal control will form a foundation on which the auditor’s report on “true and fair view” final account is based and as such, the study will be of immense values to the practicing Accountants, Auditors, Lawyers, shareholder and other interested parties for acceptance and reliance of financial statement.
Furthermore, it will include more research in the improvement of banking services in Nigeria for the interest of the shareholders, customers and government.
Finally, the study will provide the basis for recommendation to the management of the best approach to designing, installing and operating an improved system of internal control aimed at promoting operational efficiency and eliminating or at least minimizing waste.
1.5 FORMULATION OF HYPOTHESIS
- The management of OBN and UBA Plc designed and installed 50% good system of internal control which their policies, standards and procedures are adhered to by the members of the staff.
- The system of internal control adopted by UBA Plc enhances its profit performance than the system adopted by OBN Plc.
- The present internal control systems adopted by the banks are effective and adequately operated.
- The existing internal control systems of the banks enhance their profit performance.
1.5 METHOD OF TESTING HYPOTHESIS
HYPOTHESIS I: – This hypothesis will be analyzed based on the respondents response to the Strategic Position and Action Evaluation (SPACE) of features of a good internal control system in OBN and UBA Plc. The rating ranges from 1 to 4, representing weak to very strong. The SPACE average will be used.
Average responses to question I of the g