1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
It is a well-known fact that everything in this world has a foundation. In fact, the foundation of anything be it a building, an idea, a career, belief, etc matters a lot: it determines, to a very large extent, the strength, durability, quality and success, or otherwise, of that very thing.
The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of Current English, defines foundation as: strong base of a building, usually below ground level, on which it is built up; that on which an idea, belief, etc rests; underlying principle; basis; starting point.
Management as an essential ingredient of all organized endeavour has an underlying principle and that is the internal control system. How successfully an organization achieves its objectives, satisfies social responsibilities or both, and depends upon how well the organization’s managers do their jobs. In other word, how well the managers adhere to the whole system of controls, financial and otherwise, established by the management in order to carry on the business of the enterprise. How well managers do their jobs – Managerial performance – is measured in terms of two concepts: efficiency and effectiveness.
According to Stoner and Freeman (1 989:10), efficiency means “doing things right,” that is, the ability to get things done correctly, and effectiveness means “doing the right thing,” that is, the ability to choose appropriate objectives.
The sum of these two concepts is quality management which is itself the product of Internal Control system.
Nwoko (1997:202) defined quality management as a systematic approach for ensuring that all activities within an organization happen according to the plan. This approach was evolved primarily by a group of American quality experts: W.E. Deming, Joseph Juran and Philip Grosby. Before implementing quality management, there must be a quality system in existence. A quality system is an assembly of components, such as organizational structure, responsibilities, procedures, processes, and resources.
In the same direction, Stoner and Freeman (1989:4) defined management as the process of planning, organizing, leading, and controlling the efforts of organization members and of using all other organizational resources to achieve stated organizational goals.
A process is a systematic way of doing things. Management is defined as a process because all managers;
regardless of their particular aptitudes or skills, engage in certain interrelated activities in order to achieve their desired goals.
Planning implies that managers think through their goals and actions in advance. Plans give the organization its objectives and set up the best procedure for reaching them.
In addition, plans become the guides by which:
- the organization obtains and commits the resources required to reach its objectives;
- members of the organization carry on activities consistent with the chosen objectives and procedures; and
- progress toward the objectives is monitored and measured so that corrective action can be taken if progress is unsatisfactory.
The first step in planning is the selection of goals for the organization. Then objectives are established for the subunits of the organization — its divisions, departments, and so on. Once the objectives are determined, programmes are established for achieving them in a systematic manner.
Organizing means that managers coordinate the human and material resources of the organization. Once managers have established objectives and developed plans or programmes, to reach them, they must design and staff the organization in order to be able to carry out those programmes successfully.
Leading describes how managers direct and influence subordinates, getting others to perform essential tasks. After plans have been made, the structure of the organization has been determined, and the staff has been recruited and trained, the next step is to arrange for movement toward the organization’s defined objectives. This function can be called by various names: leading, directing, motivating, actuating, and so on. But whatever the name used
to identify it, this function involves getting the members of the organization to perform in ways that will help it achieve its established objectives.
Whereas planning and organizing deal with the more abstract aspects of the management process, the activity of leading is very concrete; it involves working directly with people.
Finally, controlling means that managers attempt to assure that the organization is moving toward goals. Managers must ensure that the actions of the organisation’s members do in fact move the organization toward its stated goals. This is the controlling function of management, and it involves four main elements:
- establishing standards of performance (budgets);
- Measuring current performance and comparing it against the established standards;
- detecting deviations from standard goals in order to make corrections before a sequence of activities is Completed;
- taking action to correct performance that does not meet those standards.
Through the controlling function, managers can keep the organization on its chosen track, keeping it from straying from its specified goals.
But it is a sad commentary to say that even in those organizations in which quite competent managers and skilled supporting staff are known to be at the helm of affairs for attaining the goals of the organizations, the problems of frauds, irregularities, embezzlement, misappropriation of funds/assets, mismanagement or poor management, or whatever name it may go with, are still being encountered, and even at an alarming rate. Why? It is the opinion of the researcher therefore, that a study on internal control system as a foundation of quality management would provide an insight to the way of solving the problems.
Bethel, et al (1971:27) pointed out that an enterprise may possess the most modern plant and equipment, a highly skilled and experienced labour and sales force, ample
Financial resources and an adequate source of raw materials yet fail to perform efficiently. They argued that although several reasons are involved but the major factor is poor management.
The question now is: what is poor management? Poor management, in the context of this study, simply means deviation from any of the system of controls, financial and otherwise, established by the management in order to carry on the business of the enterprise in an orderly and efficient manner, ensure adherence to management policies. Poor management occurs only where there is no internal control system in existence or where in existence, it is weak. Therefore, the only solution to poor management is establishment of good internal controls and observing them.
Santocki (1972:12) opined, “By internal control, is meant not only internal check and internal audit, but the whole system of controls, financial and otherwise, established by the management, in order to carry on the business of the company in an orderly manner, safeguard its assets and secure as far as possible the accuracy and reliability of its records.”
In fact, internal control is the bedrock of quality management, and to achieve its purposes, it must be adequate in design and effective in operation.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
In the early sixties one hardly heard of frauds, irregularities, embezzlements or misappropriation of funds/assets, mismanagement or poor management, or whatever name it may go with. But nowadays the reverse is the case: there are a lot of cases of the aforesaid social evils in the modern day Nigeria. Why?
Also, there has been a general out cry from the public sectors, private sectors, and the general public why some of the above fraudulent practices are not easily detected, or if at all detected, they may have taken some time, even though these organizations may have engaged internal auditors and the services of external auditors who audit the accounts of the organizations year after year.
These are the main problems which led the researcher into this study/dissertation.
- What are the factors responsible for the increase of frauds, irregularities, embezzlements or misappropriation of funds/assets, mismanagement or poor management in the modern day Nigeria?
- Does your organization have good, adequate, and operational Internal Control System in existence presently?
- Does your organization have good, adequate, and operational Internal System in existence presently
- Does your organization have internal Audit Department?
- Has your organization experienced frauds, embezzlements or misappropriation of funds/assets before, and what were the causes?
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main objectives of this study are to:
- Identify and evaluate the importance of Internal Control System in the management of an organization using Broadcast Media in Nigeria for the study.
- identify and evaluate the features of a good Internal Control System.
- identify and evaluate the factors responsible for increase of frauds, embezzlement or misappropriation of
funds/assets in the modern day Nigeria, and also find out why some frauds, embezzlement or misappropriation of funds/assets remain undetected for a good number of years whereas the books of accounts of the organization are often being examined by her internal and external auditors.