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1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Each person like every business requires some measures of both financial position and financial performance in assessing his financial conditions. The financial position depicts one’s wealth at ascertain point in time while one’s financial performance describes once.
Financial statements according to Illoumezie (2006:33) are like compasses “which navigators use to locate their bearing and find direction”. People use them to gauge their financial positions at various points in their lives in order to judge their progress towards their financial goals.
Financial statements according to meigs and meigs (1981:28) refers to reports which summarize the financial position and operating results of a business (balance sheet and income statements). It referred to as genera purpose that satisfy the need of many groups generally called stakeholders. These groups are particularly concerned with the risk inherent in and returns provided by their investments, and who require accounting information to enable their assess the ability whether they should buy, hold and sell their investments.
According to Anayaogu (2002:14) financial accounting provides information to eternal decision makes such as shareholders government, creditors, employees etc, these are people with whom or from whom money is ultimately paid or received. Anayaogu (2002:20) also states that records of
financial accounting includes various ledges accounts, profits and loss accounts, balance sheet and other financial records. These records are intended to show the strength, progress, portability, management effectiveness and stewardship.
Financial statement are the means of communicating to interested partners information or the resource, obligation and performance of the reporting enterprise in a simple, clear and understandable form to all its user with such attributer of relevance to decision reliability, consistency and comparability materiality efficiency and understandability.
According to information provides continuity in history as quality in monetary terms of economic activities resources and obligations of a business enterprises as well as the various activity that cause a change in the level of these resources and obligation. It is also serves as parameter for evaluating the performance of a business enterprise and as a measuring tool to both the management and decision markers and possible sale of shares by shareholder when actual results deviate from the target objectives. The importance attached to accounting information cannot only be related to management and the government but it also cuts across the cars of the various categories of creditors, employee, and other water cooperate bodies and potentials investors as well.
The annual report and accounts are said to be published owing to the fact. It is being printed and dispatched to each shareholder and any other unfrosted where person on request. The annual reports and accounts are the primary means of communicating vital economic information in the cooperation’s
resources and obligation to absentee owners and could be investor by the management. The published financial statement serve as a means of conveying business information to the equity investor groups (shareholders), the loans creditors group, the employee groups, the business contract group, the government and its agencies as well as the general public. It gives a concise and genuine picture of an enterprise profitability trend and its financial position. The information contained in the published financial statement act as a basis for which shareholder maker investment decisions.
However, the account days of pre-colonial administration, the preparation and publication of financial reports used by owner managers for internal control and cost determination. This inter became. Inadequate role to increase completely of business organization. At the onset of industrial revolution, trade begins to increase and expand. This necessitated employing managers to manage the business on behalf of the shareholders. Managers positions now necessitated companies to prepare and publish a financial report that would reveal to the owners (shareholders) the operational state and financial position of the company and how the capital contributed by the shareholder had been utilized in the realization of the set out objectives of the company.
The company Act 1963 outline that every registered business organization should maintain and submit audited financial statements every year during the annual general meeting (agm) where. It is laid to the members. This is in consonance with the provision of schedule two of the companies and allied
matter decree of 1990 which states internally that the form and contents of published financial statements and with the accounting standard issued from time to time by the Nigeria Accounting Standard Board (NASB).
Meigs & Meigs (1981: 14) states that the preparation of financial statement is not the first step in the accounting financial statement is not the first step in accounting process. At the close of financial period, the stakeholders such as investors of a company naturally desires to ascertain the following:
(a) The result of the company’s operations for the period.
(b) The resources and hostilities of the company over the period in question.
(c) Wealth created by the company and how it has been distributed.
(d) Financial resources acquired and how they have been a expanded.
Thus, published financial statement prepared under companies and allied
matter decree (CAMA) 1990 supplies information about the above. As a matter of fact, shareholders of any corporation would require annual corporate report published about the entity and which must be relevant, sufficient and reliable.
The corporate report published in 1994 by a working paper setup by Accounting Standard Committee (ASC) to be reexamined the scope and aims of published financial reports identified seven user groups to include:
1) The equity – investors group
2) The analysis – advisory group
3) The employee group
4) The creditors
5) The business contact group
6) The government and its agential
7) The public
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