Accounting and accounting are used synonymously to mean a profession which covers, related and coordinates the functions of financial accounting, auditing and investigation, cost and management accounting, taxation, financial management and public accounting.
Ubaka (1995) defined accounting as the measurement and communication system used to provide economic and social information about an identifiable organization to allow users to make sound judgments and decisions leaning to maximum allocation of resources and the accomplishment of the organizations objective (s).
Ekwerike and Okparaeke (1999) defined accounting as the whole design of the system of recording of data preparation of reports based on the recorded data and the interpretation of the report.
R.A Adams (2005) saw Accounting as a process of recording, communicating, summarizing, analyzing and interpreting government financial statement in aggregate and in detail.
According to Adesina 2008, Accounting is the act of collecting, recording, and interpreting financial events of business for the purpose of making decision on the financial state and progress of the business.
Soyode (1982), viewed accounting as the act measuring, communicating and interpretation of financial activities.
Shillinlaw and Meyer (1983), similarly defined accounting as the process of measuring and identifying economic variables in individual businesses communicating information based on these measurements to users who need to make informed judegments.
System on the other hand is said to be the composition of various components Abolarin (2006).
Awe (2000) opined that a system usually comprises of components parts that related or work together in the way that differentiates the overall system from any other.
According to Fredrick (1984) system is a set of objects with relationships between the objects and between their attributes connected or related to each other and to their environment in such a way and our manner as to form an entity or whole.
Webster in Egwu (2004), defines system as “an organized or complex whole; an assemblage or combination of things or parts forming a complex or unitary whole.
O’brien (2003 defined system in the following ways:
1. A group of interrelated or interacting elements forming a unified whole.
2. A group of interrelated components working together towards a common goal by accepting inputs and producing outputs in an organized transformation process.
3. An assembly of methods, procedures or techniques unified by related interaction to form an organized whole.
4. An organized collection of people, machines and methods required to accomplish a set of specific functions.
Mbanefo, Nwokike and Okoye (1994) said system as an organized unitary whole composed of two or more interdependent parts, components or subsystems and delineated by identifiable boundaries from its environmental supra-system.
This definition emphasizes that a system is a series of interrelated and interdependent parts such that the interaction or interplay of any of the subsystem’s part affects the whole. This definition is time of a university system as a suprasystem made up of subsystem like academic faculties and departments, schools, directorates and non-academic units such as registry, bursary, internal audit, works etc. the activities of any of the faculties departments and units affects the suprasystem (University system).
Accounting systems are the oldest and most widely used information systems in business, recoding and reporting business transactions and other economic events.
Sharkasi and Wyan (2011) defines accounting system as an organized set of documents, records, reports and procedure for the preparation and delivery of basic and financial data in a timely manner, with the required accuracy for effective decision-making and identification of whether an organizations objectives have been achieved or not.
O’ Briev (2003) defines accounting (information) system as information system that record and report business transactions, the flow of funds through an organization, and produce financial statements.
PRINCIPLES OF ACCOUNTING
This is the basis on which accounting is produced. Accounting principles, according to Garbutt (1976) are usually the rules and conventions which have been accepted as a general guide to action by the accountancy profession.
Owojori and Ola (2002) opined that conventions of accounting are based on consensus or agreement.
According to Owojori and Ola, accounting principles which are variously referred to as accounting convention, accounting imperatives and accounting assumptions, define the assumptions on which financial accounts of a business are prepared. Ekwereike and Oparaelle (1999) opined that accounting principles are generally accepted standards, practice postulates, assumptions, basic concepts, axioms and conventions. From the forgoing, we understand that there are many accounting principles and that organizations choose and adopt the ones that are relevant and appropriate/applicable to their business. These principles must be fair, objective and acceptable as relevant to the business of the organization.
Ubaka (1995) defined it by separating principles from convention. He defined principles as the standards or concepts which must be applied while conventions indicate the approach to the application of the principle.
BASIS OF ACCOUNTING SYSTEMS OF NIGERIAN UNIVERSITIES
In government/public finance, resources are segregated into categories for proper fund accounting.
Find accounting involves a system in which the financial business of government units or parastatals are segregated into several unique entities called funds for purpose of recording and reporting financial position and the outcome of operation (Ani 1998).
Find accounting is one of the fundamental principles underlying the public sector accounting where the income of government are categorized into series of funds. Each fund catering for specific welfare activity of the government (Adams 2005).
Fund accounting is an accounting system emphasizing accountability rather than profitability used by non-profit organization and governments (Kerrigan 1968).
It is also defined as the maintenance of proper accounting records for a fund, in accordance with local laws, regulations and accounting standards.
R.A Adams identified three bases of accounting for government fund.
1. Cash Basis: This is the basis of accounting under which revenue are recorded only when cash is received and expenditures recorded only when cash in paid irrespective of the fact that the transactions leading to the receipt or payment of cash now may have occurred in previous accounting period.
2. Accrual Basis: Under this basis, revenue are recorded when earned and expenditure are recorded as the result in liabilities in known or when benefits are received notwithstanding the fact that the receipt or payment of cash could take place wholly or partly in another accounting period. This is used to estimate profitability.
3. Commitment Basis: This is a basis that records an anticipated expenditure evidence by a contract or purchase order as determined by the administration (Ani 1998).
Under commitment basis, financial transaction is recorded right from the boardroom where management takes decision to spend money. Once such decision is taken, money will be set aside and such fund cannot be expended for any other purpose (Adams 2005).