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Essay: Benefits of adopting international financial reporting standards

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2.0. Introduction
The expected benefits of adopting the International Financial Reporting Standards cannot be over emphasized. The quality of information provided in financial reports determines the usefulness and reliance of such reports to users. The characteristics by which quality can be measured are relevance, reliability, understandability and comparability.
The convergence of most countries to the use of one set of high quality standards by companies has the potential to improve the comparability and transparency of financial statements. This and various other benefits have also encouraged the adoption of the standards in Nigeria
The IASC endeavors to issue norms to serve as standards to be taken after universally were made as far once again as 1973 (Wiley, 2012). The convergence of accounting benchmarks over the world, as however been a subject of key significance, this is because of the apparent profits and negative marks which this institutionalized standards present to distinctive countries.
The key aggressor however to the effective move to these guidelines is social, political, economic and lawful contrasts existing between nations this demonstrates that the accounting profession is impacted by certain conditions, this representing the dynamism in the accounting practices amongst nations. However for an institutionalization methodology to be effective and to minimize the impacts of such pushy elements, proper training on the theories, hypotheses and standards of the new benchmarks must be considered in every nation traveling and embracing these new sets of standards. This training is to empower accountants, students and teachers of accounting to plan and present records in a way to meet the destination of such institutionalization, which is principally for the likeness and significance, dependability of accounting articulations. Absence of these proper training will be an adverse effect on the accounting profession
The accounting education generally as the accounting profession is described by impact of the accounting environment (Choi & Muller, 1992). This implies that events in the accounting environment as far as redesign, surveys, and change sand diversions are to have a critical reflection on the accounting curriculum. This is as to record for such switches and to stay exceptional in the worldwide accounting circle.
It is for this reason that this study tries to look at the level of readiness of accounting training framework for the reception of IFRS in Nigeria and to know the degree to which the Gap in learning is being spanned by the consideration of IFRSs in curriculum in the Nigerian universities. This part is thusly gone for examining the ideas included in the institutionalization process and the appropriation of IFRS and to survey what it involves creating and changing a curriculum
.2.1 Conceptual Framework
2.1.1 Accounting Standards
Accounting standards are authoritative statements aimed at narrowing the areas of differences and varieties in accounting practice (Okaro, 2002). Sunder (2002) stated that accounting measures are imperative administrative devices of accounting. They serve as an agreement format among parties who take part in a firm, for example, management, banks and financial specialists. Das et al. (2009) in their study of ‘Convergence of accounting standards:
Internationalization of Accounting’ made this submission that accounting standards are the policy documents issued by recognized expert accountancy bodies relating to various aspects of measurements, treatments and disclosures of accounting transactions and events, as related to the codification of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Khanagha et al. (2011) contended that accountiing standards outfit advising on how accounting information ought to be recorded, reported and translated. Subsequently a need emerged for standardazation to empower clients of accounting reports comprehend them very well and better the comparism of accounting statements of one organization with those of an alternate. Be that as it may, these principles are workable for simple correlation inside a given country. According to Ezejelue (2001) the intricacies and absurdities of national accounting practices are still so tremendous as to be very nearly fantastic. A requirement for basic and for the most part acknowledged accounting and reporting standards is frightfully self-evident. For it is to a great degree troublesome and as a rule inconceivable, for reasonable correlations to be made between organizations from distinctive countries. He further contend that the issues made by the divergence in accounting standards, especially in promoting worldwide coordination of world economies, are enormous to the point that the weight for global convergence of accounting standard is mounting.
The issue of accounting standardization has been a topic of academic debate. The topic of whether all countries ought to embrace single worldwide accounting standards is by all accounts an inevitable end product. Be that as it may, the issue that is progressively discussed is the procedure of convergence. IFAC (2004) investigated the difficulties and achievement in actualizing IFRS and watched that attaining to universal joining, then again, requires more than hypothetical backing. It obliges creating worldwide standards that will serve as the establishment for financial reporting and auditing all around, deciding how to encourage the adoption of those standards and eventually, taking the activities important for use. The issue that convergence is relied upon to explain is the current wasteful compromise hindrance that keep away international firms from making transactions in local markets.
The obstacles to merging of standards distinguished by the complete IFAC (2004) study incorporates thus:
The selection and usage of the global standarsds in a country happens in a situation that is influenced by certain feature to that nation, for instance, the economy, governmental issues, laws and regulations and society. A reason referred to in IFAC (2004) by nations for not completely merging to IFRS is that nations think that it important to correct the international standards to accommodate national distinctiveness (IFAC, 2004).
2.1.2. IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standard)
The accounting profession witness numerous belief systems as to the advancement of standards to be connected in dissimilar regions of the world, several nations displayed their accounting standards by the sort of political environment, some by financial operations in the nation. These features impacted the overseeing standards and practices of accounting transversely over in dissimilar nations. The accounting in diverse nations effortlessly depicted the representing factors in such nations. (Author, 2014)
Nonetheless the development of worldwide exchange of goods and services and the association of international organizations and business in environments with a country distinguished a gap that is the requirement for an uniformed reporting guideline of financial reports. This was on account of capital sources who were not managers expected to have learning of how this capital is utilized in useful way however in spite of the planning of such enlightening reports. The financial source’s contentment and dependence on the report were not as stringent as was coveted by them. On the other hand, dependence on these reports was non- voluntarily and focused around general society trust on the inspectors of these financial records produced.
In 1973 the IASC an autonomous organization enlisted in the United States of America (USA) however situated in London, United Kingdom was accustomed to create single set of guidelines for global appropriateness, however observing the national contrasts and offering translations and procurements for application in cases were such standard will restrict the objectivity and pertinence of such statements. The IASC issued the IASs (international accounting standards) and proceeded in the advancement of these principles till 2001 were it turned into a board called the IASB (international accounting standards board). The IASB issued IFRSs (international financial reporting standards), which were in perspective to correspond accounting guidelines over the world.
This advancement from 1973 to 2001 has prompted the issuance of 41 IASs and 16 IFRSs on which accounting reports are to be prepared. These standards are guidelines situated in way as in they are not focused around the standard framework similar to the case in the accounting profession. The standard arrangement of old did not give space for the judgment of the report preparer and did not completely endorse steps to take in one of a kind circumstance where rules did not have any significant bearing. However this new single set of standards, laid out a space for the instinct of the statement preparers, because of its order of the rule base principles certain strategy.
The institutionalization methodology spearheaded by the IASB is a positive pace to enhance the likeness, importance and the unwavering quality of accounting statements. The reception of these new advancements however offers numerous advantages to the accounting profession, is additionally an extremely reproving issue in the accounting and business environment.
As indicated by Kim (2008) as cited by Gupta (2012), IFRS fusing will have an effect on the eventual fate of accounting direction in this industrialized time, where possession is divided from management, financial accounting is one which can not bear the cost of any escape clauses as reports prepared using certain accounting principles are relied on to determine the movement of significant amount of funds. This essentialness is confirmation in the worth accreditation system completed by auditors in the review of financial statements. This shows consequently that any conformity to existing standards as joining or reformulation will/ought to be deliberately subjected to careful examination in ideas and preparation as far as training of accountant and accounting students through incorporation in curricula as it will at last influence the development of trusts and speculator’s certainty or wellbeing in readied reports. Conceptual Framework Of IFRS
The Conceptual Framework expresses the ideas that serve as the base in the planning and presentation of general grounds financial statements. It is a useful mechanism that aids the IASB when creating and amending IFRSs. The aim of the Conceptual Framework operation is to enhance financial reporting by furnishing the IASB with a complete and redesigned set of ideas to utilize when it creates or overhauls standards ( IASB foundation, 2012). The IFRS Framework serves as a manual for the Board in creating pertinent IFRSs and as a manual for determining accounting issues that are not tended to straightforwardly in an International Accounting Standard or International Financial Reporting Standard or Interpretation.
In circumstances were management are confronted with exchanges which are particular to the way of elements of the business however not explicitly expressed or secured in the applicable principles, management must utilize its judgment as a part of creating and applying an accounting approach that results in information that is pertinent and dependable. In making that judgment, IAS 8.11 obliges administration to consider the definitions, distinguishing criteria, and estimation of ideas for resources, liabilities, salary, and costs in the IFRS Framework. This height of the imperativeness of the [IFRS] Framework was included the 2003 amendments to IAS 8. Scope Of IFRS Framework
The IFRS Framework addresses:
1. The objective of financial reporting
2. The qualitative characteristics of useful financial information the reporting entity
3. The definition, recognition and measurement of the elements from which financial statements are constructed
(IASB: Conceptual Framework of Financial Reporting 2010)
2.1.3. Concept Of Convergence
Convergence of accounting standard describes the efforts to reduce the major differences between International Financial Reporting Standards and National Accounting Standards for the production of quality financial reports. The convergence of accounting standards refers to both a goal and the path taken to reach it (FASB, 2011). The FASB believes that the ultimate goal of convergence is a single set of high quality, international accounting standards that companies worldwide would use for both domestic and cross-border financial reporting.
The way to that objective is the synergistic effort of the FASB and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) to both enhance U.S. generally accepted accounting principle (U.S. GAAP) and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and wipe out the contrasts between them. Worldwide convergence of accounting standards has gotten much consideration in scholastic and expert accounting literature. Some contend that the distinctions in society and business environment in the middle of developed and developing nations are vast to the point that one set of measures cannot be valuable to both sorts of nations. Others contest that, if universal guidelines are sufficiently adaptable to consider contrasts in society and business practices crosswise over countries, then one set of accounting regulations may be valuable to developed and developing nations (Kinsey, 2006).
The merging of accounting standards is a long debated issue, which did not arise, in recent times. The idea of convergence first emerged in the late 1950s in light of post World War 11 economic integration and related increments in cross-fringe capital streams. The introductory methodology was centered around harmonization of accounting standards which is diminishing contrasts which exists between the accounting standards utilized as a part of real capital markets as far and wide as possible. By the 1990s, the idea of harmonization was succeeded by the idea of convergence. Convergence alludes to the improvement of a solitary set of astounding, worldwide accounting standards that will be used in all significant capital markets. The International Accounting Standards Committee, shaped in 1973, was the first worldwide standard setting body. It was revamped in 2001 and got to be a free global standard setter, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). From that point forward, the utilization of international standards has spread quickly, as it is seen to enhance the nature of financial reports. Starting 2009, the European Union and more than 100 different nations either oblige or grant the utilization of international financial reporting standards (IFRSs) issued by the IASB or a local variation of them (Ebimobowei, 2012). The FASB and the IASB have been cooperating since 2002 to enhance and join U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and IFRS. Starting 2009, Japan and China were additionally attempting to meet their standards with IFRSs (Ebimobowei). Nonetheless, the following is an order of a percentage of the key occasions in the development of the global convergence of accounting standards: Table 1 demonstrates the sequential improvement of the current levelheaded discussion of merging accounting standards. The table substance demonstrates the improvement of merging of models from 1960 when calls for global accounting standards was acquainted with direct worldwide financial reporting for April 2011 that demonstrates the advancement provide details regarding International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) work to merge accounting standard globally for diverse countries to apply in the arrangement of value and solid financial reports.
Table 1: Chronology of the evolution of converge of accounting standard
Year and Event
‘ 1960 Calls for international standards and some early steps
‘ 1962 8th international congress of accountants is held-many see a need for international accounting and auditing standards
‘ 1962 The American institute of certified public accountants reactivates its committee on international relations
‘ 1966-The accountants international study group is formed
‘ 1967-The first textbook on international accounting is published
‘ 1973-The international accounting standards committee (IASC) is established
‘ 1979-Financial accounting standard board forms first task force that includes representatives from international standard setters
‘ 1987-The IASC embarks on its comparability and improvements project
‘ 1988-The FASB becomes a member of the IASC consultative group and a non-voting observer at IASB meetings.
‘ 1988-The FASB expresses support for internationalization of standards
‘ 1991-The FASB issues its first strategic plan for international activities
‘ 1993-The FASB and the accounting standards board of Canada undertake joint project on segment reporting
‘ 1993-The FASB and other standard setters form the G4
‘ 1994-The FASB and IASC undertake their first collaborative standard setting
‘ 1995-The FASB updates its strategic plan and undertakes a project to compare U.S. GAAP and IASC standards
‘ 1995-The IASC undertakes a core standard program; the international organization of securities commission agree to review those
‘ standards
‘ 1996-The U.S. congress expresses support for high-quality international standards
‘ 1996-The SEC announces its intent to consider the acceptability of use of IASC standards by foreign private issues
‘ 1998-The Asian financial crisis prompts more calls for international standards
‘ 1999-The FASB publishes its vision for the future of international accounting standard setting
‘ 2000-The SEC issues a concept release on international accounting
‘ 2001-The IASC is reconstituted into IASB
‘ 2002-The European Union decides to use international financial reporting standards
‘ 2002-The Norwalk agreements: The FASB and IASB agree to collaborate
‘ 2003-The SEC reaffirms the FASB as the U.S. private sector standard setter
‘ 2005-SEC staff speech provides a proposed roadmap to the elimination of the reconciliation requirement
‘ 2006-The FASB and IASB issues a memorandum of understanding
‘ 2007-The SEC proposes and subsequently eliminates the reconciliation
‘ 2007-The SEC issues a concept release on possible optimal use of IFRS by U.S. issuers
‘ 2007-The FASB responds to the SECs concept release on possible optional use of IFRS by U.S. issues
‘ 2007-The FASB and IASB issue converged standards on business combinations
‘ 2008-The FASB and IASB update their memorandum of understanding
‘ 2008-The SEC issues a proposed roadmap to adoption of IFRS in the U.S. and a proposed rule on optional early use of IFRS
‘ 2009-FAF and FASB issue their comment letter on the SECs proposed roadmap
‘ 2010-SEC issues a statement in support of convergence and global accounting standards
‘ 2010-FASB reports periodically on the status of their project to improve and converge U.S. GAAP and IFRS
‘ 2011-February The FAF and FASB provide feedback to the IFRS foundation on its strategy review
‘ 2011-March Report of the meeting of national standard-setters
‘ 2011-April Progress report on IASB-FASB converge work
FASB (2011)
Source: Ebimobowei (2012).
2.1.4 Benefits of Convergence Of Accounting Standards:
the advantages of the convergence of accounting standards would be lower costs in transaction for preparers of financial reports, since they would be able to comply with a single set of accounting standards, instead of multiple sets. According to Ebimobowei (2012) the following major benefits are anticipated to arise as a result of convergence of accounting standard:
1. The general network externalities that flow from widespread usage of common standards
2. Improved comparability among different entities’ financial statements
Network Externalities:
Network externalities describes the phenomenon whereby each person’s benefit from using a particular set of standards increases in accordance with the number of each individuals who also use the same set of standards. Consequently, if multiple users adhere to the same accounting regime, the aggregate benefits to all users will exceed the sum of each individual’s private benefit (Economides and White, 1994). This direct positive externality arises because the widespread usage of one set of standards saves users of financial information the time and energy of having to learn to apply and interpret multiple sets of standards. If the externality did not exist, each firm would follow its own rules and the need for standards would be redundant. It is commonly agreed that network externalities apply to accounting standards. Indeed, the very existence of uniform national accounting standards would appear to be evidence of that fact.
The second major benefit that is the anchor reason for the internalization process is that it will enhance comparability between entities’ financial statements for managers and investors. It is said that investors’ ability to evaluate entities by comparison is impaired when these entities employ different accounting standards. Therefore, a single set of standards would assist investors and managers in making decisions as regard movements of funds in the capital market. This implies that a company’s financial statements are valuable not only as a source of information about that particular company, but also as a point of reference against which other companies in the same industry may be evaluated (Ebimobowei, 2012).
According to Obazee (2008), there are many potential benefits to be gained from convergence of accounting standards. Convergence cut the costs of doing business across boundaries by reducing the need for supplementary information. They make information more comparable, thereby enhancing evaluation and analysis by users of financial statements and reducing user costs.
Internationally converged standards also help maintain credibility of financial reporting to the public and increase the efficiency of auditing that information.
Hati and Rakshit (2002) argue that a financial reporting system of global standard is a prerequisite for attracting foreign as well as present and prospective investors at home alike that should be achieved through convergence of accounting standards.
2.1.5 Costs Of Convergence Of Accounting Standards:
A quantitative assessment of the expected costs of convergence between IFRS and local standards ought to be conducted before convergence. Unfortunately, no such comprehensive costs estimates are presently available, which likely reflects the fact that such data is difficult to obtain (Ebimobowei, 2012). Convergence would generate both transition cost and the process costs of maintaining a standard-setting for global accounting principles. Transition cost that will include the cost of training, retraining and education of accounting professionals and students. In the short-term, successful convergence would involve negotiations between IFRSB and local standards boards, as well as the various national standard-setters and regulators, government officials and interested professionals with vested interest in participating in the convergence process. This would require the expenditure of a significant amount of time and money. Costs of training and re-training would also arise to retrain preparers, users, auditors, students and regulators to apply and interpret the converged global standards. The Nigerian Accounting Education will also incur cost of curriculum update to include IFRSs in the working curriculum to be delivered to students. The national accounting standard setters would incur further direct costs as a result of the reduced demand for their publications and services (Ebimobowei, 2012), example of which is the Nigerian NASB which has been replace by the FRC due to the adoption of IFRS in Nigeria.
Convergence would also impose a cost on businesses reporters by depriving them of the ability to choose to operate in jurisdictions where the accounting rules best reflect the nature of their business. A large body of empirical evidence supports the theory that firms choose to follow a portfolio of accounting policies that maximize their contractual positions, particularly in relation to debt and management remuneration, and that firms could thus sustain substantial costs if forced to adhere to new accounting rules (Ebimobowei, 2012).
Furthermore, convergence would have the effect of replacing two separate monopoly standard-setting with a super-monopoly, which would be likely to amplify the usual monopoly inefficiencies that result in a lack of innovation and flexibility in the standards ultimately produced. The global monopoly standard-setters might also be prone to inefficient over-regulation, since it would lack the competitive incentive to restrain its regulatory impulses and might therefore be expected to promulgate more and more standards, even though more optimal alternatives might exists (Ebimobowei, 2012).
Another related concern would be that the eventual standards produced by a global standard-setter would be highly influenced by political compromise and bias as principles will reflect more of the system of operation in the environment of standards setters rather than the most optimal accounting outcome. The setting of accounting standards is a matter of political interest because a new standard will potentially transfer wealth from one sector of society to another (Ebimobowei, 2012). This wealth transfer effect creates incentives for private interest groups to lobby the standard setters, or the government or body that ultimately controls it, in order to influence the standard-setting process.
In the context of accounting standards convergence, due to the world ‘competition’ experienced in recent times, that the most politically and economically powerful nations would come to dominate or capture the standard-setting process to ensure standards are formulated in their national interests, rather than in the common interests of the global capital markets, however this assumption may be questioned in the context of fact that America is yet to adopt these standards. Thus, true internationalization of standards may not be possible in reality, and further costs may arise as a result of potential capture of the global standard-setter.
In a similar vein, Obazee (2008) as cited by Ebimobowei, (2012) stated that convergence of accounting standards have some inherent problems. This is due to the competing perspective of different nations, along with the universal tendency to resist change. In the words of Obazee (2008):
‘A fundamental problem with accounting standards convergence is that the compromise in the negotiation of the standards often leads to a ‘lowest common- denominator’ approach. On the regulatory side, some actions that are designed to promote international comparability may actually detract from comparability within a particular market’.
At this point a brief look at the Nigerian standard setting history is important to juxtapose the present situation with the position before adoption in 2010.
2.1.6 Nigerian Accounting Standards Board
The Nigerian Accounting Standards Board (NASB) was incorporated under the Companies Act 1968 and was formally inaugurated on September 9, 1982 and became legislation under the NASB act 2003. The NASB now Financial Reporting Council is responsible for the formulation and publication of public interest, accounting standards and to promote their general acceptance and adoption by preparers and users; promote legislation where necessary and reviewing and improving from time to time, the standards in the light of changes in the socio-economic environment specific to the Nigeria. Comparative works of the IFRS of IFRB and the SAS of NASB include for example IAS 1 Presentation of Financial Statements standard has Nigerian equivalent SAS 2-Information to be disclosed in Financial Statements issued by the NASB; IAS 7 Cash Flow Statements standard has Nigerian equivalent SAS 18, Statement of Cash Flow issued by NASB and IFRS 3 Business Combination standard has Nigerian equivalent SAS 26 Business Combination issued by NASB. This clearly shows that the most of the standards issued by IASB are also issued by the NASB for the purpose of reliable financial reporting. However, NASB has six standards in issue that do not have equivalent in the IFRSs and some IFRSs without Nigerian equivalent. That is the reason why some scholars are more interested with harmonization of IFRS with local standards than the issue of converging of accounting standards (IFRS). Therefore, it is better for practitioners to critically examine this issue of converging accounting standards before full implementation in their respective countries (Ebimobowei, 2012).
As said earlier, the accounting profession is influence by its environmental changes, IFRS being a major change in the accounting environment, points to the fact that IFRS adoption will influence the accounting profession. Accounting education is closely knit with the accounting profession in that the accounting curricula is coined from the concepts and principles and practices governing the accounting practice.
Hence it is Germaine at this point to examine some concepts that relate to curricula and curricula development.
2.1.7 Concepts Of Curriculum
In the process of knowledge acquisition, certain construct and concepts as relates to a particular field are put together in other to provide a sequence of knowledge, this mixture of concepts targeted at the learning of individual is called a curriculum.
There Marsh & Willis (2003) as cited by Leslie (1997) provided some definitions of curriculum to include:
1. Curriculum is such ‘permanent’ subjects as grammar, reading, logic, rhetoric, mathematics, and the greatest books of the Western world that best embody essential knowledge.
2. Curriculum is those subjects that are most useful for living in contemporary society, with reference to the contemporary.
3. Curriculum is all planned learning’s for which the school is responsible.
4. Curriculum is all the experiences learners have under the guidance of the school.
5. Curriculum is the totality of learning experiences provided to students so that they can attain general skills and knowledge at a variety of learning sites.
6. Curriculum is the questioning of authority and the searching for complex views of human situations.
7. Curriculum is all the experiences that learners have in the course of living.
Education can be said to include a vast array of learning activities and experiences. These learning activities and experiences are not merely specific class sessions or courses but they extend to or through the entire educational spectrum of a particular school or schools. Within this context, curriculum may be perceived as being rather global in nature and representing a broad range of educational activities and experiences that a student has the auspices or direction of the school.
Acceptance of the learning activities and experiences that a student has his or her own curriculum. This interpretation is a sound concept, since students often select courses, experiences and non-credit activities that align with their unique personal needs and aspirations. The fact might be pointed out by asking, how often can it be found that two students have exactly the same set of educational experiences.
Curriculum can be envisaged from different perspectives. What societies envisage as important teaching and learning constitutes the ‘intended” curriculum. Since it is usually presented in official documents, it may be also called the “written” and/or “official” curriculum. However, at classroom level this intended curriculum may be altered through a range of complex classroom interactions, and environmental occurrences and what is actually delivered can be considered the “implemented” curriculum. What learners really learn (i.e. what can be assessed and can be demonstrated as learning outcomes/learner competencies) constitutes the “achieved” or “learned” curriculum. In addition, curriculum theory points to a “hidden” curriculum (i.e. the unintended development of personal values and beliefs of learners, teachers and communities; unexpected impact of a curriculum; unforeseen aspects of a learning process). Those who develop the intended curriculum should have all these different dimensions of the curriculum in view. While the “written” curriculum does not exhaust the meaning of curriculum, it is important because it represents the vision of the society. The “written” curriculum should therefore be expressed in comprehensive and user-friendly documents, such as curriculum frameworks; subject curricula/syllabuses, and in relevant and helpful learning materials, such as textbooks; teacher guides; assessment guides.
This study does not present a model for curriculum review; rather it will in process state the level to which IFRS has been included in accounting curriculum of higher institutions.
According to Cohen, Fetters, and Fleischmann (2005), radical curriculum reform is challenging because it requires time and widespread participation, which are fundamental challenges in the higher education institutional culture.
2.1.8 Comprehensive Curriculum Reform
When looking at curricular revision, it is important to note the difference between making small changes to curriculum and engaging in comprehensive curriculum reform. Educational institutions commonly make small changes to curriculum, which typically involves faculty making changes to individual courses or changes in teaching methods (Cobb, 1990). Faculty tends to focus most of their time and energy on staying up-to-date in their field, expressing less interest in other components of the curriculum (Toombs & Tierney, 1991). Many faculty prefer to select the courses they want to teach, the content they want to teach, and how they want to teach it due, in part, to the nature of academic freedom and autonomy (Innes, 2004). What is less common is a comprehensive curriculum change where the focus is on how the parts fit together. Some institutions’ hesitations to whole curriculum reform are generated from an unwillingness to embark on a major change because of the complexity and challenges involved in such an effort (Cobb, 1990).
Burgess (2004) indicated:
‘The value of complexity theory, which emphasizes how design may emerge from
Participant groups rather than from a centrally managed plan, is discussed, along with the danger, given the time constraints, of chaos. After the goals for the curriculum are set, the leaders need to welcome the creative and unplanned events that will emerge amidst the complexity. Effective leaders will engage in a flexible process that unfolds over time rather than a process that is predetermined’.
2.2. Role Of Culture In Curriculum Development
Education reform requires recapturing rather than restructuring (Fullan, 2001). Simply changing the course offerings or content or adding pre-requisites will not lead to solid educational change. Culture plays a major role in curriculum development. Few topics of discourse have caused as much controversy in higher education as the topic of curriculum (Tierney, 1989). The challenge with the concept of culture is that it is not easily understandable or apparent to organizational participants because people define culture differently. In addition, cultural impediments are often more difficult to identify than structural impediments and therefore, more challenging to overcome (Seymour, 1988). Culture impacts the educational change process at the institutional, departmental, and faculty levels.
Institutional Culture – A curricular change process is in large part affected by the Institutional culture and whether that culture welcomes change. In looking at institutional culture, it is important to examine institutional identification and administration’s role in the curriculum review process. Higher education administrators have a critical role to play in creating an institutional culture that welcomes change. Strong institutional leadership recognizes the need to create a culture of trust within the organization. Administration must also dedicate institutional resources to the curricular change effort during both the development phase and the implementation phase. Administrators must also be active participants and leaders in the process by showing support for the change agents and the change process (Jones, 2002).
Departmental Culture – Departmental culture is the second type of culture affecting educational collaboration and change. Departments are the major unit of organization in higher education. Faculty loyalties tend to lie with their discipline and not necessarily with the educational organization, which can make organizational change a challenge (Innes, 2004).
Faculty Culture – Faculty culture also impacts curricular change. Educational beliefs and the disciplines of faculty are critical factors that must be considered in a curriculum review process (Toombs & Tierney, 1991). Faculty operate in four interdependent cultures that influence their beliefs and attitudes: the culture of the institution; the culture of the national system of higher education; the culture of the academic profession; and the culture of their discipline. Faculty is encouraged to have shared governance over the curriculum in order to have ownership at the degree program level. However, no current body of research exists on the shared governance of faculty and administration over the curriculum.
2.2.1. Accounting Education
Accounting education in a university incorporates a package of instructional programmes designed to educate ‘to be’ accountants, to make them versatile and adaptable to any of the numerous roles they may be called upon to play after graduation. Such education, among other things, seeks to develop concepts, rules, skills, procedures, theories and general knowledge to enhance competence in the delivery of required accounting obligations.
It emphasizes the ability to differentiate and integrate alternative problem solving perspectives, the ability to identify accounting related information resources, the ability to structure solutions to problems and develop communication skills as well as the ability to analyze, and interpret problem situations and figure out lasting solutions (Baker et, al, 1995).
2.2.2. Accounting Education In Emerging Economies
The connection of developing economies is judgmental, in view of the quick changes and the varieties in the financial environment. Chau & Chan (2001), Dixon (2004) or Gallhofer et al. (2009) as referred to by Nadia et al (2012) portray the modalities of enhancing curricula, the inconsistencies in the middle of “old” and ‘new form’ scholastics and experts, the absence of support and materials, and the part of society and past practices in diverse creating nations. Nadia (2009) along these lines expresses that for some, accounting education ought to be in accordance with the current practice desires. This perspective is particularly underlined by a few specialists and by some expert bodies. For others, accounting education ought to add to the improvement of the accountants in accordance with the future needs of the business environment. Gaffikin (2009) as referred to by Nadia et every one of the (2012), however contends that “academics need to create a genuinely erudite premise for the order”. Likewise, as indicated by Gallhofer (2009), past writing proposes that in countries that are developing, the accounting education needs to roll out more significant improvements and needs to take an additionally driving part towards molding the part of accountant in management. Both expert bodies and scholastics ought to be the drivers of a change, preparing accountants for the future and not for the momentum needs of managers.
2.2.3. Nigerian Accounting Education System
Both academic institutions and professional accounting bodies anchor the training and production of accountants in Nigeria. Thus, a clear distinction exists between the professional mode and the academic mode of education, training and professionalization of Nigerian accountants. A professional accounting body, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales pioneered the development of the profession in the country even before independence in 1960. Though the training of the pioneer indigenous accountants was handled locally by the Nigerian affiliates of foreign accounting firms, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales carried out the examination and certification.
The first indigenous accountant’s certification body ‘ the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) was incorporated in 1965. ICAN enjoyed the monopoly of accounting professionalization for well over two decades but could not rise up to the challenge of bridging the ever widening gap between the national demand for and supply of qualified and certified accountants. Such failure not only encouraged the incursion of other professional accounting bodies but also paved the way for rivalry, and struggle for supremacy (even litigation), between ICAN and other professional accounting bodies (Uche, 2007).
The Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) was incorporated in 1993. Three other professional bodies have since joined the fray, namely the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITA), the Chartered Institute of Cost and Management Accountants (CICMA) and the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Nigeria (ICPAN) which was incorporated in 2005.
The professional mode of accounting education places emphasis on in-house, on-the-job training based on a programme of internship in approved accounting firms. The academic mode of accounting education prevails in polytechnics and universities. This mode places emphasis on a mix of broad based accounting education incorporating core accounting skills development courses as well as related ancillary courses drawn from other disciplines in the management sciences.
The key issues include the structure and depth of university accounting programs, the accounting degree curricula, the staffing of accounting departments, the pedagogical approaches adopted in accounting education delivery, the state of teaching and research infrastructure, the issue of funding and strategies for improving the overall quality and relevance of the program to the current socio-economic needs of the country and effecting socio-economic accounting related changes to the curriculum.
2.2.4. University Based Accounting Education
University based accounting education was started by the University of Nigeria in 1961 when it opened its doors to the very first batch of university undergraduate accounting students in Nigeria. The number of universities in the country has increased very substantially, so has the number of universities offering degree programmes in accounting. As at 2011, there were 118 universities in the country. Of these 49 were offering first (B.Sc) accounting degree programmes. The average intake per accounting department per academic session is about 200. Most of the Federal and State owned universities offer post graduate level accounting programmes including the Master of Business Administration (MBA) with specialization in accounting, the Master of Science (M.Sc) and the Doctor of Philosophy (PH.D) in accounting.
2.2.5. Nigerian Accounting Education Curriculum
The fundamental considerations in developing accounting curriculum in universities should derive from a detailed accounting services needs assessment of different interest groups in society namely business organizations, government and international agencies. To appropriately accommodate the diverse needs of the different groups, university accounting curricula should provide for a broad knowledge base, the acquisition of accounting skills and the development of appropriate behavioral attitudes in students. The postgraduate curricula are mainly for intensive academic and research exposure geared towards producing top business executives and university academia. The strength of the curricula lies in the attempt to tie it to research literature, case studies and improvement in intellectual skills and attitudes. However it should be noted that the strength of the curriculum depends on its societal relevance which can directly relate to the changes experienced in the accounting profession.
2.3 Conclusion
From the above we can infer the thoroughness and time needed to roll out a meaningful improvement in educational curriculum, particularly the incorporation of developing matters in a profession to the curricula of such curriculum. Taking a gander at these necessity and arranging such with the advancement in the accounting professon, we see the requirement for a broad, time taken and preparing obliged change or alteration in the accounting curriculum in an offer to foster importance of the Nigerian accounting education system and to reflect currency in Nigerian educational system in whole. A concise perspective of the Nigerian accounting education was organized to indicate how far have come and the conceivable impact of a conformity of prerequisites to execute such changes. Settling on a decision in the event that it ought to be actualized on a university by university grounds or on a general grounds, by claim by the Nigerian university education administrators (Nigerian university council).
The writing not withstanding this study, in an offer to add to existing writing will give a review of the quantity of universities which have incorporated IFRS in their accounting curriculum, and the degree to which this curriculum change has been carried out in the space of two years of reception of Ifrs, taking into the thought, training, as a prime prerequisite for such a move as adoption and furthermore to view the impact such joining has regarding technical difficulty for teachers and the level of perception of terms and classification change as offered by IFRS.

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