The Roles of the Accountant and Auditor in Stewardship and Corporate Governance in Nigeria
Since the separation of business from its owner and the advent of incoporation, it has become necessary for accounting profession to bridge the gap between owners and managers of business. The tendency to mismanage entrusted funds and resources and the recurring incidence of actual misappropriation by managers across a large spectre of businesses make the issue of corporate governance imperative. This bizarre scenario which has dealt a deadly blow to Nigeria’s political and corporate life in the past thirty years makes it more compelling for accountants to effectively perform their roles of enforcing and promoting good corporate governance by instituting a culture of accountability in the corporate world. While much attention has been given to accountability in public sector which has not even yielded the desired result, the same can not be said of organised private sector. To achieve the desired accountability and probity in the corporate world, the accounting profession has crucial roles to perform in this regard. Users of accounting information all over the world expect the Accountant to attest to the accuracy of stewardship report provided by management while the auditor provides assurance that the report he/she attest to portray is free from bias as this will not only serve the interest of the investors but all stakeholders. Therefore, the crux of this study is to see where leverage between the Accountant and the Audit committee could be established to guarantee a consistent culture of good corporate governance, which is the goal of accountability. This study eventually found that interaction between Audit Committee and the audit is a necessary ingredient for enhancing good corporate governance. Therefore, it is necessary to give statutory backing to the code of corporate governance designed by the Security and Exchange Commission. The study established the linkage that ought to exist between Accountants, Internal Auditors and of course, the External Auditors if good corporate governance is to be effectively instituted in the corporate world in Nigeria.
Keywords: Stewardship, corporate governance, accountability,
financial transparency, corporate fraud.