Background of the Study
Everyone is affected by accounting information. It is seen to be an everyday activity, not minding the individual, career, organization etc. Accounting can be seen to revolve around life, as everyone, in one way or the other is involved in one accounting practice or the other. The need to have in place, a system of recording financial transactions, brought the inception of accounting as a profession. (Nolan, 1998, p.6).
Accounting is often called the “language of business” because it is used to communicate financial information. Accounting, as opined by John, Haddock Jr. and Brock (2007, p.15) “is the process by which financial information about a business is recorded, classified, summarized, interpreted and communicated to owners, managers and other interested parties.” The concept of accounting is further defined as the process of recording, classifying, selecting, measuring, interpreting and communicating financial data of an organization to enable users make decision (Longe and Kazeem, 2012, p.5).
The history of accounting as a separate discipline dates back to the end of the Nigerian civil war. Until then, accounting was not a discipline on its own, but was rather treated as an integral part of its parent discipline which was Economics. Okereke (2008, p.3).
The study and practice of accounting, therefore, has a very important role to play in the economic development of any nation. As a measurement and reporting information system, accounting covers both micro- economic activities and it consists of various subsystems which relate to economic events and decisions (Ajayi, 1997, p.7). These subsystems can be identified as the major accounting fields: business accounting, government accounting, auditing and taxation, all of which aid in economic planning, project appraisal, capital formation and a host of other socio-economic activities. Accounting as a subject is taught amongst the numerous subjects taught in the secondary schools. It has several attractive characteristics. The study of accounting in secondary schools in Nigeria came up since the end of the civil war (Longe and Kazeem, 2012, p.21).
The reasons for offering accounting in the senior secondary school level are in four fold as viewed by Nolan (1998, p.27).