ACCOUNTING INFORMATION FOR LOWER LEVEL MANAGERS
A CASE STUDY OF (ANAMCO LTD.)
The purpose of this study is to investigate into the information environment in which the lower level managers operate with special emphasis on accounting information. To realize this aim, questions were raised on the problems these meanders solve, causes of such problems, their information needs; its nature and type, and the overall suitability and uses of these information. The general perception of these managers regarding accounting information were also questioned.
Fire hypothesis were stated in the null form, which gave speculative answers to the questions raised.
150 lower mangers in 25 companies fire each from manufacturing, oil sales, banks and publishing house received our questionnaires 81 were returned and uses for the study.
The Z-test and T-test of significant difference between two proportion and mean were used to test hypothesis 1,2,3 and 4 and 5 respectively from the first four hypothesis, 2 calculated were – 4.31, 0.13, - 2.29 and –5.09, while 2 critical were +1.96 at 5% level of significance. In the 5th hypothesis, t-critical was +1.86, while t-calculated was 0.52.
The conclusions are that:
1. The lower level managers receive the type of information they require, and are satisfied with 4.
2. The lower level mangers use non-financial information more than financial information.
3. They are not starved of information, and do not neglect information sent to them.
LIST OF TABLE
2.1 Users and uses of Accountancy information
3.0 Questionnaire distribution and completion response returned
3.1 Distribution of questionnaire among state and industries
3.2 States, industries and number of respondents
3.3 Respondents, experience and education qualification
4.1 Job problem and causes
4.2 Mangers information sources need
4.3 Job problems and information sources needed
4.4 Information: nature and suitability in solving job problems
4.5.1 Information: nature and uses
4.5.2 Information uses and suitability
4.6 Job completion and factors responsible
4.7 Accounting information: Mangers perception and industry type
4.8.1 Information type discarded
4.8.2 Reason for discarding of information and type
4.9.1 Information starvation: Mangers’ view
4.9.2 Information starvation: managers view on how jobs are done
4.10 Performance improvement: Mangers’ view
TABLE OF CONTENT
1.2 Purpose of the study
1.3 Significance of the study
1.4 Statement of problem
1.5 Hypothesis formulation
1.6 Scope and limitations
1.7 Definition of terms
Review of Related Literature
2.2 General concept of information
2.3 Importance of information
2.4 Accounting information: General view
2.5 Sources of information
2.6 Criteria for accounting information
2.7 Users and uses of accounting information
2.8 Accounting information and the lower level mangers, functions, needs, form, content and uses
2.9 Improving the quality of accounting information
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY
3.1 Study area
3.2 Source of data
3.3 Sampling procedures
3.4 Research design
PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF DATA
4.2 Corporate information environment
4.3 Test of hypothesis
4.4 Information suitability and nature
4.5 Uses of information
4.6 Job completion
4.7 Accounting information
4.8 Neglects of information by mangers
4.9 Starvation of information and job execution
4.10 Improving performance
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
5.3 Recommendation and suggestion
APPENDIX: QUESTIONNAIRE DESIGN
Business firms are established to achieve specific objectives.
This may be to maximize profit or its shareholder weather. These are called “the and in view” Coventry, (1980;83) or the end of planning” Koontz (1980:189). In the pursuit of this objective, certain persons occupy positions of authority and are charged with the responsibility of integrating, through the functions of planning organization, directing are controlling, human and material resources and channeling such towards the actualization of the objective. There persons are the mangers.
In a typical organizational structure there are three categories of managers. These are the top medium and lower level mangers. The first group makes strategic decision by monitoring the external and internal environment of the firms forecasting operations, at the same time make long vange plan.
The medium level mangers make tactical decisions and intermediate plans on how to achieve plans made by the top managers. While the lower level mangers are controllers of operations and implementations, they interact directly with the workers and understand their problems better. These managers also understand better the job problems. They are also retired to as “frontline foremen and supervisions” Okono, (1993:62) Loto performs the day to day routine functions and makes adhoe plans to achieve objectives of minimal cost.
Business secessions are made in a complex and uncertain environment. This calls for a careful planning and implementation of plans for such plans to be made, the planner must be well informed on the object of planning. In the work of Ase chemic (1994:12), the off-the-scene, non-certainty, and social disintegration problems faced b mangers call for the use of information. Woel fel (1980:12) argued in favour of information when he called it “the raw material for decision making. To butteries his point, he further argued that “there is a direct relationship between the value of information received and the appropriateness of the decisions made”.
In a business concern information can be obtained from one accounting, marketing, external, research or other information sources. The use determines the courses and varies information content. Information can be presented in financial or non-financial form. It could be used, disregarded or seen to be irrelevant and complex by mangers. There are also cases when mangers are starred of information.
The lower level manger perform the important role of bringing management plans into action. Therefore any derivation at this point nullifies the entire plans and frustrate objectives. They therefore need more information for effective implementation of plans. For instance, a supervisor (lower level manger0 know through feed back information that so much quantity raw material has been used up in the production of contain batch of goods. This will make him to make adjustment in raw material consumption’s when the need be.
This is also the case with units controllers such as treasures, plant supervisors, foremen, chief engineers, among others.
This study therefore is based on the lower level mangers’ information environment, on area little or nothing has been written on.
1.2 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
Daff (1986:7) opined that accounting information is the language with which financial data are communicated within and out side business establishments. It produces information for people through people. Is a “live wire” without which the current of success cannot flow through the line of any business establishment. This description serves to show the important of accounting information in any business firm.
In the same line, the lower level mangers are front-line supervisors who put management plans into actions.
They do this by performing the routine function of allocating individual with work and seeing that is as accomplished Applay, (1976:30). The position of these managers are demanding in view of their functions.
The purpose of this study is therefore to identify, among other things, this information environment open to the lower level mangers with special emphasis on the place of accounting information in this environment. This purpose in achieved through the following steps:
i. Identification of their job problems and the cause of such problems.
ii. Identification of their information needs
iii. Identification of information they are provided with
iv. Identification of the type and nature of their information needs and those provided.
v. To also know if the information provided are suitable for their jobs or not
vi. Identify the uses for these information
vii. Verify the claims on starvation and neglect of information and finally;
viii. Identify the place of accounting information in the entire environment.
1.3 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
There are two major facts to view the importance of this study. These are from cooperate and academic perspectives.
There are various claims over the information needs of these mangers. Some could be starred, over provided for, or complex and untimely this study will therefore enable corporate bodies known the actual needs of their managers, as well as their general perception of accounting.
In the academic world, this study will changing the protracted arguments, claims and counter claims on information of lower level mangers. It will as well serve as a reference point for future researchers.
1.4 STATEMENT OF PROBLEMS
Strategic problems. They say, require strategic solutions
for the purpose of this study, it is added that strategic solutions can only be reached through the use of strategic information that relates to the problems the lower level mangers solve vital problems such as inventory valuation; recorder, pricing and profit plans implementation. As well as buy or repaid decisions implementation.
The issue in point remains that the type of information this level of managers need is not clear. Writers in this field have preoccupied their mind with the information needs of the top and medium level mangers. They neglect completely the mention of the information needs of the lower level mangers. In most cases, they simply incorporate such into. The information needs for the medium level mangers or just make a descriptive writing on the functions of the lower level mangers. This actions has actually created a vacuum in the knowledge on the information needs of those mangers. Recently, a researcher is administrative studies writing on the there “ accounting information for management actions” identified various classes of mangers and their functions. But dwat on the information needs of the top and medium level mangers. Commenting on lower level managers, he simply put.
Organizational information equip the lower level managers with the companies plans on some strategic problems, these include cost control, time , material, and labour needs of the firm … the mangers should be aware of stock valuation, assets valuation, and its disposal policies. Expenditure levels, charges in product lines and pricing technique should be explained Bxpnior; (1996:3).
The writer preoccupied his mind with what ought to be and not what is. He did not bother to know if information is provided or not. When provided, he did not talk of the nature type and extent of usage.
There were various claims over the information environment for the lower level managers in a class lecture. Aseehemic has commented the lower level mangers. Are starred of information, but did not go beyond that to explain the ground for his assertions and the type of information he was referring to. Some other writers has claimed that the information sent to these managers are too complex for them to understand. This they claimed have led to managers neglecting the information sent to them.
As this air of uncertainties and lack of clarity persists it becomes more impossible and pressing on the academic world to carry out a research of this nature that ca clearly study the information environment open to the lower level managers and make assertions in that regard. This is therefore the problem this work will try to study with special attention to accounting information.
1.5 HYPOTHESIS FORMULATIONS
The statement of hypothesis provides on measurement
criterion that keeps a researcher on the line of study Osuda (1982:44) in their words, it is “a speculation on the way the variables of the study behaves: Buridan (1990:3). It is a guide on the type of data that is to be collected and the methods to be use is their analysis.
The need for such guide rise tot he following hypothesis:
1. There is a big difference between the proportion of mangers that use accounting information one those that do not.
2. There is a big difference between the proportion of accounting information required by managers and those provide for their use.
3. There is a big difference between the proportion of mangers that use financial information and those that do not in Nigerians firms.
4. There is a big difference between the proportion of managers that perceive accounting information as irrelevant and those that do not.
5. There is big difference between the mean of managers that disregard information sent to them and those that do not.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY SCOPE
Considering the fact that the theme. “Accounting information for lower level managers” is a wide one to study. The researcher at this point wishes to state an achievement premise from the target population to constitute the scope of the study.
The target population in this study is the entire corporate bodies in Nigeria and all the lower level mangers therein, and the access population include the environment open to al lower mangers in five states (Enugu, Abia, Delta, Imo and River) in Nigeria, while the study sample will cover a cross sectional study of 150 mangers in 25 companies form five industries (manufacturing, oil, sales, bank and publishing) in the aforementioned states.
Precisely, the study will cover 150 managers from 25 companies among 5 industries in 5 states.
There is a great gap in knowledge over the information type, nature and content that is opened to Nigeria mangers and the place if accounting information in this environment various claims and counter claims have been made over this matter. Till now, no concrete stance has been given to the concept of accounting information for lower level managers.
Therefore, the need for this study become important to cover this gap and create a clear understanding of the entire environment.
This chapter is used to give a conceptual frame work that served as a guide for the entire study.
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