New accounting rules for higher institutions

A new accounting rule, mandating the management of the Federal Government-owned tertiary institutions in the country to submit the monthly trial balance of their financial transactions to the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation has been reeled out by the government.

Besides, each of the institutions is to submit a detailed account to the same office on yearly basis starting from 2017, while it has become mandatory for the institution to get its trial balance for this year ready on or before March 17, this year.

The new accounting rule, New Telegraph gathered, is part of efforts by the Federal Government, as the Proprietor of the institutions to ensure standard practices and financial propriety in the system.

The Executive Secretary of the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), Dr. Mas’udu Kazaure disclosed this at the flagging-off ceremony of the 30th Quarterly Meeting of the Association of Bursars of Polytechnics and Colleges of Technology (BURSCON), hosted by Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH), Lagos.

He said compliance with the rules is mandatory and should be treated as such, stressing that the new rule is a continuation of reforms introduced into public accounting system by the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, which captures e-payment system; integrated payroll and personnel information system, as well as government integrated/financial management information system and national chart of accounts.

Other areas covered by the rules are the adoption of international public sector accounting standards; treasury single account and zero based budgeting. Kazaure, who was represented by Dr. James Anyanwu said the reversed scheme of service would have been ready had institutions contributed the dues expected of them for the exercise, warning that defaulting institutions should pay up without delay.

In his keynote address, the former Bursar of YABATECH, Mr. Joseph Akeju, advised bursars to be ethical in practice and loyal to their principals, who are the accounting officers of the institution. He said incidence of “no fund” which is common with bursars would only make them unpopular among their peers, even as he cautioned that they must exhibit good human relations in order to ensure their relevance in their environment.

The Rector of the hosting institution, Dr. Margaret Kudirat Ladipo, tasked on members of the association good professionalism and to be highly responsible, as required of senior public officer.

“A situation, in which a bursar comes to office with his own private agenda of financial gains at all cost, cannot augur well for the system. Bursars should advise their principals properly, and support them to achieve the mandates of their institutions,” she said.

In fact, the rector urged the association to show more commitment and determination in playing its role in ensuring prudent financial management in tertiary institutions across the nation.

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