1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The banking industry is critical to a country's overall economy since it helps keep the capital market stable. The banking industry is a vital part of financial systems since it helps to mobilize capital for business growth. A strong banking system is essential for economic growth, as banks serve as a repository for customer money, which they then disburse through the productive sector. As a result, a strong banking system is critical to the well-being of all stakeholders and the overall health of any economy. The knowledge about the banking industry is critical for diverse stakeholders to make informed judgments in economic development, and the right use of accounting information helps users make efficient and effective decisions that are required to ensure the success and survival of any firm.
As a scientific procedure, accounting information is about providing financial information needed to make decisions, especially when it comes to the acquisition and use of limited company resources and the elimination of wastes in the wealth creation chain in order to optimize profit.. For the purposes of making decisions, accounting information is described by Seetharaman and Raj (2011) as data that has been structured. Despite the fact that information is not the same as data, they define it as representing data or knowledge that has been appraised for a particular use. Data can be defined as information if it has been retrieved, processed or used in any way for informational or inference purposes, argument or as a basis for predicting or decision making, according to Zhu (2013). Business management experts now believe that in today's highly competitive business world, having readily available and usable information is crucial to giving a company an advantage over its rivals. The quality of information provided to management has a significant impact on the efficiency and efficacy of an organization's operations, as well as the overall success of that organization. If a firm is to thrive in a fast changing environment, management must stay up to date on information that will allow it to plan for the achievement of predetermined goals. As a result, users aren't led to make decisions based on inaccurate information in the financial statements. The planning environment for financial institutions is constantly changing; therefore they must plan ahead of time. Due to the fact that their success is mostly dependent on the amount of loan and advance issued, they require proper information in order to run their business effectively.
A key characteristic of an organization's leaders is their capacity and fortitude to choose strategic ideas and courses of action to help the organization progress. Taking decisions is a daily occurrence and a key management function and activity (Kanakriyah, 2017). Management and decision-making, it has been suggested, belong together and cannot be separated. Making a decision is a process of determining which of several possible courses of action is the most appropriate. In other words, leaders and managers in a company need to be guided by past experience or similar events. Statistics and information are typically used to provide this direction; therefore the focus is on financial and economic data provided by management accounting (Meena & Dangayach 2016). Accounting data is used and relied upon when making decisions about the future growth and survival of an organization. It's also utilized to figure out an organization's exact financial status. There are several types of decision making: operational, tactical, and strategic. Operational decisions are made on a daily basis to keep the business functioning smoothly (Misni & Lee, 2017). It is crucial to ensure accurate examination of accounting information before making major decisions that will have long-term effects on a company's operations (Eugeria & Tiberiu, 2013).
An organization's accounting information system must have been tested for certain attributes in the collection of inputted data, processing of such data, generation of information outcomes and storage of the information to ensure that the decision reached is based on a solid foundation and guided by reliable results from previous events. Information must come from a reputable source, be relevant to the business and choice being made at that time, be a real result of past events in the organization, and be available when needed for the decision being made. Without these features, accounting information may jeopardize the choice made using it, thus it's critical to make sure the entire system of accounting information is reliable and includes all of the essential characteristics mentioned above. Financial transaction information is collected, gathered, and reported as a whole by an accounting information system (AIS), according to Modum (2015). With an effective accounting system, businesses can manage their information as one of their most precious assets and make informed business decisions with greater ease. For this reason, business professionals have accepted that having access to useful information is critical to an organization's ability to compete in today's business environment (Esmeray, 2016).
Every manager must know how to manage and deal with unpredictable financial situations. It's critical to consider the following factors when making financial decisions: (1) the choice between equity and debt funds, as well as the associated costs; (2) investment decisions, such as whether to purchase long-term assets; and (3) business operations, such as whether to return profits to shareholders or reinvest them. Starting a new firm relies on five guiding principles: Assess your existing financial situation, and then identify your financial goals. Then, build an action plan to help you get there. Finally, put your financial goals into action for the benefit of your company. Finally, keep an eye on the results and make adjustments as needed.
Always consider expenses vs. benefits and related risks while making decisions to ensure your company's financial well-being. Many company decisions are influenced by financial data. Even though financial statements provide a retrospective look at your financial decisions in the past, they aren't always a reliable indicator of your future financial prospects. Every owner-manager must research history and present financial information of the firm, industry benchmarks and key financial indicators of rivals in order to execute the financial statement analysis. There are a number of critical financial ratios that you can use to evaluate a company's overall health, including the company's long-term solvency, liquidity, and profitability. As a result, the focus of this investigation will be on First Bank Plc's accounting information and financial decision-making.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
In any business organization, information is critical for decision-making, but this is especially true in the financial sector (Haldma & Laats, 2016). The primary purpose of accounting information is to reduce risk and uncertainty while also giving the company a competitive edge in the market. When it comes to bank decision-making, accounting information systems play a critical role because the consequences of making the wrong choice could be far-reaching for both internal and external stakeholders, as well as the competitive environment in which they operate. Due to its importance, emphasis must be placed on the overall system's effectiveness in gathering information in order to ensure that the impact of accounting information generated on decision-making is positive. Although these roles and responsibilities have been clearly defined, the problem is with the information used to make decisions, which must be of high quality, reliable, and valid. Is the data accurate, up-to-date, complete, and error-free? Using accounting information incorrectly leads to inaccurate decisions that harm the organization because of not paying enough attention to these questions. Attempts have been made in this research study to examine respondents' perceptions of how accounting information is used in the banking industry when making financing decisions.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major purpose of this study is to examine accounting information and financial decision making of First Bank. Other general objectives of the study are:
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H0: Accounting information has not contributed to effective financial decision making in first bank Nigeria Plc.
H1: Accounting information has contributed to effective financial decision making in first bank of Nigeria Plc.
H0: There is no significant relationship between accounting information and financial decision making of first bank of Nigeria Plc.
H1: There is a significant relationship between accounting information and financial decision making of first bank of Nigeria Plc.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
For First Bank Nigeria Plc and other banks, this research paper will be of great use because it will help management and staff identify and understand the risks and problems associated with computerized financial accounting and reporting, as well as how to best combat those problems. This information will also be critical for other companies and organizations that have adopted or are considering adopting the computerized accounting system, as it will help them identify and manage pressure points that must be addressed if the system is to be successful. The research will also be beneficial to students who will have access to this data, which will guide their research and provide them with knowledge about manual and computerized accounting, as well as the importance of computerized accounting for financial reports.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is based on accounting information and financial decision making of first bank.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Financial Statement: May be referred to as overall general purpose entity statements that present the financial position and operating results of an entire business at the end of the annual accounting period or for a shorter period, Kennedy and Macmillan (1968: 6).
Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP): They are accounting principle that have been developed largely in accounting practice or have been established by an authoritative organisation.
Bank: Banks are financial intermediaries that regulate the economic flow of resources by taking finances from those with surplus (through deposits) and giving it to those with deficits (through loans).
Financial Statements: These are documents that portray recorded accounting information in monetary terms e.g. statement of financial position, statement of changes in equity, cash flow statement, statement of comprehensive income.
Information: These can be said to be facts needed or received by a person, or group of persons which is or will be useful to them.
Financial Accounting: Financial accounting is concerned with the recording of transactions for a business enterprise or other economic units and the periodic preparation of various reports from such records. Financial accounting then can be said to be a systematic gathering, identifying, summarizing and reporting of business transactions in monetary terms such that it provides information which permits informed judgment by the users of such information.
Decision-Making: Decision making can be defined as identifying alternatives, evaluating such alternatives and choosing from such alternatives. Decision making can be viewed as the very fabric of which organized activity is made.
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