Mernoush Banton Case Authors:
The mission of every public hospital in Nigeria is to serve the health care needs of people in its communities 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The task, and the task of its medical staff, is to care and to cure. The extent to which a hospital achieves this objective depends to a greater extent on the application of basic hospital financial rules, guidelines and accounting policies.
The objective of this paper, therefore, is to give a highlight on the basic financial rules, guidelines and accounting policies in public hospitals. The rest of the paper is organized in two 2 sections. While, Section three 3 concludes the paper by highlighting basic financial rules and guidelines in public hospitals relating to three issues namely general financial administration, financial counseling to patients and ensuring fair billing and collection practices.
An enterprise is normally viewed as a going concern. This means that the enterprise will continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future. It is assumed that the enterprise has neither the intention nor the necessity of liquidating or of curtailing significantly the scale of its operations.
Although the result of business unit cannot be determined with precision until its final liquidation, the business community and users of financial statements require that the business be divided into accounting periods usually one year and the changes-in position be measured over these periods.
This concept advocates that there is consistency in accounting policies adopted in the preparation of the accounts. There should also be consistency in the treatment of like items from one period to another.
This concept holds that cost is the appropriate basis for initial accounting recognition of all assets acquisition, services rendered or received, and expenses incurred.
It also holds that subsequent to acquisition cost values are retained throughout the accounting process. This concept state that no expenditure can be incurred on any project or programme unless it has been provided for in the approved estimate.
This means that all Government resource should be in fund, under appropriate heads and sub-heads. Under the cash basis, debtors and creditors are eliminated and the costs of fixed assets are written off in the year of purchase. This is the basis under which the financial statements of government in Nigeria are being prepared.
The government adopted this basis as a result of its simplicity and the fact that it enables the officers to perform with confidence so that a lot of laymen are called upon to perform accounting functions in government.
It is very simple to understand 2. It is easy to operate. It is factual 4. It saves time 5. It enables the officer to perform with confidence 6.
Debtors and creditors are eliminated and therefore there are no cumbersome accounting entries. The costs of fixed assets are written off in the year of purchase which also results in less entry.
Disadvantages of Cash Basis 1. It takes unrealistic view of financial transactions e.
It does not depict an accurate picture at the end of the period 3. It cannot be used for private economic decision making 4.
It does not obey the matching concept. Valuation of stock at the end of each for year may be cumbersome 6. It does not make provision for depreciation of fixed asset in every financial year. Modified Cash Basis Under the modified cash basis, books of accounts are left for about 3 months after the year in order to capture substantial amount of income relating to the previous year and also make substantial amount of payments relating to the previous year.
Accrual Basis Under this basis, financial transactions are recorded as soon as contract is sealed and consideration moves from the offeree to the offeror irrespective of the fact that the actual receipt of cash in respect of this transaction might occur in future accounting periods.
This is the basis under which the financial transaction of government parastatals, government owned companies and the organized private sectors prepare their financial statement.
Commitment Basis Under this basis, financial transactions are recorded right from the board room where management takes decision to expend money. The government budgetary procedure is commitment accounting in nature as funds are earmarked for different purpose.
This is a book keeping method which captures information about a financial transaction when it is ordered; contracted or agreement entered for the provision of goods or services in the future.
A liability will not be recognized until delivery is made, but the government is committed to meeting the obligation as soon as delivery is completed. The method recognizes expenditures at the time obligation or commitment is entered and employs subsidiary, or memorandum books to record such transactions as relate to local purchase orders, job orders and contracts.
In the public sector, commitment accounting is a statutory requirement, which, assists in vote control as it allows every accounting officer to keep track of expenditures being incurred in relation to the approved estimates.
The vote book is to be kept up-to-date and that for each sub- head the amount approved in the estimate is to be clearly shown. Similarly, the expenditure incurred on any known liabilities and unexpended balance should be shown.kaja-net.com will not be available starting at 9 p.m.
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