There have been the recent calls for additional research in order to enhance the understanding of the adoption of accounting techniques (ATs) in small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). This, allied to an increasing importance of SMEs around the world especially in developing countries, is the motivation for this research. This research explores the uptake of a broad range of ATs in Nigerian SMEs; identifies the roles of ATs in the management of SMEs; determines factors that affect the extent of use of ATs in SMEs and lastly examines the relationship between the use of ATs and organizational performance of SMEs. A postal questionnaire was conducted to 1,000 Nigerian SMEs in manufacturing sector which elicited 160 useable responses.
The results show that the majority of respondents have used the five accounting areas identified. Use of the costing system, budgeting system and performance evaluation system are significantly higher than for the decision support system and strategic accounting, which indicates that the uptake of traditional ATs is greater than for sophisticated ATs. The results indicate that medium sized firms make greater use of all ATs as opposed to small sized enterprises. The most significant differences relate to the use of decision support system and strategic accounting. The increased uptake of sophisticated ATs by larger firms is in line with size being a contingent variable explaining the use of such practices.
This study enriches the existing body of knowledge of accounting by providing information as to the use of ATs in SMEs in Nigeria. The findings can be specifically informative for policy makers intent on developing accounting skills among Nigerian SMEs. This research will provide valuable insights into the nature of ATs in SMEs in a developing country and will promote interest among Nigerian researchers as well as researchers of other countries to make the SME sector a focus of interest in accounting research.
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