1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Over last many years the accounting book keeping was done through traditional way and recently due to the revolution in technology the booking has been done through computerized accounting systems (CAS). The aim of book keeping through computerized accounting system is to hold better records, efficient book management, to avoid typo errors and ultimately improving the management of their business (Ahmed, 2006). The computerized accounting system efficiency can be measure through its low cost and easy use. On the other hand there are very few problems to improve record keeping practices.
Small and Medium Scale Enterprises have played a key role in the economies of both developed and developing countries in terms of turnover, level of employment and serve as a mechanism to fight against poverty as evidenced in the literature (Akanji, 2006; Akintoye and Oladejo, 2008; Akande, 2013). The current wave of information technology calls for the attention of small and medium scale enterprises in the 21st century. E-commerce, according to Bansal and Sharma (2006), is rapidly transforming the way of businesses functions are performed, posing new challenges to the entrepreneurial profession.
Today’s modern technology brought into use the computer, this technology is the application of science to gathering, recording, processing and communicating of business information by means of electronic media. Most common tool for application is the computer and it involves all the transaction processing system, management information system and various business support systems etc. The computer is a central force in the advancement of various organizations. Therefore, computer can be defined as a tool or device which is able to accept facts (data) and figure in a prescribed form, apply prescribed processes to data and supply result of the processes in a specified format as meaningful information. There are also different types of information depending on the make or type of their functions. The revolution in technology to the computer complements or in the other hand, substitute for ten elements which are; paper, personal memos, charts, reports, calculators, terminals letter.
This view is further corroborated by Olivier (2000) that one of the most important current influences on the business operation is the development of new information technology. Prior to the emergence of electronic payment, banks transactions remain the widely accepted mode of payment in business, thus cash payment was only popular where it became inevitable especially in transactions dealing with minimum price such as foods, groceries etc where electronic payments may not be convenient.
Cashless economy has always been the advocacy of most countries of the world where carriage of cash at effecting transactions are utterly discouraged. Money in the traditional sense no longer exists at present times. Today, technology has made the need to carry heavy cash outdated, inconvenient and of no use (Popoola, 2010; Odior and Banuso, 2012; AlGhamdi, Nguyen, Nguyen & Drew, 2012)). Along with the information technology, the Internet high speed development, electronic commerce has caused the current distribution realm significant transformation gradually as observed by Liang and Yang, (2009).
A systematic technological advancement however gradually gave birth to what is known today as the computer. A computer is an electronic device capable of accepting data as input, applying prescribed processes on such data and giving out an output which is called information, computer can also be said to be a machine that manipulates in accordance with given rules in a pre-determined manner. It is an electronic device that is used to process complex and variety of data within the shortest possible time: This is because it has very high speed of operation (Omotosho et al; 2012).
Accounting system in common use ranges from simple system in which accounting records are maintained by hand to sophisticated system on magnetic disk. The accounting to be used in any given company should be well tailored to the size and to the information need of the business in a computer based accounting system, he accountant need only to enter the data needed for the computer to prepare journal entries. All the writings and postings to general ledger and subsidiary accounts are then handled by the computer (Omotosho et al; 2012).
Omolehinwe (2009) defines accounting as the collection and recording of financial data about an organization whether in the private or in the public sector and analyzing the data so collected to suit the decision that needs to be taken and reporting the relevant information in a summary form to the user in a form that is meaningful to him or her.
According to Chionye (2003), defines accounting system as the art of identifying, recording, classifying measuring and interpreting in a significant manner the financial transaction of an organization for decision making. Summarizing from time to time the information contained in the record, for its significant presentation and interpretation to interested parties as an aid to decision making. Accounting system is also defined as a consistent way of organizing, recording, summarizing and reporting financial transactions. Computerization is the installation of computers as a part of a process of automation.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The recent increase in technological advancement has strong impact on SMEs in other parts of the world including China and Brazil (James Manyinka et al, 2011). Emphasis on impact of information technology on increase in productivity and performance of SMEs can be considered as an issue of much apprehension to entrepreneurs, scholars and practitioners in developing economy like Nigeria. In a global world, the use of IT to increase productivity and performance is one of the challenges being faced by SMEs presently in developing country due to the lack of knowledge on the benefit of IT in their businesses. However, there is the need for changing roles of SMEs operation to meet the global challenges. In developing countries, ability to continuously upgrade functions, processes and productive in business becomes a matter not only of innovativeness but ultimately one of survival. Information technology is expected to improve SMEs operation performance in a form of transactional convenience, saving of time and quick transaction.
Another problem is the displacement of labour hands in the accounting department and its union implication and the problem of low turnover (volume of operation) and profitability in small and medium scale businesses.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study is to investigate computerized accounting system on the performance of SMEs in Uyo. The specific objectives are as follows:
1) To identify the types of computerized accounting system used by SMEs in Uyo.
2) To find out the kinds of accounting records maintained by SMEs in Uyo.
3) To evaluate the performance of SMEs in Uyo.
4) To ascertain the influence of computerized accounting system on the performance of SMEs in Uyo.
5) To identify the challenges faced by SMEs in adopting computerized accounting system.