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THE COPPEBELT UNIVERSITY

In association with

THE TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL TEACHERS’ COLLEGE.


RESEARCH PROJECT

THE IMPACT OF NOT KEEPING PROPER ACCOUNTING RECORDS


BY SMALL SCALE RETAILERS IN ZAMBIA: A CASE STUDY OF
ITEZHI-TEZHI
BY
NALUONDE JESSICA
STUDENT NUMBER: 12711

SUPERVISOR
MR P. MUNKOMBWE

The project Report submitted in partial fulfilment of the award of


Bachelor of Business Studies with Education.
@JANUARY 25, 2020

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DECLARATION
I, Naluonde Jessica, do declare that this dissertation is my own work and that it has not previously been
submitted for a degree at the Technical and Vocational Teachers’ College (TVTC)

Date…………………………signature ………………………………………….……

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DEDICATION
This study is dedicated to my husband, Mr…………….., my mother……………………… my
father, ……………….., my sisters, …………………………,
……………………….and…………………….., my niece, ……………….., and my brothers,
………………… and ………………...,…………………….. , for their understanding and
support during my academic life. The other dedication goes to my lovely
daughter………………………………………….

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CERTIFICATION OF APPROVAL
This dissertation of Naluonde Jessica is approved as partial fulfilment of the requirements for the
award of the degree of Bachelor of Business Studies with Education of the Technical and
Vocational Teachers’ College (TVTC).

Signed by…………………………………………………..Date……………………

Signed by …………………………………………………..Date……………………

Signed by…………………………………………………... Date…………………

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
My un-measured gratitude goes to my supervisor, Mr P. Munkombwe for his guidance and
assistance rendered to make this work successful. My other thanks go to Mr. Mushani Misheck
who proof read my thesis. May God bless you

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ABSTRACT
One of the major contributors of economy growth in any country is trade be it home trade or
foreign trade. Home trade in many countries, especially African countries is made up of small
and medium Enterprises. These have been the builder of many economies in the world. Despite
the fact that small and medium enterprises are one of the major contributors to economy growth,
their survival is critical as they face a number of challenges which hinders their continuity such
as competition from large enterprises, lack of adequate capital for expansion and poor financial
management among small businesses.

Thus the main aim of this research is to access the Impact of not keeping proper accounting
records on Small and medium enterprises. The study further looked at the challenges faced by
Small Scale Enterprises in preparing financial reports. The researchers used both qualitative and
quantitative method, supported by statistical analysis of the survey data. The primary instruments
used to collect data were interviews, observation and questionnaire. The research was designed
to include small scale businesses within Itezhi-Tezhi Town Centre. The findings of the research
have proved that there is poor financial record keeping and financial reporting practices among
small and medium enterprises. Therefore necessary training is recommended to equip the owners
with basic skills of financial reporting practices.

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Table of Contents
DECLARATION..............................................................................................................................................ii
DEDICATION................................................................................................................................................iii
CERTIFICATION OF APPROVAL....................................................................................................................iv
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS................................................................................................................................v
ABSTRACT...................................................................................................................................................vi
CHAPTER ONE..............................................................................................................................................1
INTRODUCTION...........................................................................................................................................1
1.0 BACKGROUND...................................................................................................................................1
1.1 PROBLEM STATEMENT......................................................................................................................2
1.2 GENERAL/MAIN OBJECTIVE...............................................................................................................3
1.2.1 Subordinate/other Objectives....................................................................................................3
1.3 HYPOTHESIS.......................................................................................................................................3
1.4 GENERAL QUESTIONS........................................................................................................................3
1.4.1 Other research questions...........................................................................................................3
1.5 THE LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY.......................................................................................................4
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY...................................................................................................................4
CHAPTER TWO.........................................................................................................................................5
LITERATURE REVIEW....................................................................................................................................5
2.0. INTRODUCTION................................................................................................................................5
2.1 SMALL AND MEDIUM SCALE ENTERPRISES........................................................................................5
2.1.1 DEFINITIONS OF SMALL AND MEDIUM SCALE ENTERPRISES IN ZAMBIA........................................6
2.2 FINANCIAL REPORTING PRACTICES IN SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES......................................6
2.2.1 Common Financial Statements to be prepared by SME’s...........................................................7
2.3 SME’S AND INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL REPORTING STANDARDS (IFRS).........................................9
2.4. PROBLEMS FACED BY SMALL SCALE BUSINESS...............................................................................11
2.5 THE EFFECTS OF FAILURE TO PREPARE FINANCIAL REPORTS ON SMALL SCALE ENTERPRISES........12
2.6 CHAPTER SUMMARY........................................................................................................................12
CHAPTER THREE........................................................................................................................................13
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY.......................................................................................................................13
4.0 INTRODUCTION...............................................................................................................................13
4.1. RESEARCH TECHNIQUE AND DESIGN..............................................................................................13
4.1.1 The Process of the study...........................................................................................................13

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4.1.2. Targeted population................................................................................................................13
4.1.3. Sample population...................................................................................................................13
4.1.3.1 Sampling techniques..............................................................................................................13
Purposive sampling was used to select 30 owners of small and medium enterprises.............................13
4.1.4. Research instruments..............................................................................................................13
4.1.5. Data collection.........................................................................................................................14
4.1.6. Data analysis............................................................................................................................14
4.2. CHAPTER SUMMARY.......................................................................................................................14
CHAPTER FOUR..........................................................................................................................................15
PRESENTATION OF FINDINGS....................................................................................................................15
4.0 INTRODUCTION...............................................................................................................................15
4.1 EDUCATIONAL LEVEL OF SMALL SCALE BUSINESS OWNERS............................................................15
4.2 FINANCIAL RECORDS KEEPING IN SMALL SCALE ENTERPRISES........................................................16
Preparation of financial reports by small scale enterprises...............................................................16
Distribution about Keeping of financial record..................................................................................17
Officer in charge of financial records keeping...................................................................................17
Business owners’ literacy in financial records keeping......................................................................18
Types of financial records kept by small scale businesses.................................................................19
Small Scale Enterprise owners’ knowledge about financial reporting...............................................19
Training on financial reporting...........................................................................................................20
Relative high cost of trained accountants..........................................................................................21
Poor performance measures.............................................................................................................22
Inappropriate basis for budgeting.....................................................................................................23
CHAPTER FIVE............................................................................................................................................24
DISCUSSION AND FINDINGS......................................................................................................................24
5.0. INTRODUCTION..............................................................................................................................24
5.1 Research Findings............................................................................................................................24
5.1.1 Educational Level of small scale business owners.....................................................................24
5.1.2 Preparation of financial reports by small scale enterprises......................................................24
5.1.3 Keeping of financial record by SMEs.........................................................................................25
5.1.4 Officer in charge of financial records keeping...........................................................................25
5.1.5 Business owners’ literacy in financial records keeping.............................................................25
5.1.6 Types of financial records kept by small and medium enterprises...........................................25

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5.1.7 Challenges Small and Medium Enterprises face in preparing financial reports............................26
5.1.8 Small and Medium Enterprises owners’ knowledge about financial reporting.........................26
5.1.9 Training on financial reporting..................................................................................................26
5.1.10 Relative high cost of trained accountants...............................................................................27
5.1.11 Consequences of not preparing financial reports...................................................................27
5.1.12 Poor performance measures..................................................................................................27
5.1.13 Difficulty in accessing financial Assistance..............................................................................28
5.1.14 inappropriate basis for budgeting...........................................................................................28
5.2 CHAPTER SUMMARY........................................................................................................................28
CHAPTER SIX..............................................................................................................................................30
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION...................................................................................................30
6.0. Introduction....................................................................................................................................30
6.1. Conclusion......................................................................................................................................30
6.2. Recommendation...........................................................................................................................31
6.3. Chapter summary...........................................................................................................................31
REFERENCES..............................................................................................................................................32
APPENDICES..............................................................................................................................................33
Appendix 1. BIBLIOGRAPHY...................................................................................................................33
Appendix 2. – Questionnaire.................................................................................................................34
Appendix 3: the research proposal........................................................................................................36

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION
1.0 BACKGROUND
The importance of small scale retailers cannot be over emphasized especially in the developed
nations for playing very important roles towards fostering accelerated economic growth,
development and stability within several economies. They play a very important role of nation
building, and it is speculative that they develop and expand the economy. Not only that they also
help empower citizens by offering employment opportunities to citizens in the country, this in
turn helps to reduce poverty. Ronita (2012). Further explains that, “small businesses in Zambia
over the years have contributed greatly to the generally employment and production of goods and
services, provision of goods and services, creating a better standard of living, as well as
immensely contributing to the gross domestic products (GDPs) of many countries”. One of the
major challenge that these businesses face which is of interest to the research is their inability to
keep proper accounting records or books. Keeping proper accounting records is important as it
can help firms manage the short run problems in critical areas like costing, expenditure and cash
flow by providing information to support monitoring and control (Son et al 2006).

Keeping proper books of accounts is very important to the growth of any small retailer in the
sense it helps them to manage their finances effectives. It is in this regard, that sound financial
management is crucial to the survival, growth and financial performance of Small scale retailers
and this has been identified by prior studies (McMahon and Holmes 1991; Gorton 1999). It is
noteworthy that a major reason for small business failure is poor or careless financial
management (Hall and Young 1993). Poor record keeping, inefficient use of accounting
information to support their financial decision-making and the low quality and reliability of
financial data are part of the main problems in financial management concerns of Small scale
retailers.

While proper accounting is a useful system for making sound economic decisions (Stice, 1999)
and a key to Small scale retailers success, the misuse, untimely, poor record keeping, and
inaccuracy of accounting information also causes Small scale retailers to inaccurately assess their
financial situation, and make poor financial decisions (Miller and Rojas, 2004). These short

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comings might be the cause of difficulties to succeed and to raise fund or borrow money during
the later stage. In the worst case, Small scale retailers might face with the failure and perhaps
bankruptcy in the end. Basically, the primary concern in small scale retailers financial reporting
generally relates to preparation and use of general purpose financial reports such as the statement
of financial position, income statement, and the cash-flow statement.

It is possible to assume, that the financial reporting practices found in Small scale retailers in
Zambia may not accord with mandated, recommended or preferred practices in some or all of a
number of specific respects; firstly, not all financial statements may be prepared in terms of
balance sheet, the trading and profit and loss account and cash-flow statements as well as both
historical and future-oriented reports should be prepared. Secondly, financial statements may not
be prepared with sufficient detail with regards to generally accepted accounting principles and
the specific requirements of applicable accounting standards. Thirdly, financial statements may
be prepared irregularly and/or infrequently. Fourthly, financial statements may not be used
appropriately with regards to routine analysis and interpreted using accepted techniques such as
inspection of key figures, trend analysis, inter-firm comparisons and variance analysis. What
these issues above suggest is that financial reporting practices in Small scale retailers seem to fall
well short of what is dictated by various external financial reporting imperatives that exist for
them. It is for the above reasons that the researcher sought to identify some of the major impact
such failures may have on small scale retailers.

1.1 PROBLEM STATEMENT


Small scale retailers play a very important role both as economic agents and for ensuring
sustained growth for the economy. Therefore, the focus on Small scale retailers is reasonable and
expected. However, the following issues have been identified and form important motivations for
the study; Firstly, there is a very high rate of mortality for Small scale retailers in Zambia. There
is an incidence of poor accounting standards within the Small scale retailers. Simple records of
financial transactions are not kept and this creates loopholes for fraud. Improper records of
business transactions certainly limit accessibility to institutional credit. As stated earlier, a major
reason for small business failure is poor or careless financial management (Hall and Young
1993). Poor record keeping, inefficient use of accounting information to support their financial
decision-making and the low quality and reliability of financial data are part of the main

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problems in financial management concerns of Small scale retailers. These short comings might
be the cause of small scale retailers’ failure.

1.2 GENERAL/MAIN OBJECTIVE


This research targets to assess the impact of not keeping proper accounting records in small scale
businesses.

1.2.1 Subordinate/other Objectives


1. To identify the books of account Small Scale retailers keep.

2. To find out the financial reports Small Scale retailers prepare and how often do they write up
the financial reports.

3. To identify the problems/challenges the Small Scale Enterprises face in keeping accounting
procedures and writing up financial reports.

4. The consequences for not keeping proper accounting records and writing financial reports.

1.3 HYPOTHESIS
Null Hypothesis (H1): Financial reporting has significant impact on Small Scale Enterprises.
Alternative Hypothesis (H0): Financial reporting has no significant impact on Small Scale
Enterprises
1.4 GENERAL QUESTIONS
1. Do small scale retailer keep proper accounting books?

2. Do small scale retailers make correct accounting books regularly?

3. Do small scale retailers facing challenges in accounts procedures and in writing financial
reports?

4. Do small scale retailers know the penalties of not keeping appropriate financial reports and
records?

1.4.1 Other research questions


1. What type of Accounting Books do Small Scale Enterprises keep?

2. What financial reports do Small Scale Enterprises prepare and how often do they write up the
financial reports?

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3. What are the problems/challenges the Small Scale Enterprises face in keeping accounting
procedures and writing up financial reports?

4. What are the consequences for not keeping proper financial records and writing financial
reports?

1.5 THE LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY


One of the major limitations of this research is the fact that it may not give a clear or full picture
of the whole country’s situation in terms of the impact not keeping proper accounting records has
on small scale retailers as the research will only focus on a small population of Itezhi Tezhi. The
researcher hopes to ensure that the research meets all the relevant requirements such as; finishing
the research within the stipulated time, deliberations for a scientific research and thereby
reducing errors to the barest minimum if not to eradicate it completely, despite the limitations
that may arise from limited time and access of information from PACRA.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The general objective of the research is assessing the impact of not keeping proper accounting
records by small scale retailers. The study will also facilitate in establishing the degree to which
basic accounting procedures and financial reporting have been executed and practical in Small
Companies. Additionally, it will assist in identifying the costs of failing to give financial reports.
Furthermore, it will be a source of information to small companies who inquire about how to
maintain correct accounting procedures and give financial reports and assists entrepreneurs in
expounding one of the most important causes of the failure of small-scale enterprises.

1.7 CONCLUSION

This chapter discussed the background of the study, problem statement, research objectives,
research questions, hypotheses, limitation of the study and its significance.

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CHAPTER TWO

LITERATURE REVIEW
2.0. INTRODUCTION
This chapter reviewed the literature from various sources to enable the researcher know what
others have done about the proposed research topic. By reviewing various literature, the
researcher was able to identify the existing knowledge gap. The chapter therefore, discussed the
key areas of research.
2.1 SMALL AND MEDIUM SCALE ENTERPRISES
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are non-subsidiary, independent firms which
employ less than a given number of employees. This number varies across countries. (OECD
2010). The National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) defines a small-scale enterprise as a
firm with not more than nine (9) workers, and has plant and machinery (excluding land, buildings
and vehicles) not exceeding 10 million Ghanaian cedis in value. Since the 1960s to date, small and
medium sized enterprises (SMEs) have been given due recognitions especially in the developed
nations for playing very important roles towards fostering accelerated economic growth,
development and stability within several economies. They make-up the largest proportion of
businesses all over the world and play tremendous roles in employment generation, provision of
goods and services, creating a better standard of living, as well as immensely contributing to the
gross domestic products (GDPs) of many countries (OECD 2000).

Over the last few decades, the contributions of the SMEs sector to the development of the largest
economies in the world have beamed the searchlight on the uniqueness of the SMEs. However, it
appears that considering the enormous potentials of the SMEs sector and despite the
acknowledgement of its immense contribution to sustainable economic development, its
performance still falls below expectation in many developing countries. This is because the
sector in these developing countries has been bedevilled by several factors militating against its
performance.

Moreover, Loveman and Sengenberger (1990), Amadieu (1990), Koshiro (1990) and Marsden
(1990) all point to the fact that there exist a degree of heterogeneity in the definition and
conceptualization of SME. Studies undertaken by these scholars showed that the definitions tend
to vary depending on the institutional or historical contexts. Consequently, various classification

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schemes have been employed in attempting to provide a clear-cut functional definition for SME.
They include; capital outlay, number of employees, sales turnover, fixed capital investment,
available plant and machinery, market share and the level of development, these features equally
varies from one country to the other. Depending on the institutional or historical contexts, major
criteria for structuring SMEs sector are legal status (as in France), the ownership status
(Hungary), the distribution between “craft” and “industrial” firms (Germany) or independent and
subordinate firms (Japan), or small firms in industries where large enterprises dominate or where
there is a mixed-size composition. Such structural variety within and across national boundaries
will have to be taken into account when analyzing SMEs.

2.1.1 DEFINITIONS OF SMALL AND MEDIUM SCALE ENTERPRISES IN ZAMBIA


SMEs have been variously defined by many institutions in Zambia and such definitions have
regularly been revised from period to period. Each of these definitions has been defined on the
basis of size of investment, annual turnover and number of employees. The institutions listed
below gave their various definitions of SMEs relative to Medium Scale Enterprises (MSE),
Small Scale Enterprises (SSE) and Micro Enterprises (ME). There is however no consensus in
the definition. The Federal Ministry of commerce and Industries sees SME’s as enterprises that
have capital less than K2000000 million and total employees less than 300.

2.2 FINANCIAL REPORTING PRACTICES IN SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES


Despite the importance of financial reporting and analysis, it is unfortunate to find that these
practices are often inadequate and lacking among SMEs. This rather limited usage of financial
reports could be attributed to SMEs’ inability to employ professional managers with functional
specialization especially in the financial area due to their limited financial resources. Without
adequate, effective and timely financial reports and analysis, the SMEs are losing out on the
benefits from those practices such as improved monitoring of financial health and progress,
improved ability to anticipate fortunes or failures, better assessments of financial risks and
greater ease in financial planning and control.

According to Holmes (1991), most importantly, in the context of SMEs requiring extra capital to
grow, regular financial reports can provide indications on their ability to produce steady cash
flows and to service debt. It has been established that the use of appropriate financial reporting
and management accounting practices could be one of the determinants of company survival

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particularly SMEs (Gorton, 1999; Holmes, 1991). Accounting information signals that decisions
are needed, and provide information useful to making decisions (Gibson 1963). Accounting
information is used to assess the profitability of alternative courses of action, measure
performance, and evaluate the position of enterprises in term of profitability, liquidity, activity
and leverage. It can be used to improve SME performance,

Basically, the primary concern in SME financial reporting generally relates to preparation and
use of general purpose financial reports such as the balance sheet, the profit and loss statement,
and the cash-flow statement. Taking a broad view of what should be included amongst financial
reporting practices, both historical and future-oriented financial reporting could also be
contemplated. In addition, financial reporting practices are seen as extending to the analysis and
interpretation of historical financial statements. Finally, related matters such as financial systems
used, undertaking financial audits, internal and external financial advice available, and
responsibility for financial decision-making are also considered.

2.2.1 Common Financial Statements to be prepared by SME’s.


The four most common financial statements reported externally are the statement of financial
position, income statement, statement of retained earnings, and statement of cash flows.
Although derived from the same accounting records, each statement takes a somewhat different
view of the well-being of a business. Taken in sum with past statements, they are tremendous
sources of information relating to business operations. Each has a heading consisting of the name
of the business organization, the name of the statement, and the end date of the period covered
by the statement or the date that the report was prepared. Normally, these statements are
prepared annually. Many businesses, however, compile them on an interim basis such as monthly
or quarterly to make better use of their information. The following paragraphs describe each of
these statements, its particular uses, and its interrelationships with the other statements.

2.2.1.1statement of Financial Position


The balance sheet is also known as the statement of financial position. It is a snapshot of a
business’s financial position on a particular date. The statement of financial position has two
parts: the heading and the body. The body has three sections: assets, liabilities, and stockholders'
equity. The ordering of the elements in each section follows an established pattern. The first
assets listed are more permanent such as land and equipment etc. The last asset listed is always

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cash. Following cash are assets such as accounts receivable and supplies. They will be converted
into cash or consumed in business operations in the near future. Finally, the liabilities are always
found above the stockholders’ equity. Assets are defined as "economic resources owned by a
business that are expected to benefit future operations." Assets may either be tangible or
intangible. Tangible or physical assets include such things as buildings, cash, and office
equipment. Intangible assets are often in the form of legal claims or rights. Patent rights are an
example of this. Assets, despite of their form, are recorded at their original (historical) cost. This
is called the cost principle (Martin, 1991).

Liabilities are the next section in the body of the statement of financial position. Liabilities are
also commonly known as debts. Two liabilities are worth noting. Accounts payable is the
liability created by the purchase of goods or services on credit. Notes payable arise from the
borrowing of money to meet the business goals. The last section of the body of the balance sheet
is owners’ equity. If the business issues public stock, this section is called stockholders’ equity.
Owners’ equity represents the funds invested by the owners. This is a residual amount since the
claims of creditors must legally be fully satisfied first. The accounting equation states that assets
equal liabilities plus owners’ equity. To clarify the meaning of owners' equity, it is often
rewritten as owners' equity equals total assets minus liabilities. This emphasizes the point that
owners’ equity is a residual claim on the business’ assets. Owners’ equity can be increase either
by funds invested by the owners or by profits from the business’ operations. Conversely, owners'
equity can only be decreased by distribution of assets to the owners or by losses incurred in the
operation of the business (Martin, 1991).

2.2.1.2 Income Statement


The income statement shows "the operating results of a business by matching the revenue earned
during a given period with the expenses incurred in obtaining that revenue." The income
statement views the organization over a period rather than on a specific date. This is necessary to
understand a business’s economic performance as represented by the term net income. The loss
or gain in resources over a period is much more meaningful to decision makers than the loss or
gain for a single day. The income statement is divided into revenue and expenses. "Revenue is
the price of goods sold and services rendered during a given accounting period." Revenue can be
separated on an income statement into many categories such as sales, interest earned, and fees

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earned. Revenues are recorded at the time the services are provided or goods sold to the
customer rather than when the cash payment is received. This is known as the realization
principle that is another generally accepted accounting principle. Expenses, on the other hand,
"are the cost of the goods and services used up in the process of earning revenue." They are,
then, the costs associated with developing, producing, marketing, and selling a product.
Expenses can be placed into many categories from employee salaries to depreciation of
buildings. To determine net income accurately, all expenses must be offset by the revenues they
produced. This is called the matching principle. There should be a cause and effect relationship
between all expenses and revenues reported for a given period. Recording expenses is not based
on when the cash payment was made. Rather, it is based on the period in which the expenditure
produced or help a produce the revenue.

2.2.1.3 Statement of Cash Flows


The third common financial statement is the statement of cash flows. This statement builds upon
the information contained in the previous statements. Though the balance sheet helps figure out
solvency and the income statement helps determine profitability, users of this information also
need to assess a business’s ability to remain solvent. The basic purpose of the statement of cash
flows is to provide information on the origin and amount of cash receipts and on the destination
and amounts of cash payments. Cash is defined to include cash and cash equivalents. Cash
equivalents are highly liquid, short term investments such as money market funds and Treasury
bills. The body of the statement of cash flows is divided into four parts. The first section, cash
flows from operating activities, is of critical importance. A business that cannot raise funds from
operations will be hard pressed to gain sufficient funds from investing and financing activities to
remain solvent (Martin, 1991).

2.3 SME’S AND INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL REPORTING STANDARDS (IFRS)


It was in 2001, that IASB formally started to develop accounting standards for the suitability of
SMEs while keeping the emerging economies in focus. A discussion paper was designed for this
purpose in 2004 with the title of Preliminary Views on Accounting Standards for Small and
Medium-sized Entities and for this discussion paper comments were invited from around the
world. Emphasis and proposal were directed to the core elements of accounting standards which
are recognition, measurement, presentation and disclosure of financial information in financial
reports. The first exposure draft of IFRS for SMEs was published by IASB in February 2007

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with the aim to provide uncomplicated and easy to understand set of accounting principles for
unlisted companies based on full IFRS. Based on this exposure draft field tests were conducted
by IASB on a sample of 116 small firms from 20 different countries. On the basis of comments
and reviews on exposure draft, and from the results of field tests the job for IASB was eased up
in further enhancing and simplifying the accounting standards for SMEs, and finally launching
the official and final version of IFRS for SMEs on 9th July, 2009 (IASB, 2009). The IASB
previously considered, in principle, full IFRSs as appropriate for all entities, but acknowledged at
the same time the different user needs and cost consideration for SMEs. The IASB decided that
its mission would permit it to extend its focus also to SMEs (IASB, 2004).

In July 2009 the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) released a new accounting
standard called the International Financial Reporting Standard for Small and Medium-Sized
Entities, or IFRS for SMEs. It is intended for entities that publish General Purpose Financial
Reports (GPFR), that are not large (to be decided by the standard setters of each country that
adopts the standard) and are not “publicly accountable” - defined as not issuing public securities,
and not holding funds in a fiduciary capacity for a wide group of people (IASB, 2009). The
standard was created as an alternative to the full IFRS suite, which was created for the financial
reporting of large, publicly accountable entities. It was produced from IFRS by removing some
topics considered irrelevant to SMEs, and by reducing the accounting options available for
reporting some items. There is opposition to this manner of creation, because the users and user
needs of SME reports may be different to those of large, publicly accountable entities’ accounts,
meaning that a standard created from full IFRS may have only limited relevance to SMEs (IASB,
2009).

There have been different arguments with regards to if Small and Medium scale enterprises
(SME’s) actually need to adopt international financial reporting standards (IFRS). Dixon,
Thompson and McAllister (2002) argued that matters pertaining to large firms are not
necessarily applicable to SMEs. In addition, the emphasis on global financial reporting standards
due to international harmonization and business might not be a priority for SMEs because only a
small percentage of the SME sector has a global focus. Mourik (2007) concluded that
globalization and internationalization are products of multinational companies and SMEs

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involvement in globalization is often limited to those that engage in some form of exporting to
economies that are geographically close to each other and culturally similar.

Nonetheless, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) developed a global


accounting standard for use by the SME sector. In developing the IFRS for SMEs, one of the
objectives was to develop, in the public interest, a single set of high quality, understandable and
enforceable global accounting set of standards for the SME sector. The IASB (2007) was
committed to take into account the special needs of SMEs and in deciding the content of the
proposed IFRS for SMEs, the IASB focused on the types of transactions and other events and
conditions typically encountered by SMEs with approximately 50 employees (IASB, 2007).

The IFRS for SME standards are generally based on the full-IFRS principles and framework.
IASB has omitted certain topics or standards which are not relevant in financial reporting of
SMEs‟, and in a way reducing both the number of standards and their complexities. The topics
which have been omitted in IFRS for SMEs are: earnings per share as it is only required by the
publicly accountable entities; interim financial reporting and segmental reporting have been
skipped for SMEs; those assets which are termed as held-for-sale are treated in the same manner
as other long-term assets for measuring their impairment and presentation (Munter, Anderson &
Mellentine, 2009).

2.4. PROBLEMS FACED BY SMALL SCALE BUSINESS


Small businesses often face a variety of problems related to their size. A frequent cause of
bankruptcy is mismanagement of funds. This is often a result of poor accounting procedures
rather than undercapitalization and economic conditions. Again, when they first start out, many
small business owners under-price their products to a point where even at their maximum
capacity, it would be impossible to break even. Cost controls or price increases often resolve this
problem. This requires accounting knowledge.

Another problem for many small businesses is termed the 'Entrepreneurial Myth' or E-Myth. The
mythic assumption is that an expert in a given technical field will also be expert at running that
kind of business. Additional business management skills are needed to keep a business running
smoothly.

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2.5 THE EFFECTS OF FAILURE TO PREPARE FINANCIAL REPORTS ON SMALL
SCALE ENTERPRISES
No business can succeed in the long term without knowing exactly where its profits come from, what
its expenses are and how much it is making and spending, it needs financial statements. The
importance of good accounting records and financial statements to a small business cannot be over
emphasized. Keeping good accounting records and financial statements are even more important for
a small business than for other businesses.

A small business usually has few assets. Any crisis will sink it because it has nothing to fall back on.
That is why proper bookkeeping and financial statements is a must for small businesses. Good
accounting records will ensure that the financial statements of the business are readily available when
required.

A business’ financial statements provide various financial information that business owners and
creditors use to evaluate the business financial performance. Financial statements are also important
to business managers because it helps them in running the business. (Way, 2007) But most small
business or home-based-business entrepreneurs neglect any sort of financial statement, believing that
their businesses are too small to need it. Without financial statements, decisions and daily activities
of enterprises are based on guesses--not facts and thereby lead to the collapse of the enterprise.

2.6 CHAPTER SUMMARY


The chapter above discussed the background of SMEs, financial reporting practices by SMEs,
common financial reports needed to be prepared when for successful SMEs, problems faced by
SMEs and effects of failure to prepare financial statements on SMEs.

12
CHAPTER THREE

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
4.0 INTRODUCTION
This chapter discusses the methodology used, the research technique and design, the process of
the study, the targeted population, the sample population, sampling technique, research
instruments, data collection, data analysis and hypothesis

4.1. RESEARCH TECHNIQUE AND DESIGN

The researcher used both the qualitative and quantitative research design because of the nature of
data which was to be collected. The research design was both qualitative and quantitative
research .Kothari (2004:17) stipulates that qualitative research is concerned with the qualitative
phenomenon such as relating to or involving quality or kind. However, Bryman (2008:69) says
that both forms are important in that qualitative is open-minded and quantitative is accurate. The
two designs were used in this study to collect information from respondent.

4.1.1 The Process of the study


DATA COLLECTION DATA ANALYSIS DATA INTERPRETATION DATA PRESENTATION REPORT
WRITTNG

Figure 1, the process of the study

4.1.2. Targeted population


The researcher targeted the population of Itezhi-Tezhi business town Centre. The targeted
population was that of small and medium enterprises.

4.1.3. Sample population


The researcher targeted the expected number of 30 respondents. Meaning that there were a total
of 30 questionnaires given to the sampled owners of small and medium enterprises

4.1.3.1 Sampling techniques


Purposive sampling was used to select 30 owners of small and medium enterprises.
4.1.4. Research instruments
A questionnaire was distributed to the targeted number of small and medium enterprises owners
to fill in and then or there after structural interviews was followed, interviewing respondents who
did not understand some management terms in the questionnaires. An interview with the staff in

13
the human resource department was done to get in depth proceeding and information on the
impact of financial reporting practices on small and medium enterprises

4.1.5. Data collection


The data was intended to be collected through questionnaires. This is because it had an ability to
collect data from as many people as possible. It saved time and there was no biasness on the side
of the researcher and the respondents. Moreover the questionnaire was relevant to this study
because it assured the respondents confidentiality. The researcher was personally distributing the
questionnaires and conduct oral interviews.

4.1.6. Data analysis


The data collected through oral interviews and questionnaires were be thoroughly scrutinized and
analysed using statistical package for social sciences (SPSS). It was analysed qualitatively and
quantitatively were necessary.

4.2. CHAPTER SUMMARY


In summary, the researcher used both the qualitative and quantitative research design because of
the nature of data which was to be collected. The researcher targeted the population of Itezhi-
Tezhi business town Centre. The targeted population was that of small and medium enterprises.
The researcher targeted the expected number of 30 respondents. Meaning that there were a total
of 30 questionnaires given to the sampled owners of small and medium enterprises. Purposive
sampling was used to select 30 owners of small and medium enterprises. A questionnaire was
distributed to the targeted number of small and medium enterprises owners to fill in and then or
there after structural interviews was followed, interviewing respondents who did not understand
some management terms in the questionnaires.

14
CHAPTER FOUR

PRESENTATION OF FINDINGS
4.0 INTRODUCTION
The researcher targeted the expected number of 30 respondents. The sample size comprised
owners of Small and Medium Enterprises in Itezhi-Tezhi town Centre. The respondents gave 100
% response on the impact of financial reporting practices on Small and Medium Enterprises.

4.1 EDUCATIONAL LEVEL OF SMALL SCALE BUSINESS OWNERS


The researcher was interested in the level of education to determine the skills, expertise and the
competence level of the respondents both in answering the questionnaire and in managing the
finance of their businesses. Information gathered from the study indicated that majority of the
respondents out of 30 had secondary education and tertiary educations, 15 and 10 respectively. In
addition, it was revealed that all small scale enterprise owners have at least basic education. This
implies that the respondents have capacity to answer the questions in the questionnaire. Again,
with education and training small business owners will be able to keep proper financial records
and prepare financial reports to manage the finances of their business, a major problem facing
the industry. This is evidenced in figure 1 below;

Table 1, education background

Education background frequency


Basic Education 5
Secondary Education 15
Tertiary Education 10

15
Education Background

16
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
basic education
secondary education
tertialy education

Figure 2, education background of owners of SMEs

4.2 FINANCIAL RECORDS KEEPING IN SMALL SCALE ENTERPRISES


Preparation of financial reports by small scale enterprises
The question of whether entities prepare financial statements revealed that 24 constituting 80%
did not prepare financial reports while 6 representing 20% prepare financial reports.

Preparation of financial reports by SMEs

6; 20%

prepared financial reports


did not prepare financial reports

24; 80%

Figure 3, preparation of financial reports by SMEs

16
Distribution about Keeping of financial record
The study revealed that, 81% of the entities keep financial records while 19% do not keep
records at all. The summary of these findings is shown in figure 3 below

Keeping of financial Records by SMEs

NO
19%
YES
NO

YES
81%

Figure 4, keeping financial records by SMEs

Officer in charge of financial records keeping


Financial record keeping is technical and so requires a trained professional to do it. Without the
needed skills and knowledge, it is difficult to write up good financial records for financial reports
generation. On the question of the one responsible financial records keeping, it came to light that
in majority of the entities, the financial records keeping was done by the business owners
themselves. However few entities have qualified accountant who does the financial record
keeping. This is evidenced in figure 4 below;

17
dis tr ibuti on about Offi cer s in char ge of
fi nancial r ecor ds k eeping
25

23
20

15

10

5
5
3
0
owner/partner bookkeeper accou ntant

Figure 5, Officers in charge of financial records keeping

Business owners’ literacy in financial records keeping


On the subject of whether the small scale business owners have the basic skills and knowledge in
financial records keeping 70% of business owners admitted that they do not have the needed
skills and knowledge while 30% said they have the skills and knowledge of financial records
keeping function. The business owners’ literacy in financial records keeping is evidenced in the
figure 5 below;

Business owners’ literacy in financial records keeping

8; 27%
Literate
Illiterate

22; 73%

Figure 6, Business owners’ literacy in financial records keeping

18
Types of financial records kept by small scale businesses
For good financial record keeping practices, an entity must keep records on purchases, sales,
earnings, receipts and payments. The following books must therefore be kept; Purchases Journal/
Ledger, Sales Journal/Ledger, General Journal/Ledger, Debtors and Creditors Account,
Cash/Bank Account. On the issue of the type of financial records kept by Small Scale
Enterprises, it was found out that 33% of the entities keep Sales and Purchases Day books only,
14% keep Sales and Purchases Day Books in addition to Creditors and Debtors Accounts, 4%
keep General Journal only, 8% keep Sales and purchases Day Books in addition to Cashbook,
29% keep only Cash/Bank Account, 8% keep Creditors and Debtors Accounts with cash/bank
account while 4% did not keep records at all. The records kept by small scale enterprises is
summarized in figure 6 below;

35%
33%

30% 29% Sales and Purchases Day Book

Purchases, Sales, Creditor's and


25% Debtor's Accounts
General Journal only
20%
Purchases, Sales, Cash Book

15% 14%
Creditors’ Debtors and Cash
Accounts

10% Cash/Bank Book only


8% 8%

No records
5% 4% 4%

0%

Figure 7, Types of financial records kept by small scale businesses

Small Scale Enterprise owners’ knowledge about financial reporting


Examination of whether the small scale business owners have knowledge about financial
reporting shows that 28 out of 30 respondents do not have knowledge about financial reporting
and its importance to business while 2 admitted having knowledge about the subject under
discussion.

19
Small Scale Enterprise owners’ knowledge about financial reporting

7%

those with knowledge about


financial reporting
those without knowledge about
financial reporting

93%

Figure 8, Small Scale Enterprise owners’ knowledge about financial reporting

Training on financial reporting


When the small scale business owners were asked whether they received training on financial
reporting, 22 representing 73% said no while 8 representing 27% said yes. This is supported by
figure 10 below;

20
Tr aining on Financial R epor ti ng
25

22
20

15

10

8
5

0
YES NO

Figure 9, Training on Financial Reporting

Relative high cost of trained accountants


On the issue of whether the small scale businesses can pay trained accountants, 13 of the 30
respondents representing 43% responded no while 57% said yes. This is evidenced in figure 9
below.

21
R elati ve High Cos t of Tr ained A ccountants

13 YES
NO

17

Figure 10, how much small scale enterprises can pay accountants

Poor performance measures


Financial performance of a business is measured using profitability, liquidity, gearing, efficiency
and return on capital employed. The appropriate tool to measure these performances is the
financial report. The study revealed that business owners assess performance using measures that
do not give the true performance of their business and are being misled. Such measures include
increase in capital which comes as result of borrowing or high level of stock which is caused by
reduction in sales. The findings of performance measures use by small scale enterprises are
summarized in figure 10 below

Perf or m ance meas ur es us e by sm all s cale


enter pr ise
12
10
10
Number of SMEs (30)

8 7
6
6
4
4 3
2
0
Capital Level Sales Level Stock Level Expansion of The Use
infrastructure

Measures

Figure 11, Performance measures use by small scale enterprise

22
Inappropriate basis for budgeting
To the question of the basis the small scale businesses use in preparing budgets, 25% said
assumptions, 17% said information from financial reports, and 27% said advice from business
partners and associates, 16% said reports from business analysts and 15% did not write budget
for their business. Apart from assumptions the entire basis are good but they do not give
information about individual entities therefore using them to prepare budget misled the
businesses. The responses are shown in figure

30%
27%
25%
25%

20%
17%
16% 15%
15%

10%

5%

0%
Assumptions Information from financial reports
Advice from business partners and associates Reports from business analysts
No budget or plan

Figure 12, Basis for budgeting in small scale enterprise

23
CHAPTER FIVE

DISCUSSION AND FINDINGS


5.0. INTRODUCTION
This chapter will provide an analysis on findings which were obtained using various instruments
in exploring and Investigating the impact of Financial Reporting Practices on Small and
Medium Enterprises. It will also discuss the research findings. Under research findings not all the
objectives were presented in this chapter but only those directly related to the research questions.
For example; what is the impact of financial reporting practices on Small and Medium
Enterprises, what type of Accounting Books do Small Scale Enterprises keep? What financial
reports do Small Scale Enterprises prepare and how often do they write up the financial reports?
What are the problems/challenges the Small Scale Enterprises face in keeping accounting
procedures and writing up financial reports? What are the consequences for not keeping proper
financial records and writing financial reports?

5.1 Research Findings


5.1.1 Educational Level of small scale business owners
The researcher was interested in the level of education to determine the skills, expertise and the
competence level of the respondents both in answering the questionnaire and in managing the
finance of their businesses. Information gathered from the study indicated that majority of the
respondents out of 30 had secondary education and tertiary educations, 15 and 10 respectively. In
addition, it was revealed that all small scale enterprise owners have at least basic education. This
implies that the respondents have capacity to answer the questions in the questionnaire. Again,
with education and training small business owners will be able to keep proper financial records
and prepare financial reports to manage the finances of their business, a major problem facing
the industry.

5.1.2 Preparation of financial reports by small scale enterprises


The question of whether entities prepare financial statements revealed that 24 constituting 80%
did not prepare financial reports while 6 representing 20% prepare financial reports. The study
also showed that even those who prepare financial reports do not prepare periodical reports but
‘ad hoc’ reports. That is, when the need arises. Example, when they were seeking financial

24
assistance from financial institutions. This implies that financial reporting is not common among
the small scale business enterprises.

5.1.3 Keeping of financial record by SMEs


Financial records keeping is the process of recording all the financial transactions and events that
occur in the business. This is essential to the business because all assets that flow in and out of
the business as well as liabilities incurred and settled must be accounted for. Without proper
records it is difficult to give good account of the business activities. The study revealed that, 81%
of the entities keep financial records while 19% do not keep records at all. This implies that
majority of the small business owners appreciate the importance of financial records keeping to a
business.

5.1.4 Officer in charge of financial records keeping


Financial record keeping is technical and so requires a trained professional to do it. Without the
needed skills and knowledge, it is difficult to write up good financial records for financial reports
generation. On the question of the one responsible financial records keeping, it came to light that
in majority of the entities, the financial records keeping was done by the business owners
themselves. However few entities have qualified accountant who does the financial record
keeping.

5.1.5 Business owners’ literacy in financial records keeping


On the subject of whether the small scale business owners have the basic skills and knowledge in
financial records keeping 70% of business owners admitted that they do not have the needed
skills and knowledge while 30% said they have the skills and knowledge of financial records
keeping function. This means that even though small scale businesses keep some sort of financial
records, majority of those who do so, that is the owners, do not have what it takes to do it. The
business owners’ literacy in financial records keeping is evidenced in the figure 5 below;

5.1.6 Types of financial records kept by small and medium enterprises


For good financial record keeping practices, an entity must keep records on purchases, sales,
earnings, receipts and payments. The following books must therefore be kept; Purchases Journal/
Ledger, Sales Journal/Ledger, General Journal/Ledger, Debtors and Creditors Account,
Cash/Bank Account. On the issue of the type of financial records kept by Small Scale
Enterprises, it was found out that 33% of the entities keep Sales and Purchases Day books only,

25
14% keep Sales and Purchases Day Books in addition to Creditors and Debtors Accounts, 4%
keep General Journal only, 8% keep Sales and purchases Day Books in addition to Cashbook,
29% keep only Cash/Bank Account, 8% keep Creditors and Debtors Accounts with cash/bank
account while 4% did not keep records at all.

From these findings it is clear that all small businesses keep some sort of financial records.
However, no entity keeps complete set of financial records. This consequently makes preparation
of financial reports for good assessment of the business very difficult because accurate record
keeping is the foundation for financial reports. The researcher’ interview with the tax assessment
officer of Zambia Revenue Authority revealed that most small business entities did not present
financial statement for tax assessment due to poor financial records keeping.

5.1.7 Challenges Small and Medium Enterprises face in preparing financial reports .
Financial reporting has immense benefits to small scale enterprises; it provides quick and
relatively simple means of assessing the financial health of a business. Yet few entities practice
it. Even those who practice it do so, on an ad hock basis. That is, when requested by tax official
for tax assessment or financial institutions for loan. The study revealed a number of challenges
hindering small scale enterprises from preparing financial reports.

5.1.8 Small and Medium Enterprises owners’ knowledge about financial reporting
Examination of whether the small scale business owners have knowledge about financial
reporting shows that 28 out of 30 respondents do not have knowledge about financial reporting
and its importance to business while 2 admitted having knowledge about the subject under
discussion. Majority of the small business owners fail to prepare financial reports due to lack of
knowledge about the subject and its importance.

5.1.9 Training on financial reporting


When the small scale business owners were asked whether they received training on financial
reporting, 22 representing 73% said no while 8 representing 27% said yes.

The researcher’ interview with the regional chairman of the National Board for Small Scale
Industries revealed that assistance is offered to SMEs in the form of training. On the question of
the kind of training the board offers for SMEs, the officer hinted that the training mainly focused
on financial management programmes. He cited poor financial management as the major

26
problem facing SMEs. He added that most SMEs face the problem of accessing loans from the
banks because they do not prepare financial reports.

On the subject of the personnel for the training, the interview revealed that the training
programmes were outsourced to experts especially when the training is more technical. The
chairman intimated that, every district has business advisor who runs the accounting and
financial training for the businesses. The business advisors as well as the trainers often go for
refresher courses to upgrade themselves.

5.1.10 Relative high cost of trained accountants


On the issue of whether the small scale businesses can pay trained accountants, 13 of the 30
respondents representing 43% responded no while 57% said yes. When the owners were asked
how much their business could pay an accountant majority of them said they could pay below
K1500. This was considered under the present labour market conditions. This indicates that
challenge the small businesses face in financial reporting is inability to pay for the service of a
trained personnel to do the work.

5.1.11 Consequences of not preparing financial reports


Businesses are required to keep proper books of account and prepare financial reports which give
a true and fair view of the business’s financial affairs. Proper records and financial reports
provide useful information regarding financial position of the business, the success of business
operations, the effectiveness of policies and strategies and provide insight into future
performance. Though financial reporting practices come with cost and challenges, the benefits
derived from its practice far outweigh its cost. Businesses that disregard the importance of proper
record keeping and financial reporting pay dearly for that. This study revealed some
consequences of failing to prepare financial reports.

5.1.12 Poor performance measures


Financial performance of a business is measured using profitability, liquidity, gearing, efficiency
and return on capital employed. The appropriate tool to measure these performances is the
financial report. The study revealed that business owners assess performance using measures that
do not give the true performance of their business and are being misled. Such measures include
increase in capital which comes as result of borrowing or high level of stock which is caused by
reduction in sales.

27
5.1.13 Difficulty in accessing financial Assistance
When asked whether small scale businesses get assistance from financial institutions all the 30
respondents said yes but added that they had to go through difficult processes. When inquired
for the process they go through in getting the assistance, majority said that they had to present
comprehensive financial statements, business plan and provide collateral security. This implies
that financial report is a major tool in securing financials supports from the institutions; private
and government.

The researcher’ interview with the loan officers of the financial institutions revealed that the first
and foremost criteria used in granting loan is financial report. The officers stated that collateral
security and guarantors are needed for the loans but the ability of the business to earn profits and
pay back the loan is paramount to them. And this is determined through the audited financial
reports. This implies that financial accountability is necessary to receive financial assistance.
Without it, it is difficult for small businesses to get financial assistance.

5.1.14 inappropriate basis for budgeting


To the question of the basis the small scale businesses use in preparing budgets, 25% said
assumptions, 17% said information from financial reports, and 27% said advice from business
partners and associates, 16% said reports from business analysts and 15% did not write budget
for their business. Apart from assumptions the entire basis are good but they do not give
information about individual entities therefore using them to prepare budget misled the
businesses.

5.2 CHAPTER SUMMARY


The above chapter discussed various areas which were of interest to the researcher. The
researcher was interested in the level of education to determine the skills, expertise and the
competence level of the respondents both in answering the questionnaire and in managing the
finance of their businesses. The question of whether entities prepare financial statements
revealed that 24 constituting 80% did not prepare financial reports while 6 representing 20%
prepare financial reports. The chapter also went on to discuss the following; Officer in charge of
financial records keeping, business owners’ literacy in financial records keeping , types of

financial records kept by small and medium enterprises , challenges Small and Medium
Enterprises face in preparing financial reports, small and Medium Enterprises owners’

28
knowledge about financial reporting, training on financial reporting, relative high cost of trained
accountants, consequences of not preparing financial reports, poor performance measures,
difficulty in accessing financial Assistance, and inappropriate basis for budgeting

29
CHAPTER SIX

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION


6.0. Introduction
All the previous chapters have been dealing with theoretical and scientific part of the study
mostly looking at different variables and drawing the relationship between Financial Reporting
Practices and Small and Medium Enterprises. This chapter presents the summary of major
findings, conclusion and recommendations provided by the researcher about the impact of
financial reporting practices and suggestions for further research.

6.1. Conclusion

The study found out that more youth are now into owning their businesses. More men are now
into jobs like wholesaling and retailing, majority of the small business owners are educated and
small scale business has spread to all sectors of the economy. Small business sector is therefore a
major source of employment to Zambians. Majority of the small scale enterprises kept some sort
of financial records. Record keeping of majority of SMEs was done by the business owners
themselves who lacked the knowledge in basic accounting procedures and record keeping
principles. There was therefore, an apparent non-existence of proper bookkeeping and basic
accounting procedures in SMEs.

Relatively high cost of hiring the service of trained accountant, lack of training on the basic
financial reporting principles, erroneous impression about accountants, lack of knowledge about
financial report and its importance to the business, lack of computerized accounting systems
were the challenges SMEs face. Poor performance measures, difficulty in accessing financial
assistance, inappropriate basis for budgeting and poor credit assessment were the price paid for
not keeping proper records and preparing financial reporting.

Nevertheless, conclusion drawn from the research indicated that majority of the SMEs do not
prepare financial reports as a result of poor records keeping, fear of exposing the business to
danger if business information is made public, high cost associated with financial reporting and
lack education on the importance of financial reporting to the business. This therefore, affects
the ability of SMEs in access financial assistance both from the government and private
institutions and in most cases a major cause of business failure. The research further revealed

30
high level of illiteracy, in terms of basic financial records keeping and financial reporting, on the
part of small business owners. Unfortunately, the training programmes organized by National
Board for Small Industries and other institutions, like district and sub-metro assemblies, also
neglect this important tool for business survival.

6.2. Recommendation
Due to the immense contribution of small and medium enterprises to the socio-economic
development of the country much attention should be given to proper financial record keeping
and financial reporting procedures in small and medium enterprises. The government of Zambia
is doing a lot to promote and sustain small businesses in the country yet little is done in terms of
financial management especially financial reporting. It is suggested that the government of
Zambia, through its Zambia revenue authority (ZRA), in collaboration with Accountancy bodies
in Zambia for example Institute of Chartered Accountants, Zambia embark on massive financial
reporting education and training for the small business owners and help prepare their financial
reports at a minimal fee if not for free .

6.3. Chapter summary


This chapter discussed the conclusion of the whole research and the recommendations made in
the research. Some of the recommendations are; much attention should be given to proper
financial record keeping and financial reporting procedures in small and medium enterprises.
The government of Zambia is doing a lot to promote and sustain small businesses in the country
yet little is done in terms of financial management especially financial reporting. It is suggested
that the government of Zambia, through its Zambia revenue authority (ZRA), in collaboration
with Accountancy bodies in Zambia for example Institute of Chartered Accountants, Zambia
embark on massive financial reporting education and training for the small business owners and
help prepare their financial reports at a minimal fee if not for free .

31
REFERENCES
Gorton, M. (1999): Use of financial management techniques in the U.K. – based small and
medium sized enterprises: empirical research findings. Journal of Financial Management &
Analysis

Hall, G. and B. Young, (1993). “Factors Associated with Small Firm Insolvency,” in R. Atkin,
E. Chell and C.Mason (eds.) New Directions in Small Business Research, Aldershot: Avebury.

Holmes, S. (1991). Small business financial management practices in North America: a


literature review, Journal of Small Business Management

Loveman, G. and W. Sengenberger (1990), in Sengenberger, W. et al. (eds), The Re-emergence


of Small Enterprises, Geneva: ILO

Martin B. L (1999), Integrated financial reporting for a small business. Published M.sc thesis
submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science In
Information Systems, California: The Naval Postgraduate School

McMahon RGP, Holmes S (1999). “Small Business Financial Management Practices in


North America: A Literature Review”. North America: J. Small Bus. Manage

OECD (2010), “Employment in Small and Large Firms: Where have jobs come from?” in
Employment Outlook, Paris: OECD

Ronita D.R (2012). Development of international financial reporting standards for small
and medium scale enterprises. A thesis submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for Ph.D.
degree in the department of accounting, University of Sydney.

Van Mourik. C.M. 2007. Globalisatie en de Rol van Financial Accounting Informatie in
Japan. Japan: Tinbergen Institute Research Series

32
APPENDICES
Appendix 1. BIBLIOGRAPHY
Amissah, H. H (2011), Proper bookkeeping and basic accounting procedures in small scale
enterprises, Kwame University of Science and Technology
Bandi (2012). Finance perspective versus accounting perspective: the case of earning
persistence in Indonesia. International Journal of Economics and Finance, Vol. 4 No. 9, 191-199.
Berry, A.J., Sweeting, R., &Goto, J. (2006). The effect of business adviser on the performance
of SMEs. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 13(1), 33- 47.
Bruce, B.B & Amy, R.G (2008). Formalizing the front-end of the entrepreneurial process
using the stage-gate model as a guide; an opportunity to improve entrepreneurship education
and practice. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 15 No.2, 289-303.
Caldeira, M.M., & Ward, J.M., (2003). Using resource-based theory to interpret the
successful adoption and use of information systems and technology in manufacturing small
and medium-sized enterprises. European Journal of Information System, Vol 12(2). 127-141.
Che Din, D. (2008), Quality control of service provider on non audit service, and the
level of non audit fees: The perception of SMEs in Malaysia. MBA thesis, School of
Management, University Sains Malaysia, Penang.
Susela, D & R. Helen, S. (2010). Accountants as provider of support and advice to SMEs in
Malaysia. Certified Accountants Education Trust, Association of Chartered Certified
Accountants. London.
Thomas, W.Y.M. (2006). Exploring the behavioral patterns of entreprenerial learning: a
competency approach . Journal Education and Training, Vol. 40 No. 5, 309-321.
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, (2000). Promoting transparency and
financial disclosure: accounting by small and medium-sized enterprises.
http://www.unctad.org/en/docs/c2isarl3.en.pdf(accessed 30 December 2012).
Wiersma W. (2000). Research methods in education. Boston: Ally & Bacon.
Wood Frank &Sangter Alan (2002), Business Accounting, 9th Edition, Edinburgh: Pearson
Education Ltd,

33
Appendix 2. – Questionnaire
THE QUESTIONNAIRE
Serial
Numbe
r

The impact of Financial Reporting Practices on Small and Medium


Enterprises (SMEs)
Case of Itezhi-Tezhi town Centre
Dear Respondent,

My names are NALUONDE JESSICA; student number: 12711, I am a student from Technical
and Vocational Teachers College conducting a research on the Impact of not keeping proper
accounting records on Small and medium enterprises as part of my degree program leading to the
award of Bachelor of Business Studies with Education (BBS, ED). I would therefore, be grateful
for your assistance in completing the following questions to the best of your knowledge. The
responses that you will provide in this research will be treated with confidentiality and are only
meant for academic purposes.

Research instrument (Questionnaire) for owners of Small and Medium


Enterprises (SMEs)

Instruction
Please TICK your response

1. What is your age? A) 15-20 □ B) 21-25 □ C) 26-30□ D) 30 and above □


2. Gender? Male □ Female □

3. What is your Educational Level A) basic □ B) Certificate/Diploma □C) degree □

D) other □

4. Do you Prepare financial reports A) Prepare Financial Reports □ B) Do Not Prepare

Financial Report □

5. Do you keep financial records A) NO □ B) SOMEWHAT □C) YES□

34
6. Who is the officer in charge of financial records keeping A) Owner/Partner □
B) Bookkeeper □ C) Accountant □
7. Level your literacy about financial records keeping A) Literate □ B) Illiterate □
8. Which Types of financial records do you use? A) Sales and Purchases Bay Book □

B) Purchases , Sales, Creditor's and Debtor's Accounts □ C) General Journal only □

D) Purchases , Sales, Cash Book □ E) Creditors’ Debtors and Cash Accounts □

F) Cash/Bank Book only □ G) No records □

9. Do you face Challenges in preparing financial reports A) NO □ B) SOMEWHAT □

C) YES□

10. Do you engage yourself in financial reporting training A) NO □ B) SOMEWHAT

□C) YES□
11. How much can you afford paying a certified accountant A) Less K1500 □ B) Equal Or

Greater K2000 □

12. Do you have confidence in trained accountants A) NO □ B) SOMEWHAT □C)

YES□

13. Do you think, there are consequences of not preparing financial reports A) NO □ B)

SOMEWHAT □C) YES□

14. Level the impact of financial reporting A) Excellent Impact □ B) Very Good Impact

□ C) Satisfactory Impact □D) Very Poor Impact □ E) Un Acceptable Impact □


Thank you for your help..

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Appendix 3: the research proposal

RESEARCH TOPIC.

Assessing the impact of not keeping proper accounting records by small scale retailers in
Zambia: A case study of Itezhi Tezhi.

BACKGROUND

The importance of small scale retailers cannot be over emphasized especially in the developed
nations for playing very important roles towards fostering accelerated economic growth,
development and stability within several economies. They play a very important role of nation
building, and it is speculative that they develop and expand the economy. Not only that they also
help empower citizens by offering employment opportunities to citizens in the country, this in
turn helps to reduce poverty. Ronita (2012). Further explains that, “small businesses in Zambia
over the years have contributed greatly to the generally employment and production of goods and
services, provision of goods and services, creating a better standard of living, as well as
immensely contributing to the gross domestic products (GDPs) of many countries”. One of the
major challenge that these businesses face which is of interest to the research is their inability to
keep proper accounting records or books. Keeping proper accounting records is important as it
can help firms manage the short run problems in critical areas like costing, expenditure and cash
flow by providing information to support monitoring and control (Son et al 2006).

Keeping proper books of accounts is very important to the growth of any small retailer in the
sense it helps them to manage their finances effectives. It is in this regard, that sound financial
management is crucial to the survival, growth and financial performance of Small scale retailers
and this has been identified by prior studies (McMahon and Holmes 1991; Gorton 1999). It is
noteworthy that a major reason for small business failure is poor or careless financial
management (Hall and Young 1993). Poor record keeping, inefficient use of accounting
information to support their financial decision-making and the low quality and reliability of
financial data are part of the main problems in financial management concerns of Small scale
retailers.

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While proper accounting is a useful system for making sound economic decisions (Stice, 1999)
and a key to Small scale retailers success, the misuse, untimely, poor record keeping, and
inaccuracy of accounting information also causes Small scale retailers to inaccurately assess their
financial situation, and make poor financial decisions (Miller and Rojas, 2004). These short
comings might be the cause of difficulties to succeed and to raise fund or borrow money during
the later stage. In the worst case, Small scale retailers might face with the failure and perhaps
bankruptcy in the end. Basically, the primary concern in small scale retailers financial reporting
generally relates to preparation and use of general purpose financial reports such as the statement
of financial position, income statement, and the cash-flow statement.

It is possible to assume, that the financial reporting practices found in Small scale retailers in
Zambia may not accord with mandated, recommended or preferred practices in some or all of a
number of specific respects; firstly, not all financial statements may be prepared in terms of
balance sheet, the trading and profit and loss account and cash-flow statements as well as both
historical and future-oriented reports should be prepared. Secondly, financial statements may not
be prepared with sufficient detail with regards to generally accepted accounting principles and
the specific requirements of applicable accounting standards. Thirdly, financial statements may
be prepared irregularly and/or infrequently. Fourthly, financial statements may not be used
appropriately with regards to routine analysis and interpreted using accepted techniques such as
inspection of key figures, trend analysis, inter-firm comparisons and variance analysis. What
these issues above suggest is that financial reporting practices in Small scale retailers seem to fall
well short of what is dictated by various external financial reporting imperatives that exist for
them. It is for the above reasons that the researcher sought to identify some of the major impact
such failures may have on small scale retailers.

Statement of Problem

Small scale retailers play a very important role both as economic agents and for ensuring
sustained growth for the economy. Therefore, the focus on Small scale retailers is reasonable and
expected. However, the following issues have been identified and form important motivations for
the study; Firstly, there is a very high rate of mortality for Small scale retailers in Zambia. There
is an incidence of poor accounting standards within the Small scale retailers. Simple records of
financial transactions are not kept and this creates loopholes for fraud. Improper records of

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business transactions certainly limit accessibility to institutional credit. As stated earlier, a major
reason for small business failure is poor or careless financial management (Hall and Young
1993). Poor record keeping, inefficient use of accounting information to support their financial
decision-making and the low quality and reliability of financial data are part of the main
problems in financial management concerns of Small scale retailers. These short comings might
be the cause of small scale retailers’ failure.

4 Hypothesis

Null Hypothesis (H1): Financial reporting has significant impact on Small Scale Enterprises.

Alternative Hypothesis (H0): Financial reporting has no significant impact on Small Scale
Enterprises

General/Main objective

This research targets to assess the impact of not keeping proper accounting records in small scale
businesses.

Subordinate/other Objectives

1. To identify the books of account Small Scale retailers keep.

2. To find out the financial reports Small Scale retailers prepare and how often do they write up
the financial reports.

3. To identify the problems/challenges the Small Scale Enterprises face in keeping accounting
procedures and writing up financial reports.

4. The consequences for not keeping proper accounting records and writing financial reports.

General questions

1. Do small scale retailer keep proper accounting books?

2. Do small scale retailers make correct accounting books regularly?

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3. Do small scale retailers facing challenges in accounts procedures and in writing financial
reports?

4. Do small scale retailers know the penalties of not keeping appropriate financial reports and
records?

4.1 Research questions

1. What type of Accounting Books do Small Scale Enterprises keep?

2. What financial reports do Small Scale Enterprises prepare and how often do they write up the
financial reports?

3. What are the problems/challenges the Small Scale Enterprises face in keeping accounting
procedures and writing up financial reports?

4. What are the consequences for not keeping proper financial records and writing financial
reports?

RESEARCH TECHNIQUE AND DESIGN

The researcher will use both the qualitative and quantitative research design because of the
nature of data which will be collected. The research design will be both qualitative and
quantitative research .Kothari (2004:17) stipulates that qualitative research is concerned with the
qualitative phenomenon such as relating to or involving quality or kind. However, Bryman
(2008:69) says that both forms are important in that qualitative is open-minded and quantitative
is accurate. The two designs were used in this study to collect information from respondent.

Targeted Population

This research will target the population of Itezhi tezhi district businesses. The targeted
population will be that of small scale retailers.

Sample Population

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The researcher will target the expected number of 20 respondents. Meaning that there will be a
total of 20 questionnaires given to owners of small and medium enterprises

Sampling Techniques

Purposive sampling will be used to select 20 owners of small and medium enterprises.

RESEARCH INSTRUMENTS

A questionnaire will be used to collect information from the small scale retailers, there after
structural interviews will be conducted were need be, interviewing respondents who may have
challenges interpreting the questionnaire.

DATA COLLECTION

Questionnaires will be used to collect data. This is because it enables people to respond outside
their busy schedule, it can easily be distributed and collected back at any agreed time. It saves
time and there will be no biasness on the side of the researcher and the respondents. It also helps
to keep the respondents confidentialities.

DATA ANALYSIS

Statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) will be used to analyze collected data. It will be
analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively were necessary.

SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY

The general objective of the research is assessing the impact of not keeping proper accounting
records by small scale retailers. The study will also facilitate in establishing the degree to which
basic accounting procedures and financial reporting have been executed and practical in Small
Companies. Additionally, it will assist in identifying the costs of failing to give financial reports.
Furthermore, it will be a source of information to small companies who inquire about how to
maintain correct accounting procedures and give financial reports and assists entrepreneurs in
expounding one of the most important causes of the failure of small-scale enterprises.

THE LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

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One of the major limitations of this research is the fact that it may not give a clear or full picture
of the whole country’s situation in terms of the impact not keeping proper accounting records has
on small scale retailers as the research will only focus on a small population of Itezhi Tezhi. The
researcher hopes to ensure that the research meets all the relevant requirements such as; finishing
the research within the stipulated time, deliberations for a scientific research and thereby
reducing errors to the barest minimum if not to eradicate it completely, despite the limitations
that may arise from limited time and access of information from PACRA.

LITERATURE REVIEW

13.1 Introductions

13.2 Definition of small scales businesses or retailers.

According to Chibuye (2017) small scale retailers refers to “those traders that trade on a small
scale such as; peddlers, hawkers, street traders, market traders, mobile shops, automatic vending
machines and sole traders”. Small businesses vary by country and by industry. (Storey, 1994).
Many researchers, such as Bolton (1971); Binks and Coyne (1983); Curran and Stanworth (1984)
and many authorities in this field have made attempts to come out with definition of small firm
but no satisfactory solution has emerged. The National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI)
defines a small-scale enterprise as a firm with not more than nine (9) workers, and has plant and
machinery (excluding land, buildings and vehicles) not exceeding 10 million Ghanaian Cedis in
value. In its Industrial Statistics, the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) considers firms with fewer
than 10 employees as small-scale enterprises and their counterparts with more than 10 employees
as medium and large-sized enterprises.

13.3 The Role and Importance of Small Businesses

Small firms, however they are defined, constitute the bulk of enterprise in all economies in the
world. These firms also make significant contributions to private sector output and employment,
a contribution which appears to be increasing over time (Storey, 1994). More than 95% of all
firms in the economies of the European Community are classified as ‘small’. These firms make a
major contribution to private sector output and employment, a contribution which appears to be

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increasing over time (Storey, 1994). According to Scarborough, of 29.3million businesses in
United State to Scarborough, of 29.3million businesses in United States today, nearly 29.2
million or 99.7 percent constitutes small business thriving virtually in every industry. The small
businesses employ 50.2 percent of the private sector workforce and pay 45 percent of the total
private payroll in United States. In Ghana, Small businesses produce 51 percent of the country’s
GDP and account for 47 percent of business sale. Small businesses play integral role in creating
new products, services, and processes. Ms Hannah Tetteh, Minister of Trade and Industry, in her
speech during the launch of Stanbic collateral free loan to the Small scale retailers in Ghana
noted that Small scale retailers were the backbone in any country’s economy and needed the
requisite support to boost their businesses. She further said that Small scale retailers contributed
six per cent towards the Gross Domestic Product of Ghana, adding that public- private
partnership was key component and a strategic option for implementing the solutions to the
socio-economic challenges faced by Ghana.

13.4 Problems of small scale business

Small businesses often face a variety of problems related to their size. A frequent cause of
bankruptcy is mismanagement of funds. This is often a result of poor accounting procedures
rather than under capitalization and economic conditions. Again, when they first start out, many
small business owners underprice their products to a point where even at their maximum
capacity, it would be impossible to break even. Cost controls or price increases often resolve this

problem. This requires accounting knowledge. Another problem for many small businesses is
termed the 'Entrepreneurial Myth' or E-Myth. The mythic assumption is that an expert in a given
technical field will also be expert at running that kind of business. Additional business
management skills are needed to keep a business running smoothly.

13.5 Accounting Records

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The Ghana Revenue Authority, Registrar General Department, National Board for Small Scale
Industry (NBSSI), the Ghana Companies Code and the International Accounting Standard Board

(IASB) insist on businesses either small or large to keep proper accounting records and report
financial information not only because they understand the proactive benefits from maintaining
organized and accurate financial information of a business but they have also seen the "horror
stories" that actually happen to those who do not. (www.accountingaisle.com). In view of this,
all businesses are obliged to keep financial reports which are generated from proper books of
accounts which have accurately recorded the day-to-day transactions of the business. According
to Henry & Co Accountancy Services the Purchases Book, Sales Book, Cash Book, Creditors
Ledger, Debtors Ledger and General Ledger must be maintained and kept up-to-date.

13.6 Financial Reports

Financial statements are means through which those in charge of the business entity report to
stakeholders information about the entity’s financial position, financial performance, and cash
flows by providing information about its assets, liabilities, equity, income and expenses, other
changes in equity, and cash flows. (Mirza and Halt, 2011) Financial statements are generated by
first organizing, and then analyzing numbers from the business activities. Understanding
financial statements is essential to the success of a small business. They can be used as a
roadmap to steer the business in the right direction and help to avoid costly breakdowns.
According to Mirza and Halt, the various financial statements that together would be considered
a complete set of financial report include, Statement of Financial Position/ the balance sheet, the
Income Statement/Profit and Loss Statement, the Statement of Cash Flows, the Statement of
Changes in Owner’s Equity/Worth and Accounting policies and notes to the Financial
Statements

13.7 Characteristics of financial statements

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In his article, “The four main qualitative characteristics of financial statements”, Victor D. said
that the main objective of financial statements is to satisfy the information needs of a range of its

users. He further stated that for financial statements and reports to achieve this objective they
must possess specific characteristics; the four primary attributes are understandability, relevance,

reliability and comparability. However, there are other qualitative characteristics of financial
statements like consistency and fair presentation. These characteristics define what makes

financial statements useful to the users (Victor, 2012).

13.8 Preparation and Reporting of financial statements

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) In July 2009 issued the International
Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) for the preparation and reporting of financial statements
by Small and Medium Sized Entities (IFRS for Small scale retailers).This Standard provides an
easy framework that can be applied by small business entities in place of the full set of
International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), Mirza& Holt (2011). The standards are
necessary for comparability both with the entity’s financial statements of previous periods and
with those of other entities. In view of this, the Small Businesses are required to follow the
standards and guidelines of the IFRS in the preparation of the financial statements.

13.9 The effects of failure to prepare financial reports on Small Scale Enterprises

No business can succeed in the long term without knowing exactly where its profits come from,
what its expenses are and how much it is making and spending --it needs financial statements.
The importance of good accounting records and financial statements to a small business cannot

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be over emphasized. Keeping good accounting records and financial statements are even more
important for a small business than for other businesses. A small business usually has few assets.
Any crisis will sink it because it has nothing to fall back on. That is why proper bookkeeping and
financial statements is a must for small businesses. Good accounting records will ensure that the
financial statements of the business are readily available when required. (www.helium.com) A
business’ financial statements provide various financial information that business owners and
creditors use to evaluate the business financial performance. Financial statements are also
important to business managers because it helps them in running the business.(Way,2007). But
most small business or home-based-business entrepreneurs neglect any sort of financial
statement, believing that their businesses are too small to need it. Without financial statements,
decisions and daily activities of enterprises are based on guesses--not facts and thereby lead to
the collapse of the enterprise.

RESEARCH DESIGN (METHODOLOGY)

14.1 Sampling Data Collection

200 Companies listed under PACRA will be the sampling organizations; Thus Companies such
as Abvic money solutions, Melisa supermarket, Macro super market, Sirivandu supermarket
Chawama supermarket, Itezhi tezhi Liquor Store PLC, Mumanga general dealers, Little Dee
hardware, Ibrahim enterprise, Marshall hardware, Meat spot butchery are selected for the present
study. Board structure and financial reporting were used to measure the financial accounting
governance while

ROE, ROA and NP were used to measure the firm performance of selected companies. Using
above determinants, the following models were formulated.

ROE=βo + β1 (bs)………………………………………………………… …. (1)

ROA= βo + β1 (bs)……………………………………………………….. ….. (2)

NP= βo + β1 (bs)………………………………………………………….. ….. (3)

ROE= βo + β1 (cr)………………………………………………………… …. (4)

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ROA= βo + β1 (cr)………………………………………………………… …. (5)

NP= βo + β1 (cr)………………………………………………………………. (6)

Where

βo + β1 =Co- effients

ROE = Return on Equity

ROA = Return on Assets

NP= Net Profit

bs= Board Structure

fr= Financial Reporting

With these models data will be analyzed by using the appropriate statistical tools such as
descriptive statistics, correlation and regression.

14.2 Procedure

The characteristic of the sample is cross-sectional and of time series, therefore panel data model
being employed to analyze data to eliminate the autocorrelation of variables in time series of
individuals in cross section. Panel data are of two regression models, fixed effect model and
random effect model, respectively.

DATA ANALYSIS AND FINDINGS

15.1 DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS

Descriptive statistics for 2011 and 2015 will be calculated for corporate governance variables
and firm performance variables in the study. Descriptive statistics will compare the compliance
by the companies with financial information best practiced recommendations in 2011 and 2015.
They will also show the characteristics of board structure and financial reporting prevalent

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among listed small companies in Itezhi tezhi and the variables used to measure firm
performance.

15.2 CONCLUSION

This study intends to explore the relationship between the independent variables (factors) with
financial reporting and dependent variables in order to find whether the factors (variables taken
under consideration in this study can determine the firms’ performance indicators through
financial reporting with a special focus as to whether the small listed companies in Itezhi tezhi
comply with the tenets of good and sound financial reporting as recommended by international
standards on financial reporting such as; the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)
for the preparation and reporting of financial statements by Small and Medium Sized Entities
(IFRS for Small scale retailers)..

RESEARCH SCHEDULE AND TIME LINE

Programme of research Activity (Gantt chart) for the study (Sept 2019 to March 2019).

Time period/activities Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb March


Problem identification
Submission of topic
Writing research proposal
Submission of the proposal
Development of instrument for data collection
Data collection
Data analysis
Compilation of report
Submission of final report
Submission of the final report
BUDGET.

ITEM COST(ZMK) QUANTITY SUB TOTAL(ZMK)


Transport K400 K400
Lunch K400 K400
Stationery K200 K200
TOTAL. K1000

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