Financial accounting is one of the areas of accounting which is primarily concerned on the recording, summarizing and communicating business transactions to external and internal stakeholders in the form of financial statements. Asaolu (2002) asserted that financial accounting is the process of recording, classifying, selecting, measuring, interpreting, summarizing and reporting financial data of an organization to the users for objective assessment and decision making.
The financial accounting is one of the courses introduced in the secondary education system to build the students in areas of finance. It is aimed at building the student to be able to handle higher courses in the higher institutions like economics, business administration etc. The knowledge of mathematics is highly required to be able to effectively learn financial accounting, applying it in real life situation and teaching or impacting the knowledge in other people. Financial accounting is the accounting process that culminates in the preparation of financial reports of a business which is used by stakeholders in forming their economic decisions.
Senior secondary school is a stage of education one has to pass through to be conferred with the Certificate of education O.Level. In Nigeria the system of education as of today is 220.127.116.11, where 6 is the first years required to be spent in primary school level and the first 3 is the required years to be spent in the junior secondary school while the second 3 is the required years to be spent in senior secondary school level and the 4 is for that of the university or tertiary level.
The curriculum designed for senior secondary school is comprehensive and broad based, aimed at broadening student knowledge and outlook. Subjects offered in senior school are in three groups- core subjects, vocational and non-vocational subjects. One of the vocational subjects is financial accounting due to its practical application.
The main objective of financial accounting is to provide information regarding the financial condition and performance of a business entity. This information are reported and communicated in the form of financial statements. Additionally, financial accounting shows the results of stewardship of a business management. By looking at the financial reports, users can interpret how well or bad the business management has operated and used its resources.
The problems facing accounting in Secondary Schools are twofold: the teaching on the one hand and learning on the other hand. The performance of students in the subject in the SSCE Examination has not been encouraging. Students are generally deficient in numerate subjects like accounting and mathematics. Fakuade (1980) reported that pupils had been deficient in simple knowledge, abilities, attitudes and work-habits needed for self-sufficiency. It is basically occupation oriented because it is essentially intended to provide skills and manpower for commerce and industry in any nation. Hence Arukwe (1992) noted that the solutions to Nigerian present economic problems could not exclude the intensification of vocational education for the citizenry. Olateru-Olagbegi (1988) observed that combating unemployment in Nigeria through the creation of self-employment emphasizes the establishment of small scale enterprises in rural areas by skilled personnel who are products of vocational education. The possession of the necessary skill in financial record keeping is a priority and accounting process is a solution.
The National Examination Council (2004) listed the objectives of studying financial accounting at senior secondary schools as follows:
To enable senior secondary schools students appreciate the basic rules, functions and principles of accounting;
To lay proper foundation for proper study of accountancy and allied courses at higher level.
To enable the students understood basic accounting principles, practice and their applications to modern business activities.
Accounting as a subject is the study of recording, classifying, selecting, measuring, interpreting, summarizing and reporting financial data. It is line with this the researcher investigated the challenges of teaching and learning financial accounting in senior secondary schools in Agidi Local Government in Nassarawa State.