Financial Management Practices in Selected Senior High Schools: a Comparitive Study in Ashanti and Central Regions of Ghana

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The main objective of this research was to examine the role of financial management in the smooth administration of some selected SHSs within Ashanti and Central Regions of Ghana. Data were mainly secondary type and were gathered from the financial statements (reports), of the schools in Ashanti and Central regions. These include the income& expenditure statements, balance sheets for the period of five and half years (2003- June 2008), main cash book, journals, general ledger, fees collection books, files and students bills. Primary data were used as supplementary through discussions with management and some heads of department of the various Senior High Schools. Both descriptive and quantitative methods of data analysis were used. The main sources of funds were GOG (Government of Ghana) and service Grants, School Fees (IGF), GET iWl/HIPC, Scholarships/Bursary Grant and other Non-Formal income (PTA dues, extra classes etc). The study revealed the following; • The results of the study indicated among others that Ashanti Region recorded the highest source of income because it has the highest students' population due to the Computerized Secondary School Placement System (CSSPS) for the selection of the students, arrears of the GOG Grant and GET Fund/HIPC might have been paid in support for the maintenance of essential academic facilities, developmental and infrastructural projects. The GET Fund/HIPC is disbursed from the GETFUND/HIPC Secretariat in accordance with the student population. The government gives GOG according to the cost of living, prices of commodities/inflation and the living standard of people. Also Internally Generated Fund (IGF) proved to be high. • As a result of more developmental projects being undertaking, expenditure in Ashanti Region was high. A total of GH0940,136.35 was recorded as surpluses which was added to general reserves. In addition, the Non-Formal income could drain the SHSs accounts because it is shared as incentive to teachers. It must therefore be incorporated into the main stream Accounts of the Institutions. * • Ashanti Region again recorded the highest student debtors. This may be due to the fact that some students, when they verify from the internet that they have not performed well, used their fees to register November/December Examination, and don't even come to the school for their certificates. • My investigation revealed that Central Region recorded the highest shortage (fraud) and a monthly bank reconciliation statement is prepared by the bursars to ensure that amount collected is duly paid into bank and reflected accordingly. There was a significant change in the school fees paid by the various schools. Furthermore, the method of fee collection and the record of keeping the accounts were the same. • The SHSs faces a lot of challenges such as lack of infrastructure, lecture halls, computer lab, hostels and Home Economics facilities. Government should therefore improve upon these facilities. More over, there is a delay in government/bursary grant to the SHSs and this is as a result of government dependence on taxes collected before they are shared to the various sectors of the economy which includes the educational sector.  
A Thesis submitted to Department of Accounting and Finance, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Business Administration (Banking and Finance), 2008