Users Perception Of Human Resource Accounting In Nigeria


Users Perception Of Human Resource Accounting In Nigeria

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  • Name: Users Perception Of Human Resource Accounting In Nigeria
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The study of human resources is as old as the study of Business activities. Early economists recognized the labour force and entrepreneur as fundamental factors for any production or services activity to take place, it is common to hear managers saying “our greatest asset is people”.

A review of the annual reports and financial statements of leading companies shows that the management team plays a major role in organizational performance. However, this class of assets in never given a proper treatment in the financial statement, instead accounting treatment of people are shown as cost (Amaefule, 2008).

The reason why human resource accounting should be rejuvenated at the present time, lies in the level of consensus which presently exist about the crucial role that employees play in all organizations’ (Roselender and Dyson, 1992:312). The consensus has been expressed in different ways by different authors, but some common threads can be identified.

Firstly, the changing structure of organizations, the importance of communications, the impact of technology, the need for continuous learning and the emergency of the knowledge workers, coupled with the rise in importance of the notion of intangible assets and intellectual capital (Casio, 1998; Boudreau, 1998; Mayo, 2000; Johanson and Learson, 2000, Roslender 1997).

Secondly, the globalization of competition where competing through cost is not enough and so, for many organizations, feature profitability lies in the skills and capabilities of employees, with the result that the development of people becomes the new source of competitive advantage. Sustainable growth comes through the organization’s ability to develop what are its most valuable rare and difficulty to imitate resources and to use these resources in what has become known as the ‘value based’ theory of competitive advantage (Sloman and Boudreau, 1999).

Thirdly, the measurement of an accounting for human resources into something of a renaissance is the view that organizations take seriously only what they can measure and measure the things only when they are serious about it. (Floreholtz, 2002).

Finally, the challenge is one of finding a way to value the intrinsic diversity in the worth of people (Mayo, 2002:5). While putting image of human resource accounting for many (Flamholtz, 1999:3) there is more to it than that although human resource accounting has been plagued by the difficulties of measurement, its aim is to accomplish two things: to provide a way of thinking about people as valuable organizational resources and to act as a decision making cool providing the necessary information to effectively manage and develop such a valuable resource (Flamholtz, 1999). In this respect, human resource accounting is clearly of much greater importance than simply finding a means of putting people on the balance sheet (Roslender and Dyson, 1992: 319).


The value of an enterprise as measured, written the traditional balance sheet, for example, building, production, plant and machinery etc. was viewed as a sufficient reflection of the enterprise’s worth. However, with the growing emergence of the knowledge economy, it has made this traditional valuation incomplete, which has led to the recognition that human capital is an increasing important part of an enterprise total value. This has led to the following questions:

Should human resources be included in the balance sheet?

Is there an objective way of such valuation?

If included will it affect the market value of the firm?

What are the cost implications of such valuation?

How will it affect the efficiency and profitability assessment of the firm?

The emergence method for human resource accounting is aimed at measuring, developing and managing the human capital in same enterprise can thus be said to reflect the need for improving, measuring and accounting practices as well as human resource management.


It has been conspreuously observed that most enterprises fail to include the human asset on the balance sheet of their organization.

The main objective of this study is: to examine whether the valuation and inclusion of human asset in the balance sheet will reflect changes of the ‘true” worth of a company.

Specific objectives will be: to examine whether there is an objective way to value human resources in an organization. To determine whether putting people on the balance sheet, is practicable in Nigeria.

To find out if given this additional information to managers will affect its decision making process.

To find out the cost benefit implication of human resource valuation.

To find out, whether the inclusion or non inclusion of human asset will affect users perception of a company’s financial statement.



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