PIFRA stands for Project to Improve Financial Reporting and Auditing (PIFRA) in Pakistan
The main objective of this project is to computerize the whole accounting and auditing system of Pakistan. The idea behind computerizing the whole system is to generate timely, accurate and reliable financial statements; to monitor fiscal deficit; to forecast flow of cash; to manage public debt and to achieve effective financial controls.
The accounting system of Pakistan was inherited from the century old accounting system of the Indian govt. The old accounting system lacks timeliness, accuracy and most importantly transparency. Accounts of any organization, large or small, are the most important tool for curbing the corruption by keeping an eye on ins and outs of the money and more importantly they give the overall inner picture of the organization to the stakeholders which helps them take better financial decisions.
While talking about the country as an organization the importance of the accounts becomes much more vital. The stakeholders are everyone, be that any foreign aid entity, any govt. department, govt. employees, provincial or district govt., any bank, any foreign govt. etc. You name it and they are there. So the importance of these accounts increases manifolds.
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Furthermore, the old manual system was like a haunting monster also for a common government employee. There are three main things which a common govt. employee comes to an accounts office for, viz. salary, general provident fund and pension. Our experience shows that in the old system a common man had a series of unlimited problems and hurdles to face in order to get his financial claims. His fever started a week before he had to visit the accounts office for any of the financial claims.
But, unfortunately, till the recent past our governments did not pay proper attention to overcome these problems. Due to which the exact and clear picture of the economy of the country is still not visible to virtually anybody and on the other hand common man face enormous difficulties in receiving his financial claims.
After the introduction of PIFRA this ultimate goal would be achieved soon. That is why this project was introduced. The main objectives are to achieve timely, accurate and complete accounts with transparency and most importantly to facilitate the common govt. employee regarding their financial claims. But, there is a lot more to be done to achieve this goal.