Pakistan Institute of Public Finance Accountants
Member | Established: 1993 | Member since 2020
PIPFA was established in 1993, under Section 42 of the Companies Ordinance 1984 and is licensed by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan. PIPFA’s responsibilities include setting initial and continuing professional development requirements, ethical requirements, and establishing an I&D system for all public finance accountants. Members of PIPFA are awarded the Associate Public Finance Accountants or Fellow Public Finance Accountants designation. PIPFA is a Member of IFAC.
Statements of Membership Obligation (SMO)
The Statements of Membership Obligations form the basis of the IFAC Member Compliance Program. They serve as a framework for credible and high-quality professional accountancy organizations focused on serving the public interest by adopting, or otherwise incorporating, and supporting implementation of international standards and maintaining adequate enforcement mechanisms to ensure the professional behavior of their individual members.
SMO 1: Quality Assurance
Under the Chartered Accountants Ordinance of 1961, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) is responsible for establishing a mandatory quality assurance (QA) review system of all firms carrying out statutory audits of financial statements. PIPFA members do not participate in audit activities unless they are members of ICAP and are authorized to do so. Although PIPFA has no responsibility in conducting QA reviews, it has remained active in developing its members’ awareness of auditing standards and quality control. PIPFA reports that it has developed CPD in the form of seminars and workshops for its members on the QCR framework, and also on ISQC 1. These subjects are also incorporated within PIPFA’s curriculum. PIPFA highlights that even though it does not have responsibility to establish QA or adopt auditing standards, many of its members also pursue the qualification of Chartered Accountant and these initiatives help prepare them for that pathway. Other activities by PIPFA to keep members and local regulators informed on quality control and enhance service quality include updates from the Technical Committee of PIPFA on developments by the IAASB and by IFAC in regard to SMO 1 via technical update emails, the main website, and the PIPFA journal.
SMO 2: International Education Standards
All three professional accountancy organizations in Pakistan have established initial professional development (IPD) and continuing professional development (CPD) requirements for its respective students and members. Under Section 42 of the Companies Ordinance, PIPFA is responsible for establishing IPD and CPD requirements for its members and administering the Public Finance Accountant program in Pakistan. PIPFA reports that it has incorporated the 2015 revised IES into its overall programming.
Under the oversight of a Board of Studies, PIPFA maintains various ongoing processes that ensures its educational program, including CPD, is continuously updated to align with international requirements.
PIPFA has developed various seminars and workshops that addresses public finance issues as well as topics around audit and ethics, as there are members of PIPFA who members of other professional accountancy organizations in the jurisdiction are also abroad. Other educational methods for keeping its members and students up to date is the publication of updates in journals, newsletters, emails, and circulars. PIPFA has also begun arranging for its students to visit local organizations that employ public finance professionals to familiarize them with the work that is undertaken in public finance and to also provide an opportunity to interact with senior professionals.
PIPFA has signed Memorandums of Understandings (MOUs) with national universities in Pakistan such as the Muhammad Ali Jinnah University in Karachi, the Khadim Ali Shah Bukhari Institute of Technology in Karachi, the University of Agriculture in Faisalabad, and the Hamdard University to facilitate joint seminars and workshops, various CPD opportunities, career counselling, and sharing of facilities. PIPFA members and employees are also selected to participate as guest visiting faculty at the universities and in turn, university staff are also invited to undertake the PIPFA qualification. PIPFA also has established MOUs with the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA), Certified Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) to allow reciprocal exemptions and to collaborate on CPD activities.
PIPFA reports that it collaborates with both ICAP and ICMAP on CPD activities and various seminars for which members of all three institutes can get discounts on the programs. All three institutes also share facilities to host events and programs. CIPFA provided support to PIPFA during the development of its educational program and currently, there is an initiative in place to allow Fellow members of PIPFA to attain Affiliate membership with CIPFA upon completion of the CIPFA Advance Diploma in International Public Finance Management. As of July 2020, a proposed structure to this scheme is undergoing due diligence in Pakistan for eventual implementation.
PIPFA is to keep IFAC updated on the initiative to eventually implement the Public Finance Management Stream in collaboration with CIPFA. As the training of public sector professionals is vital, PIPFA is encouraged to continue its engagement with the Auditor General’s office to advance the public sector.
SMO 3: International Standards on Auditing
Under the Companies Act of 2017 (formerly Companies Ordinance of 1984), all companies in Pakistan are required to be undergo statutory audits using standards adopted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) under the supervision of the independent Audit Oversight Board.
As PIPFA does not have legal authority to adopt auditing standards in Pakistan, it reports that it takes active steps to support implementation by ensuring its members and students are made aware of the standards as they are issued by both the IAASB and ICAP. PIPFA provides updates on the standards to its members and students via its newsletters, journals, and the PIPFA website. In addition, PIPFA has a Technical Committee in place to conduct research on pronouncements by the IAASB prior to incorporating changes to its syllabus and CPD content. PIPFA’s syllabus and CPD content includes topics related to audit and quality control as there members of PIPFA that aspire to become Chartered Accountants or who are already Chartered Accountants. PIPFA also encourages its members to attend CPD and workshops hosted by ICAP, ICMAP, and the SECP.
PIPFA is an active participant in the national and international standard-setting process. The institute reports that it reviews and provides feedback to the IAASB, and in addition, also provides comments to the ICAP as they set auditing standards in the jurisdiction.
SMO 4: Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants
All three professional accountancy organizations in Pakistan have established ethical requirements for their respective members. PIPFA’s Bye-Laws establish PIPFA’s responsibility to adopt a Code of Ethics for its members. The institute reports that it has adopted the 2016 IESBA Code of Ethics.
PIPFA supports members with the implementation of ethics requirements through seminars, workshops, and developing case studies that present conflicts and challenges to its members. Other methods of information-sharing include providing updates in newsletters, journals, and website. PIPFA states that its IPD and CPD programs are continuously reviewed to ensure topics related to ethics are incorporated and that it has ethics as a standalone subject in the PIPFA syllabus. With regards to standard-setting, PIPFA reports it provides comments to exposure drafts by communicating its position on issues to ICAP. PIPFA is reviewing the 2018 Code for eventual adoption by December 2020. Once the Code is approved, PIPFA and its relevant committees will develop implementation support activities for its members.
PIPFA is to keep IFAC updates on its efforts to adopt the 2018 Code and also the specific implementation support for members and students.
SMO 5: International Public Sector Accounting Standards
The 1973 Constitution of Pakistan authorizes the Auditor General of Pakistan to set public sector accounting standards in the jurisdiction. As reported by PIPFA, Pakistan’s national public sector accounting standards are cash-basis and are developed based on the 2003 version of the IPSAS.
PIPFA reports that it continues to hold discussions with the AGP’s office to consider the full adoption of IPSAS in Pakistan. Other activities with the AGP include discussions on Disclosures in Financial Statements of Public Sector Entities and working with the AGP to monitor public sector corporations in the country. PIPFA also reports that when their syllabus is being updated, the AGP is included in the deliberations and there are plans to update the current syllabus in 2020. To keep members up to date on IPSAS, PIPFA monitors new and amended IPSASB pronouncements, and disseminates them to members via journals and CPD programs. Any updates from the IPSASB is also forwarded to the AGP and other government officials.
PIPFA plays a key role in providing IPD and CPD for accountants in the public sector. PIPFA is the main training provider on national public sector standards and IPSAS to employees of the public sector, which include, the AGP’s office, Controller General of Accountants, Pakistan Military Accounts Department, Local Fund Audit, and Treasury Departments of the Punjab Government, National Highway Authority, Capital Development Authority, and Pakistan Railways Accounts Department. As PIPFA is the organization of public finance accountants, PIPFA’s Board of Governors also includes representation from the Auditor General’s office. With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the country, PIPFA reports that training for government employees has still continued and that once the government mandated lockdown is lifted, exams will be issued to those who are undertaking the PIFPA qualification.
As indicated in SMO 2, PIPFA has collaborated with CIPFA to develop and introduce a Public Finance Management education stream for members that work in the public sector. PIPFA views this development as building the capacity of the public sector workforce in the jurisdiction and has the support of the AGP. There are also plans to introduce a separate certification on IPSAS for public sector employees. Lastly, PIPFA reports it participates in the international standard-setting process by inviting members to review and respond to exposure drafts issued by the IPSASB.
SMO 6: Investigation and Discipline
All three PAOs are responsible for establishing an investigative and disciplinary (I&D) system for their respective segments of professional accountants in Pakistan. PIPFA’s Articles of Association, approved by the Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, authorizes PIPFA to establish an I&D system for its members and students.
PIPFA’s I&D system comprises of two committees: Investigation Committee and Disciplinary Committee. Investigations are initiated either by a complaints or information-based system. PIPFA’s I&D system covers acts of misconduct that are information or complaints-based and as indicated above, is aligned with the requirements of SMO 6. PIPFA actively promotes the importance of standards and ethics and the consequences of non-compliance through its IPD and CPD content, and the institute also conducts public outreach activities to its members on the consequences of non-compliance with the standards. For students of PIPFA, the institute publishes its rules and policies in career plans that all students receive and also in their examination entry cards.
SMO 7: International Financial Reporting Standards
The Companies Act of 2017 (formerly Companies Ordinance of 1984) sets out accounting and financial reporting requirements for all companies in Pakistan. The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan is responsible for adopting accounting standards in Pakistan and has delegated this responsibility to the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP).
Although PIPFA is not responsible for the adoption of accounting standards, it has taken an active approach to supporting implementation by ensuring its members are kept up to date on developments on national and global accounting standards. PIPFA reports that a Technical Committee is responsible for ensuring that matters related to national standards and IFRS are regularly reviewed for inclusion in the syllabus and CPD programs. CPD is delivered via online and offline courses and includes topics that cover updates to IFRS, implementation of IFRS, and other issues around corporate financial reporting. Other methods of updating members and students also include newsletters, journals, and updating the website. PIPFA also encourages its students and members to attend CPD offered by other professional accountancy organizations operating in the jurisdiction.
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