Accounting System in Orissa PanchayatsAccounting System in Orissa Panchayats

Filed under: June2009 |

e-Cashbook in Orissa panchayatsComputerisation has been introduced in District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) and Block Panchayat level to maintain transparency and accountability in administration and finance. To start with the process a small tool namely PRIAsoft (Panchayati Raj Institutions Accounting Software) was developed by National Informatics Centre, Orissa State unit. It captures the month-wise/scheme-wise accounts inflow and outflow in shape of cash, bank, treasury and advance of the 3-tier Panchayati Raj Institutions i.e. Gram Panchayat, Block Panchayat and Zilla Panchayat. As a result, at the end of each month the funds flow statement of 3-tier PRIs is available. After the successful deployment of PRIAsoft, further need-based projects were taken up within the availability of funds for better benefit of the rural poor.

This exercise was started during 2003-04 by computerising the Block Panchayat. Two desktops and a Computer Programmer having B.E and MCA qualification were deployed in each Block Panchayat. Usage audit of the system confirmed that the system was prone to wrong entries by the semi-skilled Block Cashier. In order to plug the loophole in the system and to prevent incorrect entries an Enterprise-level double entry accounting package was envisaged. This application was also mandated to capture the daily financial transaction and prepare the abstract report for monitoring a number of anti-poverty schemes/programmes. Therefore, it was decided to use accounting software available in the market. These accounting packages are targeted at small trading, manufacturing units. Apart from accounting, they offer features such as costing, sales and inventory management. However, there are hardly any solutions available for Non-Profit/Government organisations like Block and DRDA. During this process, Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar offered a solution to provide an application namely PAMIS (Project Accounting and Monitoring Information System) for Block and DRDA. PAMIS is a tool for Non-Profit organisations engaged in development work. PAMIS helps Non-Profit Government organisations to implement their projects and programmes in a timely manner and within the available budget. PAMIS, also helps the Project Directors plan and monitor all aspects of their projects and their programmes.

Designed to manage core financial and physical aspects, PAMIS is easy to install and implement. PAMIS manages all accounting needs of an organisation effectively. All routine features of accounting are built into the software. To maintain the daily financial transaction at the Block and DRDA level, PAMIS has been implemented in all the 344 block and DRDA locations and the manual Cash Book has been replaced by Computerised Cash Book.

The software can be operated in the following environment
Operating environment:

  •  Server operating system: Any operating system that supports Oracle database

  • Database: Oracle RDBMS

  • Client operating system: Windows 98, Me, 2000 or xp

  • Graphic User Interface: Developer 2000 runtime

Platform:

  • Online Web-based version deployed

  • Offline batch processed Standalone version deployed

What is PAMIS?

The version of PAMIS used by the Department of Panchayati Raj is called Panchayat Accounts Monitoring Information System. It is capable of capturing daily financial transaction of DRDA/Block based on the double entry accounting system. To start with PAMIS, Master Data for Accounts, Budgets and Projects are to be initialised, which was initially bundled in the software by Panchayati Raj Department, Govt. of Orissa before installation in the Blocks and DRDAs. Then daily financial transactions are entered in 3 types of vouchers designed by Panchayati Raj Department, Govt. of Orissa. These 3 types of vouchers are Receipt, Payment and Journal. For ease of use, the manual vouchers have been colour-coded, green for receipt, red for payment and yellow for journal (advance adjustment) vouchers. Block Cashier prepares the manual vouchers based on the daily financial transaction and enters the data into the package. Then the software takes care of the generation of cashbook, journals, consolidated cashbook of Panchayat Samiti (Schemes) and Government (Salaries including Teachers' salary), separate cashbook for Panchayat Samiti and Government, subsidiary cashbook for all schemes under Panchayat Samiti, advance ledger, balance sheet, receipt payment statement, income expenditure statement and so on.

Functional features of PAMIS are enumerated below:

  • PAMIS is an accounting software

  • PAMIS is a project planning software

  • PAMIS finds true expenses for a project not it's
    allocated costs.

  • PAMIS treats a project as a complete accounting entity not merely a cost centre.

  • PAMIS monitors project financials

  • PAMIS monitors physical activities of projects

  • PAMIS ensures transparency, accountability and responsibility

  • PAMIS is a tool to obtain success in project planning, monitoring and execution

Modules of PAMIS are as follows:

  • Double entry accounting

  • Project-based accounting

  • Location-based accounting

  • Physical activity monitoring

  • Financial budgeting

  • Financial performance monitoring

Impact analysis:

Currently, PAMIS is operational in 314 Block Panchayats and 30 Zilla Panchayats in Orissa.

  • PAMIS generated cash-bank book is official.

  • There is no manual cashbook in Block or DRDA of the State.

  • PAMIS generated reports are Comptroller and Auditor General compliant.

  • Chartered Accountants, Auditors are using PAMIS-generated receipt payment statement for making audit reports of Blocks and DRDAs.

  • It is also developed in accordance with the Panchayat Samiti Accounting Procedure Rule of the Government of Orissa.

Implementation procedure

The chief architect of PAMIS is Professor Gopal Krishna Nayak Director, IIIT (Ex-professor of XIM, Bhubaneswar) who never thought that a semi-skilled Block Cashier will implement this software by understanding the Golden Rule of Accounting Procedure. According to him “PAMIS is a dream project for us, the challenges of getting accounts done by non-accountants, getting a transparent system accepted by block-level functionaries, usage of technology by non- technocrats are stupendous. However, when PAMIS was used by all Blocks and DRDAs in Orissa, it became the very first enterprise software that was rolled out on such a large scale in the government sector.”

He devised a simple procedure and advised all Block Cashiers to keep this procedure beneath their table glass and keep it in their mind while preparing  manual vouchers before entering the data into the computer. 

Gaining from his vast experience and strong willingness of high-level Administrators at the State Panchayati Raj Department, a training calendar was made and trainings were conducted at District Headquarters with separate resource persons having expertise in IT and Accounts. Cost Accountants, Chartered Accountants, IT Specialists travelled throughout the State and imparted training to officials starting from Project Directors, DRDA, Block Development Officers, Head Clerks, Computer Programmers to Cashiers. Hands-on training to generate cashbook from PAMIS was imparted to these officials.

Special Features of PAMIS :

The PAMIS software has three dimensions i.e. Accounts, Projects and Location.

  • It has the capability to consolidate block-wise data to prepare district-wise accounting reports and structured
    MIS reports.

  • Besides three types of transactions i.e Receipt (either Bank or Cash), Payment (either Bank or Cash), Journal, two new types of transactions were innovated. One is Receipt Mixture (RC) that captures both cash and bank receipts in one transaction. The other one being, Payment Mixture (PM), which captures the financial transactions involving both bank and cash disbursement and adjustment of advances.

  • The consolidated cashbook in PRIASoft format is generated through PAMIS at the end of each month and is transmitted to the PRIASoft portal of National Informatics Centre through file transfer protocol (ftp) from the stand alone desktop computers of Blocks and DRDAs.

  • Once this data is uploaded on to the PRIASoft portal, the citizen-centric reports are available in the public domain.
    Once PAMIS is uploaded online for all Blocks and DRDAs, at the end of each day anybody can analyse the progress made of each block. However, on pilot basis, some blocks of Cuttack District and Kandhamal District are implementing PAMIS in online mode. After success of this pilot, the same will be rolled out for all Blocks and DRDAs. These facilities are not available in the accounting softwares available in the market.

Conclusion

This mammoth task is operating successfully at Block and DRDA level with the help of all stakeholders of Panchayati Raj Department, Government of Orissa starting from Gram Panchayat, Block Panchayat, Zilla Panchayat to State. The recognition of e-Cashbook as the official cashbook of the state of Orissa has created a  desire among all stakeholders to accomplish its requirement for efficient and desired benefit of rural India in time.

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