Evaluation of change management: a survey on accounting firms in Chiredzi, Zimbabwe
Mupinga, Emmanuel Charivanda
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The underutilisation of electronic tax filing systems by tax agencies has resulted in an ever-increasing number of non-tax compliance amongst the tax paying community around the globe. Despite the presence of electronic tax administration systems, accounting firms in Chiredzi, Zimbabwe, like any other tax agents in developing countries, have failed to deliver efficiently to the requirements of revenue authorities and expectations by their customers regarding timely processing and filling of financial returns. This unresolved dilemma over the years since the introduction of the e-tax administration system (migrating from the use of ledger cards and SAP system) by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) on 28 June 2015, has prompted this research study to evaluate and analyse change management in accounting systems in Chiredzi, Zimbabwe. To collect data, a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods was employed to establish trends (quantitative) and analyse these (qualitative). Closed ended questionnaires were designed by the researcher and were completed by 54 respondents (employees and management representatives) who were randomly selected from nine accounting firms from the 1st of July 2013 to the financial year ending 31 December 2017. Qualitative data was collected through interviews to ascertain the customer?s views in relation to the evaluation and analysis of change management in accounting firms. Findings from the study indicate that accounting firms are, to some extent, communicating change management to both employees and their customers. The rationale behind proposed changes, objectives and expectations of change processes were well known to employees. However, the study further identified that there were no proper policy documents that were in place to facilitate planning evaluation and control of change processes. It was further ascertained that employees were not involved in the decisions regarding the implementation and management of change in their respective organisations. On analysing the engagement of employees, no emotional support structures set to help them deal with the effects of change. This is evidenced by the inefficient processing and filing of financial returns to the revenue collection body ZIMRA (Zimbabwe Revenue Authority). In view of the above, it is recommended that accounting firms embark on promoting employee engagement to foster participation and enhanced productivity through motivation and access to making decisions that affect them directly. It is further recommended that these accounting firms have change policies that draw guidelines on how effectively change can be implemented and managed in its different forms and different environments. In addition to that, it is recommended that accounting firms put in place effective communication systems that encourage feedback through a two way communication process.