Organizational change refers to the shifting of teams, organizations, and individuals from the current state of operations to favorable and desired state. It is a strategy by organizations to accomplish a particular goal. Imperial Institute of Administration is an international institution that deals with training leadership and governance around the world. For a long time, the organization has been using the manual accounting system, which is remarkably cumbersome and time-consuming bearing in mind that it is a big institution.
Need for the change
There is need to change the organization’s accounting systems from the manual method of working on the books like the cashbooks, ledgers and trial balances to Tally accounting package. Organizations are introducing this software to increase efficiency in the accounting department. This will increase the speed of handling the accounts. It will ensure the preparation of payroll on time, creditors being paid on time, and the debtor’s accounts opened in time. The decision to automate the accounts departments depends on the need for consistent, timely, and accurate data in different formats.
To get a view of how people feel about the need to computerize the accounting department, we issue questionnaires with questions as indicated below.
Has the management thought of computerizing the accounting department?
Is the manual system in place functional?
Does the institution have the funds to install, maintain, and support the new system?
Does the institution have a reliable power supply?
Does the institution have trained staff to run the system?
Are the staffs ready to accept the system?
Are the staffs willing to dedicate their time in training and implementing the new system?
Is the internal and external environment appropriate for the new system?
Computerized accounting may need new skills meaning that the organization will have to hire new staff. New managers may also need to head the department if the existing managers do not have any knowledge on the system. The company may also decide to reorganize the departments. People with prior knowledge and experience about the system can come into the accounting department and the ones without any knowledge transferred to other departments.
The organization will have to conduct training on the staffs that are going to be using the new system. This is because; there is a need for intense training for employees to be efficient in the new system. Employees in the accounting department may also lose their jobs. This is because; one of the reasons of introducing the systems is to reduce staff cost. The system will be able to handle enormous volumes of work and thus some people will have to lose their jobs (Mabey & White, 2008).
Drivers for change
The need for consistent, timely, and accurate information is the main driver for the need to change the accounting department. Managers need accurate and timely information to be able to make decisions regarding the organization. Computers will be able to serve this purpose effectively. Managers also need data and information from a variety of sources, and this leads to the need to computerize the system. A computerized system can be a good source of information to the manager.
Financial managers need to give financial reports in the formats directed by the senior managers, governing bodies, and international reporting standards. Through the computers, the accountants and financial managers can be able to change the formats by utilization of button pressing (Mabey & White, 2008). This makes it simple to adapt to new standards in place. The other driver for computerized accounting operations is the need for managers to be cost effective. With the introduction of computers, the department will be able to undertake large volumes of tasks with fewer staff. This reduces the staff costs in the end.
Potential resistance factors
The interviews conducted on the employees in the accounting department revealed a mixture of reactions. Most employees feel that this is a relieve because the accounting process will be easier and faster than the manual system. There will be no need to draw multiple cashbooks since only a single entry is required and the computer updates the other entries automatically. The employees also feel that the new systems will save time for them, as the computers are faster and more efficient than the manual system (Mabey & White, 2008).
Employees will always resist many forms of change brought in their departments. Most of them fear leaving their routine jobs to other uncertain routines. They are not sure how their routines will change, how their responsibilities will change and how their interactions with other employees will change. Other employees feel threatened because they have been performing well in the manual system and are not sure if they will do the same in the new system. This leads to some resistance. Most employees feel that the accounting software will lead to loss of jobs because a single computer will work on different tasks initially carried-out by multiple people.
The organization should undertake the change for the right reason and not the wrong reasons. The wrong reasons include; one deciding to computerize the department because everyone else is doing it. Secondly, the management read about the system in a magazine and so they must install it. These are reasons that will not benefit the department, and the system will not be successful. The organization should analyze the department and come up with the needs that necessitate computerization. If the needs are valid enough, then the company can undertake to install the software.
As the company undertakes to change the accounting department, it is important to involve the employees in this process. The management should not impose changes on the people, as this will lead to much resistance. Employees should be allowed to participate in the process, and this will make implementation easy.
Mabey, C., & White, B. M. (2008). Managing Change. New York: Sage.