How to Attract and Retain the Next Generation of Accountants

The latest board exam result for accountants has just been released and many of you are probably eyeing for the crème de la crème you can hire for your firm while making sure the current pool you have stays.

But do you know how to attract more so retain them?

In a previous article we published, we discussed some of the traits of this new generation AKA the millennials, and how employers can manage them.

Here we are sharing tips specific to accounting firms.

Adapt to new technologies and trends

We all agree that technology is unstoppable. We’re left with no choice but to embrace it. That doesn’t mean, though, that we have to replace our human resource with robots.

Instead, what we can do is automate the simple repetitive tasks if we can such as managing invoices, sending emails, and the like.

Tools such as accounting software and automated email sender are aplenty in the market.

By doing so, you’re increasing your chance to attract this new breed of number crunchers.


Because millennials love the digital world. In fact, according to a study conducted by Dell and Intel, a large percentage of this generation look at technology at the workplace as a major deciding factor.

Also, clients these days are expecting more financial advice than ever. This may be attributed to the fact that a lot of booming entrepreneurs are also millennials who don’t have enough background in business, more specifically the financial aspect.

This means:

Gone are the days when accounting means manually number crunching from 8 to 5. This new era has to be focused more on consultative roles and services.

But the trends are not only about technology. Take a look at labor trends, too, like the telecommuting.

Recently, the Telecommuting Act of 2017 is approved by the Senate and House of Representatives. This means you have to review your policies and insert the telecommuting option for your human resource.

Provide tools and training

Speaking of redefined accountants’ role in the workplace, it is only necessary that we teach them the skills needed for consultation. More specifically, we should provide leadership and communication training.

This batch, despite being equipped with vigor, intelligence, and technology savvy, has a different way of communicating.

Not only that, they have a different perspective when it comes to leadership, says Suzanne Lucas. And that perspective, if we may put it bluntly, sucks.

But, says Lucas, they can be the most promising boss because “they have us,” which is in reference to the previous generation.

What that means is we can guide them by giving them the right tools to enhance their technical and communication skills.

For telecommuting, provide tools that allow the new generation of accountants do their work even on the go.

Equip them with telecommuting programs such as online access to files sharing tools, secure messaging apps, cloud-based accounting software, and others.

Listen and set goals

Another challenge facing your firm if you are hiring the millennials is staff turnover. Ask any millennial you know how long he intends to keep their job right where it is now, and you’ll rarely get an answer of “more than 5 years.”

A lot of them would either look for the so-called greener pasture or want to climb up the corporate ladder.

So what you can do is listen to their goals. When you ask the question, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” listen to their answer and don’t take it against them if they tell you they’d put up their own business or would be the one to be asking questions in your seat.

Give them the opportunity to grow either as your future partner or something else. Show them that they are valued by soliciting suggestions, conducting monthly discussions, or anything similar.

A lot of these millennials have brilliant and timely ideas. They are just waiting for you to ask them what they are.

Note: This article is adapted from ACCOUNTEX Report.

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