Understanding a new breed of accountants

citas sobre los 40 aГ±os Everything you once knew about graduates has changed – the skills they bring, the way they want to work and how best to retain them.


Part time jobs peoria az 85345 The accounting graduates of 2017 are not like they used to be. They know nothing other than a world of technology, and the way they work and live is defined by a completely different infrastructure than the generation before.

http://luenne.com/nikiow/1694 Navigating the world of graduate recruitment can be daunting for an accounting firm that is used to hiring a newbie with a solid academic record who is keen to work their way up the ladder.

mujeres solteras en bradenton In 2017, finding a graduate who has the right balance of technical, technological and soft skills, and providing them with a work environment that will make them want to stay requires a different approach.

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It’s no secret that technology has become a part of everyday life for the majority of Australians, and while Baby Boomers had to learn the ropes as adults, Millennials were born into this tech-saturated world.

“The biggest characteristic trait Millennials have is their skills within the technology space, which are far more advanced than what our graduates had, say, 10 years ago. Outside of sleeping, they are involved with technology practically 24/7,” says Nicole Gorton, director of recruitment firm Robert Half.

“Because they’re so practiced and they’re so interested and passionate, it has become a way of life, if you like, therefore that whole blended work/personal life is a characteristic trait of a Millennial who is graduating now,” Ms Gorton says.

She says Millennials possess high-level tech skills that they can bring to a firm in a number of ways.

“One of them would be that they’re very quick to learn the systems, so don’t underestimate their ability there, don’t underestimate how they can add value within that and improve that technology space.

“Once they’ve learnt the system, somebody who has been practiced and is used to technology can just think differently and they can think about how they can add efficiencies and how they can improve systems and procedures.”

Hays accountancy and finance senior regional director Susan Drew also weighed in, referring to Millennials as “digital natives” whose knowledge firms should be tapping into.

“As digital natives, they can bring strong digital and technology skills,” Ms Drew says.

“Firms can utilise this through a two-way mentorship where an experienced worker is paired with a younger, more technology proficient Millennial. This allows the latter to benefit from the wisdom of experience, while the former gains additional technology skills.”

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In recent years, universities across Australia have been modifying their accounting courses, adding subjects in soft skills and technology. Students today are graduating with a slightly different skill set than they used to, according to Luckmika Perera, director of teaching in the department of accounting at Deakin University.

“I think five or 10 years ago, the focus was more on having the technical skills and going out into the industry and being able to start off just being practical and technical,” Mr Perera says.

“Things have slightly changed and now graduates will come out needing to balance a little bit between more technical and non-technical skills or what we call soft skills, which are ever increasing.”

The increasing importance of soft skills comes as outsourcing and automation take over some of the compliance work accountants used to do, pushing them into more client-facing advisory work, Mr Perera says.

“Most of the back-end stuff, the technical stuff, while the graduates need to have that knowledge, most of these things are becoming automated or being shifted to offshore locations, particularly in the Australian context,” Mr Perera says.

“What we need to look at is not just the technical skills alone, but also to add that layer of soft skills, interpersonal skills, the emotional intelligence component.”

Pitcher Partners Sydney managing partner Rob Southwell has noticed a shift in the general knowledge of new graduates, many of whom are not afraid to speak their mind.

“They carry a little bit more world knowledge than a graduate of 15 years ago. They’re actually bringing new ideas to the table around the way that we work and things that we could be doing to help them as well,” Mr Southwell says.

“They’re definitely quite hungry for that learning and exposure. They’re looking for fulfilling experiences and they want it pretty quickly so they bring a high level of eagerness.”

Ms Drew agrees, saying that Millennials are not afraid of asking questions and voicing their opinions.

“Millennials question why things are done the way they are, particularly if there’s a better way to do them,” she says.

“If there’s a quicker, more efficient way of performing a certain task, Millennials are usually the ones coming up with the solution or at least posing questions that motivate us to improve the way it’s done.”

Ms Drew says Millennials are great team players and collaborators, which complements the way the accounting industry is moving.

“They also bring the skills of collaboration with this. They’re natural collaborators who join online learning groups and share content,” she says.

“Virtual as well as physical tools now allow workplaces to become more collaborative and create working cultures where expressing and sharing ideas are inherent to the way we work. In our rapidly changing world of work, this ability to collaborate to adapt is a huge advantage and one we should all embrace.”


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