Every generation has produced people who have a unique way of doing things. That might be because that even conditions change according to the times. So over time, research has kept a keen eye on the generation-workforce trends. It explored, for instance, the effect of the millennials on the accounting industry. Attention is now shifting to Generation Z that is currently joining the workforce. Like before, the members of the group bring with them a new set of skills and demands.
Executives have to learn how to manage the aspirations of Generation Z accountants. Because the new group is different from the millennials, it is bound to cause a shift in how things work. Some of the aspects that need review include training, recruitment, and job retention.
They Want to Use Technology
Millennials deserve credit for bringing technology into the workplace. Digitization, for instance, is a result of their efforts to modernize accounting. Without a doubt, the millennial wave created a convergence between industry and technology. Still, that is incomparable to what Generation Z is capable of achieving. This group grew up in the era of the Internet and is thus apt at devising innovative technology exploits.
Ken Tysiac’s article in the Journal of Accountancy explores Generation Z’s characteristics. In his piece, Tysiac quotes David Stillman – a generational expert. Stillman contends that members of Generation Z are the quintessential digital natives. They encountered smart devices since birth so technology is second nature to them. Accounting would thus have to use cutting-edge technology to win over the generation. David also suggests a proactive approachto address the needs of Generation Z. Besides, all millennials will exit the scene someday. So, the industry should start assimilating the needs of Generation Z accountants.
Still, Tysiac’s article argues that an obsession with technology might cause problems. Most accounting firms, for instance, prefer face-to-face meetings. In contrast, Generation Z accountants are better communicators on digital platforms. They have developed an online etiquette that is inapplicable to boardroom conversations. As a result, firms should start limiting on physical meetings and offline correspondence. Instead, they should give the new accountants a chance to communicate how they see best.
They Want to Multitask
Unlike the millennials, Generation Z accountants excel at multitasking. Millennials have always had a hard time handling several tasks at the same time. Besides, industry standards frowned upon multitasking. Hence, firms encouraged professionals to concentrate on one thing before turning to another. Dawn Wotapka’s article, How to Teach Gen Z Students, explains why this needs to change. It contends that members of Generation Z are born multitaskers. They thus need the space to exercise that advantage in their careers.
Generation Z employees would have an issue with workflows that focus on only one task. When they work for long hours on one thing, they lose interest fast. The trick is to allow them to exercise their skills on varying aspects that add to the desired result. Generation Z accountants value stimulation. If there is a way to keep them engaged, then there is a possibility that they will succeed at what they are doing.
They Want Customized Experiences
For many years, accounting firms have set guidelines of corporate conduct. Their employees would then stick to them resulting in a uniform experience for all. That does not mean that millennials were comfortable with such as setup. They campaigned for more room to exercise their passions within the corporate confines. Generation Z employees would demand the same. It is only that the culture of customization is more ingrained in the emerging crop of workers. After all, it defines what they have come to expect from any paid service. From shopping to college majors, personalized products are now a way of life.
Earning an online master’s in accounting exposes one to many career options. Because of the flexibility it offers, it is the ideal option for Generation Z accountants. Using the course, they can fit anywhere from corporate to non-profit organizations. Also, there is no limit to the number of sectors that the graduates can apply the qualification.
Amy Vetter explores Generation Z accountants’ career paths in anAccounting Todayarticle. She states that these professionals are more entrepreneurial than their predecessors. Hence, Generation Z accountants are highly likely to adopt a startup culture. As firm owners, they have a chance to plot the career paths of their dreams.
They Want a Work-life Balance
Accounting firms have addressed the work-life balance question in previous years. Still, they will have to revisit the issue when they hire Generation Z accountants. Tysiac’s article coined the phrase work-life blend as a replacement for work-life balance. He contends that Generation Z employees do not want to work and live at separate times. They want to do both concurrently. It is thus up to firms to make the workplace livable as well as conducive to productivity.
They are Practical
Generation Z accountants have seen the effects of severe economic conditions. They are thus not averse to the prospect of taking on entry-level jobs. In their thinking, one can always climb the ranks with the necessary dedication. Still, in some cases, they seek opportunities that can offer enormous paychecks. So firms that give precedence to benefits over salaries may not keep these new workers for long.
The Maryville University Master of Science in Accounting online program offers aspiring accountants the chance to better their skills. It equips them to lead and navigate the ever-changing accounting industry. Contact the university to learn how the program can assist you to carve a career path in accounting.