In the second decade of our new century, rapid advances in technology and sweeping cultural shifts are transforming the way work gets done in almost every industry. But some industries are experiencing broader sea changes than others, and accounting happens to be one of the professions falling into this category. While businesses and individuals will always need expert financial guidance to keep them solvent and help them navigate complex tax regulations, the professionals who fill this role are being educated, trained and deployed in ways that vastly differ from the norms of a few generations past.
If you manage an accounting firm or hold a position of responsibility regarding the hiring, selection and training of an accounting team, you may already be familiar with some of the shifts that impact your mission. These include:
The way your accountants process and manage data will change dramatically over the next few years. But even more important, communication methods are rapidly shifting– specifically, the methods your teams use to communicate with their supervisors, their clients, and each other. At this point, accounting managers should be allowing their teams to access the company network on their own devices and to work remotely. Workplaces have now become ideas or abstractions rather than actual buildings, and business development strategies are also shifting as a result of instant communication and social media.
2. Generational Gaps.
Accounting managers are starting to recognize the vast philosophical differences between their oldest employees (baby boomers) and their youngest (millennials). All along this spectrum, an employee’s approach to the job will be influenced by his or her age and generation, and this can bring both advantages and challenges to those at the management level. This challenge will increase as baby boomers begin to retire in waves and leave younger workers behind to take the reins.
Generational differences and technological changes place a combined challenge on accounting managers in the modern workplace. As we see changes in how the work is done, we need to see corresponding changes in our approach to training, motivation, coaching, promotion, work distribution, retention, and organizational planning. Pipeline development, for example, is now a more complex operation than it was a few decades past. Now that workers and their skill sets are mobile, managers need to find ways to leverage and build those skill sets over the long term.
For more information on these industry shifts and how to navigate the challenges they bring to your organization, reach out to the staffing and management experts at Techneeds.