ACCA Report Outlines Priorities of Young Professionals at Small and Medium Practices

A new report by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Generation Next: Managing Talent in Small and Medium Sized Practices (SMPs), dives deeper into ACCA’s 2016 global survey examining the career aspirations of the younger generation in finance today.

“Our research on young finance professionals globally suggests that this is a generation with ambitions for fast progression and rapid career development,” says Warner Johnston, head of ACCA USA. “These traits place new pressures on SMPs to rethink how they attract, develop and retain young talent.”

From an employer’s perspective, a focus on attraction, engagement and retention should lead to wider changes in how many approach talent-management strategies. Generation Next as a whole is particularly mobile, and that pattern holds for those employed at SMPs: 31% would like to move to their next role in one year, and 64% in two years.

For attracting young finance professionals to SMPs, job security and work life balance are a major factor; 86% agree that job security with an employer is important; 83% agree that work-life balance is a priority; and 71% say that flexible working arrangements are an attraction.

For Generation Next, the key to retention is development: 93% agree that the availability of opportunities to learn and develop skills is key to remaining with an employer.

“Encouragingly, this research shows that the new generation of young finance and accountancy professionals entering the world of SMPs is well-equipped to deal with the changes being driven by globalization and technology,” says Johnston.