Recruiting and Succession Planning across CPA Generations

Recruiting and Succession Planning across CPA Generations

With an estimated 75 percent of CPAs expected to retire over the next 15 years, according to the AICPA, CPA firms are under pressure to recruit and retain a sufficient number of young accountants to keep the business going.

“As we think about recruiting and retaining different generations, we expect the Millennials and the Gen X’ers to be a large part of filling the gap of the retirement of the Boomers,” said Chris Rush, division vice president of strategy at ADP Small Business Services.

While every generation expects to receive competitive salary and benefits, there are some differences in priorities among the different generations, Rush has found.

“As you think about the Baby Boomers, they’re a little more traditional,” he told me. 

“There’s a heavy focus on competitive wages and benefits, and opportunities for advancement and compensation. It’s a little bit different as you look at the Millennials, where you start to see other intangible benefits become more important—things like work/life balance, flexible schedules, and a more casual business dress code, as well as ongoing training and development. That’s something that’s consistent amongst both the Millennials and the Gen X’ers.”

Generation X is poised somewhere between the surrounding generations’ priorities. “If you think about the Gen X’ers particularly, again there’s got to be a little bit more work/life balance,” said Rush. “I kind of think of the Gen X’ers as fitting between the Millennials and the Boomers. Whereas the Boomers are more traditional, with more of the traditional comp and wages and benefits, and the Millennials preferring a flexible work/life balance, the X’ers are more in between. They also want competitive comp, but they also want some work/life balance, a little bit more hands-off management so they can drive their own schedules, and technology is also very important to them.” Read more on Accounting Today.