The Next Big Source of CPAs

The Next Big Source of CPAs

People. Human capital. Talent. Call it what you are comfortable with. The profession needs to attract and retain high-quality people. People who not only have a good command of technical skills, but also have a commitment to mastery and continuous development of the vital skills needed for success today and the foreseeable future.

During the American Institute of CPAs’ Fall Meeting of Council in October 2015, president and CEO Barry Melancon noted that talent is one of the three “macro trends” that are impacting the profession (in addition to regulation and technology). Most decision-makers accept and understand this situation.

But here’s the thing: The old ways of attracting and retaining people have most likely ceased to be effective. “Out-of-the-box thinking is needed. Traditional approaches will, by themselves, no longer suffice to ensure companies find and keep the people they need,” the Economist Intelligence Unit wrote — back in 2008.

But change is hard.

What is going on in the marketplace for talent? Gen X is approaching “mid-career change.” Millennials (age 18-34) are now the largest generation in the U.S. labor force, according to Pew Research Center.

And a few words about the Millennial generation: Millennials are viewed by some (or maybe many) as a generation likely to change jobs or even careers frequently. Psychology Today reports that Millennials have unrealistic expectations related to their own career development. Doesn’t matter. If you are in the business of leveraging people — human capital — you need to deal with the reality of the environment. Back in 2006, The Journal of Organizational Behavior talked about the “boundary-less career,” where there is more movement among employers, occupations and/or geography.

And as employers integrate Millennials into the workplace, increasingly in roles of middle and upper management, Generation Z is on the way, with yet another set of outlooks on their careers.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that young people are not only leaving firms, but they are leaving the profession. Changing careers.  Read more on Accounting Today.