The Generation GAAP: Preparing for Generations Y and Z

By Alan Gregory | 2nd March 2017 | 14 min read

Discover why you need to prepare for the influx of Generations Y and Z...

A decade of technological change has had a profound impact on the world, with new ideas and systems making the world seem smaller, more connected and easier to navigate. While technology’s influence on business and commerce can give rise to new global super-powers and make formerly great institutions obsolete.

The accounting industry has not been immune to this disruptive culture of technological advancement, and is evolving now more than ever thanks to cloud computing and regulation changes to adhere to; not to mention the economic landscape to consider.

However, looking further ahead, perhaps the most important difference between accountancy now and in a decade’s time will be people, with research suggesting that the vast majority of firm partners today are aged between 40 and 60. But is that a trend that’s set to continue?

10 years down the line

By 2026, the landscape will have changed. Some partners retired, others embedded within the profession for a decade, and whilst that experience is invaluable, driving firms forward at the pace the employees of tomorrow require is key, so the question is: how can you prepare yourself for Generation Y and Z?

A decade from now, the emerging, predominate client base and workforce will be from generation Y and Z. A set of people whose working habits, digital preferences and cultural outlook is vastly different to anything we have known before.

Studies show that the vast majority of Generation Y and Z are willing to trust online tech-led companies like Uber, and this digital, self-starting and forward-thinking generation will demand a new service model.

New culture, new customers

Understanding these generations is crucial to survival in the coming years; both how they work and what they expect from their accountant.

The old ‘audit-centric’ model is steadily being replaced by full financial and business advisory services, real-time reporting and technology-led interaction and communication, demonstrated by data showing mid-sized firms percentage of income from non-audit work hit 55% in 2015, growing from 48% in 2013.

2026 Vision

It’s a widely accepted fact that 100% of Generation Z will be digital natives. They know tech, are comfortable using it and are more than happy to develop, learn and grow with whatever new technology is introduced to the market.

With Making Tax Digital intending to make the relationship between accountant and customer more digitised and even closer, are you ready to take advantage?

Preparing the ground for tomorrow’s Generation is all about evolving today, and there’s no better place to start than here at IRIS.


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