Misconceptions of Accountancy

According to a recent survey by Grant Thornton, a lot of young people have misconceptions about accountancy careers, and changing these perceptions is a key part of attracting Gen Z to the industry. Unless the accounting industry changes Gen Z’s somewhat negative view of professions, talent acquisition could become a problem.

 

Lack of Accounting Career Advice Available to Young People

According to Andrew Dobbs at Cooper Parry, providing more advice and creating clear pathways to accountancy roles is key, and it’s a major cause for these misconceptions. He explained that flexibility is important to young people, as are businesses that have a social and moral purpose. He believes that “accountancy firms [need] to tell a more compelling story that takes this into account.”

 

Grant Thornton surveyed 2,000 16 to 25 year olds, and 66% of them said that there is limited accounting career advice available to them. This was highlighted further by Grant Thornton’s People and Culture Director, Richard Waite, who explained that overcoming this requires accountancy firms to engage young people.

He went on to say that: “what we’re seeing is that there are misconceptions that are limiting people’s insights into whether this is something that they would want to do. There’s a lack of awareness in terms of career advice or young people not having access to the information that they need to be able to make a decision about whether accountancy is right for them or not.”

 

Misconceptions Preventing Young People From Pursuing Accounting Careers

Each year, more and more firms are competing for accountancy talent, but the number of candidates is failing to increase in line with this. This means that firms need to focus on engaging younger candidates and changing their perception of what a career in the industry entails.

 

There is a lot of misinformation out there, with many young people turning away from careers in accounting due to not having a degree. However, this shouldn’t prevent someone from dreaming of a career in the industry. By targeting school leavers with accurate and relevant information, young people can begin their journey towards a career in accounting. Not only does this avoid misconceptions, but it ensures that accountancy firms have a wider range of candidates to choose from.

 

As well as candidate misconceptions, firms are also failing to acknowledge that Gen Z are unlike previous generations. According to a study, 48% of young people have used social media to apply for a job in the past. This shows how important it is for firms to utilise social media as a recruitment tool. Gen Z differs from previous generations, and young people don’t always use traditional routes to find a job. Instead of heading to careers fairs, Gen Z favours social media and targeted advertising.

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