How To Attract & Retain The Next Generation Of Accountants: Insights From Accounting Associations

In today’s competitive landscape, independent accounting firms face a significant challenge: attracting and retaining talent amidst a global shortage of accountants. However, membership in a global accounting network and association, such as MGI Worldwide, can provide a strategic advantage. In this post, MGI explores the actionable strategies for attracting and retaining aspiring accountants, while ensuring a vibrant future for our profession.

International accounting associations and CPA alliances, like MGI Worldwide, understand the importance of nurturing the next generation of accountants. This is particularly pertinent in regions like North America, where demand for young accounting professionals is high.

Ways to attract and retain young talent, leveraging the resources of global accounting networks and associations:

1. Appeal To Aspiring Accountants Early

Early exposure is key to igniting passion for accounting careers. Internship programs provide invaluable hands-on experience and insights into the diverse facets of the profession. Additionally, being part of a reputable international accounting association not only enhances credibility but also opens up diverse global opportunities for accountants, igniting their passion from the outset.  This is particularly valuable in competing for talent against larger firms with more resources.

2. Offer A Better Work/Life Balance

Recognising the evolving needs of younger professionals, it is imperative to prioritise a positive work-life balance. Beyond competitive salaries, offering flexible work arrangements, continuous learning opportunities, and pathways to global mobility is essential. At MGI Worldwide, we are committed to nurturing an inclusive culture across membership that values well-being and fosters professional growth. Our “Tomorrow’s Leaders Programme” engages young talent across firms, building on successful initiatives like our European Talent Meeting which is now being expanded to other regions.  These efforts aim to develop the potential of younger talent wherever they are located throughout the world and provide a retention positive activity for firms.

3. Promote Continuous Learning Opportunities

Global accounting alliances and networks provide invaluable learning experiences through a range of in-person and virtual events and workshops open to all levels of staff across firms. These opportunities not only facilitate networking but also encourage the exchange of ideas, knowledge, skills and experience. These initiatives not only attract talented individuals seeking growth opportunities but also facilitate continuous learning and skill enhancement for existing team members in firms, helping create a culture of excellence and innovation, locally and internationally.

4. Foster A More Collaborative Culture & Mentorship

Encouraging a collaborative culture that extends beyond the immediate firm and involves participation in a CPA alliance enables independent firms to collaborate with peers, share best practices, and seek guidance from experienced professionals that share the same values and work with the same types of clients in their region and internationally. This mentorship and support network is not only appealing for aspiring accountants seeking guidance and professional development  but also provides invaluable resources for them to thrive in their careers, especially by facilitating connections with peers at similar career stages in comparable firms worldwide.

5. Provide International Exposure & Mobility

By offering enriching experiences such as workcations and secondments through an accounting alliance, younger talents have the opportunity to broaden their horizons and immerse themselves in diverse countries and cultures. This not only makes independent firms more appealing to top talent seeking dynamic and enriching experiences, but also promotes retention by creating opportunities for a more fulfilling work-life balance.

In today’s competitive landscape, independent CPA firms face the challenge of attracting and retaining accountancy talent in the midst of a global shortage of accountants. By harnessing the resources and opportunities provided by global accounting networks and CPA associations such as MGI Worldwide, firms can effectively engage and support the next generation of accountants. This not only ensures a vibrant future for the profession but also enables independent accounting firms to expand their reach and impact internationally.

Ready to Future-Proof Your Accounting Firm and Expand Your Reach?

With over 8,000 professionals in some 100 countries, membership of the MGI Worldwide global network and association helps member firms gain the capabilities of the largest accounting firms - all without sacrificing their independence. Please feel free to contact us in order to find out more.

This article was written courtesy of MGI Worldwide CMO, Maxine Brock.