By CPA Idah Collins
The Indispensable Role of Young Professionals
The accounting profession is constantly evolving, and the influx of Gen Z professionals has further accelerated this trend. This has created a dynamic environment, which bridges the gap between the experience of veteran professionals and the fresh perspectives of younger generations. As a result, the profession is becoming more innovative and adaptable, as it embraces new ideas and technologies to keep pace with the changing business landscape. The conversation around young people in accounting and finance has not been done justice or given the audience it deserves. It’s time for the industry to recognize the value that young accountants bring to the table and start investing in their development as future leaders.
Pearl S. Buck once said “The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible – and achieve it, generation after generation.” Every day, we witness young accountants achieving remarkable feats in the finance industry, whether through innovative technologies like fintech and blockchain or by introducing new and improved ways of doing things. We also wake up to young accountants making mistakes here and there. Well, for these mistakes, I am a firm believer that young professionals can be forgiven or better still, they can recover.
Amidst all this, it is important to note that young accountants have a unique set of skills and qualities that make them ideal candidates for leadership roles in the accounting profession compared to the more senior accountants who have the experience to navigate the Finance terrain. However, they are never given the credit or recognition they deserve. The Kenyan market is one of the global highs, when it comes to the rate of unemployment among the youth and those who get lucky to get opportunities in the field of finance are viewed as inexperienced, and more often than not they are viewed as coffee runners or errand boys.
The good news for all the young people is with the rapid pace of technological advancements and shifting global economic trends, the industry is undergoing a massive transformation. This transformation presents unique opportunities for young people to take on leadership roles and help shape the future of the accounting profession. In this article, we’ll explore the crucial role that young people play in the accounting profession, and how they can help shape the industry’s future.
The Accounting Industry Needs Fresh Perspectives
The accounting industry is known for its strict adherence to rules and regulations, which can make it difficult to implement change. Young people, however, bring fresh perspectives to the table and can offer new solutions to long-standing problems. With their experience in using cutting-edge technology and new ways of thinking, young people can help the accounting profession stay competitive and adapt to new challenges. We are now moving our way from the traditional T diagrams, and now at clique of a button the system generates the information required.
Young People Are Tech-Savvy
Technology is changing the way the accounting profession operates, and young people are often the most comfortable with using new technologies. As digital natives, young people have grown up using technology in their everyday lives, which makes them more adaptable to new tools and platforms. They can help streamline processes, improve efficiency, and develop innovative solutions that take advantage of emerging technologies.
The Importance of Creativity in Accounting
Accounting can often be seen as a rigid and rule-bound profession, but creativity is essential to success in the industry. Young people often bring fresh ideas and innovative thinking to the table, which can help unlock new solutions to complex problems. For example, they may develop new methods of financial reporting or introduce creative ways to increase transparency and accountability.
Young People Are Change-Makers
The accounting profession needs leaders who can bring about change and embrace new ways of doing things. Young people can be the change-makers that the industry needs. By challenging the status quo and pushing for innovation, they can help transform the industry and make it more agile and adaptive to new challenges.
Young People Are the Future of the Accounting Profession
As the older generation of accountants retire, the industry will need new leaders to step in and fill the gaps. Young people who are forward-thinking and focused on the future can be the ones to lead the profession into the next era. They can help shape the industry by developing new policies, creating new business models, and integrating emerging technologies.
Overcoming Challenges and Barriers
Despite their potential, young people in the accounting profession often face significant challenges and barriers to entry. These include a lack of mentoring, limited access to networks, and the perception that they lack experience or expertise. To overcome these challenges, it is essential to develop mentorship programs, create opportunities for young people to showcase their skills, and provide access to training and development programs. However, as young people we have a long way to go in the industry, to learn from those who came before us, and harness our skills like theirs or even better. The world has become very competitive, and in the era of competition it has also become a global village. It’s my opinion that even as young people, strive to get into the c-suite, they should build a skill that is second to none, so that when the preceding generation comes, it will be building from a strong culture. This will be achieved through consistently striving for accuracy, attention to detail, and strong communication skills to effectively interpret and analyse financial information and provide valuable insights for clients or employers.
In conclusion, young people have a crucial role to play in the accounting profession. They bring fresh perspectives, creativity, and innovative thinking to the industry. They can help shape the future of the profession by pushing for change and embracing new technologies and business models. As the industry evolves, it is essential to invest in young people and help them develop the skills, knowledge, and experience they need to become the next generation of accounting leaders. So the next time someone underestimates the potential of young people in the accounting profession, remember that they are not just coffee runners – they are future CEOs.
The author CPA Idah Collins, is a young Accountant. Member of ICPAK with a BA degree from
UON. He is an MBA candidate at KCA University. He works as an accountant with Enke Group
and running a consultancy with North Rock Investments Ltd, providing tailor-made
management solutions for various businesses.