Perhaps the most significant industry trend is the move to becoming a trusted business adviser to your customers. This shift will be critical as some of the traditional roles of accountants and bookkeepers, such as data entry and compliance management, become increasingly automated. Work with a mentor to help shape your personal brand so you’re perceived as a credible, knowledgeable and informative accountant, and please know that this takes time!
As a millennial, you’re almost certainly a ‘digital native’; you grew up in the age of the internet and you may not even remember a time before computers and smartphones. Lucky you. Use your specialist knowledge to help your less digitally savvy customers take advantage of going digital. Better still if you can help your own workplace grow its business via a digital approach.
The cloud is the future and the future has arrived. Cloud-based solutions offer greater flexibility through enabling businesses to access, update and save files in multiple devices from any location, meaning customers can access their accounts, send invoices and raise quotes on the go. Don’t forget that the rise of mobile is helping foster a digital mindset.
Data automation is becoming king. Help your customers harness the power of technology to automate everyday business processes like finance and payroll. In fact, this is why cloud accounting software is a great solution to simplify the day-to-day running of your customers’ businesses.
Provide additional services such as partnering with your customers to create their business plans using deep insights provided by data. Your role in this process is to look critically at the business’ strengths and opportunities and also help develop a plan that maps out priorities and focus areas and will deliver value.
Become an application ecosystem pro. Familiarise yourself with the growing ecosystem of apps that integrate with most cloud accounting software packages. By doing this, you can provide the value-added service of recommending the most relevant apps to customers.
Also consider how other new technologies and industry trends can deliver valuable business insights. For example, big data and analytics can help businesses beat their rivals to identify risks and opportunities to grow. This doesn’t have to involve expensive software and, in fact, could be as simple as helping clients analyse the Google Analytics from their website.
The future is bright for millennial accountants. You’re well placed to capitalise on market trends which can only help ensure a rich and rewarding career. I can’t wait to see a new wave of trusted advisers rise to shape and influence this ever evolving industry.
Please be sure to say hello at the next networking event.
Nicollette Maury, Intuit Australia.