While the partnership model remains “old-school attractive” in the industry, it is becoming increasingly less appealing to younger accountants with different career and lifestyle priorities to the previous generation, Xero’s head of accounting and director at Aptus Accounting and Advisory, James Solomons, told AccountantsDaily.
Mr Solomons is finding that younger accountants who are eyeing more senior positions are thinking either “I’m going to go my own way, or stay an employee”.
With the uncertainty in the market about the changing nature of compliance work, coupled with the personal financial imperatives of people in their 20s and 30s – particularly in metropolitan areas – having the responsibility and stress of a partnership is losing its appeal, he suggested.
Firms that stick to their traditional models, from technology to business and practice management, may struggle to attract new graduates, retain current talent and sell their fee base in the traditional way, he added.
“With the entrepreneurial spirit of the next generation of accountants, they may even forgo $50K on their salary to be able to work whenever they like, wherever they like, with the clients that they like,” Mr Solomons said.
“The partnership model has been falling away. In the future they will still be around, but there will be the more flexible and less hierarchy-focused models around. It won’t be that the pinnacle is becoming a partner. The titles won’t mean as much, maybe, because the titles will lose their importance as the business models change,” he said.