Millennials are the biggest generation in the Canadian workforce, and these young adults comprise a significant portion of the country’s consumers as well. As is the case with every young generation, millennials’ unique attitudes and interests are changing the world. In particular, bookkeepers and accountants may need to adjust some of their methods and processes to help businesses stay in tune with the members of Generation Y whether they are employees or clients.
When it comes to their work environment, millennials value flexibility. They want a mix of time in the office and working off-site, and they often crave unstructured time to develop creative projects or pursue clients in new ways. In return for flexibility, Gen Y workers are often willing to blend their personal and professional lives more than previous generations. If you’re a bookkeeper or accountant, that puts the ball in your court to manage flexibility from a payroll stance. That may mean classifying some workers as contractors and allowing them to work for multiple clients. It may also mean offering more salaries and less hourly pay or giving your employees access to expense tracking tools to facilitate working out of the office. If you employ this generation, get ready to redefine working for your company and start to investigate the accounting processes that can back up flextime jobs.
As a group, millennials tend to have a strong sense of social responsibility, and they want that reflected in their workplace. If you are the owner or director of your company, you need a clear mission statement. What does your business do? How does it impact the world in meaningful ways? Does the company prioritize community engagement? As an accountant or bookkeeper, you may want to investigate corporate giving and ways to make your organization more socially responsible. That can be key for attracting both employees and clients.
Most millennials barely remember a world without the internet, and the youngest of this generation have likely been getting online since they could walk. This immersion in technology gives this generation a technical fluency that isn’t found in any other generation. Millennials like tech tools, and they know how to use them. From an accounting perspective, this trait underscores the importance of using cloud-based tools. For example, cloud-based payroll software can allow workers to sign in remotely, and using scheduling software, employees can easily trade shifts and request time off with a few taps. If you own an accounting firm, you can focus on cloud-based solutions that let your young accountants update files from anywhere and collaborate with other workers remotely.
Millennials are one of the most educated generations, and as a general rule, book smarts translate to financial smarts for these young adults. In fact, on average, millennials in Canada buy their own homes at a younger age than their parents did. If you’re hiring millennials, remember that they want to know what’s going on with the company, so focusing on transparency with your accounting and business policies can make your firm more appealing to them. If you’re marketing to millennials, you also need to keep their education in mind. These shoppers often come into stores or onto websites knowing what they want, how it stacks up to the competition, and how much it should cost. Your sales team needs to match that level of interest and knowledge, and from a budgeting perspective, you may want to prioritize tech tools or staff training to help you serve well-educated millennials more effectively. Whether you’re just starting out or have been in business for years, you should have a plan for working with or attracting this segment of the economy. Millennials are the future, but they’re the present as well, and if you don’t want to miss out on the great potential offered this generation, you need to implement strategies to make yourself more appealing to them.