At Baker Tilly we believe that we are more than just mere accountants or auditors for our clients. We provide actual and practical advice to our clients in their everyday business cycle and we encourage them to follow the best practices in managing their businesses.
Our efforts focus in helping clients understand that businesses should be able to identify their major business assets and through developing and building up on them, each business will be able to thrive in their area. Baker Tilly is also a business and as such, it should also understand and apply this concept. But which is the biggest asset for a service company like Baker Tilly? There is no doubt that this is its people, at all lines of the firm’s structure, from the levels of associates up to the partners. Clients reach out to audit firms to receive a service, which is derived from the expertise, knowledge and professionalism of the firm’s human factor.
In order to be able to capitalise on their human resources, audit firms need to understand their own workforce. The way the audit firms work is that you either work your way up to the level of partner or at some point you leave out of the profession to a specific industry. Following on my previous point, let’s be honest, not all of us are suited to become partners. This means that the majority of the old generations have already left the profession and the vast majority of auditors are Millennials. The term ‘‘Millennials’’ refers to the generation being born between the early 1980s until the early 2000s. These people are the present and future of audit firms.
Millennials were born in the era of the internet and the ‘‘explosion’’ of social media (Facebook, Instagram etc). They are technology experts and they are most efficient when it comes to doing tasks electronically. Audit firms are constantly working to adopt to the technological changes and Millennials have yet to play a significant role as they are the ones who will apply all the new tools in the e-audit environment. In addition, audit firms have recently brought the concept of social media in their marketing strategies, as well as in their internal operations through specific applications in their intranet platforms. We can learn a lot from Millennials on how to apply such strategies, as they are the specialists.
Millennials are flexible, multitaskers, are bored easily and they have a need for fast career advancement. Audit firms have been adopting to these traits of the Millennials, not because the ultimate firm goal was to satisfy the people needs, but because the changes within the industry gave them the opportunity to do so. Recently clients, except for the usual statutory audits, have increased needs for consulting services, whether it is tax advice or any other form of business advice. Millennials are fit for the job. As firms acknowledge this, they have been transferring Millennials from the ‘‘boring’’ audit department to the more ‘‘exciting’’ consulting departments either on a project by project basis or permanently. This keeps both the people and clients’ needs satisfied.
Furthermore, since I mentioned people satisfaction, it is important to mention that Millennials have the need to be praised and know that they have an important role to play within the firm. This is derived from how their Baby Boomer parents raised them, through constant support and encouragement. Therefore, firms can get the most of their Millennials by providing similar signals of motivation.
To wrap up, my advice to audit firms is that investing in the Millennial generation is the way to go. They hold the knowledge and expertise of our times. On the other hand, if you are a Millennial, keep up the hard work. The future is in your hands!
Author: Mr. Constantinos Theodosiou - Senior Manager, Audit and Assurance services - [email protected]
Baker Tilly Klitou & Partners Ltd