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Tax & Accounting09 January, 2020

Building a skillset for the future

In a digital world, the decision is no longer a case of whether to implement change, but rather how to gear up for it. Differentiating your firm from the rest will come down to your two greatest assets: tools and employees. Forward-thinking practices are building their workforce to increase efficiency through new skillsets and software.

Building a workforce that is open to this change and hungry for technology is important. Some practices are looking for tech-loving advisors with expertise in the profession and passion for new ideas and innovative tech solutions.

Adopting a technology change

These practices are now more interested in a prospective candidate’s receptiveness to change and their character, in addition to their skills in the profession. They are searching for a skill set that not only can code client trial balances and manually collect data, but also can adapt, accept and respond to disrupting technology. These candidates have been called technologists.

This generation of digital natives or millennials are not motivated by the same goals that other generations are. For them, an app-driven culture is the norm and the office space culture should be designed to suit those people. While millennials fit into the 20-something age group, many leading-edge advisors have adopted the traits of millennial mindsets.

Your staff will need to understand and adopt the same tech-driven mindset.

Millennials will bring a new energy to practices, see gaps and inefficiencies that can be cleared by automation and ultimately be more in touch with the generation that follows them. What’s more, millennials will dominate your client base and will look to work with a core advisory team that they can relate to. Your practice will have to adapt to big and small, internal and external pressure to transform in its quest to embrace digitalisation.

Looking beyond the millennials

Now prepare for Gen Z. Young adults born in the mid-1990s are leaving higher education, entering the workforce and beginning to nurture fledgling businesses, particularly in new sectors such as gaming and app development, sustainable fashion and healthy food alternatives.

Is your practice positioned to work well with these young clients, who will assuredly want to conduct their business lives as they do their personal lives, on their smartphone? They will have rarely written a letter or read a paper document.

Do you have the technology to enable them to capture business transactions by snapping them on their phone or scanning them in? Are your working practices paperless?

Supporting this new type of client could create opportunities for younger members of your team to develop their account management skills. They are well placed to be the prime contact with your practice, as someone who speaks their language and empathises with their mindset and motivations.

Change is constant and relentless and requires your employees to change how they communicate, learn new skills and transform their perspective on their work. In addition to adapting to new ways of working your employees will have had to maintain focus on the day job and remain calm and professional.

If you need more information about how you can manage change or adopting more digitalisation in your practice email [email protected].

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