6 Things millennials look for in an accounting firm
Updated: Oct 22, 2019
Regardless of the service a company provides or the product it sells, one of the most important market segments for everyone are millennials. Millennials now form the biggest portion of the workforce in America. And baby boomers are retiring. This combination is a burning issue for the accounting profession to overcome. The concern is not just millennial staff. Accounting firms’ clients are also going to be millennials. So how do accounting firms get and keep millennial clients?
When Bill.com asked millennial business owners what they would like to see their accounting firms include as part of their services, more than 55% mentioned cloud-based technologies, more than 45% mentioned online invoicing and about a third mentioned digital payments. They were also quite clear about the prominence of their accounting company being paperless, meaning that not everything is printed out. It becomes clear, therefore, that going tech-heavy is the way to attract millennial clients and the best thing about this is that it can really be a wake-up call for accounting firms that have grown habituated to the old way of doing things and refuse to update their practices.
If you and your accounting firm are after millennials, just offering a tax service will not suffice. Millennial business owners are more interested in different types of accounting services than any previous generation. And surveys show that the accounting firms that diversify their services are far more likely to attract millennial clients. The services may include Bookkeeping, Sales tax, Payroll, CFO services and consulting, Accounting technology recommendations/training, Bill payment, Budgeting and forecasting, Invoicing etc.
Millennials expect their accounting firms to have multiple channels of communication. For example, they want to be able to send documents to the accounting firms securely via email of secure file sharing services instead of mailing or faxing. They also expect a timely response.
Add impact to your mission
One of the topmost motivators for millennials is impact, i.e., they want to know that the work they do makes a difference. “Impact” means a lot to not only staff but also to millennial clients. They look for accounting firms that are associated with community or a cause. They are much more likely to look for a mission statement for your accounting firm.
The flexibility to access not only their accounting reports and tax information but also their accountants at the time and place of their choosing can be huge factors in their decision to work with you (or with your competitor).
When it comes to cybersecurity, millennials are a radically different generation. They’re far more tech savvy than their older generational counterparts. They grew up with technology and they tend to do more research about choosing the right firm to keep their personal information secure. Millennials seem more aware and knowledgeable about the nature of cybersecurity, and the digital risks that companies face. So it only make sense for them to use your firm if you are showcasing the tight cybersecurity practices you employee within your firm. For example, if you still use an “@aol.com” email address when everyone knows that email is not encrypted, you will not be in the top 10 choices for your prospective millennial client pool.
Technology is woven into a millennial business owner’s life, both personally and professionally. Firms should explore and adopt new technologies that provide a greater level of convenience for millennial business owners. Likewise, invest in training and certifications for firm employees in order to stay current with the latest advancements
We, at Cloudanize, help accountants modernize their technology infrastructure to smoothly transition into the next generation of technology practices.