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A decade of opportunity ahead for the accountancy profession in Azerbaijan that is at a turning point

30.07.2021,11:24


July 30 Fineko/abc.az. A decade of opportunity for Generation Z accountancy professionals and their employers is predicted by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and IFAC (the International Federation of Accountants) in a new report published today Groundbreakers: Gen Z and the future of accountancy.

Gathering the views of 9,000 18- to 25-year-olds globally, including 74 in Azerbaijan, the report throws fresh light on the aspirations and fears of this up-and-coming generation of young professionals, while also offering employment advice for them and employers alike.

Azerbaijanian respondents see accountancy as having a positive image offering an attractive career option. But this is also a generation concerned about the future – 55% of Azerbaijanian Gen Z are concerned about the future of education compared to 37% globally, and 54% identified lack of job opportunities / job security as a concern versus a global average of 58%.

Young generation in Azerbaijan is more positive thinking compared to global: 76% think that business has a positive impact on a wider society compared to 69% globally.

Portability of finance roles globally is a point of attraction for every second (53% versus 37% globally). Rapid career progression (61% of respondents) attracts them to employment with an organization.

Gen Zs in Azerbaijan are an ambitious lot. Close to 60% expect their next move to be within 2 years.

The report also reveals that as employers, the profession is missing opportunities to attract more young people to its ranks.

Filiz Demiröz, head of ACCA Azerbaijan, Turkey, Georgia and Afghanistan:

‘Our findings present both challenges and opportunities for the accountancy profession and business here in Azerbaijan and globally. That is because Gen Z will demand more accountability from the leaders of the organizations in which they work, and they’ll also have high expectations of their work–life balance and how employee welfare is managed.’

 

  • Azerbaijanian Generation Z is determined: looking at their own peer group, 89% of Gen Z in Azerbaijan is willing to put in as much hard work as generation before them to progress quickly in their careers (vs 79% globally). 84% say they are ambitious to progress quickly in their careers; 82% value purpose and meaning in a job and 86% value higher pay and a prestigious job title.
  • As expected, they are also tech savvy – 81% say they’re very comfortable with technology and pick up new tech fast, and 73% say technology will enable finance professionals to focus on high-value-added activity.

 

Filiz concludes: ‘The world now demands more accountability and transparency – the mantra is simple: stakeholders, not just shareholders. For the accountancy profession, this represents a potential turning point and these young people will help create a workforce which is more diverse, more inclusive, and which will make businesses more cognisant of their broader role in society.’

 

‘Our report explains how Gen Z will bring their talent and tech know-how to the profession and change it, pursuing careers with purpose and doing jobs that make a difference. It’s a message of opportunity and positivity as we work towards to achievement in 2030 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.’

 

To help Gen Z navigate the future, ACCA’s report recommends ways they can future proof their own careers, and realize their career dreams as work changes:

  1. Bring your tech know-how to the organization: you’ll be greatly prized for doing this.
  2. Work your brand internally: make work engagements more personal to build deeper relationships in the workplace.
  3. Care for your health and build resilience.
  4. Remember, it’s a team game: tech helps to build connections, and there are brilliant opportunities ahead to learn from others in the workplace.
  5. Disrupt yourself: think ‘sideways’ moves and be adaptable.
  6. Seek mentors and find sponsors: actively seeking mentors and colleagues from different generations to provide you with essential support to help ‘fill in the blanks’ and give you vital knowledge and wisdom from years of experience is very valuable.
  7. Continuously learn: this is about being future proofed, about learning new knowledge, but about being adaptable and proactive and having an open mindset to get new skills, to future proof your competence.  
  8. Recognize the importance of the “early years”: The only person ultimately accountable for your career is yourself, and as a young person entering the workforce, its critical to recognize the importance of the ‘early years’ in work.
  9. Build life-long networks: keep connected and build a strong external network to expand learning opportunities and new career opportunities. Time invested in important personal relationships over the long term will always pay dividends.  
  10. Pursue your dreams: the pandemic’s making many rethink careers and jobs in accountancy are changing, offering fantastic opportunities to contribute and make a difference. Pursue things that interest you, that provide purpose and career fulfilment. And even if you haven’t decided yet, finding something that interests you and at which you can become good at will reap benefits longer term.

Groundbreakers: Gen Z and the future of accountancy offers employers 10 ways to harness the potential of Gen Z:

  1. Tap into Gen Z’s digital mastery: Astute enterprises are seeing Gen Z as fantastic ambassadors and early adopters to encourage the rest of the business to digitally transform.
  2. Think “intrapreneurship”: Create a culture where young people can bring their entrepreneurial thinking and capabilities to fruition within the relative safety of an organization.
  3. Use social to recruit and recognize the power of peers: Beyond social media, activities such as using Gen Z ‘brand ambassadors’ who are authentic and believable on university campuses to encourage peers to be interested in organizations can pay dividends.
  4. Be authentic and listen to Gen Z: Gen Z values authenticity and sees it as a key factor in making initial decisions about joining an organization.
  5. Focus on well-being: Gen Z is concerned about their well-being, so employers need to support this.
  6. Align organization purpose with individual development needs: Organizations need to articulate what they stand for, their purpose and impact on wider society. Gen Z is keen to understand how the organization makes a difference and what their contribution could be to the vision of the enterprise.
  7. Create collaboration opportunities across the workforce: To help Gen Z progress, make them part of the bigger picture.
  8. Reward on outcomes not inputs: Employers need to focus on outcomes and the results achieved, rather than hours spent on a task.
  9. Give continual feedback: Create a culture of continual feedback and acknowledgement -this is essential in engaging Gen Z as they’ve grown up in a world of instant communication and rating opportunities through digital.
  10. Rethink learning: Make it short and visual to encourage Gen Z’s learning.

The full report can be downloaded here:

Ground-breakers: Gen Z and the future of accountancy | ACCA Global