The accountancy industry is trying to push back against accusations that it is old-fashioned and stuck in its ways. It is embracing technology and digitisation, and it is working hard to improve diversity in the profession.
The UK’s future prosperity depends on the expansion of professions, and part of this is about recruiting bright new talent to develop into the business leaders of tomorrow. The accountancy profession needs to become more representative, at all levels, of the wider socio-economic development of society.
Social mobility in accounting has decreased in recent years. In fact, the profession has had the largest decline of all in social mobility between the 1958 and 1970 cohorts. If this continues, then the future accountant will come from a family richer than seven in ten of families in the UK.
Some accountancy firms have already introduced some useful initiatives. To ensure that the best young candidates are coming into the sector, some firms are improving their targeting and widening their outreach and work experience programmes.
Focus on the progression of students on these various schemes into more permanent roles in the firms has also increased.
Recruitment methods have started to change as well. Some firms have scrapped A-Level requirement in certain roles, and others have introduced contextualised recruitment, in which candidates’ backgrounds will play a part in the final choice.
Many firms are already publishing in-depth reviews of their workforce, which will allow them to look at the extent to which they are adopting best practice around diversity, and make any necessary improvements.
Here at Stanley Carter we are always looking for fresh talent to come into the sector