(and Retaining) the Next Generation
Accountant” (April 08, page 60) intrigued me.
The authors, Kent State faculty members, clearly
understand the challenges involved in recruiting
the next generation of accountants. They also
discuss many ways in which academia and the
profession can work together while young people
are earning their degrees.
As important as
it is for practitioners to spend time in the
classroom talking about the ever-expanding
opportunities in the profession, it may be even
more important for us to develop personal
mentoring relationships with accounting students
and accounting professionals. I believe the people
who stay (and excel) in our profession are the
ones who have a reliable, experienced and engaged
mentor. That was certainly the case for me.
The work that Kent State and other colleges and
universities are doing ensures that scores of
bright, well-educated students graduate from their
accounting programs every year. But once these
young people begin their careers, the
responsibility falls on businesses and
professional services organizations to keep them
engaged and motivated. And that is a far greater
proposition today than it was when I was starting
out, 30-some years ago.
The nature of our
workforce is changing, challenging our
conventional ways of thinking. To meet the
evolving demands of this workforce, we must
understand the priorities of our newest
workers—both as a group and as individuals—and
develop ways to enhance their work experiences.
This includes challenging them with new
opportunities as well as helping them carve out
individualized career paths and finding the
appropriate career/life fit.
important of all, we must ensure that our
organizations live and breathe the strong ethical
values they espouse. Attracting professionals who
are already aligned with our values will result in
higher retention rates and better opportunities
This is an exciting time to begin
an accounting career. At Deloitte, our top
priority is to ensure that once young people begin
in the profession, they stay—and grow—with us for
the long term.
Barry Salzberg, CPA
CEO, Deloitte LLP