8 Seconds into the Future: Meet Generation Z

Your new clients, new staff, new partners.

By Hitendra Patil
Pransform Inc.

Have you ever watched a 5-year-old play on a tablet? It’s effortless. To them, it’s second nature.

Born in 1995 or later, Generation Z makes up 26 percent of the United States population and is responsible for yearly spending of $44 billion.

But they may already be impacting the future of the accounting business in four important ways:

Item 1: 3 out of 4 of today’s kids could be your business clients.

According to Sparks and Honey research, about 72 percent of current high schoolers want to own their own businesses, and 76 percent hope they can turn their hobbies into full-time jobs. You want to get in their heads as early as possible.

Item 2: You have only eight seconds to hold their attention.

Gen Z predominantly loves visually engaging platforms that grab their attention. And their attention span: just eight seconds! Attention span is the amount of concentrated time on a task without becoming distracted. CPAs need to show the intelligence from accounting data in eight seconds or less.

Item 3: They expect 24/7 access to information. 

Generation Z is self-directed, resourceful, instinctively knows how to self-educate and find information. Access to information is like second nature to them right from their birth. And if you take away their “birth right” by making it difficult to access information that mostly resides in your heads, you won’t see them for long being employees of your firms. Firms today need to start creating digital encyclopedias of the most often used data, processes and procedures.

 Item 4: They expect freedom.

They are used to changing their “preference settings” at will. They are used to freedom. Tell them the expected end result; tell them the process to get there; tell them about the twists and turns and red lights on the way; but don’t “drive” them. Let them drive. IT companies have been doing this for a long time – giving “client project management” responsibilities to on-site employees. Smart accounting firms are now giving “project” responsibilities as early as possible.

Did you notice something? Each of the above items takes less than eight seconds to read.