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Most respondents in large firms see entering the profession through accountancy firms as an unprecedented opportunity to build a broad and robust skill-set they value as providing long-term career prospects and success in the profession.

Those entering the profession today also overwhelmingly agree that a background in finance will be valuable for leaders of organisations in the future.

Work-life in the balance

While 60% of respondents working in the Big Four (namely EY, Deloitte, KPMG and PwC) were satisfied or very satisfied with their job, more respondents in this same group stated they had poor work–life balance.

Across all sectors, 49% of respondents thought their role offered sufficiently good work-life balance; in the Big Four, only 24% of respondents thought so and 48% said their workload was too great (compared to 30% of respondents when looking across all sectors.

Two years to move on

Ambitions to progress are high and widespread for Generation Next. The majority of them expect to climb the organisation fast, and even more so in large accountancy firms, where 75% (compared to an average of 70%) expect to move roles within two years.

Within in the Big Four, 80% of respondents indicated their prime aim was to gain more seniority in their immediate next role.

Employer evolution

Many of those entering the profession today aspire to develop their careers above and beyond, leading to new challenges for the profession. For attracting, developing and retaining talent, accountancy firms may have to rethink their strategy and address younger generations’ drive to progress professionally and expand their skill sets, sometimes outside the traditional remit of finance and accounting roles.