Our Abila experts have researched and crafted Key Nonprofit Accounting Predictions for 2016 to help you gain a clear understanding of the challenges facing your sector in the coming year, and how you can turn them into real advantages for your organization.
Below is a deep dive into Fundraising Prediction #2 – Nonprofit Accounting Workforce Transforming
It seems like we can’t get away from the constant “Millennial sea change” theme in the media today. It comes in various forms – how the “sharing” economy that Millennials favor has led to a bubble in Uber ridesharing clones, or how the generation may kill the very form of entertainment it was raised on – the cable TV channel bundle.
While it WAS amazing to consume the Alabama/Clemson college football championship game earlier this month via ESPN’s “Megacast” of 14 unique channels/streams/feeds using a triple combo of TV, iPad, and iPhone screens, this scenario gives credence to an undercurrent running beneath the “Great Millennial Hype Machine.” Namely, Millennials are coming into adulthood seemingly unprepared or unwilling to properly take the reins in workplaces that demand focus and responsibility. How can we (yes, I’m one of them), when our brains are wired for distractions with each progressive swipe left or right.
I’d argue that our smart device addiction is, in fact, driving this generation of Millennials to demand more purpose in our careers. And, compared to the private and public sectors of the American workforce, nonprofits offer Millennials a unique employment opportunity to mix our charitable passions with our paychecks.
Personally, I always aspired to jump into the world of high finance – stocks, bonds, and balance sheets. When I finished undergrad b-school though, I selected the world of nonprofit technology over the banks with which I was interviewing. Fast forward almost a decade, and I’ve had the privilege of working alongside the nonprofit workforce in consulting and product roles. I’ve witnessed the tremendous GOOD that’s actually happening in this country. Not to mention, I had the good fortune to dodge the alternate path of being employed at a financial institution during the financial crisis and its recessionary aftermath.
However, this isn’t just a story about me, but instead about how my generation has a craving for more than just a big paycheck (though historically the nonprofit sector has account for 9 percent of all wages in the U.S.).
What’s driving the coming transformation in the workforce is the intersection of technology, a new career model, and the inevitable snowball of pending retirements. This will be a tremendous challenge to navigate for all sorts of organizations. There will be small accounting firms that fade and new ones that form. Big corporations will need to recruit and retain the top financial talent from university graduating classes that are actually now flat-lining in size.
I expect nonprofits to fare considerably well in this tumultuous change. They offer Millennials something they’re seeking, whether they realize it or not – career mobility and stability, mixed with charitable purpose. It’s perfect for those who find that their smartphone-wired brains also demand a social balance. And, they’ll be delighted to find that same smartphone is also equipped to help during their daily duties in nonprofit finance and accounting.
That’s because in between Instagram uploads and Twitter tweets, they’ll be able to approve invoices, get fraud alerts, and send reports. Millennials will also find that nonprofit finance is trending toward smaller, leaner teams that have less red tape (and hassle) to deal with. On top of that, the adoption of cloud-based technology offers Millennials in nonprofit organizations a work perk past generations simply didn’t have – work from anywhere, including the comforts of home.
Millennials charting their own career journeys will find that it’s a lot more rewarding to count charitable good than consumable widgets. Yes, the American workforce will continue to change in ways we can’t even anticipate today. My prediction is that the accounting workforce of tomorrow will be even more attracted to the nonprofit sector than ever before. To recruit and retain topnotch finance candidates, nonprofit professionals need to tout these advantages to Millennials looking for the kind of unique employment opportunity only you can provide.
For all of our 2016 predictions, download, “Key Nonprofit Accounting Predictions for 2016.”