Research insights

Discovering the future through today's research

To gain a holistic view of what the future holds for the accountancy profession, we regularly conduct major, global surveys across professional accountants, employers, academics, and students. 

You can find out more about each research programme using the tabs below.

'The next generation of professional accountants are career driven, entrepreneurial and at home with technology. At ACCA we support the future of the profession by providing all our students and members with the skills for individual and organisational success.' - Helen Brand OBE, ACCA chief executive

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Pick up any business magazine and there is likely to be an article about the implications of millennials (or Generation Next) in the workplace – their likes, dislikes, work habits and aspirations. But are the youngest generation at work today innately different? Are their career aspirations and work preferences truly at odds from generations before? What are the implications for the future of the profession?

Our research identifies what attracts Generation Next to a finance career, their aspirations and challenges, satisfaction levels in their current role and how they see the future of the profession.

This is what they said:

85% agree finance experience is valuable for future leaders

‘One of the reasons why I joined finance was the potential for long-term career prospects. The profession offers job security, and you get to interact with many other parts of the business; it really gives you a lot opportunities to get an all-round experience.’

- Mohammad Afzal, Corporate Audit Europe, Pepsico

80% want a role in a different country or region at some point

‘Starting my own business gave me the flexibility I needed, and having the ACCA Qualification gave me the confidence to do that'

- Clare Glover, owner, Secret Beauty Club

81% say they eventually want to start their own business

84% see technology as an opportunity rather than a threat as it enables them to focus on much higher value-added activity

‘I’m fluent in Spanish and Portuguese and have spent time living abroad so I think working abroad would be an exciting opportunity, and in an increasingly globalised world, there are increasing opportunities to do that'

- Shezad Muhammed Ali, financial accountant, RIT Capital Partners

53% find on-the-job learning most effective

73% of respondents aim to move sector at some point in the future


'Employers should take notice of the findings and prepare for Generation Next by offering on-the-job learning.'

- Maggie McGhee, director of professional insights

Get the full picture from our insight report

Read the Generation Next research findings (PDF format, 15MB)

Get the highlights from Generation Next

Read our summary of the Generation Next report (PDF format, 4MB)