four wooden blocks with upward arrows on them. Showcasing development.

Leadership Lessons – How to nurture potential in accountancy

Demand is outstripping supply when it comes to finding talented accountants.

And forward thinking firms will be focusing on not just recruiting great people externally, but also really considering their internal succession planning and nurturing the potential within their existing teams.

But what should great leaders be doing to ensure that talented Junior Accountants, Seniors or Semi Seniors are ready to take leadership roles in the not too distant future?

Here’s our top leadership tips for nurturing potential in the complex world of accountancy:

1. Help your junior employees to buy in to your firm’s values and cultures right from the start.

It can be hard to prioritise using precious man hours in team building, corporate responsibility or away days but these kinds of opportunities are so important for junior staff to see what’s really the driving force behind your practice. By offering them time away from the coal face you encourage a permanent buy in to your firm’s values and as your staff start to envisage how their careers might develop, they will be more likely to picture a long term future with you.

2. Actively listen, encourage and offer opportunity.

As a leader it’s important to show your junior staff that there’s space for every voice to be heard at decision making tables. Ask their opinions on bigger picture topics and take the time to feed back on how their ideas and suggestions might have influenced change at a strategic level.

3. Allow regular protected time to talk.

Make staff development a proactive part of your monthly schedule. Don’t wait for a valued accountant to approach you with a request for training, be the one that encourages them to think about the next steps in developing their career. Schedule regular one to ones and discuss the importance of building their accountancy specific and more generalised skills. Ask them what parts of the job and the business they enjoy and see if you can help them to explore that further.

4. Technology, technology, technology.

If there’s one core skill you should always say yes to investing in, it’s making sure your future leaders are tech savvy and agile. A generation of accountants who can spot new, more efficient and effective ways of working and have the technical confidence to give them a try, could be the difference between your firm being future proof or not.

5. Expose your junior staff to as many learning and development opportunities as possible. 

Pitching to a new client? Take a keen to learn junior along for the ride. They’ll be a useful pair of hands and they’ll gain valuable insight into what leadership in accountancy looks like. The same applies to conferences, client meetings and more. The further into their horizon a young accountant can see, the more likely they are to grow in skills, confidence and authenticity within your firm and its niche ways of operating.

6. Finally don’t be afraid to let your staff know how invested you are in their future.

An accountant that knows their manager sees them having a role in the development of the firm is more likely to work hard and remain loyal. One of the most common reasons accountants explore new opportunities with a different firm is because they feel like they themselves are just a number. Show your junior staff that they are valued.

To work with an accountancy recruiter who knows that the key to practice success is employing brilliant new accountants AND retaining and nurturing those you already employ, reach out to the experts today. We’re here to take your call on 03335 777 787 or you can email us at




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