We are thrilled to announce the recipients of Xero’s first Forward Fund scholarship for students pursuing careers in accounting. The winners – Jinhua Johnson of the University of Washington, Brody Mandelbaum of the University of Florida, and Mwaka Namfukwe of Eastern Michigan University – each received a $10,000 USD scholarship to apply to tuition or other costs associated with earning their degree.
Xero accounting or bookkeeping partners nominated students for the scholarship. Nominees were judged based on their video or essay submission that addressed why they chose to pursue a career in accounting, and how they believe the profession will evolve in the future.
The three winning accounting and bookkeeping partners include The QuickSource, founded by Shelly Robbins, Bookkeeper Buddy, founded by Mick Lindquist and Cloud Accounting & Consulting, founded by Stephanie Holt. Each firm will receive $10,000 USD in co-op marketing funds that partners can use to access tools and resources to market their firm.
Research Shows Millennial Clients Demanding More from Advisors and Accountants
The three Forward Fund winners will be joining the accounting industry at a time of sweeping change, shifting client expectations, and great opportunity.
Recent research commissioned by Xero reveals that Millennial business owners now account for more than half (52 percent) of new small businesses launched in the United States over a two-year period, and are becoming a major source of growth for the U.S. small business economy. However, the respondents are also more critical of their existing accountants and bookkeepers than their older peers, with almost a third (31 percent) saying they wouldn’t recommend their current advisor and 59 percent stating they are likely or very likely to explore replacing them entirely.
The research indicates that the next generation of business owners are looking for accounting professionals who can guide them through digital experiences, offer a high level of service and serve as trusted business advisors.
We’re pleased to recognize Jinhua, Brody and Mwaka as our first student winners of the Xero Forward Fund. We’re impressed by their plans to help shape the future of the industry, become the next generation of leaders and step up to the challenge of providing even greater value to clients.
As more Millennials strike out on their own as business owners, accounting professionals must be ready and available to help their clients navigate the path to success, especially in these times of economic uncertainty.
For more on the Millennial business owners in the U.S. research, download the full report.