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4 strategies to capture the growing Hispanic market

Herrera_J_6560As CPAs, we’re always interested in numbers, so let me share an interesting statistic: The United States Census Bureau has projected that  groups now considered ethnic minorities will make up the majority of the population by 2042 with Hispanics being the second largest racial or ethnic group and second fastest growing.

According to market research by Nielsen, there are about 57 million Hispanics in the U.S., or 18 percent of the population, making them an important demographic to any business – including CPA firms. Is your firm ready to engage with these potential clients and staff? There are a few insights that can help CPA firms connect with this burgeoning business and talent market.  

  1. They’re small business owners.

Many of the clients that CPAs work with every day are entrepreneurs, and you’ll be seeing more and more Hispanics in this group. “Latino entrepreneurs are starting small businesses faster than the rest of the startup population and becoming a bigger part of the total U.S. market every day,” according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. The way to appeal to diverse business owners is by understanding their culture, because that’s what sets any ethnic group apart. 

  1. Their purchasing power is growing.

Once again, let’s look at some numbers. The percentage of Hispanics is expected to grow to 24 percent by 2040 and 29 percent by 2060. Their purchasing power will rise from $1.3 trillion in 2015 to $1.7 trillion in 2020. Add to those numbers the many Hispanics in the global marketplace. My firm belongs to an international network, and many investors from abroad work with our accounting affiliates in Miami. It’s clearly a significant demographic, and one that can’t be ignored if a firm wants to remain competitive.

  1. They’re great team builders.

In my experience, and as an Hispanic woman, Hispanic people relish being part of a group. The profession is a team effort, which is why it’s been a great career for me. I’ve always focused on the growth and development of my engagement teams. I tell my team that they don’t work for me, we all work together. They know I encourage them to grow and take responsibility, but that I’ll always be behind them if they need support. Firms that make an effort to recruit Hispanic professionals will benefit from their team spirit and new perspectives and connections based on unique backgrounds and experiences.

  1. Role models are still needed if Hispanics are to make a real contribution to the profession.

Working in an organization whose leaders don’t look like you can be discouraging or intimidating, which is why a firm’s diversity and inclusion efforts can make a real difference in the recruitment and retention of minorities, and their advancement. No matter how strong a role I play in my firm, I’m the only woman and only minority among nine partners, so I’m very much aware of the need to foster greater diversity and inclusion.

There are valuable opportunities for the profession in serving this demographic, but our firms will have to understand the diverse markets we want to serve. As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, I encourage firms to consider the many benefits of including Hispanic CPAs in your organizations. In a changing world, we all have an important contribution to make.

Jenny E. Herrera, CPA, CGMA, Shareholder at Rubino & Company

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