The communication skills of an accountant, therefore, have to be developed in the working place.
Not only should an accountant be technically proficient, he must learn to effectively explain to his co-workers, clients, and superiors his financial reports. Being a master of accounting principles and acquiring strong communication skills through the years of practice of his profession and enriching himself with the knowledge of effective communication are key ingredients for the success of his profession.
Writing has become a daily routine for accountants as he drafts letters and reports to clients and writes memos to his co-workers and superiors (Kenneth, 1998). He prepares a variety of correspondences. His report must be accurate, clear and concise to reduce misunderstanding. The accountant must refrain from the use of financial jargon if he is dealing with someone that does not understand accounting terms. An effective communication skill will instill confidence in the accountant. He must be able to write and speak clearly.
The accountant prepares a variety of reports. In an accounting department of large offices, an accountant is assigned to handle any of the following accounts: cash transactions, cash balances, bank transactions, revenue, sales, payment of taxes, purchases, inventory etc. produces regular report either on a monthly, quarterly or annual. He must get the needed information from the Treasury Department, Purchasing Department, Collection Department, the bank etc. He communicates either through the use of the telephone, e-mail, internet protocol (IP) or issue a memorandum of request for a particular data. By yearend, a financial report with analysis of the company's performance is prepared. This will be presented to top management and to the stockholders. In a small organization, the accountant may handle different accounts and deals with a few persons. Communication may be organization-wide, departmental, team, and individual communication.
In a purely accounting business, the accountant should be able to maintain long-term relationship with his clients. He must be able to understand his client's views, concerns and expectations. The accountant provide a verbal recap of the clients needs, highlight key points of the conversation, identify the required documents from the client provide a brief conference report, complete the financial analysis and let the client review the report.
An accountant can learn effective communication skills by attending courses, seminars or reading through self-help books. Basic communication skills are the same for all professions.
To improve verbal communication skills, the accountant must a)learn to speak clearly and at a reasonable phase; b) make eye-contact to connect to the person he is speaking to; c) speak at the right volume; d) pronounce the words correctly so that you will not be misunderstood or judged to be less competent; and e) use the right words to gain respect and effectively communicate the idea by improving vocabulary.
In a paper on "Effective Workplace Communication Skills", one of the Articles for Accountants and Bookkeepers published by Universal Accounting, the following eight tips are given to accountants to develop effective workplace communication:
1) In delivering the message, determine the exact message to the intended audience and the approach to present