The world of accounting can be daunting and confusing for outsiders, even for people with years of experience in business. To bridge this gap, accountants have to be great at business writing and transferring information clearly alongside their knack for numbers.
In this article, we're bringing you all the reasons why the skill of business writing is important to have as an accountant. This information can help:
What is Business Writing?
Business writing is a broad term that covers different concepts in various contexts. When we talk about business writing in accounting, we're talking about the style that aims to present the results from accounting work in a verbal way.
According to Instructional Solutions, business writing “ seeks to elicit a business response. It's a purposeful piece of writing that provides relevant information to help a reader know something or do something.”
There are several requirements for successful business writing:
The most obvious perk of improving business writing as an accountant is the positive effect it will have on your daily correspondence with clients, partners and teammates. If you learn how to communicate clearly and directly, you will save a lot of wasted time caused by possible misunderstandings and prolonged discussions.
As an accountant, you probably write dozens of memos, letters, emails and other communications every day, so working on your business writing is definitely a valuable investment.
Great communication skills, both online and face-to-face, can put you on the fast track for a promotion and advancement in your company.
Presenting Figures in a Verbal Way
Unlike accountants, most people are not very good with numbers. Even though you can find an increased percentage of numerically apt people in the business world, all the more business owners decide to completely get rid of self-accounting responsibilities and turn the work over to someone else.
Because of this, accountants need to have a talent for presenting numerical information, stats and figures in a verbal or visual way. This can help them to get their point across to people who are looking at this kind of information in a non-numerical way.
Cooperation with Other Departments
All departments within a company rely on accounting and vice versa. The communication between Accounting and any other department has to be frequent and clear, otherwise, misunderstandings which can cause real harm are bound to happen.
Through the skill of business writing, you can present your accounting information to members of other departments in a simple and straightforward way.
Try avoiding jargon and terms that other team members are not familiar with (the so-called accountingese), but include explanations for every term, indicator or metric that could possibly present a puzzle to an outsider going through your text.
Helpful Material for Presentations
Accounting info is often pulled to prove a point at a meeting or a presentation or to make a pitch at business meetings. As an accountant, when you get this prompt, you will often be required not only to pull the data but to present it in a textual way using business writing.
Remember that these are sometimes texts that will be used and presented by other people, so make sure that they are understood across all teams and audiences.
Written Impression is Important
Many people still place the biggest value in face-to-face communication, but in our times, it's more likely that you will be communicating with your clients and partners via email, text or other channels.
As an accountant, you will have to leave a first impression via email many times.
That's why it's important that your business writing is professional, clear, concise and effective. For the clients, it will also signal your ability to summarize important points and to have productive two-way communication.
Non-Numerical Parts of Accounting
Not every bit of what you produce as an accountant (financial reports, projections, tax documents) will be presented in the form of numbers. Usually, in every accounting document, there is also a small textual section after each report and an intro to the document.
Instead of giving this work off to someone else and depending on others to get your reports and documents done, you can work on your business writing and start producing these bits of text yourself.
After you start doing so, you will be able to produce all-around reports you can confidently be responsible for because you had control over every step of their creation.
Today's office environment simply demands great communication skills from all team members, and accountants are no exception. Even though it's expected of them to be logical and left brain-dominant, it doesn't imply that they shouldn't improve their business writing abilities.
About the Author: Kristin Savage nourishes, sparks and empowers using the magic of a word. Along with pursuing her degree in Creative Writing, Kristin was gaining experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in marketing strategy for publishers and authors. Now she works as a freelance writer at TrustMyPaper.