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14 Reasons Accountants Need Amazing Communication Skills



14 Reasons Accountants Need Amazing Communication Skills

Exceptional communication skills are a must-have for every professional. A degree may get you a job, but only sound communication will help you climb the corporate ladder. Employers prefer applicants with outstanding communication ability and confidence to voice their opinion. It’s true for professionals across industries and occupations globally, and particularly for people pursuing accounting.

Need for Communication Skills for Accountants

Accountants were once considered aloof and kept to their chambers while being occupied with crunching numbers. Now, technical accounting skills are not enough for a successful career in this highly demanding industry. Accountants are expected to communicate with leadership, internal and external teams, business clients, and vendors to build a professional network. It is not possible without a strong and confident grip on verbal, non-verbal, and written communication techniques.

Below are 14 reasons to highlight the need for communication skills for accountants:

1.     Listen to Understand

Listening is an underrated skill, yet the most essential one to establish sustainable professional relationships. Accountants ought to be good listeners to understand, comprehend, and solve concerns at work, unbiased. Listening enables you to intently approach a client’s, a colleague’s, or a manager’s concern clearly and builds trust between you.

2.     Pitch Confidently

 Accountants should be able to confidently pitch value-adding proposals that benefit the organization’s bottom line. They are responsible for a company’s financial resources, budget planning, expenditures, costs, and investment decisions. Only proposals with a convincing voice, firm body language and persuasion will get the listeners’ attention. An apprehensive, hesitant, and unclear speaker will quickly lose the audience’s interest. The good news is professionals can equip themselves with communication in accounting through online available advanced courses and degrees. The programs are comprehensive enough to prepare struggling accountants with communication skills.

3.     Conduct Negotiations

Communication skills are now mandatory eligibility criteria for employment throughout global accounting firms. The reason being that accountants are required to hold serious negotiations with potential clients, tax firms, and government organizations. Striking profitable and cost-effective deals can be done through outstanding negotiation skills. The ultimate goal of a negotiator is to convince the other party with conviction and form a gainful partnership.

4.     Promote Business Development

Communication skills are essential for accountants to build good relationships with prospective clients and industry networks. It supports business development, lead generation, increased clientele, profitable partnerships, and successful collaborations. Accountants with amazing communication skills convert every interaction into a growth opportunity. 

5.     Presentation & Public Speaking

Accountants are required to present complex technical data to teams or leadership that may include non-accounting professionals. The inability to explain industry jargon and interpret numbers in simple language reflects negatively on the individual. Similarly, public speaking reflects your confidence and is an essential leadership quality. You may be a great accounting professional but poor presentation and public speaking skills will jeopardize your growth and progress.

6.     Effective Written Communication

Apart from verbal communication, written communication is also significant for accountants. Major official communication takes place through emails, messages, and formal letters. Therefore, accounting professionals should learn the fundamentals of communicating through this medium. Effective writing is not merely grammar but includes word choice, tone, and overall structure of the message.

7.     Appear Confident in Meetings

Meetings are an integral part of a professional’s average workday and accountants are no exception. Accountants with good communication skills confidently voice their opinions and speak their minds during meetings. They do not shy away from productive discussions and deliberations at work. Conversely, accountants with poor communication skills will stay quiet in meetings, not contribute, and are misunderstood as uninterested and disengaged. Sooner or later, people will not approach them or include them in major decisions.

8.     Communicate with Clients

A pleasant and confident first impression attracts prospective clients. Accountants with persuasive skills and a convincing style will influence potential customers to extend business ties. Clients don’t like uneasy posture, broken eye contact, unclear conversation, and confused facial expressions. It will make you appear unprepared and uncomfortable in the client’s presence.

9.     Write Professional Reports

Reporting is a major part of an accountant’s job and requires keen attention to detail. An audit report, project feasibility, or budget summary asks for a professional highly skilled at report writing. Accountants prepare plenty of such reports throughout their careers and so being average is unacceptable. Well-structured and put-together reports reflect hard work, professionalism, and dedication. Similarly, reports crafted below-par show a lack of concern, poor quality, and a non-serious work attitude.        

10.   Leading Teams

To succeed as leaders, accountants need extraordinary communication skills. Leaders who connect with team members build trust, promote transparency, and establish an inclusive culture. Great leaders motivate and encourage employees to grow and add value. Leaders with weak communication are unable to build rapport with their teams resulting in disengagement and a decrease in productivity.

11.   Feedback for Improvement

Communication skills are essential to give and receive quality feedback for gap identification and development. Accountants need to learn the art of giving and receiving feedback for their own and others’ benefit. Regular, consistent, and constructive feedback is important to overcome shortcomings and improve performance. Failure to share quality feedback hinders team morale and efficiency. Likewise, receive feedback positively, keeping emotional sentiments aside.   

12.   Follow-up on Tasks

Accountants work simultaneously on multiple projects and assignments with their own or cross-functional teams. Strong follow-up skills ensure completion as per project timelines. It will also create a communication flow to share progress, revisit milestones, highlight discrepancies, and keep all stakeholders on board. Failure to follow up will cause miscommunication, conflicts, delays, and compromised quality.

13.   Conflict Resolution

Arguments and conflicts are usual occurrences at workplaces. During a conflict, strong emotions may overpower the participants and matters may get worse. Accountants can utilize effective communication skills in a conflict to reach an agreeable resolution. Approach such a situation with patience, and empathy, and practice active listening to understand and investigate. Someone with sound communication skills will bring forward a solution acceptable for all.

14.   Interview like a Pro

Interviews can be overwhelming and cause unease. Accountants need communication skills to confidently showcase their skills to improve job prospects. Impress employers and interviewers with exceptional communication. Technical skills are undoubtedly a requisite but do not ignore the importance of communication skills.

Final Thoughts

Accountants are an integral part of any corporate organization and play a fundamental role in its growth. Accounting professionals cannot afford to overlook the significance of communication skills. Communication skills are vital for accountants to compete and grow as successful professionals. It is important to foster quality work relationships, business growth, and bring value. Accountants should put genuine effort into learning this key skill imperative for their career.