Communication skills for accountants have never been more important.

The knowledge, expertise and insights that you have need to transferred to your colleagues in a way that they can understand and act upon appropriately.

These colleagues could be your fellow accountants in the finance team, or non-financial colleagues – or your clients.

Can you identify the crucial points and get them across quickly and succinctly to your audience?

Effective communication

Communication is only really effective when you know that you have been understood.

Communicating both in writing and orally is essential if you are to make an impact.

Are you readily understood?

How do you know if you are or not?

Using jargon in communication

Sometimes accountants – like many people in technical fields – make the mistake of falling back on jargon.

Whilst this a useful shorthand between accountants, it doesn’t often help with non-financial managers.

It can be easy to fall into using jargon but this can leave colleagues feeling confused, frustrated or even stupid.

Unfortunately, an incorrect understanding of the jargon can also lead to a fundamental misunderstanding of what is going on or what has been agreed.

Do you use jargon only when it is appropriate?

Concise communication

Busy work colleagues don’t have time to wade through lots of detail.

It is a particular skill to get clarity about what you want to communicate and get it over in as few words as possible.

Therefore use shorter emails which get to the point.

Or write reports with a crisp executive summary.

Create presentations that are clear and engaging, with one a few key messages.

Listening skills for accountants

Communication however is a two-way street – one-way communication is merely broadcasting!

Listening is a vital component of two-way communication.

From getting feedback to gathering new information, listening is the process for getting the facts right.

However listening at deeper levels can gain additional valuable data.

For example there can be clues hidden in language which carry additional messages and give broader meaning to what is being said.

Subtle nuances are there if only you can recognise them.

These nuances can make the difference between an exchange of facts and deepening a relationship. The difference between getting the task done and creating an ally.

Why are communication skills for accountants so important?

As a finance professional, you have important knowledge about the business.

Indeed, you have insights that non-finance people don’t have.

But these insights are no use to the business if you cannot communicate them in a way that can be understood and acted upon.

Let’s look at some data: 48% of accountancy job listings on one recruiter’s website included references to excellent communication and listening skills.


Communication skills for accountants include the abilities to:

  • get technical points over in a clear and simple way
  • understand the audience
  • using jargon appropriately
  • listen at multiple levels
  • leave the other person feeling heard
  • make the best use of alternative modes and styles

How effective is your communication?

What works well and where could you refine your skills?

How do you know how good your communication is?

How would your working life be easier or more successful if you were to improve your communication skills?

Which of the other key soft skills for accountants do you need to develop?

Discover the Seven Essential Soft Skills for AccountantsDownload the Report Now