Excellent communication skills are the gateway to success in professional as well as personal life of an individual. If a message is not communicated effectively, it can turn into a misunderstanding, which can prove to be disastrous for the sender of the message as well as the one who is receiving it (Hasson 2015). Effective communication is when we deliver our messages to the person or group intended as clearly and articulately as we can through interpersonal communication skills like skills like listening, feedback and questioning. We can consider the process of communication a successful one, only when there is no dispute regarding the understanding of the message between the sender and receiver of the message. If an individual is unable to communicate properly, he is bound to face issues in his professional as well as personal life.
The importance of good communication skills is of utmost importance irrespective of the discipline or field an individual is involved in. Effective communication skills are specifically required in the field of accountancy. This is due to the portfolio of tasks that an accountant is responsible for carrying out like sending emails, drafting letters, preparation of interpretations, footnotes, and reports. The accountants of a company are also expected to coordinate activities with the creditors, debtors, banks, clients and other associations. Hence, it is crucial for the people hailing from the field of accountancy, to have extraordinary interpersonal communication skills to exceed in their profession(Chaterjee 2013).
There is a preconceived notion among a section of the people who are of the opinion that communication skills are not that significant for an accountant since he only deals with number all day. This does not hold true because the profession of accounting requires looking beyond the periphery of numbers, sending and receiving information to and from his clients and associates. There are situations when the accounting professionals have to communicate about the outcomes and transformations related to the statements of finance, or when they need to produce various forms of interpretations and notes to their clients. Therefore, this requires effective interpersonal communication skills like listening, feedback and questioning on the part of the accounting professional, failing which will lead to a bad impression on his colleagues as well as his superiors(Sutton et al. 2012).
Listening is often mistaken for a simple task because of its passive nature, but it requires more than just the capability to take in the message coming from another person (Brownwell 2015). Listening to a message will do no good unless the receiver of the message understands it. If there is any ambiguity related to the understanding of the message, it will not result in an articulate feedback from the receiver.
If an accounting professional listens to his clients properly, he will be able to carry out his responsibility pertaining to making of reports, interpretations, and ledgers. Even a small mistake on the part of the accounting professional can lead to huge complications, which can impede with the company’s operations and result in a bad reputation. It is of utmost significance for the accounting professionals to be active listeners, as they need to understand the issues and briefs given by the management, its clients, banks and various other associates(Hasson 2015). As the profession technically deals with numbers, any misinterpretations pertaining to the briefs given by the people who deal with the accountants professionally can have adverse effects on the overall functioning of the business.
Questioning is also a part of the interpersonal communication skills. It is the key to gain knowledge, solving ambiguities and misunderstandings and carving out solutions to problems in a business organization (Sullins et al. 2015).Questioning does not simply mean making queries. The right questions need to be asked for an effective communication process. The accounting professional requires mastering the art of asking effective questions so that there are no misunderstandings and misinterpretations regarding his work. He will be able to gather more information and new knowledge and will be capable enough to deliver his responsibilities successfully.
The accounting professionals are liable to banks, clients, investors and various other associates for the financial statements that they prepare. If there is any confusion regarding the instructions given by them to the accounting professional, he might not be able to prepare accurate reports and statements. Thus, he needs to be open about any perplexity relating to the task that is given to him. This will enable him to clear out any confusion and the deliverance of his job in a smooth and efficient manner. If an accountancy professional asks intelligent questions to his clients, it will create a responsible image in their minds( Hassall et al. 2015). For, they will perceive him as a person who knows what is to be done and is interested and careful towards his work. An accountant with a complacent attitude will not be interested in asking questions contrary to a serious one who will not tolerate any inaccuracy in his reports, statements, and interpretations.
One-way communication is redundant and of no use at all. Lack of feedback implies that the sender of the message was not able to frame the message in a comprehensible way for the listener to understand. It is important to be aware of the attitude and the social background of the receiver to communicate effectively. There is a huge need for feedback for the smooth functioning of any business organization. The accountants in a company need to give their feedback pertaining to anything related to their job so that the management takes their decisions accordingly. For this, the feedback by the accountants should make sense and be understood by the management. Otherwise, the whole process can prove to be futile. The investors often want to know from the accounting professionals, how a business is doing financially, in which areas it is performing well and where are the probable loopholes. The accountancy professionals need to give them the adequate feedback for their queries so that they are contended about their money being in the right hands( Chandrasekaran 2013).
The accounting professional needs to come out clear in cases of confusion regarding the payment of taxes, and other financial requirements. He must provide proper feed back to his clients, associates and superiors, which include the government, bank, customers, investors, and shareholders(Eswaran and gastpar 2013). The communication pertaining to finance should be done face to face or through written documents as conversations over the phone can often lead to misinterpretations and confusion. The feedback provided by the accounting professionals should be comprehensible and articulate enough for the clients and other associates to understand.
Communication is critical to the success of any business organization. Any activity that takes place in a work place is the result of communication. Therefore, suitable interpersonal communication skills is a must for any individual aspiring to touch the heights of success in his professional life. Accountancy deals with numbers and numbers can be perplexing. Thus, it is imperative for the accounting professionals to effectively communicate with the people who are professionally involved with him so that there are no complications regarding the deliverance of his job. An accounting professional who is serious towards his work will clear out all the confusion that might appear in the course of his job through effective interpersonal communication skills like listening, feedback and questioning.
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