Shady Grove ABA

Accounting & Business Association

Past Events

9/8/2014 - KPMG - Shady Grove ABA

Posted on September 8, 2014 at 10:10 PM

Effective Business Communication

  • Why is business communication important?
    • Accounting is a client/service business
    • Goal is to make sure the message gets to the receiver effectively
  • The ONLY way to improve communication skills is PRACTICE
  • Language is the primary form of communication BUT there are many other forms

Written Communication

  • Make sure you can answer the "5 W's" when using written communication
    • Who - make sure all parties are included and ONLY those parties
      • Avoid sending requests for information/action to multiple people
    • Why - are there better ways to convey/send the message?
    • When - written communication (even e-mails) are not always immediate and they often don't elicit immediate responses
      • Deadlines are always something to consider in public accounting
    • Where - remember that e-mails can be easily distributed
    • What - are you conveying the right tone/message with an e-mail?

E-mail Etiquette

  • Use the correct salutation
    • PwC (and most other accounting firms) do not use formal names internally
      • No Mr./Ms. just use their first name
    • External communication (clients for example) may use more formal salutations
      • Ideally you will have already met personally and know how the client would like to be addressed
  • Write a meaningful subject line
    • Help the receiver:
      • Know the content of an e-mail
      • Find it later
    • Avoid words such as "urgent", never overuse
  • Maintain professionalism and tone
    • Keep a neutral tone at all times, do not send an e-mail when mad, hungry, etc.
  • Keep it brief
    • If an e-mail is too long, another form of communication might be more effective
  • Spell check!
  • Avoid trivial attachments
  • Don't overuse e-mail
    • It doesn't foster close relationships or trust
    • Convenient for the sending, not so much for the receiver
  • Use CC (carbon copy) sparingly
  • Avoid BCC (blind carbon copy)Comes off as trying to be "sneaky"

Telephone Etiquette

  • Setting up your personal voice mail
    • Be professional, clear, and brief
      • This is the rule not only when in a working environment, but also when trying to get in a working environment (like when you are a student!)
  • Answering your phone
    • Speak clearly
    • State your name when answering (especially for unknown callers)
    • Be courteous at all times
  • Leaving voice mails
    • Be short and to the point
    • Always leave contact information
    • If you have an urgent message think of other/better ways to get a hold of a person

Instant Messaging

  • Most modern firms have internal instant messaging
  • Statuses are used to let others know your availability ONLY
  • Use good judgement when communicating through this channel
    • Although less formal, communications are recorded


  • Utilize available templates
  • Know your presentation
    • Location
    • Organize ideas
    • Who is the audience?
    • Know subject matter inside and out
    • Anticipate questions
  • Remember to introduce yourself and tank your audience
  • Consider time constraints
  • Keep slides brief

Tips for Success

  • Effective communication takes time and patience
    • Commit to continuous improvement
    • Compare yourself today with yourself yesterday NOT to others!
  • Ask for feedback and be open to coaching
    • Seek out a "proofreading buddy"
  • Be an active listener
    • Ask questions and take notes
  • Strive for greatness
  • Test your spelling skills! (can you beat Kelsey's 70?)


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