CHAPTER 2

Critical Thinking and Effective Writing Skills for the Professional Accountant

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

After completing this chapter, you should understand:

  • Critical thinking skills.
  • Levels of thinking.
  • How critical thinking skills can help professional accountants “add value” to their services.
  • How competent writing forms a key element of critical thinking skills.
  • How to strengthen and improve writing skills.
  • The proper use of punctuation.
  • The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's “Plain English” initiative.
  • How to write effective client letters and e-mails.
  • How to write memos to a file.

Change is accelerating in today's environment and the pressure to respond is intensifying. As new technology, accounting standards, laws, business methods, and global economic realities work their way through the accounting profession, these changes and realities are becoming increasingly complex. Critical thinking is necessary for effectively addressing these dynamic changes and is considered an important component of accounting education. All professionals must also know how to write effectively.

Clients now expect professional accountants to “add value” to what they observe, read, and write. Accountants must evaluate complex systems and information, as well as detect, predict, advise, and recommend appropriate courses of action. Critical thinking is needed throughout the process. Effective writing communicates the results to others.

CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS

Today's professional ...

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