Chapters 1 and 2 highlighted the importance of strong communications skills at every level of management accounting. This chapter addresses listening, speaking, and writing skills as the basis for strong communication skills. As you read this chapter, ask yourself, ‘Am I an effective communicator?’ It’s an important question. Your communication skills will determine, to a considerable degree, whether you get a job, advance in your organisation, and find the career opportunities you want.

Do you agree with the following statements?

  • ‘In the end, the most successful [accountants] are usually the ones who manage to combine a solid technical knowledge base with top-notch communication skills.’1

  • ‘It is no longer sufficient to simply present figures and comments in a report. Finance experts need to be able to explain their meaning and relevance to an audience that could be based in Birmingham or Beijing.’2

  • ‘There is a lack of creativity, adaptability, and developed interpersonal communication skills among job seekers today.’3

  • ‘In today’s highly competitive environment, ‘soft skills,’ such as written and oral communications, interpersonal skills, and leadership ability have become so important that companies hiring accounting students often place more importance on these skills than they do on technical accounting skills.’4

These statements underscore the importance of developing communication skills as soon as possible. Communication skills give accountants an ...

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