Communication – It’s not just a soft skill – it’s Key
As an accountant I spent the first few years of my career honing my technical skills which also included learning the buzz words and acronyms that exist in all the training, documentation and reports I used on a daily basis. I was surrounded by other accountants and staff from large corporate organizations or people working with accountants. We all spoke the same language and we never batted an eye when someone spit out a TLA (three letter acronym) without defining it.
Over the years as I moved from one business to another adding even more TLA’s to my vocabulary. Adding to the confusion TLAs from one job would mean something completely different in another.
When we opened Hawkins & Co. Accounting our “Why” was to help business owners “own” their numbers and understand them as much as they wanted to. This meant being their partner not their superior or technician. To do this speaking the same language was essential. As none of our clients are accountants it was obvious from the beginning that we needed to communicate in a language that was meaningful to both parties.
When you’ve been immersed in a language specific to your training, its challenging communicating concepts using approachable vocabulary and enough detail to be understandable to a lay person.
Enter a medical doctor.
She goes through extensive training as do her peers – all learning the same language. In order to perfect the language and remember all the medical terms, these soon-to-be-doctors focus on using their new-found jargon regularly.
Fast forward to the doctor having her own practice and discussing a diagnosis with a patient. The doctor tries to explain a diagnosis to a patient in as non-medical terms as possible. The problem is that the doctor knows the diagnosis inside out and backwards – so sometimes she forgets to relay details that seem obvious to her.
As the patient, you don’t know the questions to ask. You leave the doctor’s office thinking you understood things but when you get home you’re not so sure.
This is what Hawkins & Co. tries to avoid when helping with your accounting. We understand that talking about numbers and money can be scary and emotional. Our goal is to simplify the language around the accounting so that we are speaking a language we know our clients understand. Also:
- We never assume you know things that seem obvious to us
- We encourage you to ask questions –it helps us improve our communication.
- We ask lots of questions, never assuming things we think we know about your business.
- And most importantly, when you answer, we listen.
If you are ready to work with an accounting firm that speaks your language give us a call or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.