Client communications: The language of money

Effective client communication is about more than getting the figures right. Rob Ashton explains how to write financial information in plain English.

Accounting has its own language and is often riddled with jargon that even experienced business people can sometimes find difficult to understand. Even if your clients are financially savvy, it can still be difficult to explain money matters.

Continued...

» Register now

The full article is available to registered AccountingWEB members only. To read the rest of this article you’ll need to login or register.

Registration is FREE and allows you to view all content, ask questions, comment and much more.

Comments
Bob Harper's picture

Developing a USP

Bob Harper | | Permalink

 For firms that understand the value of developing USPs then Plain English is something they may want to explore. Here are two resources:

1) Plain English Campaign http://www.plainenglish.co.uk/

2) Plain English Software http://www.editorsoftware.com/

Ideas include:

  • Become a Corporate member of the Plain English campaign
  • Get standard letters Crystal Marked
  • Have consistent communication
  • Offer a guarantee that clients will understand their accounts, tax bill and your advice!
  • Plain numbers...use of graphs!
  • Press Releases on tax and financial issues to demystify jargon

Bob Harper

Portfolio Marketing

MarionMorrison's picture

More thinning needed

MarionMorrison | | Permalink

I'd de-mystify what you have even further

Original:'I herein enclose details of your asset classes for the aforesaid investment, as requested'.  Simpler: 'I enclose details of your investments, as requested'.  Simplest: 'I'm enclosing that list of your investments that you asked for'.

Original
: 'We will decide on our next steps on Monday'.  Simpler 'A decision will be made on our next steps on Monday'.  Simplest: 'We'll decide what to do on Monday'.

Using vernacular spoken English both on the phone and in print has been our USP for donkey's years.  Accountancy isn't unique as a profession in using formality and jargon to justify higher fees.  That belongs to an era when the world had implicit respect for professions - we seek to undermine that aura, whilst other firms seem to want to cling on to it.