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Communications: Methods and Applications for Financial Managers

Communications: Methods and Applications for Financial Managers

James Carberry

ISBN: 978-1-119-44958-4 November 2017 208 Pages

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Improving communication is one of the most important – and challenging – issues that management accountants face. In a global survey of CFOs, Ernst & Young said: "Despite two thirds of respondents saying that increasingly they act as the public face of the organization, most point to communication and influencing as the most important area for improvement."

In this publication you will learn:

  • How do management accountants know if they are effectively communicating?
  • What are the most effective techniques for improving their communication skills?

This book is specifically designed to meet the needs and interests of management accountants. It draws on interviews with finance professionals at every level of corporate accounting, as well as with communication consultants, executive recruiters and educators. It looks at how management accountants communicate inside and outside their organizations, identifies best practices, and gives hands-on strategies that accountants can use right away.

Readers will discover how to:

  • Move their current communication skills to a higher level.
  • Recognize the importance of communication within the context of their financial manager function.
  • Understand the right way to deliver bad news and resolve conflicts.
  • Manage the impact of new technologies on traditional communication channels.
  • Develop the skills to use active listening as the foundation for positive communication tactics.

Introduction 1

1 Business Communication: Issues for Management Accountants 5

The Changing Role of the CFO 5

CFO Responsibilities 6

Finding Insights in Data 7

Budgeting 7

Measuring Value 7

Managing Risk 8

Specific Communication Challenges CFOs Face 8

Explaining Complex Issues 8

Communicating With Investors 10

Core Skills for Management Accountants 11

Communication 11

Building Relationships 12

Participation in Training Programmes 12

Taking the Initiative to Learn 12

Meeting Expectations 12

Managing Change 13

Chapter Summary 13

2 Developing Communication Competence: From School to CFO 15

Communication Competencies 15

Communication in University Accounting Programmes 19

Career Paths in Accounting 21

Public Accounting 21

Management Accounting 22

Financial Accounting 23

Retaining the Next Generation of Management Accountants 23

Chapter Summary 24

3 Communication Skills

Purpose of Communication 27

Forms of Communication 29

Using Communication in Business 32

Measuring Results 34

Core Skills 34

Listening 35

Speaking 37

Writing 39

Nonverbal Communication 40

Metacommunication 40

Cross-Cultural Communication 41

Chapter Summary 42

4 Communicating in the Workplace 45

Face-to-Face Communication 45

Team Communication 46

Meetings 48

Written Communications 49

E-mails 49

Instant Messaging and Text Messaging 52

Memorandums 52

Letters 54

Phone 56

Chapter Summary 56

5 Write From the Start 59

Preparing to Write 59

Purpose 61

Subject 62

Audience 63

Delivery 65

The Write Mindset 66

Traditional Outlining 67

Alternatives to Traditional Outlining 68

Brainstorm Outline (Brainstorming) 69

Mind Mapping 69

Questioning 70

Free Writing 70

Context 70

Research 71

Chapter Summary 72

6 Writing the Report 75

Writing the First Draft 75

Writing Your Theme 75

Building Your Report Paragraph by Paragraph 76

Sections of a Report 79

Body 79

Executive Summary 81

Introduction 81

Conclusion 82

Recommendations 83

Editing 83

Chapter Summary 85

Appendix 6-1: Some Suggestions on How to Tighten and Strengthen Your Sentences 86

7 Presentations: Planning and Preparing 89

Planning 90

Outlining Your Presentation 91

Storyboard: A Visual Outline 91

Introduction 93

Transitions 95

Guidelines for Content 96

Developing a Content Outline: An Example 100

The Close 101

Chapter Summary 101

8 Presentations: Designing and Delivering 103

Preparing Notes for Your Presentation 103

Preparing Visuals for Your Presentation 103

Flip Charts 104

Whiteboards 104

Paper Handouts 104

Projectors 104

Slides 104

Designing Your Slide Presentation 105

Mix of Slides 105

Number of Slides 106

Design Elements 106

Colours 107

Presentation Design Example 108

Delivering Your Presentation 110

Preparation 110

Presentation Day 111

Conclusion 113

Resources 113

Chapter Summary 114

9 Social Media in Business 117

Benefits 118

Risks 119

Management Accountants and Social Media 119

Social Media Channels 121

LinkedIn 121

Twitter 122

Facebook 122

Google+ 123

YouTube 123

Internet 123

Company Website 124

Blogs 124

Podcasts 124

Video 124

Web Conferencing (Webinar) 125

Mobile Devices 125

Social Media Policy 125

Chapter Summary 127

Bibliography 131

Appendix A: Interviews 141

Appendix B: Corporate Accounting Career Paths 167

Appendix C: Business Proposals 171

Appendix D: Checklist for Writing Reports 177

Appendix E: Checklist for Presentations 179

Appendix F: Resources 181