Accounting Communication Matters

Introduction

Introduction

The introduction of any business report or essay should:

  1. focus the reader's attention on the exact subject of the report;
  2. provide background information on the topic of the report;
  3. engage the reader's interest in the topic;
  4. give definitions if required [not usually done if it's a short piece of writing];
  5. summarise the writer's main argument if it is an argumentative essay or report;
  6. familiarise the reader with the structure and purpose of what they are about to read.

The length of the introduction depends on the total word limit. For an essay with a word limit of about 1,000 words the introduction should start with three or four general sentences to cover points 1-3. This should be followed by the statement of purpose which will cover points 5-6.

The introduction should begin with general points and move to more specific points. One way to think of the introduction is as a film which starts with a satellite view of the earth and gradually narrows down to a country, an area, a city and then the house that the film will be about. You could also think of the introduction as a funnel, with more general phrases or sentences at the beginning and more specific ones later.

There is an art to writing the introductory sentences – they should not be too general, too specific or too meaningless.

Example

It has been suggested that accounting information fulfils many functions. What are the functions of accounting information and which function do you consider to be the most important? Explain your answer.
Taken from: Carnegie, G., Jones, S., Norris, G., Wigg, R. & Williams, B. 1991, Accounting financial and organisational decision making, McGraw Hill, Melbourne.

In a short essay based on the above question, the introduction could look like this:

Accounting information is central to the various types of decisions made by a wide range of people and groups in our society. However, the precise functions of accounting information vary according to who is using it and for what purpose.

  • Major function (decision usefulness) introduced.
  • Significance of topic explained to engage reader's interest.
  • An expectation created in the reader that they will read about many users and purposes.

In this essay, the functions of accounting information for investors, lenders and other external users will be examined and it will be argued that there is no single most important function of this information

Statement of Purpose

 

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