Accounting Communication Matters

Writing an Essay or Report

Why are good written communication skills so important?


Good communication skills are an important skill in any profession including accounting. The Department of Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs [DEETYA] report on employer satisfaction of graduate skills noted that there was "little complaint about the content of university courses, despite the [students'] claim that much that is taught is not used" and that the most common complaint about new graduates was that they couldn't communicate in writing in a manner appropriate for business (1998, p. 22). The DEETYA report reflected that:

[a]ccording to anecdotal evidence here, up to half of graduates who are achieving adequate academic results, can be rejected by employers after testing for literacy and numeracy.

Why do accounting students need to learn to write?

  • The role of accounting has changed Computers now do much of the bookkeeping work that we used to think of as 'accounting'.
  • Although accountants do not have to write essays, essays teach the skills they will need in all their writing – information selection, synthesis (putting together information from several sources), summary, description, explanation and argument, answering a question, formal style, structure etc.
  • Future assessment in accounting subjects will require appropriate written communication skills.
  • The accounting professional bodies [CPA and ICAA] and employer bodies stress communication skills and criticise graduates' skill levels.

Five steps for making academic writing easier from CQ University

In this section we will be offering students a range of advice and activities to improve their written communication skills.

Image source: