When you think of a CPA many people automatically think numbers.

Most people envision someone at a desk stacked high with paperwork and furiously pounding away on a calculator.  In today’s world, that image is no longer accurate. 

Successful CPAs of the modern age need to not only be good with numbers, but they also need to be skilled communicators with top-notch business writing skills.


CPA: Keep it Simple.

Today’s CPAs have access to an astonishing amount of data. While that’s a good thing, it can be overwhelming when determining what to include in a document, and more importantly, what to exclude. 

It’s tempting to put as much information into a document as possible to appear knowledgeable on the topic. However, the ability to present and explain research and data clearly and concisely will always be an advantage to you and your reader.


In the Accounting world, always remember to:

  • Keep it simple. You don’t want to overwhelm your reader with accounting lingo they might not quite understand.
  • Use an active voice. Active voice makes documents stronger by showing responsibility or giving credit for an action. When we avoid showing responsibility, we often don’t give enough information to explain the problem and how to fix it.
  • Make sure to answer the 5 W’s; who, what, when, where, why, and how. Keeping your message clear and concise.


Change Your Writing Style for Your Audience.

CPAs may be asked to write to clients, but they also might have to write to other audiences including; other CPAs, financial institutes, business owners, ect…

Some of these recipients will have deep financial understanding and knowledge.  Others will have none at all.   Tailor your writing to each person your communicating to by asking:

  • Who will read this document?
  • How much do they already know?
  • What key points are important to this audience?

Once you can answer these questions, you will be able to tailor your writing style even further to keep your communication consistent.

Even if you consider yourself to be a “numbers person” learning to write well is not only essential in this business, but it’s also simpler than you think.

By following these simple tips, you will be on your way to becoming a well written CPA.