Wednesday, November 10th, 2021

Jargon

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” ~Albert Einstein

If you have been working in public accounting for even a short time I bet you are using accounting jargon. We all know what, “Are we doing their 1120-S?” means. Cash or accrual are common terms. Actually, many phrases we use can be considered accounting jargon.

Definition: Noun: Jargon – special words or expressions that are used by a particular profession or group and are difficult for others to understand.

According to a Quickbooks report (a few years ago), only 40% of business owners surveyed considered themselves to be very knowledgeable in the areas of accounting and finance.

Things like GAAP, IFRS, AR, AP, Accruals, Accrual Basis, Cashflow Statement, even Balance Sheet are unfamiliar terms to many of your business owners. Now, we have PPP and CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act). Could you even recite the official name?

And then there is all that stuff that follows your name on the website: CPA, CITP, CGMA, PFS, ABV, ASA. All of that might be overwhelming to a new client, even scare some away!

Never forget that many clients (that pay you a lot of money), might not be very clear on exactly what you are saying.

The AICPA even has a resource called CPEA. Of course, that stands for Center for Plain English Accounting.

Always explain things simply and thoroughly. Save the jargon for conversations between peers inside the firm.

You want the word on the street to be that you, always explain things clearly and you take the time to help clients understand the services you provide.

  • "Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify!"
  • Henry David Thoreau

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