My friend Martin nails again. Accountants report and communicate financial information. More often than not, these communications involve numbers. But they also demand expert verbal skills.

Anyone going into accounting these days should work on acquiring impeccable skills in their native language, both in writing and speaking. They should also master a second, or even a third, language.

Martin's accounting blog

If you are a native English speaker like me, then to some extent you’re probably like me and not all that great at foreign languages. I do speak pretty good German, but that’s it. I’d bet many of you reading this you are not native English speakers probably speak 2 or 3 languages quite well. So how important is it for accountants to speak a foreign language?

Some of you might say accountants already speak a foreign language – debit, credit, journal and so on.  However, remember that accounting is a social practice. We need to talk to people and if we can speak in their native language, that will improve our ability to get things across. A second (or third) language for an accountant is probably a must if you work in a multi-national.  To quote a recent piece from CPA Ireland’s newsletter (Dec 21st, 2012)

” The August Morgan…

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About Mark P. Holtzman

Chair of Accounting Department at Seton Hall University. PhD from The University of Texas at Austin. Worked at Deloitte's New York Office. BSBA from Hofstra University.

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