In a survey developed by Accountemps, 50% of chief financial officers (CFOs) said interpersonal abilities are the most important communication skill for financial professionals.
CFOs were asked, "In your opinion, which one of the following communication skills is most important for accounting and finance professionals to possess?" Their responses:
- Interpersonal skills: 50%
- Presentation/public speaking ability: 17%
- Negotiation skills: 16%
- Writing ability: 12%
- None: 1%
- Other: 1%
- Dont know/no answer: 3%
"Strong interpersonal skills are a key factor for success in any profession," said Max Messmer, CEO of Robert Half International and author of Managing Your Career For Dummies. "Businesses seek accountants who have the requisite technical skills but who also can build rapport with colleagues, resolve conflicts and develop consensus among team members."
Messmer also noted the importance of presentation skills for accounting and finance professionals. "Careers in finance go beyond the numbers -- employees must articulate the relevance of financial data to diverse audiences responsible for making investment decisions and charting strategy."