Survey Shows Reliance on E-mail to Far Surpass Other Communication Forms in Accounting

MENLO PARK, CA -- Your company may be spending a lot less time on the phone or meeting face-to-face with your accountant during tax season in the future. Seventy-three percent of chief financial officers (CFOs) in a recent survey said e-mail would be the most commonly used method of communication for accountants by 2006; use of the telephone came in significantly lower, with 10 percent of the response.

The survey was developed by Accountemps, the world's first and largest temporary staffing service for accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 1,400 CFOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with more than 20 employees.

CFOs were asked, "Which one of the following methods of business communication do you think accountants will use most by 2006?" Their responses:

E-mail 73%
Phone 10%
Fax 9%
Face-to-face communication 7%
Don't know     1%

"The level of interaction among accountants, their corporate clients and other departments within their organizations is increasing, making quick access to key information more important than ever," said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps. "E-mail is one of the most expedient ways for financial professionals to exchange data and reports."

However, career-minded professionals shouldn't rely on e-mail exclusively, Messmer warns. As the scope of accountants' responsibilities continues to grow, they will also need excellent verbal communication skills to be successful. "Accounting professionals must be able to meet with company management or clients to clearly explain financial results and provide strategic guidance on business decisions," Messmer said.

Accountemps has more than 270 offices throughout North America, Europe and Australia, and offers online job search services at

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