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vCFO & Accounting firms - re-learning language

I met with a vCFO recently, looking to increase their market presence but who was finding their message was not breaking through.

One of the fundamentals of learning language is you start with the basics: ‘’My name is” I am from” as these are simple statements that everyone can understand, require no interpretation and instantly break down barriers.

My own brain is wired in such a way that I am able to learn languages quite easily and speak several reasonably fluently; I have an ear for it I guess. My experience is that people will be incredibly patient with you if you are trying to speak their language; they can see you are trying to make an effort even if this includes lots of gesticulating (I’m looking at you Italy...). If you don’t try, then you may not be treated the same. Fluency does not rely on grammar, rather getting your message across.

This got me thinking about the vCFO - immediately I see the acronym as an issue: it tells nothing to the lay-man about what it is that is being provided and if you say to someone, “I am a virtual Chief Financial Officer”, everything in that statement is ambiguous. The listener has to know some elements of each of the words to understand the concept of what is being delivered and what is in it for the person you are talking to leaving it open to assumptions.

The same may be said for accounting firms - the specialist language used is foreign to most if not all of the users of the services.

It may be time for specialist organisations to learn how to be fluent in the language of their audience.