I’m not the grammar police and I am certainly not a shining example of good grammar. The experts “say” that when blogging, you should keep it casual, conversational and provide useful content to your readers. If you have thoughts and ideas that could be of value to your followers – get it out there!

That being said, I lived inside a growing CPA firm for 30 years. Accuracy was king. Correct numbers and correct spelling were part of the culture and everything was reviewed, proofed, checked, re-reviewed, re-proofed and re-checked before it was suitable for a client.

I communicate with thousands of CPAs and their employees every year. One common theme I hear from CPA firm leaders is the poor writing skills of younger, less-experienced CPAs. I found, from first-hand experience, that many of the older, very experienced CPAs were not great writers either. Thus, the need for reviewing, proofing and checking. When delivering an expensive service to a trusting client even grammar is a sign of your professionalism.

Now for the “marketing” word in today’s title. Marketing and branding are exempt. Check out this article from the front page of the WSJ on Monday, September 12, 2011 – An Article of Faith for Marketers: Place No Faith in Articles. Here’s the lead-in:

Sitting down to chat last year with Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, television host Charlie Rose announced that the two would discuss “the Kindle,” Amazon’s e-reader. But throughout the interview, Mr. Bezos repeatedly dodged the word “the,” saying how “Kindle is succeeding,” that “Kindle is a companion to tablet computers” and touting how many e-books are “available for Kindle.”  Mr. Bezos is a part of a growing cadre of marketers who conscientiously object to using articles – the tiny English words “the,” “a” and “an” that typically precede many nouns.

Mignon Fogarty, who writes under the pen name Grammar Girl, says she has given up being outraged by marketing grammar. I hope you will read the entire article so you know what you are up against. But, don’t give up!

Here are a couple of suggestions:

  • Hire good writers – Look for good writing skills when you are hiring.
  • At my firm, during the summer, we brought in a high school English teacher to provide a full-day CPE workshop on business writing. It was one of our most well-received sessions ever.

Rita Keller is a nationally known CPA firm management consultant, speaker and author. She is a former shareholder and Chief Operating Officer of a successful, regional CPA firm and has over 30 years’ hands-on experience in the management, marketing, technology and administration of a successful firm.

Rita is widely known for her leadership, presentation and implementation skills and her passion for CPA firm management. She works as a change agent for firms throughout the country focusing on the people, internal management, operational, implementation and partner issues. She also provides a mentoring/coaching program for the firm’s management team. Rita provides unique facilitation for partner retreats, bringing the people issues, succession issues and processes into the spotlight. Learn more about Rita HERE!