Ask an Accountant: Business etiquette

Francesca Giroux, CPA
For the Lakeside Leader

The digital age has brought wonderful advances in technology from the cell phone, to personal tablets and information conglomerated on the “cloud,” however, along with these technological enhancements many of us have picked up a few bad habits along the way.

One of the biggest pet peeves among many is cell phones left on during a business meeting, appointment or even at home at the dinner table. By leaving your phone out on the table you are indicating to the individual that you are with that your time is more important than theirs and conveys a general lack of respect for the other party. A viral video on the internet depicted an ingenious way to combat this issue, when out for dinner all the guests are asked to stack their cell phones one on top of the other, the first person to reach for their phone and check it during the meal has to pick up the tab!

The increase in texting, e-mail and electronic communication has lead to a steady decline in the quality of our grammar (and spelling!) as a society. While employers are not expecting perfection when it comes to communicating with others “LOL” “U” and “LMAO” are best left for messages among friends and close acquaintances as opposed to a resume or e-mail to a potential client.

In addition to the above, promptness of response to business calls received is also slowing, which seems counter intuitive, given the availability of electronic communication. Several studies have proposed that the increase in technology in the past decade has made it easier to avoid human interaction and those awkward or difficult conversations. Even a quick call or return e-mail to indicate that you received the message and will speak with the client/customer regarding the matter on a specific date appears more professional than letting the message wait for a response for several days, which often givens the impression that the client/customer is not a top priority or perhaps that you are disorganized.

Please e-mail your questions to bonnie@nashgirouxllp.ca.

Information provided is of a general nature. As each individual or company’s situation is unique, you may wish to consult with your CPA for information specific to your own needs.

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