- Aim for 5th-8th grade readability
- Be as precise and definitive as possible
- Be personable
- End sentences with prepositions
- Favor simple verb tenses
- How to deliver bad news
- How to introduce new terms
- Keep it simple
- Use everyday contractions
- Use similes and metaphors when it’s appropriate
- Write in active voice
- Write like you talk
- Word list
As much as we’d like to, we can’t just stop using the language of taxes, accounting, finance, and technology. We have two approaches for helping our customers understand these terms.
Customers will need to talk to accountants, lenders, and other finance and tax people, and those people are bound to use terms like deductions, liability, profit and loss, and so on. As we introduce and define these terms, we want to empower customers with knowledge, not make them feel defeated by speaking a different language.
Here are our two approaches to defining tax and accounting terms.
- State the term first and then define it in simple words. This approach works best for tax terms, as customers may have already heard these words, such as deductions and earned-income tax credit.
- Describe the term in a simple way first, and then give it a name. After that, use the term and maybe include a reminder. This approach works best for accounting terms, like general ledger or chart of accounts.
Here’s a list of your tax categories. Accountants call this a chart of accounts.
Do you own this business? Or as lawyers like to say, “Are you the responsible party here?”
Double-check the tax category and add it to your books.
We’ll import all the transactions for you.
Have customers transfer money directly to your account.
Here’s your Chart of Accounts.
Are you the responsible party for this business?
Reconcile this transaction.
We’ll get all the transactions from your bank. We call this “importing.”
Get paid via ACH.