Communication in insolvency
Insolvency practitioners are at the sharp end of an increasingly complex system that is understood by few outside the profession. We have to explain clearly and succinctly what we do and why, and we have to do so over and over again, both case by case and generally. If we or the system within which we work is misunderstood, we have to explain ourselves better. We owe this to the creditors in whose interest we act – and who are responsible for approving our remuneration.
As a profession we failed to communicate the benefits of pre-packs as they grew in popularity a few years ago. As a result they are widely misunderstood and risk being regulated out of existence. The professions next communication failure, if we are not careful, will be about the value of the work we do, as the level of disquiet about insolvency practitioners’ fees continues to rise and the risk of legislative interference increases.
Many in the profession qualified as accountants and enjoy working with numbers. Numbers are certainly an important communication tool when seeking to quantify the losses or liabilities we encounter, but increasingly accountants and insolvency practitioners are required to use words to communicate. I would argue that communication is both a science and an art and the best communicators have skills that others are capable of learning.
Communication is an area in which the best insolvency practitioners can stand out from the crowd. Those who truly understand what we do, because we have explained ourselves successfully, will appreciate the value of our contribution to the situations in which we become involved (and to society in general).
Date: 19th February, 2015
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