Before & After | The Language of Business

In keeping with our recent theme, let’s take another quick look at content drawn from the world of finance. In this instance, finance is characterized as the language of business.

The Before excerpt below answers many questions. If finance managers cut their teeth on this type of communication, it explains why so many businesses issue incomprehensible financial reports and our tax code is filled with gobbledygook.

For the full effect, read Before & After | The Role of Finance, too.

Now imagine writing a website, report, policy or book in this manner. Imagine reading a webiste, report, policy or book written in this manner.

Take a deep breath. Are you ready?

Before
In a profit oriented enterprise finance also presents the result of management’s effort to the public. It is the language of business. Nonfinancial managers have a direct stake in understanding this language and using it to set forth their departmental requirements and contributions. Thus finance facilitates the communication process, not only between the organization and the public, but also between different departments within the organization. Word count: 65
After
Finance is the language of business. In profit-oriented enterprises, finance communicates to the public the results of management’s efforts. Internally, finance defines departmental requirements and contributions and facilitates communication between departments. Word count: 31 (52% reduction)
How do people wade through the treacle of the Before example and make sense of it?

In many instances, the answer is they can't. Or they won't. If finance is the language of business and this is how finance communicates, business is in deep yogurt.

The After example isn't elegant, but it's progress in the right direction. If nothing else, it's shorter. That alone brings relief.

What do you think? How would you translate the original content to improve clarity? Simplicity? Readability? There's always room for improvement.

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Related
Before & After | The Role of Finance
Tax Code Contains 8 Million Words
Education & Industry: Divided by the Same Language

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