Protea Financial was founded in 2014 to provide high-quality outsourced accounting at an affordable price. Given Protea’s flexible work environment, the Company especially appealed to accountants who wanted to re-enter the workforce after taking time off to start a family. This allowed Protea to attract extremely talented individuals who were previously overlooked. Protea strives to represent people from all backgrounds and provide an environment for them to grow and succeed in a setting that provides the flexibility and acceptance of who they are as people.
We selected the name Protea because is the national flower of South Africa and is a symbol of our connection. The Protea flower has become an ornamental flower because of this striking beauty and is included in arrangements and bouquets as a symbol of courage or daring to be better or a sign of positive transformation.
Protea Conversations in 2023 will focus on positive transformation and representation from all backgrounds. We are broadening our Conversations with the hope that these conversations will continue to create a forum to discuss the experiences, opportunities, and challenges leaders face, and how we can build a more diverse, inclusive, and successful environment for everyone.
In May 2023, we reached out to members of The Protea Family, with this month a focus on learning from the South African management team, to get their feedback on an important question for all accountants and those entering the profession.
The spotlight question for this month is “What is your best piece of advice for improving communication in a digital world?“
This is a question that is very important in an ever-changing world. More and more people have entered the digital space and people are having to learn how to adjust. Communication is very important in general life, but when you cannot see a person, it becomes even more important. Learning ways to improve your communication will improve your ability to achieve your goals.
Some Members of The Protea Family
Brendan Lane – Account manager
My best advice is to make any digital communication as clear and concise as possible. The easier an email or message is to follow, the more likely the recipient will understand and will be quicker to respond
Wylie Warner – Account manager
Reread what you write prior to sending. Reread considering clarity, completeness, tone and audience.
Jose Portillo – Account manager
It’s important to slow down and proof-read your communications to help avoid misunderstandings and delays. Re-read what you have written to ensure your message is free of typos. Check for clarity. The extra seconds spent doing this may save you minutes or hours of delays or additional explanations that may result from a simple error or mis note that may not be understood properly.
Jennifer Sahouria – Account manager
Using bullet points is always a good option, to list major points or actions items when sending out a detailed email, this helps keep the email to not be as wordy, or long. People will more likely read a shorter email to the end, then a longer one.
Ashley Kniffin – Senior Account manager
Over-communicate by recapping information so that it is clear what your understanding of the communication is, and be succinct and clear instead of wordy or off topic.
Candice Stevens – Senior Account manager
My best piece of advice is to mind your tone, you never know what someone on the receiving end of your email is going through or how they are feeling, and tone can very easily be misinterpreted. The words being used, as well as punctuation can easily influence how someone reads your email.
Similarly, try not to read too much into a sender’s tone. As the reader, your mood might influence how you read the tone of the email, so try to read it in the best version it could have been intended (as in don’t expect the worst).
Megan Nelms – Senior Account manager
Think about the person or people that you are communicating with. It’s important to meet them where they are. This could mean many different things such as: matching tone/formality or taking the time to explain if someone is new to a topic or even perhaps picking up something more behind the message.
Zane Stevens – Founder
Be clear. Be concise. Communication often and on a timely basis.
As a thank you to our interview and Protea’s commitment to more diverse and inclusive leaders, Protea will donate to Canine Companions (https://canine.org/). Canine Companions is leading the service dog industry so their clients and their dogs can live with greater independence. They provide service dogs to adults, children and veterans with disabilities and facility dogs to professionals working in healthcare, criminal justice and educational settings. Since our founding in 1975, our dogs and all follow-up services are provided at no cost to our clients.
Independence shouldn’t be limited to those who look or live a certain way. Disability reaches all races, classes and backgrounds, and Canine Companions will too. Clients come to Canine Companions because of our reputation, the quality of our dogs, the experience of our training staff and the desire to lead life with greater independence. We are committed to providing services to all qualified clients.
Reach out to The Protea Family for questions, guidance, or just help with the financials of your business. Our experts are here to help!