The Case for Simplicity

The Case for Simplicity

"Making the simple complicated is commonplace. Making the complicated simple is creativity." - Charles Mingus

We live in a complicated world. Laws and regulations in business and finance - and its applications such as taxation, investments - are for ever increasing in quantity and complexity. Solutions to problems naturally follow suit in complexity. People feel overwhelmed and drowning by complexity in the ocean of information. To appreciate this, try to buy toothpaste, for example in a typical supermarket - how easily and quickly could you decide which ones meets your needs, if you decided to change your brand? Somehow, we need to be able to swim and keep afloat.

It can be argued that simplicity is not always clear (and that complexity can be made clear with effective organisation and presentation). It is also true that some things cannot be made simple. Some also worry about the negative connotations of simplicity where it can lead to a simplistic and "dumbed-down" message. However, simplicity is not less just for the sake of less.The value of simplicity can be proved in our everyday life:

Take the deceivingly spare interface of the powerful Google search engine, which is so popular that "googleing" has become a synonym for "searching the web". People not only buy but, more importantly, love designs that can make their lives simpler. so, less can be more.

We are passionate about the value of simplicity and resulting clarity in business thinking and communications in inventing effective solutions to problems. We see simplicity in the sense of stripping down the message to its core, clearest meaning, so that everyone - not just specialists - will clearly understand what to do and translate clearly into action-items. To achieve that, we need to be clear about what we are trying to do and what is the best way to get there. It is important to simplify without sacrificing comfort and meaning.

It is definitely harder to communicate using less words and easier using more. The art of holding back and using only the most vital elements is challenging but ultimately produces the most expressive and clearest results. There is no doubt that simplicity leads to time saving and allows us to focus on the objective. Simplicity means easy to use.

Accountants (like other professionals) more often than not think that if they say it, it gets communicated. But, the bottom line is that professionals only communicate what the client understands. More than they know it, clients don’t get it. But clients never tell them that they were confused; who wants to look like the one fool in a hundred who didn’t understand? Not you, not me. It is that simple: if you are so smart, why can’t you speak clearly?

So, we make it our rule to communicate so that we cannot be misunderstood.