Accountants as project managers

theaccablog —  17 April 2012 — 13 Comments

By Jamie Lyon, head of corporate sector, ACCA

Increasingly many roles and activities in the finance function are becoming more project-orientated. This is a reflection of the important role finance plays across the business and its engagement across different functions and activities.

The ability to bring a finance ‘lens’ on projects is key to understanding issues like the cost benefit of different projects and how projects can be best funded.

These project activities demand specific skills such as effective project planning, appropriate financial forecasting, and resource management.

In developing these skills finance professionals need to think about qualifications, such as PRINCE2, and learning in the workplace.

Experiential learning is also important. Getting involved in projects across the business, mentoring or coaching from expert project managers, or taking secondments all broaden experience.

The project management developments tie in with ACCA’s Research and Insights Finance Transformation theme.

It looks at how CFOs and business leaders are changing finance to drive operational excellence and make finance a strategic partner to the business. The programme focuses on different practical aspects of transformation including people capability.

ACCA’s programme looks at a wide range of people and career development issues that impact on the effectiveness of finance. It will also consider how business leaders are implementing talent and leadership development programmes to recruit, develop and retain the best finance people. The programme will look at the emerging roles, skills and capabilities across the finance function as part of transforming it. It will outline evolving career paths and critique the finance learning agenda, understanding the practices leading businesses are taking to implement learning programmes that support capability development.

Expanding skills is also in tune with one of ACCA’s core values – diversity. Since the organisation was first established in 1904, the five core values have been in place. Diversity is all about respect and valuing difference, embracing diversity in our people and in our output.

ACCA wants its affiliates and members to be as diverse as possible and that is why we are championing transformation in the financial sector, to make a multi-skilled and well-rounded accountant.

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