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Finance project managers develop and oversee a variety of projects related to an organization’s revenue, from annual statements to investment vehicles. This role combines the financial oversight duties of an accounting professional with the team leadership and coordination of a project manager.
Finance project managers perform several duties during the project lifecycle, including data gathering and analysis, cash flow monitoring and reporting, tax compliance, and working with staff members in accounting and sales departments to complete projects according to business needs and internal and external deadlines. This role requires an excellent balance of financial expertise and organization skills, as well as the ability to set schedules and drive team member performance.
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Finance Project Manager Duties and Responsibilities
Job listings we analyzed revealed finance project managers commonly perform the following duties:
Financial Planning and Analysis
Finance project managers oversee projects that relate directly to an organization's revenue and expenses, cash flow, long-term investments, and reporting. This requires them to conduct financial due diligence and apply accounting procedures while also gathering and analyzing data from many sources at once. Finance project managers should be able to prepare cost-benefit analyses for projects across departments while identifying areas where cash flow and revenue can be improved.
Finance project managers are also skilled with budgeting and financial management, both to help their teams complete projects according to estimated budgets and to oversee an organization's financial performance. An effective finance project manager balances big-picture business goals and long-term forecasting with day-to-day oversight of cash flow, revenue, and expenditures in order to make well-informed decisions about emerging opportunities and areas for improvement.
A major part of a finance project manager's role is to build and work with cross-functional teams. The ability to coordinate across departments and motivate staff members to complete projects according to both internal and external deadlines is vital. This ensures that financial projects like balance sheets and shareholder reports are submitted according to laws and guidelines and helps support organizational performance by delivering a high level of project completion.
Finance project managers also actively seek methods to enhance overall efficiency and performance. This can mean taking a more active role in day-to-day work within the project lifecycle or identifying cost-saving opportunities at the organizational level. Finance project managers identify areas for improvement and develop solutions to prevent project delays and help a company meet its budgetary and cash flow goals.
Communication and Presentation
Finance project managers frequently need to communicate with both team members and executives during the project lifecycle. They frequently need to present findings to stakeholders and effectively communicate between team members and departments. Finance project managers communicate goals and expectations to team members and also share progress and ask questions of organization leaders.
Scheduling and Organization
Scheduling and managing timelines is another important part of a finance project manager's duties. They work with department managers and team members to implement a project schedule and ensure that teams meet milestones throughout the project lifecycle. Successful project managers also take an active role in preventing delays and ensuring that deliverables are completed according to schedule.
Finance Project Manager Skills and Qualifications
Finance project managers need to be both analytical and effective team leaders, able to balance scheduling with data gathering and analysis. Companies typically hire candidates with at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field, along with previous accounting or financial management experience and the following skills:
- Financial analysis - finance project managers need extensive experience in financial management, including gathering and analyzing data, organizing reports, and presenting findings to stakeholders
- Budgeting and forecasting - in this role, financial project managers develop budgets and create forecasts to support projects related to cash flow and revenue
- Team coordination - developing, leading, and coordinating cross-functional teams is essential for a successful finance project manager, as projects frequently involve sales, accounting, and management personnel
- Time management - finance project managers are highly organized and able to develop project schedules, identify milestones and deliverables, and ensure that projects are completed on time
- Communication skills - successful project managers are skilled communicators, able to report to executives and clearly communicate with team members across departments
Tools of the Trade
Finance project managers should be familiar with standard office programs and specialized software, including:
Project management software (Asana, Mavenlink, Wrike)
Financial software (QuickBooks, Oracle Financials Cloud)
Finance Project Manager Education and Training
While there are no strict educational requirements for finance project managers, most companies look for candidates with a bachelor’s degree in fields such as business or finance. Advanced degrees in these fields can also help applicants secure a position as a finance project manager. Additionally, prior experience as a financial analyst or accountant can prepare job candidates to take on this role’s wide variety of duties and responsibilities.
A background in project management is essential in this role. Some organizations may require that finance project managers complete project management professional (PMP) certification to gain familiarity with project management principles and best practices.
Finance Project Manager Salary and Outlook
Finance project management is an emerging field, so the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has not gathered enough information to provide a comprehensive salary estimate. However, PayScale.com estimates that the median annual salary for finance project managers is $83,990, with a range of $50,684 to $136,641 depending on organization and industry. This range is comparable to BLS estimates for salary ranges for financial managers.
The BLS estimates that employment growth for financial managers will rise 19 percent by 2026, which is a much higher rate than average. Since the role of finance project manager is relatively new for most organizations, employment may not grow at the same rate as financial managers.
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We found a number of resources on the web if you’re interested in learning more about a career as a finance project manager:
Why Finance Matters for Project Managers
" This report provides a thorough explanation of the connections between financial planning and project management.
The Handbook of Financial Modeling: A Practical Approach to Creating and Implementing Valuation Projection Models
Author Jack Avon explores financial modeling, forecasting, and valuation in corporate finance.
Project Management: Financial Services
Here you can familiarize yourself with the latest topics and developments in finance project management.
Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling, and Controlling
Industry expert Harold Kerzner provides an extensive look at project management principles and best practices.
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