How to become a financial project manager

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The author spent the first part of her career working in IT and IT Project Management in the oil industry and investment banking on complex global projects involving the management of outsourced project teams. She now runs a digital marketing company with particular expertise in SEO.

Project management is becoming an increasingly popular choice of career path with many individuals and across all fields of business. For some people, it may be a role that they fall into as part of their current employment, but there are many who are choosing to undertake specific training to become professional project managers in order to gain the appropriate qualifications that will allow them to pursue a career in that field.

If you are considering becoming a financial project manager, then read on as we look at how you can achieve that.

What is a financial project manager?

It is the role of a financial project manager to oversee and develop projects that relate to the revenue of an organisation. This can be anything from investment vehicles to annual statements. The role includes any financial oversight issues that are associated with being an accounting professional together with the team leadership and coordination skills required by project managers.

There will be a number of duties that a finance project manager will fulfil during the life of a project, including data gathering, cash flow reporting and monitoring, tax compliance and working with other members of the team in sales and accounting departments in order to help the project to a successful outcome.

In order to fulfil the role of a financial project manager, an individual will need to have a good balance of organisational skills and financial expertise, amongst other things

What qualifications do I need?

Unlike some fields of project management where no specific industry knowledge is required, the majority of companies who are looking for a financial project manager will be looking for someone who has a degree in a related field. They may also be looking for either financial management experience or experience in accounting. There is a good chance that they will also be looking for individuals who have a wide range of skills within the field of finance that are best gained from working in a financial background for a couple of years.

Project management qualifications are not always needed but can be useful, as these can often be learnt on the job through in-person training or even e-learning around the role. It is the important skills like communication and organisation that are really important.

The next step

For any individual who believes that this is the right direction for them, then it is worth looking out for jobs that are available. The right financial background will obviously stand you in good stead when it comes to sending in your application, but there are a number of skills that a company will be looking for in respect of the project management side of a role, and these are often more important to them that a formal qualification.

Having said that, there is a lot to be gained from a professional project management qualification, such as an APM PMQ, and it is worth looking at the different types of courses that are out there to see what would be most suitable for your needs.

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Project management has developed into a fully-fledged chartered profession since the granting of the Royal Charter in the UK to The Association for Project Management (APM) in 2017. Training courses for project managers were already available and highly popular to help people gain professional project management accreditation, but with this wider recognition of the profession it is now seen as a desirable career path for many. Whilst the APM has the coveted Royal Charter and continues to develop its APM PMQ (formerly the APMP) programmes, there are also other internationally recognised qualifications that continue to be highly regarded such as PMP and PRINCE2.

Organisations have become increasingly project-focused in this era of rapidly emerging new technologies and they value the expertise that comes with experienced and fully qualified project teams and managers. By investing in their project management capability businesses can be confident of delivering their new projects in time and on budget more often and more successfully. Many major corporation are now training their people to have the right project management qualifications as well as relevant experience, through internal Learning & Development (L&D) programmes; or by using external project management training providers.

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