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Topics: Accounting outsourcing services provider, Outsourcing, project management, prokject management for accounting

Top Project Management Skills CPAs Need Today

7 MIN READ | Posted on May 25, 2023
Written By Divya Ramaswamy

Project management skills accounting | Image by Freepik

Did you know the average salary for an accountant or CPA with project management skills is over $85,000? Yes, there is such a huge demand for accountants and CPAs with project management skills, and it is expected to grow by 15% over the next five years.

As CPAs navigate an increasingly complex business landscape, project management skills have become essential for success in the field. 75% of accountants believe project management skills are necessary, and about 60% have received formal training.

Picture this: You’re juggling multiple tasks, tight deadlines, and client expectations. How do you keep everything in check? That’s where project management skills swoop in to save the day. With these skills in your arsenal, you can expertly allocate resources, optimize your time, and delight your clients.

Client satisfaction is paramount; project management is your ticket to achieving it. By meticulously planning, setting clear objectives, and communicating effectively, you’ll build a reputation for delivering outstanding service. Meeting deadlines like a pro, managing risks with finesse, and keeping clients in the loop at every step is how you cultivate trust, nurture strong relationships, and become their go-to CPA.

But it doesn’t stop there.

Project management skills empower you to conquer the complexities of your work. You’ll be a master at identifying potential risks, developing contingency plans, and adapting to unexpected challenges. The result? Smooth sailing through turbulent waters. You’ll keep projects on track, minimize disruptions, and emerge victorious, no matter the hurdles.

Whether working in a public accounting firm, a corporate setting, or as an independent practitioner, mastering these skills will enable you to effectively manage projects, streamline processes, and drive success for your clients and organization. Read on to explore the top project management skills accountants should cultivate to enhance their professional capabilities.

Planning and Organization

Effective project management starts with meticulous planning and organization. Accountants must be skilled at setting clear project objectives, defining deliverables, and creating realistic timelines. By breaking down projects into manageable tasks and establishing a structured approach, accountants can optimize resource allocation, monitor progress, and meet deadlines.

Communication and Collaboration

Clear communication is vital for successful project management. Accountants should possess strong verbal and written communication skills to effectively convey project requirements, updates, and expectations to team members, clients, and stakeholders. Collaborative abilities are equally important, as accountants often work in multidisciplinary teams. Active listening, fostering open dialogue, and promoting a cooperative work environment is key to achieving project goals.

Risk Management

Identifying and mitigating risks is crucial in project management. Accountants should develop the ability to assess potential risks, evaluate their impact, and develop contingency plans. By adopting a proactive approach to risk management, accountants can minimize disruptions, address challenges swiftly, and ensure project continuity.

Adaptability and Flexibility

Adapting to changing circumstances and embracing flexibility is essential for accountants in project management roles. Projects may encounter unforeseen obstacles or evolving client needs, requiring accountants to adjust plans and reallocate resources accordingly. Being open to change and having a solution-oriented mindset allows accountants to navigate unexpected challenges successfully.

Technology Proficiency

In today’s digital age, accountants must possess proficiency in project management tools and technologies. Familiarity with project management platforms, collaboration tools, and data analytics software can significantly enhance efficiency, improve data accuracy, and enable effective project monitoring and reporting.

Financial Acumen

Accountants bring their financial expertise to project management, ensuring that budgets are adhered to, and resources are allocated optimally. Understanding the financial implications of project decisions, conducting cost-benefit analyses, and monitoring project profitability are vital skills that enable accountants to make informed choices and maximize project outcomes.


Accountants are increasingly becoming essential partners to the businesses they advise, whether they work at a CPA firm or have their freelance book of business. In this evolving role, project management skills have become crucial for accountants to ensure that client deliverables are produced promptly and organized. It is not only technical accounting skills that are required, but also project management tools and communication acumen for success in this enhanced advisory role.

Accountants, especially those working in client accounting services (CAS), must comprehensively understand project management software. This allows them to effectively manage tasks among their clients, clients’ business departments, and contractors within their team. Workforce management software can be particularly helpful in keeping track of deadlines, deliverables, and task assignments, ensuring efficient project execution.

In project management accounting, having reliable document-capturing software is crucial. It enables accountants to store and easily access all client financial data from source documents. By centralizing the data in one location, accountants can ensure that their economic analyses are backed by the appropriate information, streamlining the accounting process.

Clear and effective communication is vital for accounting advisors. They need to be able to communicate with various parties involved, especially in a remote working environment where in-person communication is limited. Implementing communication tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams allows accountants to easily reach their team members and stakeholders using different methods such as email or video chat to ensure smooth project collaboration.

For remote advisors, providing detailed instructions and guidance to clients is important. Screen recording software, such as Loom, can be a valuable tool in recording demonstrations of specific processes or tasks that need to be performed. This helps ensure that data is properly collected and that accounting tasks are performed according to standardized, documented methods.

In addition to technical accounting skills, accountants should possess accounting soft skills to excel in project management. Time management is crucial for juggling multiple clients and projects, attending meetings, and meeting deadlines. Flexibility and adaptability are key in handling the constant changes and disruptions in the modern business environment. Maintaining positive client relationships through effective customer service orientation is also important for successful project management.

Technical accounting skills are equally important for small advisory roles. Accountants should have a solid understanding of ERP systems, which enable the analysis of a broader range of company data from different departments. Familiarity with task-specific software, pitch deck and presentation software, and CRM systems is also valuable in completing advisory tasks, making presentations, and efficiently handling payment and billing tasks.

Accountants with technical accounting knowledge are invaluable to companies. They can prepare financial statements and reports, provide audit support, and make recommendations regarding regulatory compliance. Their expertise offers valuable insights and perspectives on a company’s performance and processes.

Remember, CPAs can stay ahead in the dynamic business world by continually developing these project management skills and unlocking new opportunities for professional advancement.

Here are some tips for accountants who want to develop their project management skills:

  • Learn the basics of project management. Many resources are available online and in libraries that can teach you the basics of project management. Once you understand the fundamentals well, you can apply them to your work.
  • Develop your leadership skills. Project managers need to be able to lead and motivate their teams. If you want to be a successful project manager, you need to be able to inspire others to follow you.
  • Be organized and efficient. Project managers need to be able to keep track of multiple tasks and deadlines. If you want to be successful, you need to stay organized and efficient.
  • Be able to communicate effectively. Project managers need to be able to communicate effectively with their team members, stakeholders, and clients. If you want to be successful, you need to be able to share your ideas clearly and concisely.
  • Be able to handle stress. Project management can be a stressful job. If you want to be successful, you need to be able to take priority and remain calm under pressure.
  • Use project management software. Many project management software programs are available that can help you track tasks, deadlines, and budgets.
  • Get involved in project management communities. There are many online and offline communities for project managers. Getting involved in these communities can help you learn from other project managers and share your experiences.
  • Take project management courses. There are many project management courses available online and in person. Taking a course can help you learn the skills and knowledge needed to be a successful project manager.

Over to you

With hard work and dedication, you can develop your project management skills and become a valuable asset to your team. But if you want to hire the best accounting expertise with great project management skills, fill out the form below to get started.

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Originally published May 25, 2023 05:05:11, updated May 25 2023

Topics: Accounting outsourcing services provider, Outsourcing, project management, prokject management for accounting

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