Magazine article PM Network

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Magazine article PM Network

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Article excerpt

In Defense of Accountants

What's with the snipe against accountants by Michael Hatfield in July's column, "To Kill A PMO": "Accountants are the natural competitors to project controls analysts ..."

Maybe that statement was true 100 years ago, but today, project management is part of most accounting curricula, and the Project Management Professional (PMP®) designation is actively promoted by accounting professionals, as a complement to their accounting designations, especially within the corporate environment

Not to mention setting up a department within the organization as the "enemy" being a fast track to project management disaster.

-Kimber Chin

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

MR. HATFIELD'S RESPONSE: I believe diere is a vast difference between the accountants' profession and project managers or project controllers, based on the fact that accountants (and other managers) are taught their purpose is to maximize shareholder wealth. That's what their tools help them do, and that's their goal. Conversely, project management types' purpose is to meet customer expectations with regards to cost, schedule and scope, and the project manager's tools are oriented toward that goal.

It has been my experience that any organization's accountants are completely convinced that any piece of management information that has a dollar sign in front of it simply must come from dieir group, and anyone trying to practice earned value or critical path is an interloper. If mat's not your experience, then great, but I have never found it to be otfierwise. …

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