Magazine article The CPA Journal

Are Project Management Credentials Worth It for CPAs?

Magazine article The CPA Journal

Are Project Management Credentials Worth It for CPAs?

Article excerpt

The complexity and rate of change in today's business environment requires businesses to manage multiple projects at all times. A study by the Project Management Institute (PMI) found that high-performing organizations across multiple industries successfully completed 89% of their projects, while low performers completed only 36% ("The High Cost of Low Performance," PMPs Pulse of the Profession, 2014, For companies who maybe low performers, this could represent significant costs and risks.

While many factors can contribute to project success, high-performing companies believe a scientific, structured approach to project management is one of the most influential. According to another PMI study, three out of every five respondent companies report that standardized project management practices are used throughout their organizations. Nearly 70% of those who use standardized practices base them on the PMI Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK) Guide ("Highlighting Key Trends in the Project Management Profession," PMPs Pulse of the Profession, 2010, A project manager can further refine understanding of the best practices taught in the PMBOK by obtaining a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.

However, PMP training and implementation requires an investment of time, effort, and money. Is it worth it for a CPA to pursue this credential?

PMI and PMP Overview

The PMP credential is offered by PMI, a not-for-profit professional membership association for the project, program, and portfolio management profession. Founded in 1969, there are over half a million PMI certification holders around the globe spanning every industry. PMI sets project management standards, oversees the project management body of knowledge, and administers the PMP designation (among other professional certifications).

PMP candidates are extensively trained and tested in each area of project management. This training provides PMPs with a precise and strong methodology that complements the CPA skillset. This methodology is based off of the PMBOK, developed by project managers for project managers. It begins with establishing the project foundation and then articulating and defining each project cycle, including planning, initiating, executing, monitoring and controlling, and concluding. This structure allows project managers to adapt to almost any situation, increasing success rates.

Cost and Time Commitment

A PMP certification requires both a monetary and time investment. Candidates are required to document at least three years of project management experience, with 4,500 hours leading and directing projects and 35 contact hours of project management education, as well as pass a comprehensive exam. …

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