Overview

Project accounting has emerged as a specialist form of accounting.

Project accountants are part of a professional and skilled team which works to ensure project delivery.

They track, report and analyse the financial elements of projects. Specific duties include:

  • monitoring progress of projects
  • investigating variances of project costs
  • approving expenses
  • ensuring billing is up-to-date
  • producing project accounts and reports.

Entry and progression

With projects becoming more important across a range of sectors and industries, projects accountants work in:

  • corporates
  • public sector
  • financial services
  • shared service organisations. 

These sectors provide many entry points for those who wish to become a project accountant.

ACCA develops the skills and knowledge required by forward thinking professional accountants, including project accountants.

Exam options

For those who work as a project accountant, or aspire to be a project accountant, the most relevant exam options are:

Performance objectives

Remember it’s not just about exams. You need to have the right experience so that you are competent – you have the experience and knowledge – to start and continue your project accountant career.

Performance Objectives (PO) which would provide great experience and must be signed off as part of the Practical Experience Requirement (PER) could include:

Competencies

High level competencies required by project accountants include:

  • Leadership and Management

    A. Applies appropriate leadership strategies to effectively deliver business objectives.

    B. Leads, motivates and manages people to optimise performance and effectiveness.

    C. Collaborates, supports and works to achieve the objectives of the organisation, harnessing appropriate digital technologies.

    D. Acts proactively and thinks strategically, in anticipating organisational needs, recognising the wider business environment and dynamics.
     

  • Strategy, Technology and Innovation

    A. Applies business acumen and commercial awareness to deliver business objectives.

    B. Recommends a range of suitable strategic options from which to develop plans and objectives.

    C. Evaluates, justifies and implements suitable strategic options.

    D. Adopts and applies innovative methods and technologies to implement strategy and manages change.
     

  • Ethics and Professionalism

    A. Develops advanced ethical values and professional skills in the promotion of public interest and the profession.

    B. Demonstrates personal effectiveness in fast changing environments.

    C. Encourages innovative thinking within the context of professional scepticism.

    D. Thinks proactively about the future, applying professional judgement and commercial intelligence and seeks specialist input when needed.

    E. Communicates effectively and influences others.