What Does Project Management in Finance Do? (Plus Salary)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published June 3, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

The finance industry is a fast-paced environment with constant growth and development. Project managers play a vital role in this process by ensuring teams meet deadlines and complete projects on time and within the budget. Understanding a project manager's role in finance helps you determine if this is the right career path for you and how to take the necessary steps. In this article, we answer the question, what does project management in finance do, highlight the essential skills to succeed in this field, discuss the typical career path for project managers, and provide an example job description.

What does project management in finance do?

The answer to the question, "What does project management in finance do?" depends on the type of projects they manage. A project manager may be responsible for building a new financial product, implementing a new company-wide program, or optimizing a department's workflow. A project manager working in finance typically manages the day-to-day operations of assigned or self-managed projects.

This person coordinates with different teams to ensure they meet deadlines by utilizing various communication methods, such as email, phone calls, and in-person meetings. They develop and implement procedures and workflows to make sure the project remains on track. A project manager also monitors the availability of resources, problem-solves issues as they arise, and always maintains proper process documentation.

Key responsibilities of project managers in finance

Several key responsibilities that are common in finance project management include:

  • Developing and prioritizing the project timeline

  • Managing all assigned project team members

  • Ensuring teams complete work within the budgeted amount

  • Assembling reports to monitor progress and developing necessary solutions when problems arise

  • Providing updates on the status of the project and adjusting if necessary

  • Implementing action plans to avoid risky situations

  • Delegating tasks to personnel depending on their skill set to meet deadlines within budget

  • Negotiating with vendors, clients, and different departments

Important skills for a project manager in finance

There are several crucial skills that are important for finance project managers to possess. These include:

Organizational skills

Organizational skills help project managers develop a systematic process for projects while working with multiple teams. They are responsible for collating all necessary information and sharing it with the relevant people. For example, if a team member wants to know what supplies they require for a project, they can turn to the project manager instead of wasting time finding this information themselves. Strong organizational skills help project managers efficiently manage multiple projects while attending to daily operations.

Communication skills

It's essential that finance project managers have excellent communication skills. This can help them negotiate and collaborate with different teams and individuals, provide updates, and resolve issues. A project manager gathers information from these various sources and presents it in a way that everyone can understand. For example, a project manager may overcome a conflict between different teams and may do so effectively.

Time-management skills

Time-management skills are crucial for finance project managers to manage deadlines and coordinate the work of different teams. A project manager may determine critical milestones and the timeline for completion. For example, if a team member works with five vendors, the project manager's time-management skills can help everyone meet their deadlines.

Leadership skills

Good leadership skills are necessary for finance project managers, as their role involves managing others. It's important that they can communicate effectively to establish goals and motivate their teams by showing them the benefits of achieving these milestones. A project manager may elicit support from all parties involved while maintaining good morale. For example, if people aren't working well together on a project, the project manager can efficiently lead the team to cooperate and achieve the goal.

Technical skills

Technical skills can vary between industries, companies, and specific job roles. These skills help project managers efficiently manage different tasks and projects within a company. For example, a project manager may coordinate with finance teams to determine the revenue-generating areas of the business and how to maximize these profits.

Mathematical skills

Mathematical skills differ between job roles and projects. Strong mathematical skills help project managers create project budgets and ensure teams stay within these limits. For example, a project manager may work with different departments to determine the resources required to meet deadlines and stay within the budget guidelines. These skills also help project managers determine the project areas that need more funding and the ones to focus their attention on.

Related: A Guide to Finance Skills: Definition and Examples

Problem-solving skills

It's useful for finance project managers to be good problem solvers, as they are often tasked with resolving unique challenges that can arise. For example, a project manager may be the one to address a conflict between two team members or determine the key areas for increasing revenue. Strong problem-solving skills help project managers make quick decisions and remain calm when dealing with difficult situations.

Negotiation skills

Negotiation skills can vary depending on the specific job or situation. These skills help finance project managers negotiate with different companies, such as vendors or suppliers. For example, a project manager may receive funding from a specific source and determine which agreements they can follow. Negotiation skills are crucial for working with different teams or companies when each may have its own priorities that may conflict with the project manager's goals.

Attention to detail

Finance project managers require good attention to detail so they can follow through on all the tasks given to them. It also helps them ensure their work is always accurate. For example, a project manager may track company milestones and deadlines or analyze budgets with management to ensure they can meet these goals.

How to become a project manager in finance

Several steps are necessary to become a project manager in the finance sector:

1. Earn a bachelor's degree

Finance project managers typically require a bachelor's degree. A finance- or business-focused degree can be useful for these roles as they provide you with the relevant skills for this position. For example, you can complete courses in financial accounting and budgeting, which can be very useful for this specific role.

Related: How Much Do Finance Majors Make? (With Examples and Salaries)

2. Get experience working at an organization

Finance project managers can increase their knowledge and experience by working in a business. This allows them to learn more about how a company works, gain valuable skills and increase their contacts within the industry. For example, you can work at a retail store to learn more about budgets, internal communications and how to prioritize different projects.

Related: 7 Examples of Finance Interview Questions (With Tips)

3. Gain additional certifications

Additional certifications can help finance project managers stand out from the competition. For example, certification such as Project Management Professionals (PMP) allows you to enhance your knowledge and expertise in this field. This can help you get a better position or increase your current salary.

4. Network with others

Finance project managers often find networking with others extremely useful. You can do this in person through conferences and other events or online using social media websites. For example, you can connect with people in the industry on social networks and ask them for advice. Networking allows you to gain more contacts, which may help you get a better job or advance your career.

5. Keep up with technology

It's important for finance project managers to stay up to date with technology. For example, you may use financial software programs to efficiently forecast different projects and budgets. Advancing your knowledge of financial software programs may help you obtain a better job with increased responsibilities.

6. Continue to learn new skills

It's essential for finance project managers to continue learning new skills. For example, you can enrol for courses outside of the workplace on time management or leadership to help improve your skills and advance your career. Learning new skills can make you more valuable to an employer, which might result in a higher salary or better position.

The average salary of project managers in finance

Most finance project managers work full-time hours. The average salary for this job is $64,148 per year or $39.13 per hour. The salary may vary depending on the company that the individual works for, their experience and location of work.

Example job description for a project manager in finance

Here's an example of a job description for a project manager in finance:

ABC Inc. is looking for a project manager in finance to be responsible for managing, planning, and organizing different projects within the company. The individual may have a bachelor's degree and at least five years of experience in financial accounting or finance. They may also have active certifications such as PMP to show their expertise in the industry. The individual may also have excellent communication skills, be able to work well with others, and attend meetings on time.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organization and a candidate's experience, academic background, and location.

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