CPAs, PDCA, and Financial Project Management



By Regina Parks

Texas, USA


Total Quality Management is defined by ISO as a management approach centered on quality and based on the participation of an organizations people and aiming at long term success (ISO 8402:1994). In thinking of all of the quality processes or actions which have been developed in the last few years, there is one which I have found the most interesting. It is interesting because it is a series of simple tasks which lead to big results if followed closely. The process is the known as the PDCA cycle. PDCA stands for Plan, Do, Check and Act. Plan means to design the business process components in order to improve the results of the task (Averson, 1998). Do implements the plan and measures the performance (Averson, 1998). Check assesses the measurements and reports the results to upper management or any project decision makers (Averson, 1998). The final component is act which is the process of deciding on all changes which are needed to improve the project processes (Averson, 1998).

When it comes to quality management, it is important to realize one of the main focus is to “improve the processes” of the projects. It is meant to drive success and deliver a high quality product or service (the deliverable). The PDCA process takes the fundamental requirements and places them in a logical sequence. These are everyday tasks which must be completed in order to accomplish quality regardless of the old or new process. For instance, Six Sigma is a process which incorporates the concept of everyone working together at all levels. PDCA entails the same thing. Six Sigma is a process of “combine the process with the people” and then to foster results. The same holds true for PDCA. Obtaining quality is a process of taking simple steps and performing those steps in an organized manner at the best of the employee’s or organization’s ability with one goal: deliver a quality product or service. There are issues in financial project management with can hinder the success of PDCA.

There is the argument which states more financial-based projects would be successful if a CPA was used as the project manager as opposed to an IT professional (Johnson, 2016). The reason for this theory is simple. CPAs know the nuances of finance and can determine what is business intelligence faster and more accurately then someone who does not have the training in finance or accounting. There is also the factor of finance regulatory needs which must be present in all financial projects.

Financial reconciliation, financial and managerial reporting, and implementation of robotic process automation are factors which can and should be determined by a CPA or a seasoned financial database analyst on projects involving financial data. When financial professionals are not included in the project management process where manipulation of financial data is the scope of the project, this does not fit into the PDCA frame. Planning is often times not done in an effective manner resulting in scope creep, split projects, delays, or cancellations.


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How to cite this article: Parks, R. (2018). CPAs, PDCA, and Financial Project Management, PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue 5 – July. Available online at: https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/pmwj72-Jul2018-Parks-cpas-pdca-and-financial-project-management-commentary.pdf

About the Author

Regina D. Parks

Texas, USA




Regina D. Parks (Exec. MBA, Doctoral Student, Mom) has a varied work background. She has worked as a Mental Health Case Worker, Teacher, Retail Manager, and Financial Analyst. Currently, she is working as a Data Governess for financial databases and metadata catalogs. Her undergraduate degree is in Psychology. She also holds an Executive Master’s Degree in Business Administration, and is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Management with a concentration in Project Management. She lives in Texas and has a 14 year old son who is in his sophomore year in a dual credit program earning his High School diploma and Associate Degree. Regina can be contacted at [email protected].