The Power of Treasury Qualifications

Being successful in treasury can look different for everyone and becoming qualified is not as straightforward as you might think. The technical skills required to become a trusted expert in the field are tenfold. It isn’t a monolithic concept; it’s multifaceted, with countless specialties and intricacies.

Despite the technical complexity of the function, you might be surprised to learn that there is no dedicated degree programme that covers treasury as a profession or job function. Having an analytical mindset is a common attribute among treasurers and something that is often sharpened through academia, although not always. Many earn A-levels or university degrees with subjects rooted in mathematics. 

These fields equip individuals with valuable skills that help lay the foundations for a successful career in treasury but they won’t delve into the technicalities involved in the function.

As the treasury function permeates all areas of business as a fundamental component of financial stability and company success, the career possibilities are vast, offering opportunities to work in almost any sector and with any organisation.

How do you become qualified?

The Association of Corporate Treasurers (ACT), founded in 1979, stands as the world’s leading provider of treasury qualifications. Other countries outside the UK offer treasury qualifications as well; however, the ACT is one of the few internationally recognised. Depending on where you’re studying, the ACT is also a member of the European Association of Corporate Treasurers (EACT) and the International Group of Treasury Associations (IGTA), an association created in response to the globalisation of the treasury profession. These associations aim to strengthen the bonds among corporate treasurers and financiers at national and global levels.

The ACT offers a wide range of courses, from beginner to fellowship certifications. Let’s take a look at what your options are:

  • Certificate in Treasury Fundamentals (CertTF)
    Tailored to those new to treasury, this course serves as an introductory gateway to the worlds of treasury, corporate finance, and financial markets.
  • Certificate in Treasury (CertT)
    Ideal for individuals in the early stages of their career, the course emphasises operational activities with a specific focus on cash and liquidity management, corporate finance, and risk management.
  • Award in Cash Management (AwardICM)
    This qualification focuses on international cash management, making it ideal for people involved in multinational business operations. It will enhance your knowledge of the tools and techniques required to best serve treasury departments that handle multiple currencies.
  • Certificate in Cash Management (CertICM)
    A comprehensive understanding of international cash management, this certificate encompasses the significance and influence of the function and its best practices. This certificate delves into risk management, governance, compliance, ethics, accounting, tax, and regulation on both a domestic and international scale.
  • Diploma in Treasury Management (AMCT)
    Designed for those already well-versed in key treasury principles, this qualification is essential to accessing senior treasury opportunities, equipping you with in-depth technical skills and insights, and solidifying your reputation as a trusted treasury authority. It covers essential areas of treasury, including corporate finance, risk management, financial reporting, working capital, and trade finance.
  • Advanced Diploma in Treasury Management (MCT)
    The advanced diploma is a Master’s level specialist qualification offering a comprehensive perspective on financial and commercial challenges in business, bolstering your strategic capabilities in treasury, finance, and commercial operations. This qualification opens doors to elite treasury opportunities.
Getting your Treasury professional qualifications: 

All ACT assessments are delivered online, so it is entirely up to you when and where you complete your qualification. Here are a few things to know ahead of time…

  • Make it official
    To access the ACT training material and assessments, you first have to become a member. This requires you to pay a registration fee. Your membership will give you access to course material, qualifications, and assessments; it will also connect you with a community of like-minded people and provide you access to wider resources, networking events, and tools to help you develop your career at every level.
  • The student becomes the teacher
    You will be provided with a PDF (you can also buy these materials online) and will be given a designated amount of studying to complete before sitting your exams or undergoing assessments.
  • Extra Resources
    You can buy extra materials and access practice exams to help with your studies.
  • In-person learning
    You’ll have the option of 121 lessons with a tutor at an additional cost.
The importance of Treasury Certificates:

You’re probably thinking, ‘why should I pursue an ACT qualification?’

First and foremost, these qualifications elevate and enhance your understanding of the intricacies of the treasury function. It provides you with a comprehensive grasp of the tools, products, techniques, and best practices essential for becoming a successful treasurer.

While not immediately necessary when starting out your career, these certifications become increasingly valuable. They can serve as tangible proof of your readiness and ability to perform, allowing you to climb the corporate ladder and progress in your career.

Although candidates with the skills and who are qualified through experience will also possess many of the necessary skills required in treasury, one thing to consider is contemporary recruitment practices. They often rely on AI processes for shortlisting. Algorithms will analyse keywords and phrases in candidate profiles before human review. Without the specified acronyms in your credentials or CV, you may miss the opportunity to showcase your qualifications and suitability for the role.

Course management

As many of you are already aware, a big part of working in treasury involves cash management. So let’s talk about how much these qualifications will cost you… 

Certificates, study materials, assessments, and exams all come at a price. However, the amount will vary depending on the qualification you choose, so it’s essential that you plan accordingly.

Before reaching for your credit card, there may be a few options you’d like to consider. 

Sponsorship : Some organisations offer support to their employers looking to pursue a certification. The value of a strong, efficient, and competent team is not something many take for granted. Asking for financial support can be daunting, but your employer will be happy to hear you’re looking to develop your skill set, and if you can demonstrate the benefits to both you and the business, they’ll often be willing to help.
Bursaries :  The ACT Educational Trust looks to promote the treasury profession as a career path by offering financial support to students who are less able to fund or gain sponsorship for their studies. Once you’ve signed up to the ACT, you will also be entitled to discounts on courses and study materials.

Something to keep in mind when obtaining sponsorship from an employer are the conditions surrounding your sponsorship. One of the fundamental rules of business, as we all know, is ROI. If they’re willing to invest in your development, they’ll most likely expect a return on their investment. There may be an expectation for you to stay with the company for a specified time post-certification. If you decide to leave before fulfilling this commitment, you may be asked to pay back the money invested in your qualification.

You can find a detailed breakdown of costs, syllabus, and study materials for each certificate on the ACT website.

Treasury certifications offer you a gateway to mastering the complexities of treasury, enhancing your career, and demonstrating your commitment to this essential field. They not only enrich your understanding but also equip you with the tools and knowledge to excel as a trusted expert in the world of treasury. Whether you’re at the start of your journey or looking to climb the corporate ladder, these certifications are your key to success in the treasury realm.

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