Corporate treasurers work within the heart of an organisation, ensuring that it has enough cash to meet any demands that are likely to be made upon it. This involves monitoring liquidity in the company’s finances and being aware of any developments in the business that generate risk and ensuring that capital is available to cover these.
Treasurers are also responsible for maintaining relationships between their own business and any others providing financial services to it, such as banks. They also take a role in raising any new funding for the business, ensuring that firm financial controls are present to guarantee financial security. Because these functions are absolutely core to the success of the business, staff working in corporate treasury will often be dealing directly with senior management in monitoring the financial situation – this, coupled with the fact that substantial sums of money can be involved, can generate a lot of pressure.
New controls over the banking sector are being implemented to ensure that some of the worst effects of the turmoil that enveloped the world’s banking system in 2008 can be mitigated in future. Treasurers need to stay well informed to ensure that they can manage their organisations’ funds in the best possible way under the new proposals.
Further qualifications organised by the Association of Corporate Treasurers (ACT) are necessary to work and progress in this field. Graduates typically start work in a more general financial role at a company and work on these qualifications on a part-time basis. Once qualified, they then move into a more specialised role within corporate treasury. The role can vary over time, depending on what the business is currently involved in but typical duties for a new starter would include managing cash and providing other areas of the business with financial advice.
To work in corporate treasury you’ll need a good understanding of business and economics, excellent analytical skills and an ability to work well under pressure.