In any profession, keeping on top of the latest technologies, tools, skills and ideas is crucial for anyone looking to climb the ladder and scoop the best roles. But with corporate treasury job descriptions changing all the time, this is more important than ever.
“The role of the treasurer has shifted from being primarily the bill payer, the banker, the financier to being a really integral part of decision-making at the company, a real value contributor. And that value comes in a lot of shapes and a lot of forms. It could be that a treasurer is walking down the hall to procurement, bringing treasury skills to decisions around the supply chain and commodity exposures and those kinds of risks…Some treasurers are getting involved in pricing and showing the business units how to decide whether to sell in the local currency. If you’re up against local competition and you’re from another country and another cost base, you can’t sell in dollars when everybody else is selling in the local currency. The business unit needs to be able to look at the supply chain and how it feeds pricing and how it feeds risk—and treasury is in the perfect position to help with that.”Bob Baldoni, Ernst & Young
That’s a pretty wide remit, right?
If you’re looking to upgrade your skills and take your treasury career to the next level, choosing the right kind of formal training can make all the difference. But how do you know what course is best for you?
First, of course, you’ll want to know that the course provider is worth listening to. What are their credentials? Who will actually be training you? Do they have extensive, preferably current and ongoing, experience in a high functioning, international treasury?
Do they understand the changing role and potential of treasury technology as well as traditional approaches and strategies?
Among the best respected options are the Association of Corporate Treasurers (ACT) in London, global corporate finance organisation Euromoney, London Corporate Training, the International Faculty of Finance and SINGFIN in Singapore.
And then, of course, you need to ask yourself what kind of training you need – which skills you need to work on.
Of course, this depends on what stage you’re at in your career. Are you an experienced treasurer or corporate finance professional looking to improve, or someone who is bringing experience from another area across to treasury?
But ultimately, the training you choose comes down to a combination of a) the specialisms that your company and industry demand, b) your company’s broader goals for the coming years and c) the kind of role you envision having in your organisation.
Do you want to play a greater role in shaping commercial strategy, for example, in the spread of investments your company is making and their long term plans for growth? Or to take a more analytical approach to hedging and risk management? Perhaps you have specific skill gaps you’re looking to address relating to foreign exchange exposure or interest rate risk? Are you trying to get your head around changes or maybe you’re just looking for smart new ways to manage your company’s portfolio and could do with fresh ideas to help boost performance?
If it’s a particular niche you’re concerned with, there are dozens of intensive courses to choose between, ranging from a day or two to a couple of weeks in length. However, bear in mind that you will get far more out of the training if you can demonstrate to your boss in broader terms how these skills are going to make and/or save them money. Understanding and explaining how this will fit into the bigger picture and drive forward your CEO’s corporate objectives is essential.
For instance, ACT offers two-day classroom-based courses in areas including Advanced Cash Management.
The first of these covers practical, targeted training in things like treasury centralisation, dealing with multi-currency environments and targeted training in liquidity management techniques such as notional pooling, as well as in-depth explanations of how changes to the industry, particularly SEPA and ISP2022, and new regulations like the Payment Services Directive II will change the way you do business.
Crucially, it also covers more general strategic skills like improving efficiency in your account structures, while introducing you to up-and-coming developments in the FinTech industry. These help you to deliver measurable value in your organisation and keep your finger on the pulse when it comes to selecting new systems and technologies to streamline your treasury.
Insights like these could prove priceless as you look to safeguard your value in an ever-evolving professional landscape.
Alternatively, you could opt for a course that is structured around applying theoretical ideas in real world contexts. ACT’s 2-day course in Auditing the Treasury Function is a great example of this, teaching you how to plan risk-based treasury audits effectively to improve financial performances, spot warning signs and implement best practices. It also analyses the disaster management strategies used by Barings, Societe Generale and UBS to highlight recurring problems.
And it breaks down the features and tools offered by treasury management systems in order to streamline the audit process and manage the audit trail. This includes a discussion of security violations and cyber fraud, disaster recovery and business continuity, and an explanation of key interfaces, capacity and capability.
Or you could look at Euromoney’s global range of courses, which cover aspects like Liquidity Risk Management, Global Treasury Treasury Management; Controlling Cash and Risk, and FX & Money Markets. The latter covers the key activities, instruments and fundamental mechanics of international FX and money markets and aims to help you navigate an increasingly complex and fast changing market, manage diversity liquidity sources and explore strategies for investment, trading and funding.
Euromoney also offers a very interesting four-day Treasury Products Workshop, which gives you an excellent overview of what’s available and how this can benefit your company. It also helps you navigate market jargon and terminology, product price points and marketing strategies.
Alternatively, if you’re shifting to treasury from another field, something along the lines of the New York Institute of Finance’s (NYIF) more generalised, 44-hour online Certificate in Corporate Treasury Management can provide a very useful introduction, especially if you’re focussing on the US corporate accounting world.
It covers essential treasury analytics and the essentials of treasury management, including yield curve analysis, Base Point Value, convexity and risk management, as well as long term and short term financing, money and capital markets, interest rate futures and FX exposure. But it also places these issues in a real world context, looking at the activities in the corporate treasuries of organisations like Sumitomo, Proctor & Gamble, Lufthansa and Allied Irish Banks.
However, for something far more in-depth, take a look at ACT’s Certificate in Treasury and Diploma in Treasury Management. You need to complete the certificate before you can start the diploma, which covers corporate finance for treasury, risk management, the role of the treasury manager, working capital and trade finance, and financial reporting, tax and regulation for treasury.
Similar options to this include London Corporate Training’s week long Treasury Management course, which focuses on measuring and managing fraud reduction, and reporting on this externally and internally. It also means you’ll be fully compliance with Basel 2 and IFRS legislation.
Euromoney also offers an excellent Treasury Management Academy, which is aimed at professionals that already work in treasury or corporate finance and want to upgrade their skills, rather than those who are moving into the sector from a related field.
This focuses on treasury strategy, drawing together a number of different elements, tools and considerations to help you harness the untapped potential of treasury in your organisation and support your CEO and CFO’s longer term ambitions.
It gives a deep level view of how financial systems and products operate and the kinds of strategies that corporate finance professionals can use to make the most of these as well as to manage risk. In particular, it looks at some of the more complicated derivative products available, how these work, their implications on your balance sheet and for your regulatory obligations, and how you can maximise returns within a given timeframe.
These are just some of the options out there – you’ll need to do your research to find the perfect solution. But just make sure you keep in mind that this isn’t about learning something treasury-related just because you think you should. It’s about figuring out what your organisation is trying to achieve and how you want to help them achieve it, then finding the best set of tools to make that a reality.
Want to learn more about how the right combination of skills and treasury software can fuel your career? Click here to download your FREE eBook!