What is Treasury and what does a Treasurer do?Updated on October 12, 2018 // Created on August 7, 2014
Treasury in a company is key in determining the firm’s financial strategy and financial policy – advising on what businesses to invest in, organising the appropriate funding for this, and controlling the risk in the organisation.
"A career in treasury allows you to work in the heart of the company...there are so many elements to a treasury role; you’ll be able to gain experience in various disciplines and never get bored" Tarryn Van Wijk, Treasury Manager, Virgin Management Ltd
What does a treasury career involve?
Corporate treasury is a profession built on the foundation of a number of financial disciplines, all of which are not only vital in their own right but also support and complement each other. The principal tasks of a treasurer are broadly defined under five core treasury elements.
1. Capital Markets and Funding
Capital markets and funding covers all the different techniques and sources for raising funding to finance the business, from bank debt to equity finance.
2. Cash and Liquidity Management
Cash and liquidity management is about forecasting the company’s cash needs to run its businesses and then managing the group wide cashflows, short-term borrowings and cash in the most efficient manner to ensure that those cash needs can be met.
3. Corporate Financial Management
Corporate financial management is all about ensuring that the financial activities of a company fit with the organisation’s business strategy.
4. Risk Management
Risk management is about understanding what business and financial risks the company is exposed to and considering whether the returns generated are sufficient to justify taking those risks.
5. Treasury Operations and Controls
Treasury operations and controls looks at the running of a treasury function, taking in its overall policies, the procedures, staffing, systems and controls, and the relationships with parties within and outside the group.
These elements are also areas in which you may specialise and progress your career.
Many companies or organisations will have an employee with the title Treasurer, in much the same way as they may have a Company Secretary or a Financial Controller. Even where no dedicated role exists, someone in the organisation will almost certainly be undertaking the role as a part of their job.
In a company which consists of a large group of international businesses, a treasurer’s role becomes broader, for instance managing centralised treasury operations for the group’s subsidiaries worldwide. In some companies treasurers also have a more general responsibility for risk management. This can include management of the insurance function and sometimes management of a company’s obligations with respect to tax and relationships with the relevant tax authorities. Some treasurers also take part responsibility for the company’s risks arising from pension funds of which it is the sponsor and are also available to help scheme trustees understand some of the issues they have to deal with.
A professional association can help you on your way
The Association of Corporate Treasurers (ACT) is the authentic voice of the treasury profession; educating, supporting and leading the treasurers of today and tomorrow.
From qualifications through to Continued Professional Development, ACT enables and supports treasury professionals throughout their careers by:
- providing clear treasury leadership and a trusted dynamic global network of experts
- raising the profile of the profession, growing its influence and championing its success
- having high-level real economy influence with policy makers and regulators
You can learn more about Treasury qualifications in our other article.
Discover the Association of Corporate Treasurers' Qualifications at LaimoonTreasury Qualifications