Accountancy & Financial Management

Corporate Treasury

Ensure that companies have enough cash to spend on immediate necessities and short-term priorities.
Jevitha Muthusamy
Editorial Writer
Corporate Treasury

Liquidity is an important part of any business’s financial health. A company or organisation could be forced to closed down if it doesn’t have enough cash or liquid assets to pay for short-term or immediate expenses and overheads. 

For large businesses with huge volumes of transactions and short-term financial obligations each week or each month, ensuring that the business has sufficient liquidity at any point in time can be a very complex undertaking. This is where the work of a corporate treasury department comes in.

Corporate treasurers are responsible for overseeing a company's liquid financial resources, ensuring optimal cash management, steady access to streams of liquid assets, and mitigating potential financial risks to the value of those liquid assets.

Corporate treasury work involves tasks such as cash flow management and customer credit control, securing short-term business loans or credit facilities, or stockpiling foreign currency reserves while hedging against potential foreign exchange losses. They play a vital role in guaranteeing sufficient liquidity, managing the company’s relationships with banks, monitoring financial market movements, and developing strategies to maximise a business’s short-term financial security. 

Career Pathways 

To advance in a career as a corporate treasurer, you will need specialised qualifications alongside the typical bachelor's degree in accounting, finance, or a related field. Professional accounting bodies like ACCA do offer sub-specialisations in corporate treasury. But you can also pursue other dedicated qualifications like the internationally-recognised Certified Treasury Professional (CTP) certification. 

Graduates working towards professional qualifications usually begin their journey as treasury analysts or assistant treasury officers. These roles involve supporting the treasury team in day-to-day operations, such as cash management, bank account reconciliations, and maintaining financial records.

After qualification, graduates can progress to roles such as treasury operations officer or treasury manager. At this point, you will take a more active hand in managing business liquidity, including tasks like cash flow forecasting, securing funding or loan facilities from banks or investors, and setting financial controls in place to regulate financial inflows and outflows. 

With further experience and expertise, you will find yourself taking on additional tasks such as longer-term strategic financial planning, investment management, hedging strategies, and optimising the company's overall financial position.

Corporate treasury staff typically collaborate closely with senior management, given how core liquidity management is to the continued survival of a business. You can expect to work directly with senior management executives in monitoring the ongoing financial situation. Cultivating good relationships with internal stakeholders will be just as important to your work as managing external debtors and creditors.  

As a perk, working in this field will give you a broad overview of the inner workings of business organisations and the various industries they operate in. This is a necessary line of work that has remained largely unchanged over the years regardless of which industry you work in. So it can offer you plenty of flexibility in terms of potential employers over the course of your career.

Required Skills 

Strong financial acumen and awareness of market movements is a must. Aside from having a good  understanding of financial analysis, forecasting, and budgeting, you must be constantly aware of external factors like changes to interest rates, new loan schemes, or fluctuations in foreign exchange rates.

Good time management and the ability to perform under pressure is crucial as well. You can be expected to secure and move substantial amounts of money around under tight deadlines and close scrutiny from senior management. Being able to keep a cool head while planning your next move in advance will go a long way in ensuring you get things done. 

Corporate treasurers must also have excellent analytical abilities to review financial data, evaluate a business’s financial health, and make data-driven recommendations. Effective communication skills are also essential for building relationships and negotiating with internal and external stakeholders, as well as conveying complex time-sensitive financial information internally.

Lastly, strong problem-solving and decision-making skills are vital. The ability to assess risks, solve financial challenges, and make strategic decisions is critical for corporate treasurers. They must think critically, weigh alternatives, and adapt their strategies based on changing market conditions.