There are three types of treasuries with which you’re likely familiar. The first, the United States Treasury, collects your income taxes every year. This isn’t that kind of treasury. Scrooge McDuck or Smaug, last of the Great Dragons, control the second type of treasury. This isn’t that, either. No, this is a story about corporate treasuries and the professionals who master them. Fewer dragons, but far more opportunity for career advancement.
What is a Certified Treasury Professional (CTP)?
The certified treasury professional is a certification granted to financial professionals who help businesses manage and operate their corporate treasuries. This is a credential that focuses more than anything else on cash and capital management. The CTP works to oversee the cash flow of a company, its credits and liabilities (capital out) as well as its debits and assets (capital in).
Managing a corporate treasury involves accounting, but with a different emphasis than many other financial fields. Unlike financial planners, a certified treasury professional works less with the long term financial outlook or investment strategy of a company than with its present value. Unlike accountants, a certified treasury professional does relatively little tax planning. This is not to say that the CTP doesn’t play a role in these fields, but they aren’t the profession’s emphasis. Instead, the CTP tends to focus on issues such as:
- Managing the company’s cash holdings.
- Assessing the value of corporate assets.
- Collection of outstanding debts.
- Payment of outstanding debts owed.
- Reconciliation of outgoing and incoming ledgers.
- Cash flow and financial forecasts.
- Documenting the company’s financial position
For a small business this role is often handled by a bookkeeper, someone with limited (if any) financial experience. This is possible when a company has relatively few or relatively small daily transactions, and when its legal obligations are minor. In a large company and, especially, in a publicly traded one the role of treasury oversight grows significantly. Simply complying with the regulatory duties of a publicly traded company demands substantial financial documentation. Maintaining the records of a company with substantial daily transactions is a complex and demanding task.
As a result, there are people who specialize in it.
How to Become a CTP
The CTP designation is awarded by the Association of Financial Professionals. It requires the following prerequisites:
- Two years relevant work experience or one year relevant work experience and at least a master’s degree in a related field;
- Take and pass the CTP exam;
- Continuing education of 36 credits every three years.
The certified treasury professional exam focuses on five areas:
- The function and role of a corporate treasury;
- Cash and liquidity management;
- Working capital management;
- Capital markets and funding;
- Treasury operations and controls.
The Association of Financial Professionals does offer one exception to its requirements. It waives its requirement of a masters-level degree if the candidate has at least two years of teaching experience at the college level in a related field.
However, it doesn’t waive exam fees. For members of the Association of Financial Professionals, the exam fee is $875 for early registration and $975 at the final deadline. Meanwhile, the corresponding $1,270 and $1,370 exam fees for non-members includes a one-year membership in the AFP. Study materials can cost between $155 ($255 for non-members) for just the essentials or $760 ($860) for the more comprehensive Treasury Learning System. If you have to retake the exam, the cost is $250.
Why Become A CTP?
Corporate treasury management grows more complicated every year, and it isn’t just an issue of government oversight. While taxation and regulatory compliance certainly demand their share of expertise, there’s also the global nature of modern business.
Treasury officers now have to oversee global transactions happening daily, passing through multiple currencies and as many banking regimes in the process. This requires skill, and that skill is in demand.
Financial professionals who want to grow their career can do so by earning a CTP. It has been linked with a 16% earning bump (although that statistic comes courtesy of the Association of Financial Professionals), and is a well-recognized mark of accomplishment.
A certified treasury professional can help businesses manage and operate their corporate treasuries. It’s a job that emphasizes cash and capital management, with a CTP keeping a close eye on company cash flow.
As corporate treasury management grows more complex, a CTP is in ever-greater demand. Though the CTP certification may earn you a pay raise, it is more likely to offer additional job security by assuring future employers you can keep their books in line.
Tips For Your Own Treasury
- Need a version of a CTP for your personal finances? An advisor can fill that role for you. Finding the right financial advisor that fits your needs doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that will help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
- Interested in giving out smart, sound financial advice? Try checking out the career path to becoming a financial advisor to figure out if this is the right fit for you.
- Don’t sit around in your job unless you absolutely love it. The CTP can be a great step forward for the right career, but finding the right market is critical. If you’re ready to advance, check out these top 10 cities for doing so.
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