January 2021


Raluca Serbu, Group Banking Manager at IPF plc tells us how ACT qualifications have helped her boost her online business profile.

What does your current role entail?

In my current role, I am dealing with risks, cash and funding management across IPF markets. I am fully responsible for funding facilities in Romania, Czech Republic, Mexico and Digital markets. I manage cash in the most effective manner around IPF Group and have full ownership on treasury policies and how they are implemented and reported.


How did you end up in a career in finance?

The start of my career in treasury was in April 2001 when I accepted the position of Treasury Responsible replacing, for a limited period, one of my colleagues who went on maternity leave. At that time I was working as an accountant (I graduated from the Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest) and I had no idea what treasury was about. I remember that I was reading for long hours after coming home from work, doing my best to understand it. The more I read, the more convinced I was that treasury was what I wanted to do for the rest of my professional life.


Why did you take this ACT qualification? What was your main objective?

I am a very ambitious person, focused on personal and professional development. ACT qualification was a natural choice for me, offering plenty of challenges but also opportunities to enhance knowledge and improve my understanding of treasury. I had two main objectives when I decided to start the journey with ACT: gaining additional knowledge and becoming part of an well-established professional community.


Which specific areas of your job role will this qualification support?

The qualification will support three main areas I am dealing with: risks, cash and funding management.


Are there particular areas of treasury/finance that this qualification helped you understand even better?

Yes, it helped me to better understand tax implications for various transactions and some specific of working capital management. I remember that during the exam preparations there were different ideas that came to my mind regarding how I could apply some theory in my current role.

It also helped me to understand the importance of cooperation with internal stakeholders and the importance of increased exposure both inside and outside the company I work for.


What are the benefits of having professional qualifications to add to your CV/résumé?

I obtained the ACT Associate Membership at the beginning of December 2020 and the first thing that I have done was to add the 'AMCT' designatory letters on my LinkedIn profile. Since then, I received many requests for new connections and my profile appeared in more searches than before.


Do you hold any other professional qualifications? 

Yes, I am also a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). The two qualifications gave me the ability to understand all implications of different transactions and activities performed:  accounting, tax, regulatory, risks, operational.


What happens next in your career and how has this qualification helped? 

I aim for the position of Treasury Manager and I am sure that the new ACT qualification will help me in getting where I want to be.


How was your experience studying through ACT Learning? 

I had a very good experience studying through ACT Learning: I appreciate the quality of information, the content of course notes and other supporting materials. I did not take a one-to-one coaching sessions, but I used intensively past exams information which helped me to understand how I needed to approach each exam and how I should structure my answers.


How has your ACT membership been of benefit to you? 

Membership gave me access to more technical information than before (ACT website, magazines, blogs, forums) and helped increasing exposure.