This article is a guide to qualifications both for budding treasurers and those already working in treasury or related fields who want to progress. It also references additional useful guides and tools at the end.
Why should I study for treasury qualifications?
People report different reasons including:
- getting a first job in treasury
- progressing with your current employer
- moving to a role with an even better employer
- delivering higher value services for your employer or clients
- keeping up to date with market developments
- personal interest and growth.
"The main objective was to intertwine my treasury experience with a reputable qualification that supports my career progression, sharpens my knowledge, and helps me stand out from the crowd."
- Muhannad Abdeljawad CertICM AwardCMF ICA, Director, HSBC
Must I have a treasury qualification?
Not necessarily. But most people learn more effectively and progress faster by studying for professional qualifications.
Evidence hard & soft skills
"Adding an ACT qualification to the CV helps to gain visibility among treasury professionals. It opens the door to many opportunities since treasurer roles require more and more certified highly skilled professionals that have both hard and soft skills."
- Enrico Toto CertT CertTF, Senior Treasury Analyst, Ralph Lauren
But I have loads of financial experience. Surely this is enough?
Qualifications can make all the difference to getting the right role. Experience is also very important of course. But treasury is dynamic and constantly evolving. In a highly competitive market, professional qualifications give you an edge.
"I had nearly 14 years of experience, which covered all areas of treasury. However, I felt that a relevant qualification was a mandatory requirement to differentiate me from others and enhance my career."
- Saima Jamil CTP CertTF MBA, Manager Treasury & Finance, Trans World Associates
Meeting and studying with a wide range of people can bring its own rewards. Going through the process of learning together can create powerful bonding experiences and networking opportunities.
"Studying through ACT learning has been an extremely positive experience… the possibility to interface with fellow students and mentors through the online forum has been helpful to clarify any doubt during the studying and learning time."
- Enrico Toto CertTF, Treasury Analyst, Ralph Lauren
I already have academic degrees and practical experience. Why should I take a treasury qualification?
Good question. Many academic degrees approach their subject from a purely theoretical standpoint. An up-to-date treasury qualification is more practical and contextualises and applies knowledge to current, and future, work. Similar logic applies to your past experience, as the qualification provides a framework into which you can place - and then link - your past experience to current problems and opportunities.
Glue experience to education
"The ACT Diploma in Treasury Management has really helped me glue all of my previous experience and education together and build a more complete picture of the role of treasury within an organisation."
- Andrew Smith MBA FCT CTP, Vice President, JP Morgan
But I have an accountancy qualification, isn't that enough?
Many treasurers and accountants are dual qualified. In the closely linked fields of accounting and finance, the ACT’s strategic finance perspective complements accounting qualifications and provides a springboard to further your career. Accountants also receive exemptions from some of our qualifications and units, which allows you to qualify faster.
"I am also a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). The two qualifications gave me the ability to understand all the implications of different transactions and activities: accounting, tax, regulatory, risks and operational."
- Raluca Serbu ACCA AMCT, Treasury Manager, IPF Plc
How do I choose the right treasury qualification for me?
Selecting the right qualification can be a difficult process. The ACT’s Competency Framework can help you navigate the skills and capabilities needed by today’s treasury professionals to help you make the right decision. The Competency Framework is mapped by job level, which can help you identify the competencies that are expected at different stages of your treasury career.
ACT’s internationally recognised qualifications are available from entry to masters-level, to help you advance at any stage of your career. Each qualification has been created to provide you with the knowledge and skills to successfully perform in your role at a tactical, operational, managerial or strategic level, as identified in the ACT Competency Framework.
The ACT offers two qualifications pathways, Treasury and Cash Management:
- Tactical: Certificate in Treasury Fundamentals
- Operational: Certificate in Treasury
- Managerial: Diploma in Treasury Management
- Strategic: Advanced Diploma in Treasury Management.
- Tactical: Award in International Cash Management
- Operational: Certificate in International Cash Management.
If you are already a qualified treasurer an annual review of your current qualifications is a good idea. Think about what qualifications or area of expertise you still need to pursue. Assess the evolving direction of your career and adapt to changes in your circumstances. Consider how to incorporate any additional learning into your current timetable and commitments. Can you delegate, defer or dump anything?
Variety in the financial landscape
Treasurers work in many different specialisms. Indeed, many treasurers have responsibilities in more than one financial area. It is well worth investigating a range of financial courses which may complement and enhance your treasury experience and qualifications.
"I completed my CFA Institute Investment Foundation last year. The knowledge I’d gained from the ACT's CertTF complemented my knowledge of corporate finance and economics. "
- Tunmise Oyedepo CertTF, Structured Products, FBNQuest
What can I do to draw up a study strategy for my qualification?
Ask for help: you may be surprised at people's willingness to help, from family, friends and work colleagues. If you decide to progress your career with an ACT qualification, the ACT Learning team can support you by helping with decision making, study tips and exam support (see the Useful guides and tools at the end of this article).
Manage priorities: if you have a busy work and home schedule, hone your negotiation and time management skills to set aside time for study and exam preparation. Draw up a timetable and stick to it. This strategy can also work to obtain funding and other help.
"I was fortunate to have a very supportive boss and he agreed a 50:50 funding deal for my further study."
- James Piper AMCT, Founder & Managing Director, Lightbulb Credit
Do your research: make sure you know exactly what is required from your study and how much time and money it will take. The more prepared you are the more likely you are to stick with your course and successfully complete your assessments.
Talk to your qualification provider: if you choose to study with the ACT, the ACT Learning team are highly experienced in supporting people in exactly your position. They will be super helpful in assisting you to enrol on, and complete, your course.
Don't let the grass grow under your feet
Don't leave too long between successive qualifications as inertia, work and family commitments can easily interfere with your resolve to keep going.
The fruits of your laboursdigital credentials, you can easily share your achievements with your network and on social media platforms, to help with your career progession.
"These qualifications have done much more than just adding to my technical skills. They have shaped me into a different person. I have gained resilience, emotional strength and so much joy and satisfaction on my journey. The highs and lows of studying have been considerable. But the important thing for me is working through those ups and downs along the way." "
- Carol Rech Thurneer FCT, Treasury Manager Corporate Finance, GSK
We wish you well as you cultivate and grow your career.
Author: Doug Williamson, FCT
Useful guides and tools
ACT Competency Framework: https://www.treasurers.org/learning/competency-framework/overview
ACT Treasury & Cash qualifications pathways: https://www.treasurers.org/learning/qualifications
Treasury qualifications pathway
- Certificate in Treasury Fundamentals (CertTF): https://learning.treasurers.org/qualifications/certificate-treasury-fundamentals
- Certificate in Treasury (CertT): https://learning.treasurers.org/qualifications/certificate-treasury
- Diploma in Treasury Management (AMCT): https://learning.treasurers.org/qualifications/diploma-treasury-management
- Advanced Diploma in Treasury Management (FCT): https://learning.treasurers.org/qualifications/advanced-diploma
Cash qualifications pathway
- Award in International Cash Management (AwardICM): https://learning.treasurers.org/qualifications/award-international-cash-management
- Certificate in International Cash Management (CertICM): https://learning.treasurers.org/qualifications/certificate-international-cash-management
Qualifications and entry routes: https://learning.treasurers.org/qualifications/entry-routes
How to become a member of the ACT: https://www.treasurers.org/membership/become-a-member
Skill based training for your personal and professional development: https://learning.treasurers.org/training
Are you ready to start learning?
• eLearning courses: 45-90 minutes to complete, available online 24/7.
• training courses: live skills-based training sessions.
• Treasury and Cash Management qualifications: internationally recognised courses from entry to master level. All our courses will provide you with valuable knowledge as well as easy-to-share digital credentials to demonstrate your learning achievements.