What is a Treasurer?

Also known as: Corporate Treasurer, Certified Treasury Professional, Head of Treasury.

A treasurer, also known as a certified treasury professional in certain job settings, is an expert in finance who directly oversees the long-term and short-term budgetary goals of a business or an organization. Another interchangeable job title used to describe a treasurer is a financial officer, the preferred term in the corporate business world. In a large corporation, the chief financial officer presides over the financial decision-making process of the entire company's portfolio of investments and acquisitions.

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What does a Treasurer do?

A treasurer ensures that a business or organization stays in good financial health by producing detailed financial statements and coordinating investment decisions. Treasurers also work in tandem with other corporate executives in order to create and meet the quarter-to-quarter budgetary benchmarks as instructed by the chief executive officer.

Treasurers used to work to monitor the day-to-day finances of a business, but in the modern era advances in computer software technology have created a shift in their job responsibilities. Today, treasurers can focus more of their time on raising capital, coordinating mergers, and deciding on which companies to acquire in order to further the success of a business or organization.

Depending upon the type of employment setting, the job duties of a treasurer may vary from business to business and from organization to organization. For example, the job duties of a treasurer employed by a municipal government body in the United States or Canada differ slightly from the job duties of a treasurer employed by a large energy company. Government-employed treasurers tend to focus more on budgetary appropriations procedures unique to the job, but treasurers in the private sector tend to focus more on special financial sector regulations and tax laws.

In another manner of speaking, treasurers employed by a large insurance company would spend a great deal of time preparing financial forecasts based upon the analysis of past and projected financial activity reports. Treasurers work tirelessly to prepare the final financial documents that are used to make recommendations to executives or a board of directors. Without this rather detailed financial analysis, large insurance companies would not be able to make the decision to offer improved coverage to their customers.

Treasurers may also directly oversee a business or organization's in-house financial department. These job duties consist of discovering inventive strategies to reduce workplace costs and raise efficiency. Treasurers may achieve this goal by supervising the day-to-day operations of employees charged with producing financial reports and updated budgets.

Technology has advanced the job description of treasurers to encompass more analytical tasks than in previous decades. For instance, treasurers now have an ever-growing number of software applications at their disposal. Companies may devote entire internal computer networks to the single task of keeping revenue models updated in tandem with the current health of the global stock markets. Previously, a team of two or three professionals would work long hours to present the most up to date market projections, but today, this process has become nearly automatic.

How to become a Treasurer

The United States and Canada are home to a large number of the top business, accounting and finance schools in the entire world. As such, the vast majority of gainfully employed treasurers in North America will have attended one of the best schools on the continent. These colleges and universities include the University of Texas, well known for its accounting program, and the University of Pennsylvania, home of arguably the best finance program in the entire United States. Likewise, the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management ranks among the top business schools on the continent.

Many upper echelon employers would prefer entry-level treasurers to have earned an accounting or finance degree from one of the best universities. Many employers also require four or five years of on-the-job experience in a related field such as loan auditing or financial analysis.

Requiring experience in addition to a bachelor's or master's degree is necessary due to the fast pace of the financial industry. Earning a professional certification from the Association of Finance Professionals is optional for many working in financial management, but a large number of individuals seek certification anyway. Certification allows treasurers to create an invaluable network of professional contacts as well as stay up to date on the latest government financial regulations and tax laws.

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Further Reading

  • Finance Treasurer Administrator Job Description

    A finance treasurer administrator, most often simply called a treasurer, is a senior financial manager charged with managing the cash of a business. They monitor and analyze a company’s financial history for the purpose of forecasting and developing future cash management strategies.

  • Corporate Treasurer Job Description

    Corporate treasurers work in the heart of an organization, ensuring their company has adequate capital, is properly handling their cash, effectively managing other finances and minimizing risk. Though all businesses require oversight in these areas, large corporations designate an individual to control these vital financial processes.

  • Day In The Life Of A Global Treasurer

    We spoke to Simon Neville, about his successful career at the top of the treasury industry. Simon recently finished assignments for some of the worlds largest global organisations, which include a Treasury Director role at Tesco's.

  • The Challenging Role Of The Corporate Treasurer

    Treasurers serve as financial risk managers that seek to protect a company's value from the financial risks it faces from its business activities. Because these risks can arise from many sources, the role requires an understanding of many areas of business and the ability to communicate with a variety of financial professionals.

  • 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.

  • Characteristics Of A Good Treasurer

    The treasurer of a management committee plays a vital role. Here are some of the key qualities and skills required for an effective treasurer.

  • What's Involved In Being A Treasurer Of A Not-For-Profit Group

    What makes people become treasurers of community organizations? Some gravitate to the role because they're good with numbers, others just want to 'put something back'.

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