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In the competitive, global economy, every financial resource must be utilised to the full, all risks managed and crucial relationships built and maintained. This is the role of the treasurer. It is pivotal to the success of a business. A treasury department lies at the heart of an organisation's operations and is an exciting environment for a new graduate to begin a treasury graduate career.

It is large (e.g. FTSE 250) and medium sized companies that tend to have dedicated treasury functions. A large corporate might have anything from 3 to 50 treasury staff. A medium sized company would usually have 1 to 5 employees in treasury. The numbers of staff will depend on the complexity of transactions and on the level of international activities in the company. For those interested in opportunities outside of the corporate sector, the public service, all layers of government - from local to central - many large charities and housing associations have at least one treasurer on their payroll. There are plenty of opportunities for those candidates with the relevant skills.

While treasury is often seen as a specialised role it has far reaching effects on the success of a business and opens up a wealth of opportunities for ambitious graduates seeking to enter the profession.

Average Treasury Graduate Salary

Treasury Graduate Career Path

The principal tasks of a treasurer are to manage a company's cash flows. The main responsibility of the role is to increase the certainty with which the cash flows can be determined so as to reduce the risks in an organisation that it will run out of cash, or that the expected inflow will be less than expected.

The profession of treasurer is increasingly attracting innovative and proactive graduates with a good degree in a numerate subject who are willing to take responsibility for what are often difficult decisions on treasury matters. The use of complicated dynamic financial markets to buy and sell financial instruments, which protect a company from foreign exchange and interest rate risk, needs careful analysis and control. It can be a financially rewarding career and is an excellent stepping-stone to more senior positions in a company such as Finance Director or Chief Executive.

Every company needs a treasurer, regardless of whether it is a medium sized high street retailer or a multi-national group responsible for several companies across the globe. Many large companies will have training programmes within a treasury function. Graduates can also enter an organisation through the tax, corporate finance, legal and accounting functions. This gives them an insight into treasury and provides them with possibilities to move across at a later stage of their treasury graduate career.

The only recognised qualifications in treasury are those provided by the Association of Corporate Treasurers (ACT). These provide a full education in treasury matters and an excellent general grounding in financial management. An employer may often support a graduate through the study process by paying the fees. Having completed the Associate (AMCT) qualification, gaining a position in treasury will be a lot easier - especially through all the contacts you will meet during the two years of study. There is then the opportunity to increase your skills by progressing onto the Full Membership (MCT) study programme.

Qualifications and Skills Needed

What proportion of candidates as a percent we place into Treasury graduate careers and the typical qualities graduate employers look for.

GRB Placements for Treasury by Degree

Typical Candidate Attributes

Any degree discipline is acceptable although accountancy, finance, economics or mathematics would be useful. Right from the start new entrants to this profession are likely to find themselves investing cash, dealing with foreign exchanges, or developing strategic models. To live up to expectations, you'll need to be a person that can not only think on their feet, but also act on their instinct - effortlessly calculating the risk of each decision made; getting it wrong might not only prove embarassing, but also costly.

Being at the core of the financial practice makes the treasurer responsible for its smooth and safe running. Not only does the treasurer have to be a financial expert; but they must also be responsible for security. An innovative mind and attention to detail is required as treasurers find themselves devising and then constantly assessing a system of checks and balances in order to combat fraud. 

Working as a part of team, the ability to communicate effectively as a team player is fundamental. As you rise up through the department your skills of managing people will be tested because you will gradually become responsible for more and more personnel.

Sources for Further Information

The Association of Corporate Treasurers