In their 15-year history the annual AFP Pinnacle
Awards for excellence in treasury have received many
submissions-some good, some not-so-good. Many fall somewhere in
between, with a good story obscured by a problematic entry.
Tom Hunt, CTP, Director of Treasury, offers some tips to make
your Pinnacle Awards
submission as strong as possible. The AFP Pinnacle Awards are
sponsored by Wells Fargo. Deadline for submissions is June 8,
Be clear and concise. "A good Pinnacle
submission is all about good business writing," said Hunt. "It
needs to state the case as plainly as possible. Describe the
problem, the solution, your goals and how you achieved them. The
submissions also need to fall within the recommended word count and
character limit. The judges have told me that submissions that are
too wordy don't impress them. The entries are being reviewed by a
panel of volunteer judges so being as clear and concise as possible
in describing your situation helps the judging process run
Articulate the impact on your company and treasury
department. "You have to explain how your submission
made a difference and what makes it stand out from other
submissions," said Hunt. "Sometimes we see submissions that fail to
explain how it helped the organization. Results matter."
Eliminate attachments. "Only use the
online form found at AFP's website-no additional forms, PowerPoint
presentations or follow-up phone calls to expand on your entry,"
said Hunt. "That's not fair to the submissions that followed the
rules and it makes the judging process more difficult with the
extra documents to manage."
No turnkey solutions, please. "We're
looking for a solution that is not off-the-shelf," said Hunt. "This
is probably the area we receive the most questions about. A turnkey
solution by definition is a product or service implemented with
little to no customization internally to the company or from the
provider. What made your solution unique? Why was it right for you?
You probably had other options; why did you choose this particular
path and how did you customize it?"
Highlight the innovation. "Check to see if this
solution has been done before elsewhere," said Hunt. "If it has,
your submission needs to be different in some way or the judges
will notice. Ask yourself: 'Does it elevate the profession or
identify your company as an innovator?' If so, it's probably a