A global symbol of excellence, the Certified Treasury Professional (CTP) designation sets the standard in the treasury profession. Earning the CTP signifies you have demonstrated the knowledge and skills required to effectively execute critical functions related to corporate liquidity, and capital and risk management.
AFP recently caught up with Lee-Ann Perkins, CTP, assistant treasurer at Specialized Bicycle Components, to discuss her decision to earn the CTP, and how it has affected her life and career journey.
How did you get your start in treasury?
Like most people in the field, I fell into treasury. I have a bachelor’s degree in management accounting and was working in cost accounting for a couple years before I moved to the U.S. for my husband’s job. My first job in the U.S. was for a global company that needed maternity coverage in the treasury department. The rest is history. I quickly realized that I enjoyed the business and bank interactions, technology possibilities and forward-looking nature of treasury. My boss at the time was a CTP and gave me the Exchange to read; after paging through the magazine, I decided to pursue the CTP designation that same year.
What are two or three core aspects of your day-to-day job?
One core aspect of my job is working with the global teams to ensure business as usual in the funding, liquidity, and payments space. In addition, I focus on financial risk management in the various subsets of liquidity, credit and financial market risk, which has been more of a focus since the coronavirus pandemic. Operational risk is an important function for the treasury department to not only protect the company’s assets but to also ensure compliance with ever changing global regulations.
In addition, I work alongside the global finance, tax and legal teams to help develop greater operational efficiencies worldwide, and this aspect of my job allows me to do my part in future-proofing the global company as it continues its growth.
What is something you would like to do in the future in treasury?
Something I wish to do in the future is to assume the role of a chief treasury officer. I also wish to be part of a solution that helps combat and eliminate payment fraud.
Something I most likely will do in the future is to utilize blockchain for seamless trade finance solutions. I also expect to continue being a voice for the treasury department and to help motivate the next generation to pursue and find enjoyment in this very important career.
Are there certain skills or training that help you in what you do now?
I work very hard to drive obsolescence, and to do this you need tenacity, an innovative mindset and a healthy dose of intellectual curiosity. Learning and training from the best in the market has helped me become technologically astute, which I have used to implement meaningful changes in companies where I have worked.
Starting my career from the ground up has also given me a good foundation and technical skills that allowed me to manage more complex global transactions.
Team management, effective communication and conflict resolution are important skills for any level in any career. However, as the treasury department typically interacts with many departments, bankers, vendors, professionals and executives, learning how to communicate effectively and succinctly are essential skills to develop early in this career.
What skills are most important to add over the next couple of years?
Project management is an important skill to hone as treasury leads, and it is part of many global projects and technological implementations. Being skilled in project management can reduce a lot of pain points and unnecessary and unplanned costs. It is also important to communicate effectively and build a guiding coalition and acknowledge that a successful project relies on the collaboration and innovative strengths of the team members.
What is the most critical treasury issue you are facing today?
The most critical issues treasury is facing today are liquidity and operational risks. The coronavirus pandemic has forced treasurers to spend more focused time and energy on liquidity, working capital management, debt and equity funding, and regulatory changes.
Can you share your approach to these issues?
There are many changing global banking and financial laws, and adherence to these standards help us protect the financial assets of the company. LIBOR transition, for example, is a big project for the treasury department, and proactively staying abreast of developments will be key. Working with the AFP and ARRC on this change has provided me with invaluable knowledge and insight on how to manage this operational risk.
Why did you decide to earn the CTP?
I am a very curious person and believe my attitude for continual learning has fueled my success and desire to progress in my career. When I found out about the qualification, I knew I needed to get the foundational treasury knowledge in order to meet my goal of becoming a treasurer. I studied intensely for about six months because I not only wanted to pass but also wanted to understand what I was learning so I could apply it in my future positions.
How has the CTP credential impacted your life/career?
The CTP qualification has undoubtedly opened doors for me. It provided me with the initial education to enhance my treasury understanding, but then also keeps me relevant and plugged in to the growing profession through continuing educational requirements.
The networking opportunities that both the CTP designation and AFP membership provide have allowed me to form relationships in the field that helped me meet goals, complete projects, create efficiencies, find jobs and enhance my skills. I have been able to build my knowledge and confidence with the opportunities these networks have provided.
Would you recommend the CTP to others? Why?
This certification has served me well, and I am grateful for the opportunity. If you have a passion for the profession and want to continue learning, developing, networking and growing your treasury career, I recommend this certification.
Learn more about the Certified Treasury Professional (CTP) designation.