‘Just being proactive in taking on new responsibilities’ is what Kevin Ng might say about the opportunity that led to his career in treasury. He started out by volunteering to forecast global procurement cashflow and paying the global suppliers for SVP Worldwide. The global CFO at that time was heavily involved in day-to-day treasury operations, and the complex cashflow forecast model helped get Kevin noticed in the organization. “Knowing the importance of treasury to the CFO, I realized that I possessed knowledge that could fill a skill gap — and lead to career success,” said Kevin.
Today, Kevin is the Head of Finance and HR, APAC for BI Worldwide and is based in Singapore. The company is a U.S multinational global rewards engagement firm that provides solutions for people experience, sales incentives and channel partner excellence. More specifically, Kevin is responsible for:
- FP&A forecasting, reporting and budgeting.
- Managing all treasury matters including cashflow forecasting, managing excess cash and FX risk.
- Managing financial operations and monthly and yearly closing.
- Managing human resources and its operations.
Safely investing excess cash
The most critical treasury issue Kevin faces today is how to invest excess cash safely while ensuring sufficient liquidity for the office. He said AFP’s CTP program helped him to balance these aspects, making him hopeful for significant results this fiscal year. Moreover, he said the program helped him understand what banking products are available to manage treasury. Kevin hopes that despite the smaller size of his company, they will be able to access the products to better manage their financial risk.
The complexity in financial systems and operations has resulted in a lack of future cashflow visibility and having a lack of knowledge of various treasury products are the other main challenges he faced. “I have been cracking my mind on how to manage these treasury-related areas for quite a while,” said Kevin.
How does he handle these challenges? First, he forecasts the cashflow on a regular basis in order to determine the company’s funding needs. With the knowledge gleaned from cashflow forecasting, Kevin is able to invest in relatively safe assets with the forecasted excess cash, all within the boundaries of a defined treasury policy.
Second, knowing the available treasury products in the current market, Kevin would be able to better liaise with banks to be able to determine the company’s needs to invest excess funding, the source for funding if needed, and how to manage the financial risk with hedges and forwards.
Third, Kevin plans to further improve and refine on existing treasury policies and procedures, which will enable the company to have better internal controls and comply with regulations.
Looking to his future
Kevin’s future plans include more training and exposure to more aspects of treasury including loans, issuing commercial paper and bonds, and optimizing the banking structure. He is also considering going for the FPAC as he feels it would tie in well with the CTP. Kevin’s desire is that his CTP education and training become “second nature” with continued practice.
But before he tackles any of that, Kevin wants to further his education and knowledge of human resources.
The need to better manage cash led to the CTP
What led to Kevin earning the CTP? He determined that there was a need, in his current role, to better manage the cash. “Cash management is essential for all companies, it can make a difference between its life and death,” he said. This time, it was he who had the knowledge gap. “I wasn’t sure what treasury really entailed, so I decided to take the CTP.” Before that, Kevin said he just had very surface-level training in understanding how to manage cash. Having completed the CTP program, he feels he has a comprehensive view of how the treasury function should work and the sort of banking products his company can use. “It also reminded me of the importance of having a cashflow forecast. Now I’m able to get more out of the excess cash we hold or find funding sources when there is a cash shortage.”
Kevin said the immediate impact of getting his CTP was being more confident in cash management execution. “In the medium term, I am trying to help the organization mitigate FX losses and also invest excess cash that is unutilized. I am already seeing some returns,” he said.
The CTP is something Kevin would “highly recommend,” as he feels the content is unique and important to know at the same time. He said his MBA program and CPA training just skimmed the surface of treasury. “Having a CTP, on top of adding to one’s personal credibility, helps you to understand various treasury options and gives you additional confidence in decision-making and treasury execution.”
Do you want to further develop your treasury aptitude? Get started on your journey to earning the CTP today.