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Two Innovative Ways Treasurers Can Expand Their Role

  • By Brad Larson, CTP
  • Published: 1/13/2016

redypointr1If you’re like most ambitious treasury professionals, you want to grow your career, expand your areas of responsibilities, and prove you can make a bigger impact on your company. But how?

You can sit back and wait for your big break to happen, or you can make it happen by proving your increased value to your company. That means taking on new duties and proving your worth. The challenge is to determine which new responsibilities make sense and are reasonable for you and for your employer.

Ideas for expanding your treasury department’s responsibilities can be found in two places you may not have considered:

  • Job descriptions for open treasury positions at other companies, and
  • The “Essentials of Treasury Management,” AFP’s so-called Body of Knowledge for Certified Treasury Professionals.

There is no universal description for a treasury department. Every company has a different definition and expectation of what their treasury department does. One way to discover the areas managed by other treasury departments is by talking to your peers in other organizations. While effective, this can limit the scope of your research to the companies you may already be familiar with.

Another method that has worked for me is to look at job descriptions for open treasury positions. These can be found on the numerous online job sites, including the Career Center on AFP’s website. Discovering what other treasury departments do can point you toward potential new responsibilities. Even if those areas fall under a different department in your company, you could still ask to assist. Eventually your contribution will be recognized by the department as beneficial or that area will be moved to your direct responsibility. In either scenario, your value to the company increases and the company also wins.

Another potential source to find ways of increasing the department’s value can be found within the pages of “Essentials of Treasury Management”. Many years ago, I was tasked with creating a treasury department for a new entity. Each time I encountered something I didn’t know how to handle, I turned to “Essentials”. It was like a primer on how to run a treasury department. Years passed and I expanded my scope of treasury functions as my company gave me new responsibilities.

A few months ago, I received the latest version of “Essentials of Treasury Management”, and found that it was about three times larger than the version I had used all those years ago and covered many more areas of finance. While skimming through it I discovered that even though I had spent many years in corporate treasury at some very large companies, there were some functions that I had never thought of as belonging to treasury. In retrospect, as a member of the treasury department, I would have been in a better position to complete some of those tasks and could have easily taken over those functions if I had used “Essentials” to learn them.   

The choice is up to you: wait or act.

Brad Larson, CTP, is a treasury consultant and former practitioner.

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