I am often asked if CFOs are looking to recruit Treasurers that are more technically qualified. I’m also asked if qualified accountants are also qualified Treasurers by default, and if I’m seeing a rise in demand for qualifications.
I’m not necessarily seeing a rise in demand, it depends on how companies and CFOs see the role of their Treasurer. It might be that they are simply seen as the custodian of cash and, if they are, it maybe that they don’t need someone as technically strong, but who is good on their cash and cash management expertise.
It might be that they are looking for someone focused on risk and risk mitigation, making sure there is de-risk in the business, that might then lead onto people getting much closer to the business and actually helping the business.
Then there is the next stage, which is the Treasury thought leader. Where is Treasury going next? That’s the crossover point where a Treasurer comes in and does the day-to-day work but they are able to look to the future and where treasury is going to be in 1, 5 or 10 years’ time. It’s about those guys that are able to embrace it now and look to the future as well.
The next one is visionary thinking – a Treasury Visionary! i.e. where can you take treasury next?
Throughout all of these, it’s about a rise in complexity and whether you need someone who is stronger in terms of their qualifications. That depends again on clients. Some CFOss may see Treasurers coming from a controllership aspect, particularly in the US they want someone who is CPA qualified or definitely who have CTP qualifications.
Within Europe and the UK in particular, I have seen a lot more people looking for AMCT and some MCT. The AMCT qualification is definitely good to have on your CV.
But ultimately it comes down to clients and whether their previous Treasurer was ACT qualified. If so, then that is definitely something they look for, if not, the client is usually then willing to be more flexible.
So, the definitive answer is: it depends on who’s recruiting! We will give them advice and try and find them the best Treasurer out there.
Be a bold CFO!
I am also often asked: What advice would you give CFOs when they are recruiting their next Treasurer?
Don’t take the path of least resistance when you want to recruit your next Treasurer, i.e. many CFOs will say: “I want to recruit a new Treasurer who is going to embrace new technology and improve things.” Brilliant!
But then they reach down and they pull out the job description that they had for their last Treasurer and the Treasurer before them. They scrub out the dates, write a new date on it and hand me back the same Treasury job description. No!
If you want something new, you have got to go for it. Go for that person. Look for someone fresh and new and who is going to help you and your Treasury function develop.
The other piece of advice I give to CFOs is: “It’s no longer a “push model”, Treasurers don’t need to come work for you, they are not running and beating a path to your door saying “I want your job, I want your job!” The world has changed! You need to attract people to come and work for your company.
- Focus on what makes you as a company different
- Focus on what makes you as a CFO different
- How are you going to inspire and help your Treasurer’s career develop?
- Would their careers be enhanced by joining you?
- Are you going to mentor this new Treasurer and help them to take over your job one day?
You need to think about all these factors before someone will ever think about joining you. You need to make it an amazingly attractive proposition to come and join you and your team. It is only when you get that right that you can recruit the Treasurer you really need!