What Is a Certified Treasury Professional (CTP)?

The term certified treasury professional (CTP) refers to a financial designation awarded to individuals experienced in cash management and who pass an exam demonstrating their expertise by the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP). Successful applicants earn the right to use the CTP designation with their names for three years, which can improve job opportunities, professional reputation, and pay. CTPs work in a variety of different fields including treasury management, finance, and accounting.

Key Takeaways

  • The certified treasury professional designation is awarded to individuals experienced in cash management.
  • Individuals must pass an exam demonstrating their expertise by the Association for Financial Professionals.
  • Those with the designation tend to earn higher incomes, have greater job security, and are better able to market themselves in the industry.
  • The CTP designation is good for three years and requires recertification.

Understanding a Certified Treasury Professional (CTP)

As mentioned above, the certified treasury professional (CTP) designation is given to financial professionals who meet certain criteria by the Association for Financial Professionals. Individuals must have between one to two years of work experience in cash or treasury management or corporate finance if they wish to take the exam. Those who don't have relevant work experience must either have a graduate degree in business, finance, or accounting, or relevant teaching experience at the college or university level.

Applicants must submit proof of their eligibility before they can take the exam to become a CTP. Records of their work experience and academic qualifications must be submitted to the AFP prior to taking the exam. The certification committee within the association reviews and determines whether or not an applicant is qualified to take the exam.

The CTP exam is closed-book and consists of 170 multiple-choice questions that can be completed on a computer. Applicants are given four hours to complete the test. The exam is divided into five categories:

  • Treasury operations and controls: 21 to 24 questions
  • Working capital management: 32 to 35 questions
  • Cash and liquidity management: 37 to 42 questions
  • Capital markets and funding: 22 to 24 questions
  • Corporate treasury function: 30 to 35 questions

AFP members pay a fee of $875 for the exam if they register early. The cost jumps by an extra $100 if they register during the final deadline period. Non-members may also apply for the exam but the fees are higher—$1,270 for early registration and $1,370 by the final deadline.

An Association for Financial Professionals membership costs $495 and is good for a 12-month period.

The CTP designation is considered a benchmark in the financial profession. CTPs can earn more money than their peers—as much as 16% more than those who aren't certified as CTPs. They also have greater job security and are better able to market themselves in the industry. Successful CTPs generally have a background in finance and/or accounting, and become experts in treasury management. They should understand revenue collection, obligation payment, cash processing, reconciliation, managing current accounts, maintaining documentation, monitoring transactions, forecasting, and monitoring cash flow, receiving and processing wire transfers, analyzing financial statements, and more.

Special Considerations

Some universities offer training programs to prepare would-be applicants for the exam. The curriculum may aim to teach the candidates working capital strategies for managing liabilities and assets, how to optimize capital structure, and how to maintain an organization’s liquidity to meet their future obligations. They might also learn how to monitor and control a company’s exposure to potential financial and operational risks. Such classes may include real-life case study scenarios for students to apply their developing knowledge.

The CTP designation is used as a sign of credibility among corporate treasurers and other professionals in the financial sector. The designation is good for three years, after which the individual must recertify. In order to keep the CTP designation, individuals must complete 36 hours of continuing education called recertification credits and pay a fee to continue using the designation. Candidates don't need to wait until their designation expires in order to recertify—the 36 hours can be completed and reported at any time.