According to a survey of senior financial executives conducted by the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP), corporate treasury departments are being asked to play a far more strategic role in the corporation, moving beyond the traditional responsibilities of bank relationships and cash management. Heightened levels of scrutiny in the area of financial accounting, in part the result of Sarbanes-Oxley, are creating important new roles for corporate treasury professionals in the areas of SEC compliance and strategic financial planning, according to the report. As a result of these new professional demands, senior-level treasury professionals believe their treasury staff need to be better prepared for future challenges. Seventy-one percent of respondents indicated that their treasury department is playing a greater strategic role within their company than five years ago, and 77 per cent expect this role to increase. Separately, the AFP has introduced the Accredited AFP Service Code Provider Program, designed to increase standardization in reporting bank compensation by recognizing banks that are in accordance with the AFP Service Codes. To become an Accredited AFP Service Code Provider, banks will submit a list of all AFP Service Codes they provide to customers. AFP will review the list and either confirm the accuracy of the service code or work with the bank to assign the proper code. To maintain the accreditation, banks must re-submit and validate their list of codes on a yearly basis.
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