This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the essentials of cash management and working capital, allowing those who are new to the subject the opportunity to get to grips with fundamental areas before moving onto the full Certificate in International Cash Management.


Perfect for you if you:

  • are looking to take the first step in developing the essential skills and knowledge required for a career in cash and liquidity management, and you’re not ready to commit to the full Certificate in International Cash Management
  • have recently moved into a cash management role (or would like to), either within corporate treasury or as part of a general finance remit, and would like to gain an understanding of the fundamentals of this topic
  • are a banker or a consultant who needs to understand the basics of cash management from the perspective of the corporate in order to advise clients more effectively


Study time

1 - 3 months; 40 - 45 study hours


One online assessment 


Online course and two learning workshops fee AED 4,999
Assessment fee AED 450
Membership fee AED 297

Entry requirements

There are no entry requirements for this award.


This qualification is made up of the two units below. Once you have completed this award, you can then use these two units and the assessment towards the full Certificate in International Cash Management, which includes the two units below and five others, as well as compulsory tuition and revision learning workshops and an additional assessment.

Unit 1: Cash management – the essentials

This unit is designed as an overview of both the corporate and banking worlds and provides insights into their respective contexts. 

Firstly, the role of the treasurer is examined and where cash management fits within that role. Most importantly it offers a working definition of good cash management and the resulting benefits to the company. Fundamental cash management concepts are described including the operating cycle, the cash flow cycle, the nature of cash flows, the importance of liquidity, finality, availability and float, where it arises, what causes it and how to reduce it.

Secondly, this unit explores the basics of banking. Topics include the role of the central bank, different roles a financial institution can play, types of account and the documentation required to open them, as well as how banks make their money and ways in which companies can seek to reduce their overall banking costs. The impact of Basel III on how banks manage their credit risk and balance sheet is also examined.

Lastly this unit reviews the various instruments that are used for making payments and their respective impact on cash flow.

On completing unit one you will be able to:

  1. Describe the role of treasury and cash management including the factors that influence how those functions are performed within a company.
  2. Define cash management from both the bank and corporate perspectives and explain why it is important to companies.
  3. Explain the significance of liquidity to a company and the sources, uses and cost of maintaining liquidity.
  4. Comprehend important cash management concepts such as the cash flow cycle, float, finality, availability and the time value of money and describe how these concepts are used by cash managers.
  5. Recognise where float arises in the supply chain process and recommend what can be done to reduce float
  6. List the main duties of a bank and describe the differences between types of bank account.
  7. Calculate interest on a bank account.
  8. Describe the different types of charges levied for bank services and the techniques that can be used to reduce bank fees.
  9. Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of different payment types (electronic and paper–based) and recommend appropriate payment vehicles for different transactions and situations.
  10. Be aware of regional preferences and know which payment instruments are favoured in which countries.
  11. Explain the impact of Basel III on the banking sector and treasurers.

Unit 2: Working capital management

This unit explains how the financial statements are used by different parties to better understand and manage the company. It reviews and defines the components of the balance sheet, income statement, statement of changes in equity and statement of cash flows. It also describes the important ratios used by cash managers and financial institutions in assessing a company’s liquidity and cost of capital.

The current accounts (current assets and current liabilities) are also the key to managing working capital, ie freeing up liquidity to fund current operations. This unit discusses how the cash manager can improve these balance sheet items by ensuring that monies due in (receivables or debtors) are received as quickly as possible, and that monies due out (payables or creditors) are timed to be paid only when due. While not strictly responsible for inventory, the cash manager can also influence business practices to accelerate the conversion of inventory into receivables and cash. Analysing certain balance sheet items provides valuable insights into the cash conversion cycle and how efficiently a company is using its liquidity. Nonetheless, these aspects have to be managed within a broader business context, taking into account:

  • Commercial relationships
  • The economic environment
  • The business environment (whether domestic or international)
  • The banking environment
  • The company’s own corporate culture and organisation

Lastly, this unit reviews the trade financing vehicles that can be used to release cash back into the operating cycle and the specialised bank services designed to help a company manage float.

On completing unit two you will be able to:

  1. Analyse how a company is being managed through the interpretation of a company’s financial statements.
  2. Perform simple financial analysis by computing important financial ratios, such as liquidity, gearing and performance ratios.
  3. Critically assess accounts receivable and accounts payable in order to recommend how the organisation can optimise working capital.
  4. Recommend improvements to the cash conversion cycle through the calculation of the cash conversion cycle and the value of trade discounts.
  5. Identify the ways in which cash can be released back into the operating cycle using trade financing vehicles.
  6. Evaluate the benefits of banking services designed to manage float, and quantify the benefits of using a lockbox.


The Award in Cash Management Fundamentals is delivered online, through a blend of online and face-to-face tuition and revision learning workshops. Online learning is delivered though the ACT Learning Academy learning management system. Study guides take you through the learning step by step. You can also download them if you want to study offline. You will have access to your online content for 9 months, giving you plenty of time to choose when you want to sit your assessment.

Your study materials include:

  • Study guides provide focused syllabus coverage through readings and practical examples, with learning outcomes signposted throughout. You can download a pdf copy of the study guide and eReader friendly versions from the course page of the ACT Learning Academy study site. Quizzes within each unit help you assess your progress and prepare you for tuition and revision learning workshops.
  • Revision tools, which include past exam papers and their solutions as well as examiner guidance notes help you focus on problem areas and learn how to avoid common mistakes and weaknesses.
  • Study techniques and exam strategies material written by ACT examiners help coach you for success.
  • A discussion forum that gives you access to tutors online, peers and the programme team, allowing for discussion and collaboration to you connected and motivated while you study.
  • Tuition and revision notes are also provided at the learning workshops

One-day tuition and revision learning workshops held in Abi Dhabi and Dubai offer additional learning support when studying for the AwardCMF. Their purpose is to help you consolidate your own self-study learning and provide an opportunity to gain a more in-depth understanding of the topics with the help of your tutor.

The workshops provide tuition in the core topics. They are interactive in style and include case studies that explore content in the context of real-life examples drawn from the region. The workshops are also packed with hints and tips, preparation techniques and question practice to help you with your revision. 

Learning workshop 1

Unit 1 - Cash management: reviewing the basics
21 October 2017

Learning workshop 2 

Unit 2 - Working capital management
18 November 2017


For more information and details of how to book, please contact Alan Stevens at

Online course and two learning workshops fee AED 4,999

Buy qualification


When booking onto the Award in Cash Management Fundamentals you will become an eAffiliate member of the ACT for up to 12 months. The membership fee is not included in your online course fee.

This gives you access to lots of great things: 

  • online subscription to The Treasurer magazine
  • careers resources
  • events, regional groups and webinars
  • policy and technical updates
  • mentoring service

Remember to take advantage of these benefits - they really help make your introduction into treasury a fuller experience and will ensure you make valuable contacts which can impact your career, especially if you’re just starting out! You can find out more about ACT membership here.


Buy membership


AwardCMF is assessed via a 2-hour online exam featuring multiple choice questions. This aims to test your knowledge and understanding of the syllabus along with your ability to analyse and evaluate, as well as apply relevant approaches or techniques including making calculations.

Exam dates 

  Assessment Window 2017

  AwardCMF (Units 1 & 2)


  12-14 December 2017

Book your assessment

Assessments can be booked at any time through the ACT. 

Go look at how and when you can take your assessment here. You can book straight away or wait until nearer the closing date.

Assessment fee: £75 | AED 450

Buy assessment

Programme timetable if you are booking in September and taking your assessment in December



  7 September 2017 

  Booking deadline 

  19 September 2017

Start of course. You will be given access to the Learning Academy study site. You will then have access to this site for a period of 9 months from the point of booking.

  Throughout 3-month study period

Self-study via online course

  Tuition and Revision Learning Workshops

Workshop 1: 21 October 2017
Cash management: the essentials 
Workshop 2: 18 November 2017
Working capital management

  Assessments 2017

  12-14 December

AwardCMF assessment window –  choose to sit your online assessment at a pre-arranged time on one of these days

Further assessments are also available if prefer a later date or need to re-sit. 


Photo - ACT trainer: Anthony BirtsChris van Dijl, MA, CTP CertICM

Chris has over 17 years of experience in corporate treasury management, holding key positions in The Netherlands, United Kingdom, United States and the U.A.E. He started his career as a treasury analyst at Baan Company in the Netherlands and progressed to global cash manager at Rohm and Haas Company in Philadelphia (USA). Before relocating to Dubai, he held the position of Head of Cash Management at Petro-Canada, London. He is the former Group Treasurer of the Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group and Al Tayer Group, both located in Dubai.

Recent achievements include the establishment of an award-winning new group treasury function at the Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group, including the creation of an In-House Bank, Payment Factory, centralisation of Trade Finance activities and the implementation of a Treasury Management System, SunGard Quantum. The In-House Bank is the first In-House Bank for a Family Conglomerate in the GCC. The Treasury Team at Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group won the prestigious "Small/Medium Treasury Team of the Year" Award at the Association of Corporate Treasurers (ACT) Middle East Treasury Awards.

Chris is a regular speaker at corporate treasury conferences and spoke at the EuroFinance Regional Treasury Conferences in both Dubai and Singapore.

Recent publications include articles in The Middle East Treasurer magazine and HSBC’s Middle East & North Africa Treasury Handbook 2014/2015.

Chris is a Certified Treasury Professional (CTP) and holds the Certificate in International Cash Management (CertICM). He furthermore holds a Bachelor’s degree in Commercial Economics from the International School of Economics Rotterdam in The Netherlands and a Master’s degree in International Business & Management from the University of Westminster Business School in London, United Kingdom. He speaks Dutch, English, Spanish, German, and French.

This qualification has given me a better understanding of how liquidity is managed internationally, the different types of treasury structures that exist as well as payment and receipt mechanisms in different countries. This knowledge has enabled me to have focused dialogue with my global clients in various industries.
Nasreen Somani, Senior Manager Global Liquidity and Cash Management, HSBC Bank, Canada