There are only a few things one can be sure of in this world: death, taxes, and audits, apparently.
The credit union regulatory space is, let’s say, rigorous. (Stifling seems like such a harsh word.)
But it’s true. As smaller credit unions continue to disappear, either through consolidation or some other dark magic, some doomsayers worry about the future of the credit union industry as a whole. Grim stuff, to be sure.
But this case study from audit software provider Redboard offers a little hope.
How Point West Credit Union Paved the Way to a Better Future
Redboard’s recent case study outlines the steps that Point West Credit Union took to recapture some of the time they lost to regulatory burden. Redboard’s case study reads:
Like most credit unions, Point West wasn’t having trouble with their audits, per se. “The audit program of Point West, like most organizations, is fairly manual—or at least, it was,” explains Stephen Pagenstecher, VP of Member Experience at Point West Credit Union. “[There were] lots of emails back and forth, lost items, miscommunications. You know, the program itself was sound, but how it came together and how it aggregated the data, reported it out, was very manual and very cumbersome.”
And it’s true. At just over $100 million, Point West Credit Union was delivering timely audits and getting good results. However, they—like most players in the industry—felt that the audit process took much longer than it should considering their expertise.
What Point West wanted? Efficiency and accountability:
First, they knew they could benefit from automation. Automation would improve: managing version control, building a robust audit trail, and notifying key team members about important items and deadlines. Automation removes micro-managing from the audit process.
Second, Point West needed to know:
- What had been done
- What was being done
- What was left to be done
Automation could assist with some of those needs. Also, having a clear view of the above would help them work through their audits more efficiently.
Point West noted that their inefficiencies weren’t just slowing them down—they were increasing risk. Not knowing what had and hadn’t been addressed meant increased risk from:
- Missing items
- Version control issues
- Repeat findings
- More time spent managing the process
They felt that the audit process could be streamlined so that the above issues would rarely—if ever—pop up. They wanted to spend more time addressing findings and answering questions, and to spend less time coordinating the manner of their efforts.
Couple that desire for efficiency with the ability to better hold people accountable, and you have a recipe for a smoother audit. Eventually, Pagenstecher and his team decided that the tools they were using to complete audits were doing them no favors. They had been using typical office productivity tools. They decided to try out Redboard:
Point West’s audit team and their internal auditor had several conversations with Redboard. They explained to Redboard how their program operated, and Redboard made sure they were able to deliver the same audit experience as before, but without all the hassle.
Pagenstecher was thrilled that Redboard “allowed them to aggregate data, work on things collaboratively, and then have an audit trail and ability to report” to whomever they needed in a more effective manner. Essentially, he said, “our audit environment is very similar, except it works now.”
Currently, using Redboard, Point West estimates that they’re saving between 20–25% off the time that it would normally take for them to complete their audits.
And, if time is money, that’s a lot of money.
What would your credit union do if they could cut 25% off the time it took to complete audits? Or, what’s it worth to your credit union to know that the process of collecting, collaborating, reviewing, and submitting audit documents and materials is less risky and prone to human error?