Spring Cleaning For Credit Unions

This week, CreditUnions.com gets in the spring cleaning spirit by featuring articles and graphics on how credit unions are simplifying operations, paring down documents, and closing inactive checking accounts.

Credit unions are always looking for ways to be more efficient in how they do business and in member interactions. And now that spring has sprung, what better time to consider improvements in credit union operations and overall efficiency?

This week, CreditUnions.com gets in the spring cleaning-spirit by featuring articles and graphics on how credit unions are simplifying operations by paring down documents and closing inactive checking accounts.

Arizona Federal Credit Union and Veridian Credit Union are reaping the benefits of the business process spring cleaning they conducted a couple of years ago. And while cutting their document folders down to size, they also learned people management is as crucial as document management.

Arizona Federal currently has 2,257 working documents, down from perhaps the 4,500 the credit union was working with before taking on the cleanup that preceded its launch of an employee self-service knowledge management solution.

Veridian also pared down its documents in preparation for the launch of automated workflow software that replaced the practice of sending documents by email. Now, it works with approximately 200 documents and can track who signed what, when, and where. Besides just getting the job done, that’s a big help for audit trails, says Katie Ledtje, forms and technical operations specialist at the Iowa credit union.

Read more about how these two credit unions pare down redundancies and add efficiencies by taking a hard look at their documents in Document Purge Leads To Clean Spring by Callahan Senior Writer Marc Rapport.

In this week’s Graphic Of The Week, Callahan Analyst Liz Furman shows why Spring is an excellent time to assess efficiency and clean up clutter to make way for new products and measures. See how in Financial Spring Cleaning.

Inactive checking accounts are harmful to a credit union in a couple of ways. First, these accounts skew financial performance data and negatively affect ratios. Second, they cost time, money, and resources to maintain.

But inactive checking accounts also represent opportunity.

Such is the thinking at CommonWealth One Federal Credit Union. The Virginia cooperative views inactive account holders as unengaged members who just need a nudge to jump-start the relationship. That nudge comes in the form of a $5 inactivity fee, which the credit union implemented in the summer of 2014.

To see how this monthly fee has helped the credit union encourage higher check account balances and close inactive accounts, read How To Kick-Start Account Activity And Clean Up Dormant Accounts by Callahan Associate Editor Erik Payne.

In October 2014, Patelco Credit Union’s budget planning committee of C-level executives, senior vice presidents, and vice presidents faced a difficult question.

Are we using our resources correctly? asked Erin Mendez, CEO of Patelco. If not, how do we realign them?

Mendez set a goal for the 2015 budget: reduce controllable expenses by 10%.

The committee hit that goal by not only cutting controllable expenses excluding full-time employee salary and benefits as well as facilities costs but also reallocating funds to areas of greater need or higher priority. Patelco dug deep to reduce its controllable expenses, and its efforts provide three lessons all credit unions can follow.

Read more in 3 Ways To Cut Expenses by Erik Payne.

The tech guys at Belvoir Federal Credit Union used their software smarts to do some spring cleaning last summer that dramatically reduced the process of culling dormant accounts and sending the money therein packing.

Escheatment the legally mandated process of identifying abandoned deposits and remitting the funds to the appropriate authority, in this case the Virginia state treasurer’s office was a tedious and time-consuming proposition at Belvoir FCU. That’s until Sean McConnell, senior programmer/analyst, designed a solution that identifies accounts that have shown no share or loan activity or address verifications in the past five years and automates a mailer distribution.

Learn more about the escheatment system in A Strategy To Wind Down Abandoned Accounts by Marc Rapport.

Happy Reading!

April 11, 2016

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