Document tracking is sometimes viewed as a back-office function that deserves minimal strategic thought. Banks that hold this opinion tend to struggle with inefficiency, unreliable information, and massive exception lists.
Taking a proactive (and strategic) approach to document tracking can deliver tangible benefits, not the least of which includes better data, less confusion, and more time to focus on lending.
But how can your bank develop an effective document tracking strategy? Here are five key elements to consider.
It’s not uncommon for banks to allow branches to develop their own tracking processes. One branch might use a desktop tickler app, while others prefer tracking in spreadsheets. As the bank grows, the complexity grows, too. As a result, simply producing a bank-wide exception report for management or auditors becomes a monumental task.
Standardizing a financial institution’s document tracking workflow across all branches and departments provides an opportunity to simplify reporting. In addition, with a system like AccuAccount, the bank can define a standard set of exceptions for each customer or loan type while retaining the flexibility to customize on an as-needed basis. Bankers spend less time (and mental energy) trying to remember what needs to be tracked and more time actually resolving exceptions.
Maintaining parallel tracking systems across branches is especially detrimental to growth-minded banks. Acquiring a bank of equal size could essentially double the number of overlapping and redundant processes for someone to eventually wade through.
Centralizing all of a bank’s documents, exceptions, and relevant customer information in a core-integrated system like AccuAccount can make it easier to onboard newly acquired banks. Rather than manually digging through siloed spreadsheets and ticklers, banks could integrate AccuAccount to almost any core banking system. Connecting to AccuAccount allows customer and account data to flow into one centralized location, which simplifies numerous important activities—including exception management.
Every inefficient process has an associated cost. Manually generating document checklists, combining spreadsheets, and distributing exception reports wastes time—and money.
With the right technology, however, many document tracking tasks can be completely or partially automated. For example, the document scheduler feature in AccuAccount allows banks to set predefined schedules for tracking financial statements, tax returns, and other recurring documents. Tracking all exceptions in AccuAccount also eliminates time-consuming administrative work, such as exception report preparation and distribution. Simply decide when and to whom exception reports should be distributed—and AccuAccount handles the rest.
Inbox overload is a real problem in today’s business environment. Yes, some lenders and loan admins will regularly review automated exception emails. Others will tune them out no matter how many emails are sent.
Offering bankers a variety of ways to consume exception data is key for reducing documentation issues. That’s one reason why we built Dynamic Reporting for AccuAccount. Not only can bankers build and share custom exception reports (by officer, loan type, etc.), but they can also embed them into their AccuAccount dashboards. Clicking on a record takes the user to the related customer page, which makes it easier to review the situation and resolve the exception.
Missing and expired documents are only part of an effective tracking strategy. Sometimes, a team member just needs to be reminded to take action—such as reaching out to a customer or verifying a signature card.
With task exceptions in AccuAccount, banks can add an additional layer of accountability to their standard document tracking processes. Task exceptions are essentially to-dos that remind users to take action. Like standard exception reports, task exceptions can also be embedded into users’ AccuAccount dashboards. Embedded reports make it easier for staff to stay on their tasks and, ultimately, get things done.
Time for a Better Strategy?
Standardization, centralization, automation, transparency, and accountability. In our experience, banks that focus on these five pillars track more effectively than those that don’t. Which pillar(s) should your bank focus on first?
Questions about document tracking? Our team of experienced document management professionals are here to help. Contact us to start a conversation.