You’re in the business of helping companies in your community to expand and grow.
In this line of work, you obviously have a number of important obligations. Document tracking is certainly one of them.
In this post, we’ll discuss why financial institutions are moving away from manual banking ticklers – and what your institution can do to become more efficient.
1. Ticklers Consume Precious Man-hours
Your bank is a dynamic entity. Customers come and go. New accounts are booked, while others go inactive. To compound the situation, hundreds (if not thousands) of customer documents arrive each day.
If you’re relying on a tickler, each exception must be added, edited, or cleared by someone on your payroll. Even for the most efficient loan administration team, the sheer volume of data entry can quickly become unmanageable. To support an ever-growing loan portfolio, additional full-time or part-time help must be added. When salaries, benefits, and paid time off are factored into the equation, the fully loaded cost of a tickler can be much greater than originally perceived.
2. Ticklers Are Error-Prone
Assuming that you have the in-house capacity to manage all the data entry, there’s still a good chance that mistakes will be made. Rapid tickler updates can lead to a variety of oversights. In fact, banks routinely tell us they struggle with:
- Forgetting to add customers into the tickler in the first place.
- Assigning future exceptions to the wrong customer.
- Managing duplicate exceptions, caused by overlapping tickler records.
- Accidentally clearing exceptions prematurely.
- Sending notice letters too many times to the same customer, even after the documents had been received.
A single slip of the mouse or keyboard could cause one or more of these issues, resulting in an embarrassing predicament with customers, senior management, and auditors.
3. Tickler Reports are Unreliable
When we surveyed 96 community bankers, we learned that “data overlap and accuracy” and “reporting” were two of the biggest exception-related challenges for community banks. It’s no wonder, especially when you consider that 69% of those surveyed rely on manual exception tracking processes – many of whom used a stand-alone banking tickler system.
Ticklers, particularly those not integrated to the core, present multiple reporting challenges. For starters, tickler reports are outdated the moment they’re created. With each passing hour, new documents arrive, thereby compounding the issue. This can lead to internal confusion and unnecessary friction with customers.
Furthermore, the simple act of preparing a tickler report is a highly labor-intensive process. For example, some banks use multiple ticklers across the organization. Commercial loans might be tracked in one tickler, whereas disclosure dissemination is tracked in another. In such a scenario, merging all outstanding exceptions into a single report requires significant data manipulation by your staff. And, any time multiple tickler data is merged together, the chance of data corruption dramatically increases.
A Possible Solution to Your Tickler Problems
So, what are community banks to do?
One option involves the use of an integrated document tracking system, such as our AccuAccount platform. Unlike a tickler, which depends on your staff to keep it updated, a system like AccuAccount connects directly to your core. As new customers and accounts are booked to your core, document placeholders and exceptions automatically appear in AccuAccount. When new customer documents arrive, your team can scan, upload, and attach the files to the correct customer or account. This automatically clears up outstanding exceptions, bypassing the frustrating process of cross-checking loan files with banking ticklers.
Is It Time to Integrate?
By integrating your bank’s imaging and exception management to your core, you get the best of both worlds. Your staff can focus on more value-added activities, and your institution can enjoy more reliable document tracking.
Spend time studying your institution’s current document workflow. You may be surprised by the efficiency that a more integrated approach can yield.