Ellen is arguably the hardest working person at your financial institution.
As your bank’s Exception Specialist, Ellen is responsible for making sure that everything – and I mean everything – is properly accounted for in each loan file. From title policies to recorded deeds of trust to insurance cancellations, Ellen tracks it all in a tickler spreadsheet that resides on the bank’s shared network drive.
Although Ellen is very good at what she does, she’s only human. Even if she performs her job flawlessly 99% of the time, that still leaves 1% of the time where oversights occur. And, when you’re talking about thousands of documents, a 1% margin of error can create considerable risk for the bank – especially during audit and exam season.
So, how do you close the gap on oversights while simultaneously simplifying Ellen’s daily work life?
Let’s explore how technology can streamline your bank’s exception management workflow.
The Daily Struggles of an Exception Specialist
Ellen would be the first to recognize the shortcomings of manual exception tracking. After all, she’s the one person at your bank who deals with these problems daily:
Incomplete Loan Files
Documents are routinely added to loan files without Ellen’s knowledge, creating glaring discrepancies between her tickler and reality. As a result, Ellen spends countless hours verifying and reverifying loan file contents.
Complex Reporting Requirements
Your commercial lenders receive their exception reports every Monday afternoon – except, of course, your top lender, Mike. Mike prefers to receive his exception report on Tuesday afternoon because he claims, “Monday is for making deals, not resolving exceptions.” As a result, Ellen spends most of her Monday and Tuesday mornings on report generation. In addition, Ellen spends a considerable amount of time generating exception reports for the board of directors and several other departments. Pulling manual reports isn’t the best use of Ellen’s time, and it also opens the door to more oversights.
With every piece of paper flowing through Ellen’s desk, couriers obviously play an important role in your exception management process. With branches spread across your community, however, your bank’s growing geographic footprint is creating document tracking delays. Ellen can’t clear an exception from her spreadsheet until she has the document in hand. Since Ellen isn’t a mind reader, she can’t predict which documents are already headed her way via interoffice mail. Oftentimes, lenders think they’ve satisfied an exception, when in reality, Ellen hasn’t received the document yet.
Ellen is certainly committed to her job, but she does have a personal life, too. Her two sons play travel baseball, which means she is always on the road on Friday afternoons during the summer. She also cares for her aging mother, which causes her to occasionally take extended lunch breaks. Unfortunately for Ellen, exceptions don’t magically go away when she’s out of the office. Ellen is good at playing catch-up, but there are still times where things get backed up. Falling behind forces Ellen to work twice as fast, which isn’t the best scenario from a quality control standpoint.
Overcoming Ellen’s Exception Issues
At the heart of Ellen’s struggles is her tickler file. Yes, it’s very organized. But, at the end of the day, it’s still a spreadsheet. As Ellen knows all too well, spreadsheets require constant attention to avoid stale data.
So, how can you help Ellen overcome these exception-related issues?
Many banks are moving toward an integrated approach to exception management. By “integrated” I mean connecting the tracking process to your core system and your imaging workflow.
Our AccuAccount platform, which is used by 15,000 bankers, is a good example of this type of integrated approach. Here’s how AccuAccount makes Ellen’s job so much easier:
- Lenders and branch-level staff scan new documents directly into AccuAccount, eliminating the need for couriers and reducing wait time.
- Depending on the scanning user’s access level and permissions, documents can be added directly to the customer file in AccuAccount. This automatically clears the exception, eliminating the need for Ellen to manually clear it later.
- When new loans or accounts are booked to your core system, AccuAccount also remembers to create new exceptions for missing documents. In other words, Ellen no longer has to remember to add exceptions to her tickler – AccuAccount does it for her.
- Exception reporting is significantly easier with AccuAccount. Users can subscribe to daily, weekly, monthly, or custom reports that show up automatically in their inboxes. So, Mike’s Tuesday morning report is no longer an issue.
Best of all, AccuAccount is designed to “look like” a loan file. It’s built to make the job of an exception specialist easier – not harder.
Make Ellen a Happy Camper
Finding and retaining a reliable exception specialist isn’t easy, especially in this tight labor market. Show Ellen how much you value her by giving her a more scalable exception management system.
Sign up for a free demo of AccuAccount.