What are Customer Financials?

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In banking, the term “customer financials” is commonly used to encompass a variety of documents that are utilized to determine the creditworthiness of a borrower. Banks utilize data from the customer financial statements to make prudent decisions and avoid unnecessary risk during the lending process.

Types of Customer Financials

The actual types of documents that must be collected vary depending on the customer type, loan type, and life of the loan. Speak to your lending and compliance teams for a specific list based on your policies and procedures.

Generally speaking, determining the creditworthiness of a commercial entity involves considerable financial analysis, and therefore requires in-depth financial documentation. Among other things, a small business may be asked to provide a profit and loss statement, balance sheet, and an accounts receivable statement. However, an individual applying for an auto loan might provide far less documentation, such as a W-2 wage and tax statement.

Collecting Customer Financials on an Ongoing Basis

Commercial, agricultural, and other complex loans usually require ongoing collection of customer financial statements. Operations and performance can change rapidly from business to business—especially during periods of economic uncertainty–which is why ongoing collection of financial data is key.

In years past, customers would stop by their banks to drop off updated financial documents or send them through the mail. Today, banks increasingly utilize secure online portals to collect customer financials. Financial institutions also use tickler systems to track expiring and missing documentation. (Missing and expiring documentation are commonly referred to as “exceptions.”) Document management systems with built-in tracking and notification capabilities can further streamline the document collection process. For example, AccuAccount can send out email notifications, which contain links to the bank’s document collection portal. Customers simply click the link in the email and upload digital copies of their documents.

Analyzing Customer Financial Statements

Collecting updated customer financials is a key step in the process, but it’s not the end of the story. Analyzing the data within the financial statements helps banks gain a fresh perspective into the relationship. For example, obtaining an updated P&L statement, balance sheet, and AR statement for a commercial customer could help the bank identify any concerning trends before they become major issues.

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