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Dec20

Getting over the stress testing hump

It’s like the buzzword that doesn’t go away: stress testing may have seemed like an unnecessary step for many institutions in the past, a buzzword that applied only to the big banks. But with the support of the regulatory agencies, the buzzword is becoming more of a minimum standard.

The good news is that institutions can “get over the hump” pretty easily if they recognize components of the analysis they may already have within the bank. By using the data and results already available, banks can get a jump-start. [More]

Dec19

What are biggest challenges with FAS 114 impairment analyses?

In calculating the ALLL, often one of most cumbersome components of the process proves to be the FAS 114 (ASC 310-10-35) impairment analysis. Instead of being grouped into homogenous pools like their FAS 5 (ASC 450-20) counterparts, these loans are segmented out as having evidence of impairment and then calculated individually to determine expected loss. This process can be both time consuming and complex. [More]

Dec18

5 Questions accountants can ask to deepen client relationships during tax season

At the height of tax season one problem accountants often face is maximizing their client meetings. When an entire firm – and entire industry, for that matter – is racing against the clock and aims to pack as much into each day as possible, it is natural for even the most organized of us to feel a bit disorganized. [More]

Dec17

Address your top pain points in performing valuations

Demand for valuation services is growing, according to a recent AICPA survey. At the same time, valuation and forensic professionals told the AICPA they have a number of concerns about issues related to providing their services, including: Increased complexity and scrutiny in engagements; competition and fee pressure; regulatory changes; and attracting and retaining qualified staff. Using an automated solution like Sageworks Valuation Solution can help valuation pros address each of these pain points, ensuring your firm generates superior analyses, superior report products and a superior reputation for your firm. [More]

Dec16

Lending standards slip, risk increasing according to OCC

Lending standards continue to relax, according to data from the OCC’s 2014 Survey of Credit Underwriting Practices. This type of easing is similar to that experienced between 2004 and 2006, the time period leading up to the financial crisis, which many attribute to inadequate lending standards.
Overall Commercial Product Underwriting Trends [More]

Dec15

At credit unions, focus on customer experience reigns

Great customer service is not to be underestimated, particularly at a financial institution. It instills loyalty in current clients, spreads word of mouth to attract new ones, and eases the transition for those newly acquired. As a consumer, there’s some degree of anxiety to be faced when trusting your hard-earned money to various entities, and that anxiety only grows as the number does. A bank or credit union with an excellent reputation for customer service can bridge the gap and ease the worries that come along with having to entrust your money to an outside party. [More]

Dec14

3 Percent down payments and risk to lenders

Many would point to imprudent lending standards as a leading cause of the financial crisis of 2008, and in turn, financial institution regulators have since bolstered lending standards and capital thresholds as a preventive measure against a similar crisis.

But recent news from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac might suggest that the market is inching closer towards pre-recession lending practices. [More]

Dec12

Don’t worry, be happy: Firm-wide benefits of an accounting mentorship program

Whether you’re an accountant with five years’ experience or 35, the lessons that you learned early on in your career – especially those bits of knowledge you figured out the hard way – may not be able to turn back time for you, but can most certainly help someone else. A mentoring program – be it firm-run and formal, or self-directed and informal – can be a valuable resource for the fresh-faced new accountants, as well as those more experience. [More]

Dec11

How the OCC risk governance framework applies to community banks

In September, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) published final guidelines designed to “strengthen the governance and risk management practices of large financial institutions.” While the final guidance clearly applies to larger financial institutions, community banks should still take note. In fact, one section of the OCC guidance highlights how community banks could be impacted. [More]

Dec10

New Year’s Resolution: Healthier accounting firm growth with a pipeline full of better clients

For accountants and CPAs who would like to ensure practice growth in the new year, it’s not too early to make an important resolution and begin considering implementation strategies. Resolve now to attract and retain higher-quality clients for your services, and then start planning for changes that will achieve your goal. Here's how. [More]