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Community banks most likely to approve small business loans

According to a recent survey from four Federal Reserve Banks, small regional and community banks have the highest approval rate for small business loans. Over the first half of 2014, these banks, with an approval rate of just under 60 percent, beat out large national banks, large regional banks and online lenders. Yet, these smaller institutions are the third most popular option among applicants – both large banks and large regional banks receive more small business loan applications than their community bank counterparts.

Credit sources



The war for wallets: CU Wallet to debut this year

The world is increasingly digital. Favorite songs, memorable moments and solitaire are all housed on a small, thin rectangle likely tucked away in a pocket. The techies and bankers alike knew that a mobile wallet was next. And why shouldn't it be? Peek inside nearly any brick-and-mortar retailer and you’ll see a wave of smartphones in-hand, people waiting for their turn to step to the register and make their purchase. If music, photos and games are all available on a smartphone, then shouldn't a wallet be as well? [More]


How to increase revenue this busy season without adding clients

To increase revenue, your accounting firm either needs to add clients or boost prices, right? Those are certainly two options for accountants looking to have a better busy season than last year, according to Natasha Closs. director of ProfitCents Consulting & Advisory Services. Taking either of these approaches, however, could mean you are overlooking a valuable source of new revenue under your nose: Cross-selling services to existing clients.

Natasha Closs



Defending the bank's capital levels

The Recession and its subsequent rate of bank failures underscore the need for banks of all sizes to invest in developing a capital plan. The Recession taught many institutions that whatever processes had been in place for managing capital were not sufficient. Often, they either failed to include forward-looking analyses, or the forward-looking analysis outlined in capital policy may not have gone to far enough extremes. The result was insufficient capital.

Defend Capital Position



Growing a mortgage portfolio: Encourage borrowers to bank local

With mortgage rates down in the US, many homebuyers are looking locally to their community banks to finance their new, potentially life-changing purchase. In the spirit of the go local movement, new data from Sageworks Bank Information peeked in on 10 cities to see which community banks were making an impact on local mortgage lending. [More]


Optimizing valuation engagements to aid business development

Bringing in new clients is a top priority for forensic and valuation accountants. Valuation professionals can optimize their engagements by making the report-writing process more efficient, leaving more time to devote to business development.



New rules on cybersecurity, MBLs considered by NCUA for 2015

Following a security breach at Palm Springs Federal Credit Union in 2014, the NCUA is considering requiring the encryption of all data provided to its examiners. But enhanced data security measures aren't the only new rules being considered by the NCUA in 2015.

Security breach



What can accountants learn about pricing and cross-selling from retailers?

A common mistake among retailers is selling based on price rather than on value, a retail industry consultant wrote recently. Customers end up cherry-picking and avoiding the add-ons, says The Retail Doctor founder Bob Phibbs. “It’s like they go to the bargain matinee but never visit the concession stand.” Accountants who yield to real or perceived pricing pressure would do well to remember his comparison during meetings in the coming months with tax or audit clients.



Effective and efficient business valuation report writing

Business valuation services are among the highest-growing niche services among Top 100 accounting firms, according to Accounting Today. One aspect of providing this service, however, is notoriously time-consuming and frustrating: Writing business valuation reports. Here are a few common challenges and some suggestions for addressing them.

Business valuation professional - image credit: Shutterstock



Understanding and defining qualitative risk rating factors

Risk rating credits is a primary function at any bank or credit union, and the methodology selecting impacts everything from the loans the institution will originate, to concentration limits and lending strategy to reserve levels and as a result bank earnings.

With such a widespread effect throughout the bank, getting the methodology right is important. [More]