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Sageworks Blog


Making your lending process efficient

For most banks and credit unions, a current strategic focus is loan growth – increasing the portfolio by both acquiring new borrowers and expanding services offered to existing borrowers.

In this competitive environment, to win prospective loans, regardless of whether it is a new or existing borrower, the institution has to respond with efficiency. And if the lending process is fraught with inefficiency…it will be difficult to get back to the prospective borrower with the same speed as other institutions. [More]


Business valuations as performance dashboards for accounting clients

Offering advisory services like valuation engagements or calculations of value can provide new options for tax accounting firms to spread work and revenue throughout the year. Valuations also can help business owners see the need for operational improvements -- serving as a kind of performance dashboard to illustrate how the business is doing.

Dashboard at 65 mph by Curtis Palmer



OCC warns against lax auto loan standards

The U.S. auto industry is booming. According to Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED), total light weight vehicle sales rose to 16.6 million in January 2015, from 15.2 million the year prior. Unsurprisingly, the sales growth also increased demand for auto loans at domestic banks. To continue growth in their portfolios and keep pace with credit unions, many U.S. banks are lowering underwriting standards. Recent comments from Darrin Benhart, deputy comptroller for supervision risk at the OCC, highlighted the OCC’s concerns about the evolution of the auto loan market and the risks that are being taken. [More]


What is your accounting firm’s plan post-tax season?

With spring comes the promise of warmer temperatures, irises and snapdragons, along with March Madness college basketball rivalries and the start of baseball season. While tax accountants may not be able to see the light at the end of the busy season tunnel yet, the spring is sure to come. And when it does, and the W-2s and I-9s stop flooding in, some accountants and firms may want to transition from compliance work to more value-added advisory services. [More]


Business-valuation methods matter

Business valuations require a blend of art and science. But as a recent survey shows, having the wrong number at the end of your business-valuation engagement can mean your client is unable to sell when he or she needs to, so it's important to use the best valuation approach. Brokers and appraisers use a variety of valuation approaches, according to the survey by Pepperdine University.

Brokers and valuation methods



Auto lending up more than 30 percent at credit unions since 2012

These positive trends – job creation and more money in their pockets – may encourage consumers to spend more than they could just a few years ago. Two big ticket items – homes and cars – are on the minds of many consumers, and this could spell success for many credit unions. [More]


Professional standards and business valuations

Standards – whether they relate to academics, safety or business practices – help people identify acceptable levels of quality, and standards are used in nearly all aspects of our lives. In the field of business valuations, professionals often rely on standards to make sure they are following industry best practices and are providing quality valuations consistent with those provided by peers. Here are a few resources and details on who uses which standards.



Which loan types are fueling bank growth?

Following the recent recession, U.S. commercial bank loan portfolios have continued to expand. As of the third quarter of 2014, the total value of portfolios was $7.4 trillion, up from about $6.5 trillion at the end of the third quarter of 2011. Which areas of lending and what banks are driving the expansion? A recent issue of Banking Insights, published by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, revealed the answers by analyzing call reports of all U.S. commercial banks.

Annual Growth Rate by Loan Type



In the news: Are community banks and credit unions overregulated?

One of the topics continually making headlines in banking today is the cost of regulation. Members of Congress are currently debating the topic – whether smaller financial institutions are being negatively impacted by regulations like the Dodd-Frank Act – within a Senate Banking Committee hearing on regulatory relief for small banks and credit unions... [More]


Trend analysis within your Watch List

A standard component of monthly board meetings is an update on the performance and volume of the institution’s Watch List, the group of adversely classified loans under close supervision due to past nonperformance. Oftentimes, the Watch List includes loans rated as a (low) Pass, Special Mention, Substandard, though in some situations the bank also includes loans nearing these thresholds as precautionary measure.

A trend analysis for the Watch List may be analyzed on a variety of fronts including

1. Outstanding Balance
2. Number of Loans
3. Number of Borrowers
4. Total Exposure [More]