Because so many of our clients were keeping up with ticklers in Excel prior to switching over to FISCAL TRACKING, we sometimes have a tendency to focus on How Excel might be Slowing down your Efficiency. When tracking in Excel, people often tell us that they’re frustrated with the complete lack of standardization and consistency, concerned about how many items are falling past due and how long they’re staying past due before finally getting collected, and they’re tired of being reactive all the time, never feeling like they’re able to make forward progress.
But today, we’re going to highlight some of the most common benefits of using a tracking solution like FISCAL TRACKING, according to our clients. All of these benefits broadly fit into three categories: A Streamlined Process, Increased Efficiency, and Improved Customer Satisfaction.
A Streamlined Process
One of the hard to quantify costs of using an Excel-based process in place of tickler system software is the lack of standardization or consistency in the way things are tracked. This lack of a defined process can make it nearly impossible for anyone other than the main tracking administrator to determine what you have and what you need for each borrower, and training a new employee on the procedures for tracking is incredibly difficult and time-consuming. This can mean that only one or two employees shoulder the burden of tracking for the entire organization, and getting anyone new trained up to relieve them is impossible.
Another downside to having a less standardized process is increased examiner scrutiny. Even if your institution is doing a fine job of collecting items and clearing exceptions, the lack of a clear, easily articulated process means regulators are likely to ask even more questions about each file- questions only those key employees can answer.
Tickler tracking software can provide a simple, streamlined approach; from using a standardized library of available checklist items, to offering an array of available reports right out of the box. Vendors can also share a wealth of insight and experience from their other clients and may even handle training new employees for you. And examiners like to see that you are using a time-tested and widely-accepted process with tickler software.
Because of the many inefficiencies of Excel-based tracking processes, tracking administrators often spend all their time generating past due lists, clearing exceptions, and manually creating letters, meaning the actual collection of past due items falls to the Loan Officers. Eventually, this can result in the officers spending as much as half their time chasing exceptions, leaving little time for bringing in new deals or servicing existing relationships. And the more productive an Officer is, the faster they’ll reach this point.
Dedicated bank tickler tracking solutions can eliminate much of Excel’s time-consuming, manual processes through streamlined checklist creation, efficient letter generation, and even automated reporting. More timely reports and proactive letters translates into a higher response from your borrowers, meaning that fewer items fall past due in the first place, and those that do can be collected quickly and easily.
This efficiency of tickler file software allows a few back-office personnel to handle all aspects of exception and tickler tracking for an ever-growing portfolio, freeing up your Loan Officers to spend their time closing new business and taking care of their existing relationships.
Improved Customer Satisfaction
Nobody likes being told they’ve dropped the ball or missed a deadline, yet many manual tracking processes don’t have any way to see an item until after it falls past due, meaning that your very first communication with the borrower is seen as criticizing their failure to do the right thing.
Another common frustration for customers comes when requesting a new loan request. Their Loan Officer doesn’t have access to what financials or other documentation you have already or need to collect, and has to request that information from back office staff, which often takes days or even weeks to pull together.
Using a tracking program provides complete transparency, so that any user can see exactly what you have and what you need from every customer. Letters can be generated with just a few clicks, so they can be sent more frequently, and can even be set to capture items that are coming due soon, rather than only items that have already fallen past due.
Fiscal TRACKING Can Benefit You
FISCAL offers a purpose-built tracking solution, designed specifically for small community banks and credit unions. Our Standardized System, Consistent Communication, and Flexible Process allow community financial institutions to streamline their processes, increase efficiency, and improve overall customer satisfaction with industry-leading financial spreading tools.