process automation for small banks

4 Benefits of Automated Financial Spreading for Small Banks

Posted by Fiscal on March 21, 2023

Automation has increasingly become a linchpin in optimizing operations across various sectors, notably within the banking and lending landscapes. The process of financial statement spreading, a task traditionally fraught with manual labor, has been significantly transformed through the adoption of automated solutions. These innovations are designed to alleviate the workload of loan officers by efficiently pre-populating fields, spreadsheets, and documents – tasks which, if done manually, could consume precious hours.

Despite the clear advantages, some reservations persist among lending institutions, particularly smaller ones like community banks and credit unions. A common concern is that the introduction of automated financial spreading might usurp the control and decision-making of loan officers and analysts. Given the nature of small business lending, these institutions often find themselves in situations that require specific, one-off adjustments to financial spreads that automation won’t catch. We get it – when automation rigidly locks down the data or obscures decision processes, it may not always lead to the anticipated efficiencies.

In this blog, we’ll discuss automation opportunities for small banking and credit unions, understanding the unique needs of your business. Let’s dive in. 

Tailoring Automated Financial Spreading for Small Banking Needs

The goal is to identify financial spreading software that harmonizes time efficiency with the necessary level of user control. Ideal solutions should facilitate the scanning of tax returns to prepopulate spreads while retaining the flexibility for users to edit values, make necessary adjustments, or annotate with footnotes as they would when manually spreading. This approach ensures the elimination of rote tasks without detracting from the user’s input into the process.

4 Key Benefits of Automated Financial Spreading

1. Simplified Data Entry

Automation's true potential shines when it eradicates repetitive tasks. Advanced solutions provide a seamless way to input financial data and apply formulas across columns, offering a significant reduction in manual work. Unlike traditional spreadsheet management, automated tools allow for the creation of dynamic columns that adjust to user modifications, merging efficiency with flexibility.

2. Streamlined Reporting

Constantly generating and analyzing reports is integral to financial spreading and underwriting. Some platforms enable users to compile standard and custom reports swiftly, automating the assembly and achieving consistency without compromising the ability to tweak these reports for specific cases.

3. Effortless Global Cash Flow Analysis

Automating the collation of relevant data for global cash flow analyses can dramatically reduce the time investment required, especially when dealing with multiple guarantors and related entities. The ability to save and revisit specific scenarios streamlines annual reviews and ongoing assessments.

4. Automated Credit Memo Generation

The task of drafting credit memos is notoriously time-consuming. Automated spreading solutions can populate these documents with customer demographic information and the relationship’s existing loan/deposit balances pulled in automatically for the institution’s core system, as well as previously entered financial spread data, eliminating duplicate data entry and copy/pasting while ensuring consistency across deals.

Considerations When Choosing Automated Financial Spreading Softwares

While the allure of automation is undeniable, not all solutions are created equal. Institutions should meticulously evaluate how much time is currently spent on routine tasks and how proposed automated solutions could alleviate these burdens. The key is to assess whether a given automated tool genuinely offers time savings and maintains the flexibility needed for your unique processes.

For institutions wary of adopting automation due to concerns about losing the personal touch or control over their processes, it's crucial to remember that the right tool can enhance your operations without compromising the values that define your institution. Automation should serve as an extension of your capabilities, not a replacement.

FISCAL Forward Caters to the Needs of Small Financial Institutions

In navigating the complex landscape of financial automation, it's essential to find a platform that aligns with the unique needs and concerns of smaller lending institutions. FISCAL Forward is a thoughtfully designed solution, specifically tailored to address the challenges and reservations community banks and credit unions might have about embracing automated financial spreading.

The platform itself offers a flexible and user-friendly approach that enhances the financial spreading process without compromising the autonomy and decision-making of loan officers and analysts. Recognizing the importance of maintaining control over financial data, FISCAL Forward integrates features that allow for comprehensive review and adjustments by users, ensuring that automation serves as a support tool rather than a replacement for human expertise.

If you’d like a demo of FISCAL Forward, please reach out to schedule an appointment.


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