The perspective many credit unions have on shared services and outsourcing will decide their future. The old business model simply doesn’t make sense anymore. Every day, we see credit unions struggle with staffing, efficiency, and risk; some walk a knife-edge. Others are strong and viable, but see the value of sharing services in an industry born out of cost-consciousness. Aux is committed to seeing credit unions thrive for future generations, and this is why we’ve worked so hard to research and understand exactly what credit union pain points are and the solutions to relieve them.
Collaborative Services painstakingly designed to work in tandem.
The Aux Team spent years researching how shared services can work both together and on their own to fit the unique needs of each credit union. The result is a profoundly flexible suite of services that encompasses accounting, compliance, data analytics, and partner services. It’s unlike anything you have ever seen before…because we are the only ones who offer it.
- Full service accounting, including CFO consulting
- Full service compliance, even the rare marketing compliance
- Data Analytics and executive-level consulting
- Custom projects
Mitigate Key Person Risk
Do you have just 1-3 employees in a department?
Due to the niche nature of credit unions, they are subject to a smaller staffing pool than many other industries. Credit union accounting, compliance and analytics functions are unique to the credit union industry, and employee experience cannot be transferred from outside it. Furthermore, it often takes years to achieve expert-level knowledge of these back-office areas. These factors create key-person risk situations in many small and mid-sized credit unions, who often have just 1-3 employees who work in a department. Of those three, just one is senior-level, and the rest tend to be junior level at best, or multi-departmental.
In these scenarios, which are scarily common, losing just one person can paralyze the entire department. The accounting, compliance, analytics or IT expert leaves, taking with them procedures and organization-specific knowledge that takes years to obtain, and leaves the CEO, COO and junior-level team scrambling. What’s more, these key individuals heavily influence the function and processes of the department, which makes a replacement even more jarring.
We at Aux are champions of mitigating key person risk. It is a pillar of our mission. Our specialized accounting team is trained three-deep for every client, and we record processes for our entire team to access if need be. Our outsourced compliance team is trained five-deep, and clients are not assigned specific officers. This provides consistency of practices across employees and allows an individual to step in whenever needed. The IT team has access to all records and functions of each credit union’s IT function, including powerful dashboards that the client can access as well.
Provide Separation of Duties
Are you checking your own work?
Because many credit unions back-office departments are small, there are not appropriate separation of duties in place. We see situations in accounting departments where someone is auditing their own work. In compliance departments, there is no one to check the compliance officer’s work or provide a second interpretation on confusing regulations. For example, if you wrote your own BSA procedure, how can you be the one to review it also? Auditors require certain items be subject to 3rd party review.
Our services intrinsically provide separation of duties because a whole separate CUSO is performing, assisting or reviewing your credit union’s functions. We provide built-in oversight of processing and auditing, allow more ability for checks and balances. Furthermore, our client portal provides an audit trail, ticket records and processing information for all tasks.
Relieve Staffing Concerns
Do you struggle to find and afford skilled staff?
Cost of living continues to outpace salaries across many of the nation’s major metropolitan areas. As not-for-profit institutions, credit unions struggle to provide competitive salaries. They are not just in a competition with banks for skilled employees, but other credit unions as well. On the other end of the spectrum, we are seeing a significant trend in lack of skilled workers across the U.S. in mid and small-sized economies. Even if cost of living is not a problem here, finding skilled workers, such as accountants, compliance officers and IT managers with specific credit union experience to fill positions, has proven increasingly difficult.
The demand for accountants in particular has been fierce. The BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) is predicting that the demand for accountants will increase 6% or more through 2028, in line with the average growth rate for all occupations. And though technology and automation should increasingly allow accountants to become more efficient, there is no prediction of reduced overall demand for accountants. In fact, though automation could take over routine tasks like data entry, the advisory and analytical duties of accountants will likely become even more prominent and in demand.
Aux services relieves the cost burdens due to the concept of “fractional consumption.” When you utilize our services, you are paying for just a sliver of a full team. This is why our services are so appealing to cost-conscious credit unions. For the cost of the salary and benefits of just one FTE, you received a whole team of credit union-centric departmental experts. In the case of CFOs, CIOs and CDOs (Chief Data Officers), our C-level consulting services cost just a sliver of one of these salaries.
With offices in Metro Denver and Washington, D.C., two areas saturated with credit unions, we have access to a large pool of skilled staff with industry knowledge, much more so than mid and small-sized economies. What’s more, our staff is able to work 100% virtually, so we are not bound to one metro area to acquire staff.