4 Things to Consider when Making a G/L Change
This past week, in partnership with The Mortgage Collaborative, I presented a session on how, in our experience, some mortgage lenders see the finance department as a bit of a “red headed step child”, often due to the lack of knowledge of what occurs day-to-day, while also underestimating the true value they can bring when leveraged properly. When a company does embrace the department fully and allows it to leverage technology in line with the rest of the organization, the result for the business cannot be argued, as we have seen firsthand in many of our customers. The right technology can absolutely help to reduce direct costs, while also increasing visibility into the company’s performance enabling executives to manage more effectively.
With that said, making a big technology change like switching G/L’s is not something an organization should ever take lightly, and ensuring you partner with the right vendor is essential in maximizing the investment the business will make on this project. Over the past 2 years or so, we have written several pieces relating to why organizations should make a change, what the right solution can do, technology considerations and things to think about during implementation. Therefore, I thought it was about time we condensed them into a handy list of things to think about.
1. Signs that it’s time to make a change
There are many common symptoms that occur when it’s time to make a system change. Typically, this is because the business has outgrown its current solution, or the solution hasn’t kept up with evolving technology. The use of Excel is often rampant in departments using tools lacking the necessary functionality they need. This in turn creates significant extra work and greater risk around the integrity of the data. Other signs it's time to make a change include a lack of access to key information in a timely fashion (more on that in a moment), as well as your trusted business advisors are telling you it’s time to make a move. Have a read of our 4 Clues It’s Time to Upgrade Your Mortgage Accounting Software to learn more.
2. Understand what you are trying to achieve with a system change
Not all financial systems were created equally. Therefore, it’s vitally important that when exploring new solutions an organization truly understands what they are trying to achieve and how the new solution allows them to reach that goal. A good example of must-have capabilities focuses on reporting and the depth of analysis a company can do in their financial system, especially in a market like today's. It is essential that the financial solution can deliver granular reporting right across the business, not just the loan level but also Channel, Region, Branch, Loan Officer, Product and beyond. In the article, Using Software to Uncover Mortgage Business Insight, we discussed how, with the right tools originators can surface valuable information more readily.
3. Vet the technology thoroughly
The mortgage industry may have been a little behind some other industries in embracing technology, but boy has that changed in the recent past. Financial systems are no different to other tools used across the business in how they have evolved in usability, capabilities and scalability. In our article, Financial Accounting Systems in the Age of Agility, we highlight four areas an organization should consider before committing to a vendor. Firstly, what foundation does the system reside on. Is it a solid base that continues to move with the times and can it scale as your organization scales? In addition, does the vendor have the finances to continue to enhance the system as the pace of technology change increase. The last thing a lender wants is to replace a system a few short years after they implemented the last one. Therefore, making sure the solution you pick will evolve and grow with you is essential.
4. Make sure the right people are in place for the change!
With the decision made to make a change, the goals of the project clearly defined and the solution you’ve chosen fully vetted, comes the crucial part - implementation! Ensuring the right person takes the helm is essential so the project meets its timelines, budgets and goals is key. In our article, Implementation Requires a Steady Hand, our Deployment Director comments that the project should absolutely be a team effort, but ultimately should be led by a person of authority, but also, involved enough to understand the day-to-day processes of the department. This person typically would be the Controller, who in turn reports to the CFO, using them as a sounding board when required but ultimately able to make decisions and drive the department towards the best possible outcome.
About the author:
Carl Wooloff is the Director of Sales and Marketing at Loan Vision, the mortgage industry’s fastest growing provider of accounting and financial management solutions. You can reach Carl at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Moving to the latest version of Loan Vision will allow us to automate more and get more information to the decision makers in the branches without them having to reach out to the head officeOystein Konsmo, Chief Financial Officer, NOVA® Homes Loans