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Kleptocracy – What Does it Mean to Community Financial Institutions?

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The term kleptocracy has been used in the financial crimes profession for years, but many AML professionals do not understand its meaning and therefore are not adequately monitoring for it within their BSA/AML program. So, what is a kleptocrat?

Why It Is Critical to Update Your Core Deposit Study

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By Urum Urumoglu Senior Consultant A financial institution’s internal pricing decisions and strategies are crucial to the safety and the soundness of the organization and to its interest rate risk management process in particular.

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Auditors Will Evaluate CECL Estimates as ‘Fresh Start’ From Incurred Loss Model

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A subcommittee of the AICPA task force focused on the current expected credit loss standard (CECL) has provided its first look at how auditors will approach the changes with clients, noting that CECL represents a “fresh start” from the incurred loss model.

CECL Lessons Learned

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At Abrigo, many of us eat, sleep and breathe CECL. Since the very inception of the concept of an expected loss standard back in 2012, Abrigo professionals have been paying close attention to the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB).

How to Mitigate Ag Lending Risks

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The following article is based on the whitepaper, The Ag Lender’s Survival Guide by Rob Newberry, SVP of Credit Risk Services at Abrigo. To download the whitepaper, click here. Today, most of farmers’ cash reserves that were built up in 2012-2014 are at, or nearing, depletion.

Latest CECL FAQs

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The Financial Accounting Standards Board’s new current expected credit loss (CECL) standard, known as one of the biggest changes to bank accounting. Because of the complexities and changes that CECL brings, there are many questions surrounding implementation, potential effects, and more.

A CECL Timeline for Credit Unions

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We are closing in on six months until the SEC filers’ CECL effective date. While credit unions have some additional runway after the November 2018 CECL delay, there is likely less time than expected.

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World Elder Abuse Awareness Day: What Can Financial Institutions Do to Become More Aware?

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Every year, it is estimated elder adults are exploited for up to $36 billion. World Elder Abuse Awareness Day aims to bring worldwide awareness to this under-reported problem. It is an international United Nations observance day that is commemorated by most countries around the globe on June 15.

Strong Deceleration of Job Growth in May

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This morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its national employment situation report for May. The report was underwhelming, with just 75,000 jobs created last month – well below the 180,000 jobs expected.

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Why Do So Many Financial Institutions Avoid SBA Lending?

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SBA Lending Can Be a Hidden Gem for Some Institutions. Loans guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration represent an underutilized growth engine for financial institutions. With proper planning and the utilization of technology, SBA lending can boost customer acquisitions and deposits.

Why Non-PBEs Shouldn’t Bank on a CECL Delay

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Last week, Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) introduced a bill, S. 1564 , calling for a delay in the implementation of the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s current expected credit loss (CECL) standard.

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Need Staffing Relief? Here Are 5 Ways Our Suspicious Activity Monitoring Solution Can Help.

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For some people, going on vacation is a necessary break. For BSA professionals, it can be nothing but major stress.

4 Criteria When Assessing a Modern-Day Loan Origination System

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The lending landscape is growing increasingly competitive, and the loan process can be frustrating and time-consuming. A loan origination system (LOS) can provide clarity to the intertwined data web that the loan lifecycle weaves , but not every LOS is built the same. Here are four critical criteria to consider when assessing a modern-day LOS for your financial institution: Implementation and integration – You don’t want to spend time and/or money on software you don’t use.

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Using Single- and Multi-Channel Fraud Detection to Prevent Elder Financial Abuse

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May 15 is National Senior Fraud Awareness Day , and while it is crucial to have a date to call attention to the nefarious actors that target the elderly, it is even more critical to make sure your institution is catching all forms of fraud that affect your customers or members, no matter their age.

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Hidden Costs of Managing Multiple Vendors

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To satisfy increasingly digital consumers and keep up with big technology players in the banking industry, financial institutions are looking towards third-party vendors and fintech firms to help digitize offerings, automate processes, and create efficiencies. These collaborations between fintech and financial institutions have helped institutions increase revenues, generate new offerings and new business, and enhance the borrower experience.

Is a Test Environment Necessary? 5 Reasons Why Financial Institutions Need One for Their AML & Fraud Monitoring Systems

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Change is inevitable. Software systems get upgraded; new technology gets implemented. Financial institutions should have Change Management Policies that define change, as well as establish the procedures around managing change. Changes could stem from internal sources, like policies and procedures, new products, or product updates; or they could be external changes, like new compliance rules and regulations.

5 Reasons BSA Officers Love BAM+

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Whether you know a little or a lot about BSA/AML software automation, there are a few key elements to consider. First of all, what are the system’s capabilities? Second, what are some indicators of software that gets the job done? Many Compliance Officers and examiners agree that automation makes your BSA program more efficient. But it’s important to know what you’re looking for. Below are a few features that elevate BAM+ above the rank and file of the BSA/AML software industry.

10 questions to evaluate your BSA system

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Taking the first step into automating your BSA program can be daunting. Helping hundreds of institution through this process has helped our team put together a few questions to help you navigate this journey. Can you check the box on your BSA software? Am I doing too much manually? With the increasing expectations of BSA, a highly manual process can fall short. Even some software requires a lot of manual work, which seems to defeat the purpose.

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Does Your Compliance Program Fit Within the OFAC Framework for Sanctions Compliance?

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The U.S. Department of the Treasury recently published A Framework for OFAC Compliance Commitments to provide financial institutions and other organizations with OFAC’s perspective on the essential components of a sanctions program. Andrea M. Gacki, Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control, stated that “OFAC developed this framework in our continuing effort to strengthen sanctions compliance practices across the board.”

Setting goals for exiting your business: Why it’s important

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By John Brown, Founder of Business Enterprise Institute, Inc. Setting goals is critically important when you approach the inevitable exit from your business. Without goals, even the strongest systems fail, as they have no purpose to work toward.

Small U.S. accounting firms and their consultative future

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While the Big 4 firms often receive the majority of coverage and attention in the accounting industry, they are far from representative of the average firm in the U.S. In fact, 90% of all accounting firms have 10 or fewer collective partners or owners ( AFOT ).

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Cash Flow and Quality of Earnings

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By John F. Dini, CMBA, CExP Financial buyers, Private Equity Groups and Family Offices, acquire companies based on their Return on Investment (ROI).

5 Cash flow management best practices for business owners

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By Alison Nailor, Sageworks As a business owner, you understand it’s important to be aware of your company’s cash flow and manage it well. In the rush of day to day business management, however, this can be difficult.

How to prevent or close deal-breaking valuation gaps

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Whether a company is a Main Street florist or Fortune 100, executives and owners struggle with the gap between their perceived value of the business and the market value.

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Help clients boost enterprise value by building collaborative decision-making

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By Rich Greene, CEO - Director, Clarus Advisors How a company interacts internally to overcome obstacles is a key to building and expanding the enterprise value of the organization.

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Determining “reasonable compensation” in business valuations

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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as the saying goes, and so apparently is “reasonable compensation” for a business owner.

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Tech hardware for accountants & advisors: A primer

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Is it reasonable to expect a chef to prepare a gourmet meal when her only resources are dull knives, expired food and an oven that does not heat properly?

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Technology can handle these 5 accounting tasks for you

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How long does it take to close a commercial loan?

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Banks have a wealth of information available to them, and if they use the right tools to dissect that information, they can make major process changes that improve what matters most to customers – both customers of today and tomorrow.

3 Ways CPAs can leverage technology for meaningful practice growth

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A major concern surrounding technology expenditures is whether the investments will generate a return for the accounting practice.

Infographic: Is your firm future ready?

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With 90 percent of accounting firms acknowledging that the digital future is rapidly approaching, it is crucial that firms prepare themselves for the collision of trends that will drive the future of the industry.

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Optimizing valuation engagements to aid business development

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Bringing in new clients is a top priority for forensic and valuation accountants, with 87 percent calling the task somewhat or extremely important, according to a recent AICPA study. The emphasis on business development is understandable.

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Top mistakes accountants are making with existing clients

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Singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell was referring to environmental impacts when she sang, “Don’t it always seem to go/That you don’t know what you’ve got/Till it’s gone” in "Big Yellow Taxi."

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Infographic: Why accounting firms need value added services

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There are several reasons why an accounting firm should consider developing and selling advisory services. Most notably, firms can increase their client retention up to 98 percent by providing 5 or more services to their clients.

Retaining and building loyalty with the “right” accounting firm clients

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Retaining the “right” clients for your accounting firm and taking the time to develop loyal relationships with those clients should be a high priority, according to practice management consultant Charles Hylan.

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Banks and CDFIs: Partnering for community impact

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Guest Post By Paige Chapel, President & CEO, Aeris Most banks recognize that their enterprises can only thrive if their customers also do. And to thrive, those customers need economically diverse and healthy communities in which to live and work. Partnering with local organizations to promote the health of those communities is often a top priority for banks.

Infographic: How will your firm grow?

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Most partners or valuation professionals are constantly asking themselves this question: How will our firm grow?

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How to get referrals and grow your firm

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By Natasha Closs, Director of ProfitCents Consulting & Advisory Services. An ongoing challenge for accountants and other financial services professionals is attracting new clients.

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Accountants: Are you a cost center or a growth partner?

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Business valuation software: What are the benefits?

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In the same way that no two businesses are the same, no two business valuations are the same, either. This is partly why the practice of business valuation is often said to be part art, part science.

7 Policies that help CPA and consulting firms recruit for advisory services

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A national benchmarking report shows that professional staff turnover rates exceed 20 percent in 1 of every 5 accounting firms generating more than $75 million in annual revenue.

A year since CECL: Capital expected to be most impacted

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In the 13 months since the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) finalized its new standard on accounting for credit losses, ASU 326, financial institutions have been preparing to implement what has been labeled by some industry figures as the biggest change ever to bank accounting.

Tips to Prepare Your Client's Business for Sale

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The following is written by Mary Beth Koester , Manager of Business Valuations at Rae & Associates. As you prepare clients for an exit, there are a few key areas and metrics to consider. Keeping in mind that exit planning can, and should, begin years in advance, you will be able to watch as these metrics change over time. You’ll become an important advisor to the business owner, making your role critical to their success. These common factors can impact the value of a business: 1.