Trust Document Management Inefficiencies (& Tips for Overcoming Them)
Increasing efficiency can yield higher levels of customer and member satisfaction and save your financial institution money. When it comes to trust departments, one major opportunity for boosting efficiency has to do with document management. Here are five common inefficiencies of trust document management and tips for overcoming them with trust account management software.
1. Paper Overload
Trust departments collect, generate, and store large amounts of documentation. From trust applications to living wills to receipts and invoices, trust officers have a lot of paperwork that they’re responsible for organizing. Many trust departments retain most (or all) of their trust documents in hard copy format—instead of digitizing them. A paper-only approach is difficult to scale and results in record rooms that are packed full of trust files. There’s a tangible and intangible cost of storing thousands of documents, and risk of information loss is a real factor to consider. And, what about usability? Flipping through massive trust files to find one old receipt could easily turn into an all-morning event. Tip: Start digitizing your trust documentation. By contrast, scanning trust documents into AccuAccount alleviates paper overload and helps users find what they’re looking for. We offer several scanning and upload solutions that make digitization as painless as possible. Once scanned in, documents are neatly organized by trust account and document type. You can also search within a PDF file, saving additional time and frustration.
Exclusively maintaining trust account information in hard copy format minimizes the potential for collaboration. It’s impossible for a trust officer and her assistant to simultaneously view the same trust file—unless they’re physically in the same location! And, as we saw during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, this is not always possible. Tip: Let users view the same document, at the same time. With AccuAccount, multiple users can view the exact same trust document at the exact same time. This opens up new opportunities for collaboration and makes it easier to serve your customers. Trust account information and related documentation is just a few clicks away with AccuAccount. Bonus Tip: Check out our audit prep feature for streamlining collaboration with auditors and examiners.
Knowing what should be in the trust file—and by when—is key for reducing risk, ensuring compliance, and delivering consistently high levels of customer service. But, that’s hard to guarantee when your bank or credit union manages hundreds of trust accounts. Using manual ticklers, spreadsheets, and checklists is better than nothing. However, such approaches are prone to errors and oversights, especially when a bank or credit union changes its documentation requirements or internal processes. Tip: Connect the dots between imaging and exception tracking. Depending on the type of trust, AccuAccount can pre-populate the account record with document placeholders. This makes it easier for you to know what should be in the file—without relying on checklists and spreadsheets. AccuAccount also recognizes when certain documents are missing, thereby simplifying your tracking workflow. And, if you ever change your trust documentation requirements, you can easily manage your document structures from a central location.
Ensuring accurate reporting across an entire trust portfolio is incredibly time-consuming when everything is tracked manually. Preparing a single exception report could require hours of spreadsheet manipulation, only to arrive at a finished product that contains static data—and becomes even more static with each passing day. Tip: Streamline your reporting workflow and increase reliability. Dynamic Reporting for AccuAccount allows you to build, customize, and share data reports that fit the needs of your trust department. Such reports can be embedded into users’ dashboards for easy reference. Also, exceptions are automatically resolved as documents are scanned or uploaded into the correct location, thereby ensuring users have access to accurate and timely information.
5. Task Management
Managing trusts isn’t just about tracking down and organizing paperwork. There are many other tasks that must be performed on a regular basis. From filing a customer’s tax returns to scheduling annual review meetings and paying bills, there are many moving parts. Task management apps, calendar reminders, and handwritten sticky notes are common approaches for managing tasks, but it’s hard to ensure success when each team member relies on his or her own preferred method. Tip: Track tasks in AccuAccount, too. Task exceptions in AccuAccount can be very useful for trust departments. Based on your preferences, AccuAccount can automatically assign tasks and task groups to specific users. Overdue tasks will surface in exception reports, making it easier to identify delinquencies and get things done.
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