August 24, 2012 ● Volume 01, Issue 34
View 08-24-12 issue of The Pulse
Credit Union News
Strategic Planning School early bird pricing ends Aug. 30
Credit union professionals have until Thursday, Aug. 30, to take advantage of the early bird pricing for MnCUN's Building Relevancy through Strategic Planning School. Scheduled for Sept. 24-26, the school will blend theory with practical application to provide attendees with a thorough understanding of the fiscal aspects of the credit union.
Geared toward those who directly or indirectly work to strengthen the credit union's bottom line, the school will focus on how credit unions can use financials to guide their strategic planning. Specifically, attendees will discuss the need for a member promise and credit union vision statement and how to build relevancy with members. The school will also focus on membership growth and retention, how to build loan relationships and member advocates, and strategies for delivering insightful financial solutions.
Register today to attend this training that will provide a new perspective on serving members, strategic planning and credit union financials. For more information, including reviews from last year's attendees, and to register, visit the Building Relevancy through Strategic Planning School page of the Network website.
Add MnCUN compliance & audit services to your 2013 budget
With the increasing compliance burden, many credit unions will allocate more money toward compliance in 2013. As your credit union begins planning for next year, be sure to include in your budget the services offered by MnCUN's Compliance & Audit Services Program.
Launched earlier this year, the Compliance & Audit Services Program provides credit unions the opportunity to contract with a highly-qualified professional to help them fulfill their compliance and audit obligations. Compliance and audit services are customized to each credit union and can be scheduled as a one-time service or on a quarterly, semi-annual or annual basis. Credit unions have the option of contracting for ongoing assistance in managing their compliance programs or contracting for the completion of specific compliance or audit tasks. MnCUN is able to offer credit unions services on a variety of compliance and audit areas, including the Bank Secrecy Act, SAFE Act, consumer lending, FACT Act, real estate lending, vendor management, website compliance and more.
Through the program, credit unions will work with MnCUN Compliance & Audit Consultant Marcia Armstrong Lewis. Lewis has 25 years of hands-on financial institution experience that has given her an in-depth understanding of the intricacies of credit union operations. Her areas of expertise include risk management, internal audit, training, compliance and operations. Lewis has been a certified compliance officer since 1997 and has been designated a Certified Financial Services Auditor since 1998.
The price for the program is customized to each service. To obtain an estimate for your budget or for more information about the Compliance & Audit Services Program, contact Marcia Armstrong Lewis by email or at (651) 288-5509.
aSmarterChoice.org shows strong traffic numbers in July
Last month, aSmarterChoice.org reported significant traffic metrics of more than 29,000 visits. This website serves as a central online location where individuals around the country can learn about credit unions and find one that they are eligible to join.
Throughout the month of July, 63 percent of individuals visiting the website were new visitors. Within the site, one of the most popular features is the credit union locator. In July, nearly 18,000 people used this tool and 56 percent of visitors needed only one search to successfully find a credit union that they were able to join. Within the list of states that used the site, Minnesota ranked 15th for number of visitors, with 500 Minnesotans visiting the site.
This credit union website is a powerful tool that successfully assists consumers in learning about credit unions and finding one that they can join. However, this tool cannot be useful without your credit union's help. The database is maintained and updated by each individual credit union, so the search engine is only as good as the information credit unions put into it. Therefore, it is necessary for Minnesota credit unions to ensure that their information is up-to-date in the website's database.
To verify and update your credit union's information, visit the administration page of aSmarterChoice.org. If you need a password for this site or would like to register your credit union in the database, contact MnCUN Director of Technology Scott Shoberg by email or at (651) 288-5525.
Online financial literacy training available through NCUA
To assist credit unions in complying with its financial literacy rule, NCUA is offering a training module on how to read a federal credit union's financial statements. This session provides volunteers tools and skills to understand credit union financials.
The one-hour training program is designed to introduce financial statement concepts to board members with non-financial backgrounds. Specifically, it provides an overview of the basics of income statements, statements of cash flow and balance sheets. The training helps directors to understand these vital financial statements so that they can meaningfully participate in the control of the credit union.
NCUA's director financial literacy rule became effective in July 2011 and requires directors to have a working familiarity with basic finance and accounting principles. Under the regulation, federal credit union volunteers must be able to read and understand the credit union's financial statements and ask appropriate questions of management and auditors.
The cost of NCUA's training module is $15. For more information and to purchase the module, visit the National Credit Union Administration website.