Advancing and Protecting Credit Unions

Credit unions occupy a unique niche in the American financial system; it’s not surprising they must overcome an extraordinary array of regulatory and operational challenges. In their dual role as federal- or state-chartered financial institutions and not-for-profit entities, these organizations bear a significant regulatory burden, as well as the onus of meeting superlative standards for cybersecurity, transparency and operational efficiency.

You take care of your members by providing thoughtful, individualized services designed to meet their financial needs. PBMares offers you the same, bringing together diverse industry experience to deliver a comprehensive range of co-sourced and outsourced services designed to meet the full spectrum of your compliance, business advisory and security needs.

SOLVING BUSINESS ISSUES

“PBMares was able to walk through our ALL model and provide insight and guidance as to what was needed to support the calculation. The staff were professional and had extensive knowledge in our industry. They listened to any questions and provided appropriate guidance for uncertain issues. PBMares conducted our audit in a professional manner and helped to ease the pain for an organization that had never been through an opinion based audit.”

Bill Yascko, Director of Accounting and Finance, CALL FEDERAL CREDIT UNION

To meet evolving regulatory and security goals, PBMares provides you access to up-to-the-minute knowledge and strategies specific to your industry.

Your members trust you to maintain a secure, well-regulated environment that meets and exceeds the high standards set by oversight authorities. When you choose PBMares, you can be confident you’re not only in compliance, but also armed with the knowledge and strategies you need to advance your goals while mitigating the inherent risks of operating a financial institution.

Maintaining a strong credit union is easier with a partner who brings deep understanding of the issues you deal with on a daily basis. PBMares supports your leaders, members and mission with co-sourced and outsourced services to help you surmount every hurdle:

Audit & Assurance
Which type of external audit is appropriate or mandated for your organization? Credit unions are often uncertain if they need the extra rigor of a full financial statement opinion audit or whether a supervisory committee audit can provide the necessary assurance. PBMares provides guidance in selecting the right level of assurance for your situation, helping you demonstrate vigilance to regulators and members without wasting resources in pursuit of additional scrutiny that may not be needed. Audit services include:

  • Financial Statement Opinion Audits

    Credit unions with assets of over $500M are required to have annual opinion audits in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards. In addition to satisfying standards set by NCUA and other regulatory authorities, a financial statement opinion audit provides your credit union’s leadership and members with the peace of mind they need.

  • Supervisory Committee Audits

    Smaller credit unions that are not required to perform a full audit can still benefit from external review and assurance. A supervisory committee audit offers these organizations the confidence that comes from independent third-party verification of financial and procedural performance at a significantly reduced cost when compared to a financial statement opinion audit.

Do you have an internal audit team? Is the team large enough to meet all of your internal audit needs? If not, co-sourcing or outsourcing is a good way to get the support you need in the areas most critical to your business. Whether you need people to support your team or a team to handle the entire function, we can make sure you are complying with your policies and procedures and that your business is effective in the areas tested.
When your members count on you for outstanding personal service, your employee retention rate becomes a critical factor in your success. Your employee benefit plan is one way you demonstrate how much you value your staff and their service. Count on PBMares for an experienced and client-focused approach to providing rigorous benefit plan audits that ensure this important instrument remains sound and well-managed.
Consulting
Doing your part to deter money laundering and terrorism is a complex responsibility for credit unions in a post-Patriot Act environment. You can ease this burden with audit, review and monitoring services that meet BSA independent testing requirements. A proactive approach to meeting BSA and AML requirements ensures that your organization can detect and correct any deficiencies, avoiding potential censure or penalty by regulators. To ensure your BSA program meets NCUA standards, our financial institution professionals bring industry-leading knowledge and extensive experience in BSA/AML compliance to assist with review of policies and procedures, compliance testing and monitoring of reporting.

Meeting the highest standards of safety and branch security is of the utmost importance to your organization. Branch operational reviews help you ensure that each area of member service is fully compliant with best practices for procedural and physical security. Our experienced financial institutions team evaluates how employees and branch operations comply with established operational procedures and regulatory requirements.

In a highly automated and regulated environment like financial institutions, the world is always evolving – new risk areas are always emerging and compliance mandates frequently change. Are you prepared for the changes that CECL and other regulations demand? Does your credit union have adequate cybersecurity? In a highly regulated industry like yours, keeping up with new requirements and best practices is an ongoing responsibility that can tax limited resources. Ongoing education and advice will let you maintain full compliance with all applicable regulations. Our industry-leading team includes multiple board members of financial institutions who can share insights into what works across the industry, helping your supervisory committee provide engaged leadership and informed, proactive governance.

Every year the NCUA releases its top risk concerns and focus areas for the upcoming year. Asset-Liability Management (ALM) and Interest Rate Risk are always on the list of top concerns for regulators. To help you meet your responsibility to members and regulators, we can verify your ALM procedures, making sure all activities are monitored and tracked appropriately. In addition to assessing governance of the ALM function, we review ALM reporting and monitoring, contingency funding and back testing. We also assess model validation tactics.

Providing credit to your members is one of the primary functions of any institution. And there are a significant number of regulations that govern lending practices. Complying with those regulations demands scrupulous attention to lending policy and loan management. Supervisory committee members and lenders need to be confident they are taking a comprehensive approach to risk management within the lending process and loan portfolio. Our internal loan review process scrutinizes credit union lending from initiation to fulfillment, including member business lending, indirect lending and traditional member loans. By assessing the accuracy and completeness of loan files, as well as evaluating the lending portfolio, you can be ensured that loans are appropriate, collectible and consistent with internal lending guidelines. Our lending reviews include a thorough analysis of loan servicing, as well as internal controls within the lending department.

Your people are at the heart of what makes your credit union successful. Conducting regular reviews of human resources policies and procedures that relate to financial management not only verifies that your employment practices are legal and appropriate, but ensures that your HR department is operating at optimal levels. One of the largest and most significant expenses for any organization, our payroll reviews ensure compliance and increase security through careful attention to internal controls around payroll processes.

For credit unions with an internal audit department, periodic quality assurance reviews are required every five years. Let us provide a comprehensive quality assurance review of your internal audit function to help you reach peak performance and gain added confidence in your audit department.

In today’s environment, credit unions are attacked thousands of times a day. The reality is a bad actor with the right amount of time, resources and motivation can breach any network, and new unidentified weaknesses in information systems are exposed every day. The question becomes when, not if, your credit union’s information system will be breached. PBMares has a dedicated cybersecurity team to help credit unions establish, maintain and monitor information systems to minimize the threats posed by sophisticated cybercriminals including:

  • Cybersecurity Assessments
  • Vendor Management Reviews
  • External and Internal Vulnerability Assessments
  • FFIEC IT General Controls Audits
  • Information Systems and Security Reviews
  • Business Continuity Reviews
  • Incident Response Reviews

If your credit union processes ACH transactions, you are required to perform an annual ACH Audit of Compliance in accordance with Appendix 8 of NACHA Operating Rules. By verifying your originating and receiving procedures follow the most current rules, you help avoid costly mistakes and fines. With personal care and commitment, PBMares performs an ACH audit over your DFI, RDFI, and ODFI procedures to keep you in compliance and provide confidence in the integrity of your automated clearinghouse transactions.

CREDIT UNION INSIGHTS

MEET YOUR TEAM LEADER



Harvey L. Johnson, CPA, CGMA, CISA

Partner, Cybersecurity & Control Risk Services Team Leader

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