Over the past year, the mortgage industry has learned a lot. As 2021 kicks into high gear, there are three trends that seem to be sticking with us from last year – refinancing isn’t going away, rates continue to stay low and prices of homes are rising. So, how can lenders stay ahead in this competitive market? The answer is simple: better financial reporting.
Financial Reporting Changes the Game for Lenders
Financial reporting should go beyond just the accounting department. Loan officers, branch managers, c-level executives and more are all in need of greater access to granular financial data and in-depth accounting tools. The pandemic rapidly spurred the adoption of tech solutions and heightened the industry’s reliance on technology – from helping lenders operate to supporting loan officers in their day-to-day tasks to increasing daily efficiencies for the accounting department. All of which points to the need for better access to real-time accounting and financial management tools.
Much like a lender’s other operating systems, financial systems should be updated in real-time, telling managers what is working and what isn’t. This enhanced reporting is critical to helping the accounting department while also supporting branch managers and loan officers as they manage their daily responsibilities. Enhanced reporting helps lenders make better business decisions not only for their internal teams, but also for their borrowers by providing loan officers with the financial data needed to offer the right loan to the right borrower.
Tools Uniquely Designed for The Industry Are Key
Just as there are loan origination systems and document management platforms specifically designed for the mortgage industry, the same applies to financial management solutions. Mortgage-specific tools can not only streamline the accounting departments everyday processes, but also can allow necessary data to be shared in real-time with branch managers, executives and more. This is key in the competitive rate environment that the industry is experiencing today, where speed-to-close is a market differentiator. Today, lenders are leveraging data that used to only be accessible once-a-month (at most) on a weekly, daily or even hourly basis.
Modern accounting tools enable employees to drill down (and through) the data and see more detailed information, filtered based on each employee’s level of clearance. Company executives have a more complete view, with data for all branches, while branch managers and personnel may only have access to data relative to their specific branch – analyzing their loan officers’ activity and corresponding loans.
By their nature, these tools promote greater levels of collaboration between departments, helping deliver real-time financial data, saving the company and its employees time and money as well as boosting productivity. The right mortgage accounting system should engage more than just the accounting department – it should bring intuitive, relevant information to employees at all levels – promoting better, data-driven outcomes.
Brian Lynch is the President for Irvine, Calif-based Advantage Systems, a provider of accounting and financial management tools for the mortgage industry. More information on the company can be found at www.mortgageaccounting.com.