Five Issues Facing CFOs

CFOs will play a more prominent role in monitoring risks and identifying solutions.

May 01, 2013
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During its search to identify the most pressing issues facing credit union chief financial officers (CFO), the CUNA CFO Council’s Communications Committee identified five key trends facing finance in 2013:

Let’s take a closer look at these five trends.

1. Purchase and assumption

Getting a call from your regulator usually means an upcoming exam or a complaint. But sometimes regulators simply need your help—such as when NCUA plans to liquidate a nearby credit union.

Purchasing a failing credit union’s assets could be one of the most important transactions your credit union makes. But typically there’s a short window to perform due diligence, develop a bid, and make it happen— all while keeping it secret. Aft After all, this isn’t a merger of equals.

Reasons to consider a purchase-and-assumption deal are unique to each acquiring credit union. But remember: You don’t have to acquire everything. Consider taking on only what makes sense for your credit union’s situation.

If the credit union being liquidated serves different geographical areas, there might be an opportunity to carve out deposits and other assets from your geographic area. This allows other credit unions to take on assets best suited to them.

There’s nothing wrong with cherry-picking the best assets, such as bidding only on high-performing loans. Some loans aren’t worth the headache at any price.

Bid only on the buildings or other fixed assets you want. The same holds true with deposits and services such as an ATM network or credit union service organization. The bid must make sense for your credit union.

Once you submit your bid, it’s time to prepare your team. You could have less than 60 days from bid acceptance to assumption, which means your staff will have to be innovative and come up with creative solutions.

At this point in the process, you should have determined your conversion game plan. Do you have the necessary expertise in-house or will you outsource? Don’t underestimate the expertise and time needed to coordinate all of the activities related to the project.

Are your vendors nimble enough to perform quickly? Be creative and explore your options.

Staff must be able to improvise—processing outstanding items can be challenging and automated clearinghouse routing sequences could be useless.

News of the acquisition will surprise your new members. Be prepared for plenty of misinformation, and train your branch and call center staff accordingly.

Remember, not all members read the communications they receive. They might blame any service disruptions on you. Be patient and flexible, and have processing contingencies in place in case your plan doesn’t work.

NEXT: Data analytics

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory ( will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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