It’s that time again. The date of your credit union examination is creeping up. In the weeks and days leading up to exam, you stress, worry and run through your exam prep lists.
To help reduce the anxiety leading up to “E-day,” here are six ideas on how to prepare for exams.
Examiners will work with credit union staff to facilitate the secure exchange of information needed to conduct offsite examination and supervision work until further notice.
Credit unions are not required to provide documentation or make staff available for discussions with examiners at this time, unless approved by the Office of Executive Director.
Even if an examination is not scheduled for many months, NCUA staff may contact a credit union to request documentation needed to complete offsite examination activities.
Examiners may schedule virtual meetings with credit union staff or officials to discuss an examination if the credit union staff and officials are willing and able to do so.
Of course, contact your examiner directly with any questions.
Do this as soon as a date is set. Larger credit unions usually receive these lists, but it does not hurt for medium or smaller sized credit unions to also ask for one in advance. Receiving and acting on this list before the exam begins means you can have everything prepared and labeled when they “walk through the door”— virtually or literally. Your high level of preparation will make things easier for you and your staff - requiring less searching for things at the last moment - and may even brighten the examiner's disposition.
If you received a Document of Resolution (DOR) from your previous exam, is it completed? An examiner may issue a DOR when an unacceptable risk is discovered as part of the exam process. A DOR captures agreements reached between the examiner and the credit union for the timely correction of the identified problem. It includes who is responsible and the time frame for resolution. If you have a previously issued DOR that has not been completed, you should be prepared to explain what actions have been taken to date.
Be proactive! Make a phone call and in a friendly tone of voice, ask the examiner if there are any new areas of focus you should be prepared for. Also, if your examiner is new, give him or her an overview of your credit union – your membership specs, your mission and this year’s business plan. Examiners are busy people, so you should not assume they have done this research on their own.
The mapping feature of some compliance management system (CMS) software solutions allows you to link together all the relevant components of your credit union's operating environment affected by a regulation. Mapping integrates all compliance efforts including impacted policies, processes, required training and risk assessments back to the regulation itself. When an examiner wants to see proof of compliance, one click brings it all into focus, creating a crystal-clear picture of your compliance status.
Testing templates are another useful component of comprehensive credit union compliance management systems. For example, the Credit Union Compliance Management System PLUSTM (CU CMS+) integrated software solution includes law/regulation testing templates among its robust suite of features. The testing templates, built from AIRES exam questionnaires, deliver exam prep and trial runs so you're ready for exams and conversations. You'll always be up to date.
Hopefully these tips will help reduce the stress and increase the confidence you feel as you get closer to your next E-day! Looking for more help preparing? Visit cuna.org/compliance to learn more about resources CUNA provides to help credit union compliance professionals feel confident in all of their credit union’s operations.