Annual exams and regulator expectations continue to change and become more cumbersome for financial institutions, regardless of size. The entire exam process, starting with the preparation, can be an extremely time consuming and stressful process to complete given the amount of reports and information the bank or credit union is required to provide. To manage this process efficiently, community banks and credit unions must understand what examiners are looking for and be able to streamline processes to ensure the proper documentation is prepared prior to the exam.
The Compliance Challenge
Regulatory agencies are requesting an increasing number of documents and reports even before the exam begins. Financial institutions are usually asked to prepare between 40-100 items for each exam or audit and institutions have between 11-20 exams per year, making exam preparation alone a cumbersome, full-time task, and one that can be overwhelming for a financial institution with a small IT department. This doesn’t even take into account the amount of time spent providing accurate responses to requests and reviewing and remediating findings.
Some of the reports requested by government agencies include:
- Documentation of patch management programs;
- Vendor management program reports;
- Network Vulnerability Scan reports;
- Back-up verification and reporting;
- Inventory and auditing logs;
- Remote Control Logs;
- Training logs;
- Detailed Executive Summaries; and
- Security Control Logs and Verification.
With limited resources, many community financial institutions struggle to efficiently meet examiner expectations and provide reports that are timely, accurate, complete, and consistent.
Automate the Network Reporting Process
Community financial institutions are looking for ways to better manage their regulatory reporting requirements. To help streamline this process, financial institutions are implementing a network management system with an automated reporting function that allows institutions to easily configure, customize and generate reports to meet examiner expectations.
A comprehensive network management system designed specifically for financial institutions can help the IT department quickly produce and effectively manage custom reports for exams. Having a solution that automates IT reporting based on FFIEC requirements, helps banks and credit unions to more efficiently prepare for exams. In addition, increased visibility to the network helps IT managers simplify processes and provide proper documentation to examiners.
Remaining in compliance with government regulations is a consuming responsibility for institutions of all sizes. Regulatory agencies are continually changing and increasing the amount of reports they require. To help ease this compliance challenge and streamline reporting activities, financial institutions should adopt applications that will increase efficiencies with automation.