Evaluating Your Accounting Department

As we all know, the one constant in the mortgage business is change. This past year has been no different, with volumes pushing operations to the limit. How has your accounting department been impacted? The need for accurate financials has always been important, but if management is waiting 30+ days to evaluate the performance of the company from the prior month, you need to recalibrate. For accounting information to be valuable, it needs to be both accurate and timely. To achieve this, you will need to invest in your accounting department and make sure it is prepared to scale when volumes are up and adjust when volumes are down.

We are often asked at CWDL, how do you evaluate your accounting department for improvements? Here are some simple questions to get started:

  • When does management receive accurate financials?
  • Do the financials provide the information you need to make informed decisions?
  • How much overtime (or downtime) is coming from accounting personnel?
  • Do you have loan-level accounting data to evaluate your operation?
  • How much time is your CFO spending on strategic initiatives vs. making sure the financials are closed and accurate?
  • Do you have turnover in your accounting staff?

From experience, here is what we have learned over the years: the needs of your accounting department will change. Most of you have progressed to hiring an accounting manager or controller – make sure GAAP accounting and fair value considerations are understood and followed per industry standards. Eventually, you will need to hire a CFO, a strategic leader overseeing your entire financial department and helping shape the future of the company. At times, you still may need additional help with data input and special projects, regardless of the size of the company. Having a scalable plan to deal with potential “need fluctuations,” includes a solid commitment to adopting technology and identifying strategic partnerships that address your changing needs.

Remember, your accounting department holds the answers to your success. Are you treating it with the same importance as your sales department? Frequently evaluating and supporting accounting is good for business and, when done properly, can lead you down the path to success.

If you would like to learn more on how to properly evaluate your accounting department, check out the webinar recording from the call between the CWDL team and Carl Wooloff of Loan Vision that was on January 21st.

Mark Wilson, CPA, Managing Partner, CWDL

About CWDL

CWDL provides mortgage industry-specific audit, accounting, and tax solutions that help you better understand today so you can plan for tomorrow. We understand the complexities of this highly regulated industry like no other firm because our partners and team members have been on your side of the equation. Because we know what it’s like to be in your shoes, we take an entrepreneurial approach to your finances, helping you maximize profit and capitalize on emerging opportunities. To learn more, please contact Kasey English at kasey@cwdl.com or (858) 565-2700.

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