BEFORE LOAN VISION
A ten-day accounting close, typically completed at the 12th hour before financials were due, led Eric Nielsen, Accounting and Finance Director at Mortgage Investors Group, to begin to call into question the value that their existing general ledger was bringing to the company. “It’s the 10th business day at the 12th hour and we’re still trying to finalize the month end results,” said Nielsen. “It wasn’t very efficient, and it was taking away from the department in providing in-depth timely analyses.”
On top of the heavy manual workload during the financial close process, Nielsen spent an additional two and a half days manually calculating commissions, despite their existing G/L’s compensation toolset, again calling into question the benefit of the current financial system. “[The commissions module] wasn’t adaptive to our needs and some of the reporting was very limited.” Nielsen mentioned, “the process was manual, information had to be pulled out of multiple systems, imported and cross referenced in Excel; we knew there had to be a better solution out there.”
The aforementioned challenges, along with a frustration at the customer service offered by the current vendor and Nielsen’s prior experience of other financial tools in other industries, finally drove MIG to start exploring what other options were available to the successful, Tennessee-based mortgage bank. “We held onto the current system for approximately 10 years until we started to begin our search in what else was out there. We felt like we utilized the previous system to its full potential, but the system just couldn’t handle what we needed and what was expected.”
FINDING & IMPLEMENTING LOAN VISION
Following the recommendation of several industry thought leaders, the MIG team began the process of evaluating the Loan Vision platform, with early impressions being very positive. “Loan Vision delivered on many of our expectations right from the beginning of our review process. They were patient with our time schedule and met with us on multiple occasions allowing us to be comfortable with taking the next step. We knew that bringing on a new accounting system would be no easy task,” said Nielsen.
During the initial in-depth review of the functionality available, the MIG finance leadership as a whole, which is crucial for project success, came to the consensus that to take the department to the next level they needed better tools to get them there. “During the review process, the accounting team took away something different that would make a specific change to our current process. With me, it was commissions and the financial reporting aspect…other team members saw solutions that would impact their current responsibilities, all positive.”
With the MIG Team eager to deliver on the commitments made to management when justifying an investment of this nature, as well as the less than positive experience with their current vendor, they looked for reassurances in relation to customer service; one that paid off during implementation. Nielsen stated, “Knowing you and your team have the complete support of the vendor lifts a weight off of your shoulders and gives a reassurance that it’s not all up to us.”
This sentiment was echoed by MIG’s long time controller Debbie Grant. “I think the staff is excellent. Having experienced accountants mixed with software developers is a win-win. Their knowledge of the mortgage industry not only is a benefit in implementation but is evident in their support of Loan Vision. It’s one thing to say, ‘the accounting software should work like this’ but then to understand the intricate pieces of mortgage accounting – it was nice to have the knowledge in that area of expertise.”
With Go Live slated for Q4 2017, during a busy period for the MIG team which saw various technology upgrades, Loan Vision’s approach to deployment was key in making this a success. “[The Loan Vision team] set out an implementation plan to make sure that we reached our goal. We followed your direction, and we made sure that we stayed on top of everything that you requested from us; it couldn’t have gone any better,” stated Nielsen.