(Archive) GOLD 7.2 October 2007

October 14, 2007 (Version 7.2)

Exporting Financial Statements to Excel

NEW! Check out a video simulation of this new feature!

Attention accountants! Now there is an easy way to download your financial statements from CU*BASE into a spreadsheet or graphical presentation program like Microsoft® Excel.

A new option on the third financial report printing screen (MNGELE #16) will let you view, print, and/or export your financial statement in a format that is more compatible with Excel... negative numbers will automatically come in properly formatted for use in calculations! You just specify a filename to store in your QUERYxx library, then use the normal File Download process to pull the file over to your PC and open it as a comma-delimited file in Excel.

NOTE: You'll need download authority to download the data from the iSeries to your PC - have your Security Officer contact a CSR if you need to authorize your accounting staff!

SEE ALSO: “Downloading Your Financial Statements to Excel ” for details.

HSA Account Are Here!

If your credit union has already jumped into the Health Savings Account arena, CU*BASE now has basic tracking tools to make it easier to monitor activity and report the necessary information to the member and the IRS at tax time. While the title implies savings accounts, you can set up both savings and checking account dividend applications to function as HSAs.

Although HSAs and IRAs are quite different, the need to track their transaction amounts and annual deposit and withdrawal totals is similar, so we used CU*BASE IRA tools as a starting point for our HSA programming. Like IRAs, CU*BASE tools are designed to allow you to open accounts, assign deposit and withdrawal codes to individual transactions, verify balances in an HSA Balance File (similar to the IRA Balance File concept), and handle annual tax-related responsibilities.

In a nutshell, HSAs are dividend applications that have a special flag turned on. When the flag is activated, CU*BASE knows to create an HSA Balance File record for every member that has an HSA account, and any transactions that are posted must be coded with a valid HSA deposit or withdrawal code, similar to IRAs. Default annual deposit limits can be specified for both single and family plans. You can create these products using either the SH (share) or SD (share draft/checking) Application Type, meaning that if you have set up a separate BIN with your debit card provider, your HSA program can even offer debit card access.

But that's just part of the work...your credit union will need to get educated on all of the nuances and understand the regulations that govern how your HSA program is set up and monitored, far beyond what CU*BASE does. If you haven't started your HSA program yet, make sure to talk to a client service representative for assistance and advice about the best way to go about offering HSAs to your members!

NOTE: If you have been offering HSAs and tracking them manually, we will be doing some conversion of your existing transaction data as best we can. You'll hear more about the specifics in separate communications.

SEE ALSO: Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

IRA Codes Now Align with IRS Standards

CU*BASE has had a complete rewrite of IRA Posting Codes with this release. Instead of the alphabetic CU*BASE codes you've been using, which had to be translated at tax reporting time, we will actually allow you to enter the "official" IRA reporting codes on each transaction. The only interpretation CU*BASE will do now is to adjust the code according to the IRA Plan Type (traditional, Roth, SEP) for you at tax time.

What does this mean to you?

Your staff needs to learn new IRA posting codes!!

Every code has changed, so the common ones you've memorized won't be correct anymore! Fortunately, there will be a handy lookup button wherever transactions are posted, showing all available codes organized by credit (CR) or debit (DR) and with indicators showing whether the code is valid for a particular IRA Plan Type. So tell your staff never to enter an IRA code without pulling up that lookup window to make sure the correct code is selected!

You need to watch your IRA activity carefully!

Every single CU*BASE transaction posting program had to be changed. We've been working in some programs that haven't been touched for many years. No matter how carefully we test, we know from experience that our clients will find ways to do things that never occurred to us. So you need to keep an eagle eye on your IRA accounts over the next few months, especially this close to year-end.

IRA COORDINATORS: You should already be doing this, but especially after the release, make sure to print the verification report (MNRPTF #9 “Verify IRA Balances Report”) regularly, so you can catch any problems before the rush in January!

SEE ALSO: IRA Processing with CU*BASE

Loan Payment Change History (Part 2)

If you recall, Part 1 of this project was implemented in the Fall 2006 release. For that release we created a new Payment Change History file with associated inquiry (F9-History from the loan Account Inquiry screen), and started gathering this historical data on all loan accounts.

Now we've finished Part 2: We have changed the delinquency calculator to determine a loan's delinquent amount using the number of payments delinquent and the detail of the actual payments involved, instead of using multiples of the current payment amount.

In the case where a payment has been consistent for the entire delinquent period, the end result will be the same. The change is designed primarily for loans such as interest-only payment or variable rate loans where the payment amount changes frequently. The system will now be more intuitive to allow these members to catch up their loan payments using the actual payment amounts they were supposed to pay.

By using the records in the payment change history file, CU*BASE can keep track of the true delinquent amount, even for a loan over two months delinquent with multiple payment changes over the year. When a payment is made, the system will check to see whether the amount will satisfy the actual payment amounts that were missed.

For example, say a member missed his $100 payment in August. During September, the payment amount was changed to $125. He also missed that $125 payment in September and October. When November comes around, if he makes a $100 payment, CU*BASE will know that amount is enough to satisfy the August payment and will move the due date forward one month. Or if in November the member pays $225, CU*BASE would know to move the due date forward two periods, because the amount was enough to cover both the August and September payments.

The process is somewhat more complex for interest-only loans, but because of the data being stored in the payment change history file, CU*BASE has all of the information it needs to determine the payment amounts that should have been paid, and use that information when determining how to handle delinquency calculations—even for loans that have been delinquent more than 2 months, or with partial payment amounts. No more manual handling required for payments on these delinquent loans!

 

Loan/Share Trial Balance Enhancements

We've added some new functionality to the Loan Share Trial Balance Review (MNMGMT #8). Now this popular management analysis tool has more flexibility for credit unions managing multiple branches. In addition to showing balances and dividend/interest accruals by product category (shares, certificates, loans), you can now summarize and see G/L detail broken down by branch. You can also display G/L detail for individual product G/Ls (dividend application, CD type, or loan category).

Member Connect Marketing Tools Enhancements

Our Member Reach contact service team has given us some great input to make CU*BASE communication tools easier to use and more effective for reaching your members. Take a look at the enhancements we're making with this release.

Member Connect Message Library

·               Use messages from the CU*BASE Member Connect library! Our Member Reach team has composed dozens of messages that have been very effective in reaching out to members. Just like Talking Points gave you a library of paragraphs for your marketing tips, now you can use messages from the Member Connect library to reach out to your members yourself! Copy messages from the library, then save them in your own message library, modifying them if you want to put your own twist on the message. Keep reading for details about how to send electronic messages using the enhanced Member Connect feature.

·               All email and online banking messages are now saved! You've labored over composing a message, and when you sent it to your members in online banking you got a great response. But now you want to use the same message again as a follow-up...do you have to retype the whole thing? Not anymore...both email messages AND online banking messages that you compose will now be saved in a Talking Points-style library so that you can use the same message over and over again, updating it with current details every time you send it (or not!).

All of your old messages as well as your monthly email statement message (Code ES) will be in your credit union message library when the release is implemented.

Send Electronic Messages with One Easy Option

Sending email and online banking messages to members is a snap since you can now use the same message for both if you wish, from a single CU*BASE command. Whether you choose “Member Connect--Online Bank Msgs” or “Member Connect--Email Mrktg Msgs” (both are on the MNPRTC menu) you will access the same Member Connect screen.

Like before, you'll enter a database file name that contains the member accounts you want to contact. (Remember that many CU*BASE inquiry and report features now allow you to export data directly to Member Connect, so you don't even need to understand how to use Query!)

Then when you click the “Online Banking or Email Message” options and select a message from the library (or create a new one), you can choose from several sending options, including via online banking, OR email, OR both. Or use the “Priority” option and CU*BASE will be smart enough to figure out which members have email addresses and sed those first, then generate online banking messages only to those members that don't have an email address!

The system is set up to send only one message per member email address; duplicate email addresses will still be ignored. Also, your “From” email address is now being taken from MNCNFE #1 "Online Banking VMS Configuration" so that you don't have to enter it manually every time you send a message.

New Configurable Credit Union “Signature Line”

One of the other ideas that came from our Member Reach effort was a way to handle the difference when you communicate to a member via email versus sending them a message that appears when they log in to CU*@HOME. With an email, you need to include your credit union name and contact information in a “signature line,” but with CU*@HOME, since the member is already logging into their account, this type of formal signature line is not really appropriate or necessary.

Because you can now send the same message simultaneously through both channels, we solved the issue by allowing you to set up a separate “message” called a Signature Line (code SL). This will automatically be tacked on to email messages, but not to online banking messages.

To begin, your signature line will be configured as blank, meaning there won't be a signature line for any message you send. If you want to use it (in other words, if you don't want to have to type it manually on every message you compose from this point on), you'll need to modify the text, adding contact information, your credit union's tag line, your email and website addresses—anything you want, up to 5 lines.

Begin at MNPRTC # 28 “Member Connect” Marketing Tools (options 25 and 26 will also work.)

Go to directions to change your Signature Line text.

 

 

Link to ID: https://help.cubase.org/cubase/cubase.htm#Whats_New_Archive_10_07.htm