The last few months have undeniably created unique situations for credit unions. The way members are interacting with their branches, the expectations of employees, and the requirements by the NCUA have all been through changes amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now more than ever before, it’s vital for credit unions to stay up to the minute on NCUA guidelines. Audits are always a big undertaking. Audits during COVID-19? Enormously different.

Or are they?

We’ve taken a look at the current state of audit protocols in the face of COVID-19 and how credit unions have responded.

Regulatory Changes for COVID-19

When the pandemic first started taking off in the U.S., many credit unions were unsure of how to handle their audits and examinations. In a quick poll, we learned that most credit unions would continue their audit activities as best they could.

The NCUA has been very busy during this time. They have released ongoing and consistent guidance to help credit unions navigate regulatory compliance through this crisis. Some of those changes include:

Further changes to regulatory and compliance issues are outlined in the NCUA COVID-19 FAQ section. We can expect that more changes and adjustments may come, as the NCUA has been releasing letters, updates, and guidance several times per week for months. They have stated they will be lenient in light of hardships caused by the pandemic.

The biggest change that the NCUA has implemented is the move to an offsite examination process. In March, the NCUA began conducting its exams remotely for credit unions that feel capable of participating. Recently, this offsite examination process was extended.

What These Changes Mean for Credit Unions

For the foreseeable future, the NCUA will continue conducting its examinations remotely. This ensures the ongoing safety of credit union audit program members. It also represents the biggest change to the audit and examination process as a whole.

Remote audit and exam processes do exacerbate existing challenges. However, credit unions can create strong remote processes if they follow good work from home guidelines for regulatory compliance issues.

The NCUA’s offsite examination update states that they want to be “flexible and reasonable” in accommodating credit union needs. So, while offsite exams will continue—and they will be similar in scope to previous years—credit unions that are feeling particular hardship through COVID-19 may be able to modify or delay their exams.

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FREE: Audit Checklist for Credit Unions

4 key principles and 9 questions to jumpstart your audit planning. From leading credit unions.

Remote Exam Support for Credit Unions

If your credit union is in the majority that has moved (or will move) audit processes offsite, then we can help. Redboard’s audit management software facilitates easier communication among audit teams, leading to:

  • Better organization and file management
  • Faster clearing of findings
  • Easier coordination with business units

Redboard is extremely intuitive and easy to use. Most people can learn how to use our system in five minutes or less. Our clients have been able to get up and running for NCUA exams within days of signing a contract.

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