Del Norte Credit Union (DNCU) is based in Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico. With just over $700m in assets, DNCU has a lean operation and outsources many of its audits. Their internal risk management activities are focused on managing their outsourced audits and running ongoing quality control and monitoring activities. 

 

DNCU’s past audits and exams returned satisfactory results. Yet, they felt that they were struggling to keep up and only narrowly avoiding some larger issues. 

Why Del Norte CU Looked for a New Approach 

DNCU used spreadsheets for organization and emails for communication. But spreadsheets were difficult to maintain, and many business users lost track of the work assigned to them. Samantha O., DNCU’s quality control specialist, said the spreadsheets were “not very effective at all. If you had to look for findings from a month before, you had to search through a pile of spreadsheets and things would go missing.” 

Samantha felt that DNCU’s process was a liability. Business users had a hard time keeping track of things and items often slipped through the cracks. The inefficient process caused findings to slowly pile up. Not only was there a high volume of findings, but they often took 6–8 months to clear. The DNCU risk team worried about the potential for DORs. 

Finally, DNCU ran into issues with their BSA audit when examiners saw how long internal findings stayed open. This elevated the issue to the board of directors, who made it a priority. They wanted more organization, accountability, and efficiency to ensure consistent compliance with both management and regulatory controls. It was clear that something needed to change. 

How Del Norte CU Decided on a Solution 

DNCU wanted to ensure that activity across the organization remained compliant, which would help them during independent audits and exams. For example, they performed weekly “new account audits” to guarantee that all procedures relating to new accounts were executed faithfully. They wanted a solution that could help them maintain excellence in their new account audits, in other monitoring activities, and in their audits and exams. They wanted a solution that worked across their credit union. 

In their search for a better method of managing their audit and quality control work, DNCU tried a couple of audit management systems. Both solutions offered a wide range of capabilities and support for various audit processes. However, neither platform stuck. 

Both of the systems DNCU tried were capable, but very complex. They included training libraries with multiple how-to articles and videos. They spent hours exploring the ins and outs of the software. Eventually, they concluded that it could take months before they learned to use the software effectively. 

That time was an investment they couldn’t afford. Samantha thought about the business units’ role, too. The risk department comprised capable experts with roles specifically geared toward nuances of audits, quality control, and compliance issues. “If we couldn’t use these complicated tools, how could we expect part-time tellers to use them?” she asked. Getting buy-in from business units was key if DNCU was serious about improving their performance. Asking them to muddle through clunky and difficult software would be a nonstarter. 

Redboard was the first platform DNCU tried that required little to no training at all. Not only was it intuitively easy to use, but it also guided users through their workflows with short instructions that enhanced the user experience. Compared to the other solutions they tried, “it was like night and day,” said Casey McIntosh, VP of Risk at DNCU. “Redboard does everything you need it to do, but it’s simple, it’s easy to use, and it’s not overly complex,” she said. “We’ve seen improvements in almost all aspects of our program,” she added. 

How Del Norte CU Performed with Redboard 

Organizational issues stemming from Excel slowed DNCU’s compliance work to a crawl. Sifting through past spreadsheets made life hard on business units, and too often, findings took the better part of a year to clear. 

After implementing Redboard, everything sped up. After first trying Redboard with a small control group, they saw that findings were getting cleared almost immediately. “At least 85% of our findings are now cleared on time. It’s been a complete 180 from our old way of managing with spreadsheets and email,” said McIntosh. 

DNCU’s risk department loves the organization and accountability it brought to their work. It used to be easy for people to miss emails and lose spreadsheets, but Redboard gave the risk team the ability to stay top of mind with business users and keep management involved, all while offering a simplified experience. 

In fact, that simplified experience has reinvigorated the DNCU team. “I’ve heard a lot of business people just straight say, ‘I love it. I love Redboard, it’s so easy,’” said Samantha. And they’re not the only ones who do. “It used to be exhausting trying to figure out what needed to be fixed, but now I can log in and everything is right there… I can pick out the quick fixes, handle them, and better prioritize from there,” she said. “Redboard literally cut my time in half,” she added. 

Redboard’s color-coded dashboard also streamlines the user experience for business units. They now quickly complete their audit-related tasks and can focus on getting their regular work done instead of constantly trying to figure out what audit and quality control items are on their plate. “Redboard helps our staff do their jobs better, which really makes the member experience better,” said McIntosh. 

DNCU is happy that their audit and compliance activities again meet their standards. Their old methods are now just a frustrating memory. “There’s no reason to keep doing it the way we’ve always done it with Excel spreadsheets and emails. There’s a better solution out there, and Redboard is that solution for us,” said McIntosh. “From an audit perspective, Redboard is life changing.”