Compeer Financial was formed through the merger of 1st Farm Credit Services, AgStar Financial Services, and Badgerland Financial in July 2017. Based in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, Compeer holds over $22 billion in loan and lease assets and is the third-largest association in the Farm Credit System.
Integrating three distinct lenders in a challenging business environment was no small feat. Given the unique economic and policy pressures agricultural borrowers face ― affecting factors such as commodity prices and trade disruptions — the need for associations to strengthen risk-management capabilities is critical.
Leaders for Compeer knew that seamless data integration among the three entities, scalable budgeting and planning applications, fast and accurate financial reporting, and expanded control and audit capabilities would all drive success as a unified institution. They chose Axiom™ Planning for budgeting and forecasting, including the Axiom™ Cash Flow Forecaster, because it could meet these needs and more.
“We’re part of the Farm Credit System, which makes us different from other financial institutions,” says Lisa Campbell, Vice President, Compeer. “We needed a tool that could help us respond with agility to a changing environment, from regulatory change to fluctuations in the economic environment and our market. With Axiom, we knew we’d found a solution with the functionality we could grow into and the flexibility to adapt the system to our institution’s needs.”
Another selling point: Axiom’s ability to store an unlimited amount of data—critical for an organization the size of Compeer. “Integrating the data from three institutions is a complex process,” Campbell says. “Axiom was a good fit for Compeer because we’d gain the ability to extract, transform, and load the data to gain meaningful reports and output. Even better, it’s a solution we’ll be able to scale over the long term.”
Financial experts from Syntellis’ Axiom Implementation team met with leaders from Compeer to understand their needs, brainstorm ideas, and work with Compeer’s finance leadership to customize the institution’s approach.
Enhanced Accuracy and Transparency
The Axiom Cash Flow Forecaster solution calculates individual customer cash flows and supports aggregation by any dimension. For Compeer, key benefits include:
- Predicting net interest margin. Axiom Cash Flow Forecaster calculates the runoff and repricing of existing balances and rates based on the interest-rate forecast and includes the impact of new originations to enable Compeer to more accurately predict projected balances and yields.
- Improved accuracy. Compeer can add prepayment assumptions so future cash flows reflect a more realistic view of customer behavior.
“With Axiom Cash Flow Forecaster, we’ve been able to tie changes in our interest-rate assumptions back to a specific instrument, which has been very valuable,” Campbell says. “We’re also able to drill down into our drivers and budget assumptions. As others ask questions about the budget, we’re able to provide that level of detail back to the budget owners.”
Compeer uses Axiom Planning to reduce manual data entry and simplify budgeting. “We’ve been able to improve our stress-testing process by eliminating some of the manual inputs and management overlays from our stress-test assumptions,” Campbell says. After incorporating Axiom Planning into a full budgeting cycle, Compeer’s finance team can now make adjustments to further streamline annual budgeting. “During our first year of working with the Axiom Planning solution, we wanted to keep the primary level of control within our finance team,” Campbell says. “Now, as we implement enhancements to the application and our processes, we’ll see a large reduction in manual inputs — increasing efficiency and accuracy.”
"The Axiom solution has been a great addition to our toolbox. It’s very flexible in meeting the unique needs of farm credit associations."
Axiom Planning empowers Compeer to:
Integrate data seamlessly. Compeer leverages a single, trusted database to incorporate data into its planning and budgeting processes. This includes integrating data from source applications, such as general ledger, payroll, fixed assets, and detailed loan and investment systems.
Leverage Excel. With Axiom Planning, Compeer embraces the familiarity of Excel with extended functionality for developing business rules and designing reports without complex scripting.
Improved Audit/Control Capabilities
One of Compeer’s goals for a new budgeting and planning solution was to strengthen its audit and control capabilities through the use of a role-based security system. “With Axiom Planning, we’re able to lock down certain files, folders, or tables that most individuals should not have access to, such as payroll information,” Campbell says. “This has provided additional security that we need as a larger organization.”
A Future-Focused Solution
Looking ahead, Compeer plans to build its use of Axiom™ Reporting and Analytics Platform for faster, more flexible reporting.
“Syntellis’ Axiom team has been a great resource as we’ve adopted these software solutions to strengthen the performance of our newly merged organization,” Campbell says. “We’re excited about the next steps in our evolution as we continue our partnership.”