Oregon State Credit Union is a state-chartered credit union in Oregon with branches in Benton, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, and Polk counties. For more than 60 years, Oregon State Credit Union has been a member-owned, nonprofit financial institution. Earnings are returned to the credit union’s members in the form of competitive financial offerings, more personalized service, and convenience. Oregon State Credit Union is a thriving financial cooperative with more than $1.6 billion in assets and 200 employees.
Why Axiom Software?
In 2011 Oregon State Credit Union implemented Axiom software for reporting at financial and departmental levels, as well as budget planning and forecasting.
“We realized the full power of the system as soon as we started to use it,” said Kate Wasechek, Accounting Manager for Oregon State Credit Union. “So we streamlined further, shifting workloads so we could more easily handle tasks in real-time and ensure we avoided any heavy loads during the month-end closing crunch.”
One of the processes which have become real-time with Axiom is Oregon State Credit Union’s sale of real estate loans, by which the organization commits funds and sells loans to secondary markets to complement its mortgage lending services to members. As part of its participation in the secondary market, the credit union must file accurate reports at the end of each month and complete derivative accounting. It has to maintain accurate paperwork, keep it organized and auditable, ensure updated data inputs for each loan at each stage, complete calculations, and then post results.
Wasechek explains: “Filing and re-filing data throughout the month for loans that change positions multiple times was very time consuming and created a major accounting burden at the end of each month. With Axiom we simply enter all data as we go along, refresh our report at month-end, and at the push of a button all data is filed where it belongs with all appropriate calculations already built into the report. Now instead of month-end taking half a day of entering and double-checking calculations, it’s all done in real-time, and we complete the whole process in just a couple of minutes, saving time when it is a precious commodity.”
Building on existing expertise and Microsoft Excel know-how
Previously, Oregon State Credit Union used SRC Software, a vendor that was bought by Business Objects in 2005, and ultimately sunset by SAP in 2008. Because it was end-of-life, Oregon State Credit Union needed to replace SRC with a capable system that capitalized on the company’s existing investment in and knowledge of Microsoft Excel, while transforming simple spreadsheets into a highly scalable enterprise-grade application suite. Oregon State Credit Union particularly benefited from Axiom’s table structure, and found it could add information and calculations that previously had to be processed separately in Excel, alongside SRC. Wasechek says: “I now think of spreadsheets as two-dimensional and Axiom as multi-dimensional, because it allows us to do so much more. When we were using SRC we had a list of things we had to work around, and would have to tweak things to make it work the way we wanted it to. But with Axiom that list simply disappeared. This is why you choose a technology — to make things quicker and easier.”
Delivering security and powerful permission-based access and control
At Oregon State Credit Union, Axiom’s security and permissionbased rules were crucial. For example, specific departmental reports require access rights for a small subset of users, and it is important to stipulate which managers can read which reports, and who has permission to change reports or the database. Wasechek says “I am able to easily pick and choose who, at either a group or individual level, gets rights to specific areas, or even a specific report. The system is intuitive and makes perfect sense when it comes to security and access.”
Partnering for consistent support and expertise
A strong business relationship with Syntellis was vital during the transition period from SRC. Syntellis’ knowledgeable team helped take the firm’s performance management platform to the next level during implementation. The Axiom team also worked to ensure a painless transition from SRC to Axiom for managers, who are infrequent users. Wasechek says: “The Axiom team re-created our planning documents so that when end-users opened them for the first time, they found the system to be entirely familiar, and that got us all off to a great start. It was also very straightforward to transfer and import data from our old system. Axiom grabs blocks of data as queries instead of gathering thousands of pieces of individual data, which meant we had all of our reports up and running quickly and efficiently.”
Wasechek stated, “In accounting and finance, there is so much data that can be entered into numerous reports, in numerous ways. It can be easy to find yourself chasing numbers — but not with Axiom. Working with Axiom has enabled us to add source documents to our central database and then simply pull the data into multiple reports from there. Automatic updating via a central database saves us time, and Axiom has allowed us to build and be more efficient with a wide range of financial reports, from trending to using individual collateral codes to streamline data collection and reporting. Collating all that data used to take us several days, but now it’s just a few hours.”
Wasechek says Axiom works logically, enabling data to be easily manipulated and modeled accurately and reliably. Wasechek concludes:
“That flexibility and trust are qualities you rarely find in software. With Axiom we are now able to dissect data in a whole new way. It’s not about just dividing it up and putting it in a one-dimensional report, we can now categorize and see data in any way we choose. We have the confidence that when industry, consumer or business needs arise, we will be able to use Axiom as a truly centralized, enterprise-level modeling environment to meet the challenges we face.”