According to Jan Gustavson, Banking Analyst with the university's Banking Services Group, BRMEdge has accelerated the monthly account review process, and has been instrumental in achieving significant bank fee savings. On a cumulative basis, the software has played a major role in hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings.
"Our area has responsibility for managing the relationships with our banking institutions. With our network of campuses and facilities spread across the state of California, it would be nearly impossible to carefully review and evaluate monthly account analysis statements manually. BRMEdge compiles and analyzes all incoming bank information, and within a matter of hours, provides our team with detailed reports that alert us to unexpected or incorrect bank charges."
Upgrading For Better Functionality
Weiland Group's Bank Relationship Managerâ¢ (BRMâ¢) system was installed at the University of California seven years ago. In 2006, the university upgraded to the BRMEdge system. At the time of the conversion, Weiland technicians transferred the existing database, with seven years of detail, directly to the BRMEdge system. Company trainers then arrived on site to set up the new system and to educate members of the Banking Services Group on its enhanced capabilities and functionality.
The BRMEdge system is more robust in speed and processing than its predecessor, and can load data and run reports in one step. Designed to support simultaneous functionality, the system allows tasks to be stacked, which can save hours of processing time.
The system is configured to automatically import monthly account analysis transmission files (822 format) from the university's various banks on specified dates. Once the data has been uploaded, it is screened and reports are automatically generated. The system's Case Manager Module immediately flags any discrepancies between actual charges and the benchmarks entered into the BRMEdge system. BRMEdge also provides comparative data that allows financial managers to identify pricing differentials between banking institutions.
The university's banking partners support the use of Weiland's BRMEdge system. The reports generated by the system help the banks bring consistency to their operations. The reports also use bank-provided data to find the source of discrepancies within their own organizational structure.
Comprehensive Reporting Protects the Bottom Line
"Our organization pays approximately $4.7 million in fees each year to our banking partners - exclusive of credit card processing charges," commented Jan. "Data gathered by and reported through BRMEdge helps us discover billing discrepancies on a regular basis. Sometimes the issues are small, and other times they can amount to savings of several thousand dollars. BRM is also a powerful negotiation tool. As part of larger discussion on fees, we challenged one of our banks to show us a 48% reduction in a particular category of service fees. We knew, based on benchmarking, that their rates in this category were high. The bank agreed to adjust their costs, provided that we moved all of our operations to a new technology platform. We did so, and then used BRMEdge to track and confirm the fee reductions, which amounted to more than $200,000 in annual savings. This negotiation positioned us to enter into a new three-year agreement with the bank."
The BRMEdge system also supports pro-forma statement analysis, as well as the development of systems that allow expenses to be accurately charged back to individual campuses. According to Jan, "we are frequently asked to provide reports to the campuses that document expenses, and now can develop those customized reports and respond within minutes. In addition, the BRMEdge system supports comprehensive quarterly reporting, which allows our various campus account holders to know where they stand every 90 days. It's a comprehensive reporting solution that has become a cornerstone of the university's financial management strategies."