AuditLink, the audit and compliance division of CU*Answers, celebrated a stellar year in 2018 adding 27 new credit unions and CUSOs to its shared execution vendor management service offering. Jim Vilker, VP of Professional Services and manager of AuditLink, said, “we built this service based upon a cooperative mantra and have learned that vendor management is just about hard work.”

Vilker went on to say: “AuditLink is managing 650 critical vendor relationships including over 1,400 due diligence documents. It is not uncommon to have over 80% of credit unions’ existing critical relationships under management at the original risk assessment meeting. One of the real benefits to our credit unions and CUSOs is not just the monitoring of required due diligence, but also the monthly reports that continuously keep credit unions up to date on the status of their critical relationships.”

Drew Schmid, SVP of Special Projects for 1st Community Federal Credit Union, explained the reason his credit union decided to use AuditLink: “First it is a very well documented process from risk assessment to implementation, the ongoing monitoring, and the reporting to my team and third-party auditors. The process was obviously built with credit union and CUSO involvement and is one of the most comprehensive services I have seen. AuditLink immediately became an extension of my team and helped us focus on the critical areas requiring review savings us valuable time. It’s almost like they have a desk in our building feeding us just what we need to pay attention to. On top of that they built this business with the FFIEC guidelines and examiner checklists at the heart of it.”

In this regulatory environment, it is almost impossible for the average credit union to stay on top of their vendor management programs, added Vilker. “Utilizing a shared execution service like AuditLink takes 80% of the heavy lifting off vendor managers and helps them concentrate on the overall relationship vs. running vendors down and reviewing due diligence.”