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One of commercial banking’s biggest challenges solved by Sageworks’ “Most Innovative” product

April 14, 2017
Read Time: 0 min

Experts agree that while commercial lending is a critical banking service, it has been one of the least automated and technology-reliant aspects of banking today. One of the reasons for the current inefficiency in commercial banking is the number of tax returns that need to be entered and analyzed by a financial institution’s analysts or lenders when extending or reviewing a commercial loan–usually a minimum of six returns per commercial loan application, including three years of returns for the business and three years of returns for an owner, each with multiple pages. A credit risk manager at one bank with $900 million in total assets estimated that her team received approximately 8,220 tax returns in the 2015 calendar year. 

The data housed in these returns is critical to understanding commercial borrowers’ capacity to repay their loans in a timely manner so when they’re received by a financial institution, that data is manually “spread” (entered into a spreadsheet) and then used for credit analysis. Considering the example of the bank mentioned above, the amount of data entry required is significant.   

Enter Sageworks. Last week, Barlow Research, the foremost authority on commercial banking, announced that Sageworks won top honors in its 2017 Monarch Innovation Awards. The company was named “Overall Most Innovative” for its Electronic Tax Return Reader (ETRR). The patented ETRR automatically imports information from business borrowers’ tax returns, including financial and real estate information, so that it can be used in credit analysis without relying on manual data entry. ETRR saves business bankers and credit analysts an average of 20 minutes per return for new loans and reviews, reduces data errors that may occur during manual entry and ensures consistency of data entry between different analysts or lenders.

Sageworks won top honors in the Barlow Research 2017 Monarch Innovation Awards

“The Electronic Tax Return Reader marks a significant step toward our vision of eliminating data entry for our customers,” said Scott Ogle, CEO of Sageworks. “Banks and credit unions receive thousands of tax returns each year in support of business loan applications and keying in this data is a mundane, costly and slow process. The ETRR technology is the result of several iterations we made to solve this problem and we have already seen its benefits in the more than 700 lending departments nationwide that use it to save time and scale their loan production.”

Award criteria used by the Monarch Innovation Award judges included value, uniqueness, ease of use, defendability and “wow” factor.  Previous winners include Intuit, Xero,, Wells Fargo and Capital One. 

To find out more about Sageworks Electronic Tax Return Reader, visit

About the Author


Raleigh, N.C.-based Sageworks, a leading provider of lending, credit risk, and portfolio risk software that enables banks and credit unions to efficiently grow and improve the borrower experience, was founded in 1998. Using its platform, Sageworks analyzed over 11.5 million loans, aggregated the corresponding loan data, and created the largest

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