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The ALLL Coach

January 12, 2015
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Once reserved for the world of sports, the word “coach” has taken on a variety of new meanings in today’s business environment. Fundamentally it implies someone who gives advice, has credibility based on experience, and exhibits leadership. Relative to the bank and its allowance, a coach could be defined as one who oversees a professional partnership with individuals or a team designed to achieve a set of gaols as determined by those individuals or that team.

In most financial institutions, the individual responsible for overseeing the allowance calculation wears more than one hat. The CFO, CCO and Controller could in fact be the same person. He or she is pulled in many directions, so many of the tasks involved in reaching an allowance estimation are spread among several individuals.

In this instance the person ultimately responsible for the allowance can view his or her role as that of coach, giving advice, sharing experience, and leading in accomplishing what is the institution’s most critical quarterly calculation. Whatever model the institution employs, manual or automated, questions and issues will arise. Having a coach in place to guide the ship can be key to ensuring an accurate allowance and peace of mind for everyone involved in its estimation. Effective leadership and direction will be even more crucial when the new FASB accounting standard, CECL, is introduced and determining the ALLL becomes more detailed and complex.

– Gus Alexander, MST

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