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Richey May Acquires Amata Solutions

Richey May, an accounting and advisory firm serving the financial services and real estate industries, has fully acquired Amata Solutions, a provider of customized planning and business intelligence tools for mortgage lenders. The acquisition comes three months after Richey May made an investment in the firm. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.  Amata Solutions is now part of Richey May Technology Solutions, Richey May’s technology consulting division launched last year.


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Benjamin Duke, Amata Solutions’ founder, has taken the role of executive director, data analytics with Richey May Technology Solutions, where he will be responsible for developing and delivering business analytics solutions for mortgage lending clients.  


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Amata Solutions provided planning, forecasting and business intelligence tools that empower lenders to make more confident, strategic business decisions based on real-time data. The tools it developed can be applied to all areas of the mortgage business and can be integrated across a mortgage lender’s platforms, including their customer relationship management (CRM) software, loan origination system (LOS) and general ledger software (GL). 


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 “We were confident that our clients would love Amata Solutions when we partnered with the firm three months ago, but we may have underestimated how much,” said Ken Richey, co-founder and partner of Richey May. “This acquisition puts Richey May in a perfect position to help mortgage lenders address tighter margins and lower volume so they can stay several steps ahead of their competition.”    


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“Since partnering with Richey May, we have been busier than ever,” said Duke. “There was so much synergy between Richey May’s consulting services and our products and services that it simply made sense to go ‘all in’ and join forces. Today, with our combined expertise and resources, Richey May is able to serve all of a lender’s accounting, consulting and data analytics needs more completely than any other company.”  

A division of Richey May, Richey May Technology Solutions offers a full spectrum of technology solutions, from cloud services and cybersecurity to marketing technology, and from governance, risk, controls and privacy to technology management consulting. 

Evaluating Your Accounting Firm

When did you last seriously evaluate your accounting firm and ask how well it has served your lending operation? Years come and go and very often this sort of assessment falls by the way side. But it shouldn’t. Like all businesses, accounting firms experience changes in management and personnel that can directly impact their clients in terms of the responsiveness they experience and the expertise they receive.

Previous studies that have analyzed how businesses select accounting firms have found that team experience in an industry and the related skills are a major consideration. Other high ranking factors include fees, personal relationships, shared values, respected industry experts, referrals and a good reputation.

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While these are important considerations, from a tax and audit standpoint, there are several other factors you should consider when making a thorough and accurate assessment of your accounting firm and determining how well it is meeting your financial and tax reporting needs. Here are 8 key questions to ask yourself when evaluating the guidance and service your accounting firm is providing:

1.) Do you have easy access to senior level personnel?

Who are your main contacts at your accounting firm? Is it easy to reach a decision maker within the accounting firm whenever you need their assistance? Are they present at meetings? Do they meet with you at least quarterly for planning and tax purposes? Or, when special transactions arise, such as a merger or acquisition, are they involved in the process? The importance of meeting with seasoned tax and audit CPA professionals early and often cannot be overstated. By having quarterly meetings with you, your accounting firm is better positioned to proactively address any incremental changes as they occur in your lending business, such as changes in regulations, financing arrangements, acquisitions or adding branch locations.

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2.) How much mortgage industry expertise does your accounting firm truly have?

Most accounting firms are well versed in accounting, tax and audit best practices, rules, regulatory considerations, etc. However, not all accounting firms understand the nuances of the mortgage industry and the issues that affect lending operations from a tax and audit standpoint. When you think about your unique needs as a lender relative to financial performance, tax issues, compliance, sales force retention and commercial, legal and intellectual property due diligence, does your accounting firm have what it takes to proactively address them? For example, does your accounting firm understand the proper valuation criteria for interest rate lock commitments, loans held for sale, mortgage servicing rights and loan loss reserves? These are important accounting and tax issues that your accounting firm should understand to assist you with proper financial and tax reporting.

3.) What value do you realize from the cost of your accounting firm’s services?

Cost is always a consideration, but the value you receive for the money you spend is what truly matters. Does your accounting firm go above and beyond in terms of proactively suggesting ideas or do they nickel and dime you for every question they answer? Often, and especially with new engagements, it is common to see cost overruns whereby a price will be quoted up front and then additional costs start piling up. Alternatively, a value-added approach would consider the time and effort spent on a new engagement as an investment. How does your accounting firm stack up?

4.) How well does your accounting firm resolve challenges?

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Did you encounter problems this past tax season, such as selling mortgage service rights and the proper determination of capital gains treatment, or issues with the proper valuation of interest rate lock commitments, and were they resolved quickly and competently? Efficient and effective problem resolution is closely tied to the mortgage industry knowledge your accounting firm has, so you can rest easy if it has this expertise. If not, the resolution to your problems may be slow in coming and poorly crafted.

5.) Were deadlines met and extensions filed on time?

As they say, “timing is everything.” That’s especially true when it comes to tax filings and audits. Were your reporting requirements filed on time? Did you experience unnecessary pressure from your accounting firm as deadlines approached for corporate tax returns, HUD and GNMA filings? The truth is, your lending operation should not be pressured from a timing standpoint. Rather, your accounting firm should be working methodically and deliberately to meet deadlines as they approach.

6.) Were your tax returns drafted and presented correctly?

This is an especially important consideration when it comes to the proper filing of federal and state tax returns. There are very specific guidelines for lenders operating in a single state or in multiple states that must be followed, such as tax rules for mark to market accounting. If you are using a CPA without industry-specific experience, they may not be aware of all of the mortgage banking rules you must adhere to. If this is the case, you are operating at a disadvantage.

7.) Is your accounting firm consistent in terms of their knowledge and service levels?

Was your most recent engagement with your accounting firm a smooth one? Did team members change frequently or did they remain dedicated to your business throughout the audit and tax season? The consistency of your accounting and tax teams is critically important because it directly affects the amount of time and effort you must expend throughout the season. If you found yourself having to repeatedly train your accounting firm’s staff about your business, it may be time to search for a new one.

8.) How well do your accounting firm’s values mesh with yours?

When it comes to tax and audit considerations, do you operate somewhat conservatively and cautiously – or do you take a more aggressive approach? Working with an accounting firm that shares your values is an important consideration because only that way can you approach issues as a team, with a similar mindset when it comes to resolving problems and identifying opportunities.

As you look ahead to the fall and the busy months that follow, take some time and evaluate how well your accounting firm has supported your lending operation. If after asking and answering these questions you find that your CPA firm is lacking in some of these areas, it may be time to find a new one – one that is well-versed in the mortgage industry and the unique tax and audit issues that come with it.

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Bestborn Joins Elite Microsoft Dynamics Inner Circle

Bestborn Business Solutions, creators of Loan Vision, has been inducted into the Microsoft Dynamics Inner Circle, an elite group of Microsoft partners honored for their outstanding achievements in innovative design, sales, and superior commitment to service. The mortgage accounting technology firm (Bestborn) has earned membership for the 2017-2018 year and is recognized as one of only 60 Microsoft Dynamics partners, globally, to earn the award.

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“We’re honored to join this highly esteemed group of partners who have leveraged the latest Microsoft technology to simplify and advance business processes,” said Martin Kerr, President of Bestborn Business Solutions. “We plan to take advantage of every resource this membership provides in order to further expand our capabilities.”

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Bestborn was officially inducted into the 2017 Inner Circle at the Microsoft Dynamics Partner Recognition Event hosted at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., where the new members discussed Microsoft’s upcoming plans. Each Microsoft partner invited to join the Inner Circle is afforded greater access to Microsoft resources, allowing the partners to forge a closer relationship with the world’s leading software provider than ever before.

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“Each year we recognize Microsoft Dynamics partners from around the world for delivering innovation and driving unsurpassed customer success,” said Ron Huddleston, CVP, One Commercial Partner. “Our Inner Circle members are chosen based on their capabilities as an organization, whether that’s creating IP, developing solutions, or having an industry leading focus on digital transformation. Microsoft is honored to recognize Bestborn for their achievements this past year, their dedication to their customers, and their innovation with Microsoft technologies.”

“Early access to Microsoft’s functionality launches and latest updates gives us a highly competitive edge,” said Igor Pchelnikov, CTO at Loan Vision. “This membership creates more opportunities for our team to leverage technology than ever before.”

Built on Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Loan Vision brings enterprise level accounting and business management functionality to the mortgage banking industry and a new option for lenders who require more flexibility in their enterprise software. Loan Vision can consume data from any LOS, efficiently passing detailed loan level information directly into the accounting system, thereby reducing manual workload and avoiding the risks of human error that come with rekeying data. The Microsoft look and feel reduces the learning curve for new users, while IT benefits from a solution fully deployed on the Microsoft suite of technologies. The platform contains modules for Interim Servicing and LO Commission as well as an extensive Branch Reporting module.

Loan Vision Partners With National Lender, US Mortgage Corp.

Loan Vision, a mortgage accounting and financial management solution, announced that Melville, New York-based US Mortgage Corporation, a national Mortgage Banking company specializing in residential mortgages, has made the decision to switch from Intuit Quickbooks to the Loan Vision accounting software for mortgage banks with plans to go live on the platform in September.

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“US Mortgage Corporation performed an extensive analysis of its options for new accounting software before joining the Loan Vision family. This was a big decision for them,” said Martin Kerr, President of Bestborn Business Solutions. “I prefer it when a prospect looks deeply into the capabilities we offer and those offered by our competitors before making a decision. When they take the time to do this, it’s rare that they do not choose Loan Vision. I’m very pleased to welcome US Mortgage Corporation into our growing family.”

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“The way this industry is set up, you really need something that’s able to drill down on a loan level basis,” said Scott Milner, President of US Mortgage Corporation. “So accounting software that doesn’t even understand what that means wasn’t going to be practical for us. We went with Loan Vision because it was already in the Cloud, it will be much more integrated with our other Microsoft Suite of services and it will provide quicker calculations and give us a lot more flexibility from a reporting standpoint.”

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Milner said his team made its final decision based on three criteria they determined to be most important. First, the company needed a tool that was mortgage specific. Second, management wanted a tool that would provide real time information to senior managers and branch managers. Easy online access to the system was something that the company did not have but wanted. Finally, US Mortgage Corporation wanted a tool that would make it easier for the company Treasurer to provide senior management with actionable information based on company data.

“It was an extensive process,” Milner said. “When you are changing accounting software, you hope to do it only once so you want to make the right decision. We found what we were looking for in Loan Vision. In hindsight, I really wish I had made this decision years ago.”

“We were in discussions with US Mortgage Corporation for quite some time,” said Carl Wooloff, Business Development Manager for Loan Vision. “The company was very careful and we respect that. As more companies come aboard, the Loan Vision decision is becoming much easier for companies to make. Anyone considering a switch should visit with one of our customers. They generally say that they wish they had switched sooner.”

Better Automation Solves A Lot Of Problems

Technology is not the enemy. Technology should be a lender’s friend. And technology can solve a lot of problems. For example, Longbridge Financial, LLC., a national reverse mortgage lender based in Mahwah, New Jersey, has decided to implement Loan Vision accounting software for mortgage banks. The company cut over from its existing accounting solution on June 1.

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“We are very pleased to have Longbridge Financial join our growing family,” said Martin Kerr, President of Bestborn Business Solutions. “This company is really growing and we’re looking forward to assisting them in that process by giving them more information about how their company is operating than they have ever had access to before.”

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“One of our investors knew the team at Bestborn and recommended its Loan Vision accounting solution,” said Mary Riski, Longbridge Financial’s controller. “Loan Vision offered the mortgage loan accounting functionality we needed built in and the solution was more robust than the other solution we reviewed. We wanted to drill down into the specifics that make our company more profitable.”

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Riski said that the accounting solution the company had been using previously was not meeting the institution’s needs. She said her department was eager to generate financial reports by channel and product line, to have visibility into the company’s lines of business and their specific P&Ls, instead of settling for a roll-up to a generic corporate level that made it difficult to determine actual performance on a granular level.

“Getting that visibility is really the most exciting thing,” Riski said. “And then with all of the automation to import data from all of our various front end systems, that also is going to save us probably close to at least half an FTE if not a whole FTE, once we’re up and running.”

“With competition tightening, organizations must look deeper into their numbers than ever before to maximize their profit on every loan,” said Carl Wooloff, Business Development Manager for Loan Vision. “The folks at Longbridge, by moving to Loan Vision, have absolutely given themselves an edge over their competition. We are all looking forward to a long and successful relationship.”

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Technology Does Offer ROI

When used correctly, technology does pay off. For example, Alterra Home Loans, an independent mortgage bank headquartered in Nevada with offices in 12 states, has been able to sustain significant growth since implementing  Advantage Systems’ Accounting for Mortgage Bankers (AMB) software.

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Alterra Home Loans selected AMB as its accounting system in 2015 in order to eliminate manual processes and gain access to detailed loan-level reporting tools. Alterra Home Loans has leveraged AMB’s automated processes to eliminate time-consuming manual entries during the lender’s rapid growth.

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Alterra Home Loans is also taking advantage of Advantage Systems’ Commissions Calculation module in order to automate its commissions process, to provide loan officers with more timely and accurate commissions statements.

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“Alterra Home Loans is going through a period of explosive growth and we made the decision to implement AMB in order to eliminate manual processes,” said Yvonne Yacono, chief business officer at Alterra Home Loans.

“We understand lenders’ needs, and have developed our software to eliminate time-consuming processes and help achieve growth,” said Brian Lynch, president of Advantage Systems. “We constantly seek to enhance our software’s features in order to help lenders attain tomorrow’s goals today.”

AMB is a robust accounting system that was specifically designed for mortgage bankers. The solution brings real-time accounting data to users, both accounting and non-accounting staff, in a practical, useable format. Key features include the ability to view loan level data that displays profitability by loan, loan type, loan officer and branch.

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Using Technology As A Recruiting Tool

Redlands, California-based Mountain West Financial, a full-service, privately held mortgage banker, has used its AMB (Accounting for Mortgage Bankers) solution as a recruiting tool to attract talented branch managers.

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Mountain West Financial selected AMB as its accounting system to streamline its accounting needs. The mortgage lender was able to produce detailed reports via the system in less time and was able to reduce manual entries.

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Mountain West Financial has been able to use AMB as a recruiting tool for valued branch managers and accounting staff, who express a preference for using AMB. The lender was also able to use AMB’s loan level detail to track impound amounts for its reconciliation processes.

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“AMB has helped us in our efforts to attract the most talented staff,” said Stacy Mohr, vice president of capital markets at Mountain West Financial. “We heavily tout our use of the most advanced mortgage technology when recruiting, and Advantage Systems’ software has been instrumental in hiring the best qualified branch managers and accounting staff.”

“Our system solves a wide variety of mortgage lenders’ specific needs,” said Brian Lynch, president of Advantage Systems. “Not only does it enable lenders to eliminate manual processes when reconciling accounts, but it serves as a valuable resource for branch managers who want access to data about the performance of individual loans or loan officers.”

AMB is an accounting system that was specifically designed for mortgage bankers. The solution brings real-time accounting data to users, both accounting and non-accounting staff, in a practical, useable format. Key features include the ability to view loan level data that displays profitability by loan, loan type, loan officer and branch.

Lender Automates To Keep Up With Growth

Bestborn Business Solutions, a provider of accounting and financial management solutions, announced today that Plymouth, Mich.-based Success Mortgage Partners, Inc. a full residential retail mortgage lender, is implementing the company’s Loan Vision accounting software for mortgage banks. Here’s why:

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“Given our recent growth, we realized that our current accounting solution just wasn’t sufficient to produce the reports we needed,” said Basia Nowakowski, Director of Accounting & Secondary Marketing for Success Mortgage. “We’ve doubled in size for the past three years, consecutively. We had to decide whether we would add a staff of accountants or upgrade our accounting software. We needed something that would give us loan level functionality and be easy to use. We found it in Loan Vision.”

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Success Mortgage Partners operates in Indiana, Illinois, Florida, Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama and Wyoming. The firm has hired over 120 talented loan officers and employees this year alone and now employs 500 people. In addition to the thriving retail division, the company is also experiencing growth in its reverse mortgage division, Reverse Mortgage USA.

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In addition to the loan level functionality built into Loan Vision, Nowakowski said her team was impressed with the software’s branch module, which she says will help them manage their network of twenty nine branches in ten states. The commission module was also a selling point as was the overall ease of use.

“Most of us are very familiar with the Microsoft Office products, so having a familiar view on the dashboard was really appealing to me and my team,” she said. “Knowing that it’s Microsoft-based really gave us a comfort level, since everything else about the software is brand new for us.”

“Helping our clients grow and deal with the challenges that growth brings is what sets Bestborn apart,” said Carl Wooloff, Business Development Manager for Bestborn. “Success is a perfect client for us because they know they need more information from the general ledger and have an accounting department that is expert enough to pull insight from that data. Our software now gives them access to the information they need to make better decisions.”

While Success is currently in the process of completing the installation and cutting over to the software for the enterprise, satisfaction is already high. “The level of support that we have received from both the sales force and the implementation team has been absolutely fantastic. The way they structure their implementation process has made this easy. It’s just been a fantastic experience since we signed with them.”

Lender Embraces Technology To End Manual Accounting

Bestborn Business Solutions, a provider of accounting and financial management solutions, announced today that Primero Home Loans, LLC, a privately-owned mortgage banking company headquartered in Powell, Ohio, has made the decision to replace its current accounting solution with Loan Vision. The company was previously relying on Intuit Quickbooks.

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“Our growth was driving us toward a more robust accounting solution,” said Primero Controller George Milligan. “There was simply too much manual work involved in using the small business accounting software we were using as it wasn’t designed for use in the mortgage lending industry. We needed more sophisticated reporting, with more loan level dimensions, but without adding additional personnel.”

Built on Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Loan Vision brings enterprise level accounting and business management functionality to the mortgage banking industry and a new option for lenders who require more flexibility in their enterprise software. Recently, the company announced plans to release a Lite version of Loan Vision that offers a powerful alternative to generic accounting tools and provides a convenient and smooth migration path to even more powerful industry software as organizations grow.

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“Primero is a perfect example of the kinds of growing mortgage banking firms that can benefit from the power built into Loan Vision,” said Martin Kerr, President of Bestborn. “We are very pleased to be working with Primero and excited about what they can accomplish with better information to power their business decisions.”

Loan Vision can consume data from any LOS, efficiently passing detailed loan level information directly into the accounting system, thereby reducing manual workload and avoiding the risks of human error that come with rekeying data. The Microsoft look and feel reduces the learning curve for new users, while IT benefits from a solution fully deployed on the Microsoft suite of technologies. The platform contains modules for Interim Servicing and LO Commission as well as an extensive Branch Reporting module.

Looking For Financial Management Automation

Bestborn Business Solutions, a provider of accounting and financial management solutions, has announced that VanDyk Mortgage has selected its software application, Loan Vision, as its new financial management solution.

“Making the transition to Loan Vision will allow the VanDyk finance team to support the continued growth and success of the organization as a whole, giving us greater insight into our operations and helping us manage costs at a far more granular level than we have been previously able,” said Justin McDowell, CFO, VanDyk Mortgage.

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“We are delighted to have added VanDyk Mortgage to the ever-expanding list of independent mortgage banks making the move to Loan Vision,” said Martin Kerr, President, Bestborn Business Solutions. “Over the past 18 months or so we have gathered significant momentum amongst some of the largest lenders in the industry. VanDyk’s move from AMB is another great example of industry leaders moving away from older technology and embracing progressive solutions.

“Loan Vision’s unique combination of industry-leading financial functionality and mortgage industry expertise allows us to offer enterprises like VanDyk the tools they need to better manage their organizations, today and for the foreseeable future as they continue to expand and grow,” added Kerr.

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Built on Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Loan Vision brings enterprise level accounting and business management functionality to the mortgage banking industry and a new option for lenders who require more flexibility in their enterprise software. Loan Vision can interface with any LOS, efficiently passing detailed loan level information directly into the accounting system, thereby reducing manual workload and avoiding the risks of human error that come with rekeying data. The Microsoft look and feel reduces the learning curve for new users, while IT benefits from a solution fully deployed on the Microsoft suite of technologies. The platform contains modules for Interim Servicing and LO Commission as well as an extensive Branch Reporting module.

Making every customer a referenceable customer is the goal of Bestborn Business Solutions. Thanks to the functionality offered in its mortgage accounting solution, Loan Vision, and its team of industry focused consultants, the firm has quickly established itself as the partner of choice for some of the largest and fastest growing lenders in the country. Choose to partner with us and streamline the finance department and delight branch and executive management while gaining greater clarity in your reporting.