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Credit Union Challenges, Opportunities & More: Hear from Our Experts

Our Financial Institutions Team excels in providing innovative services to credit unions. Unlike other accounting firms, The Bonadio Group (TBG) offers credit union clients more than audit services—we offer strategic partnerships. While the credit union services at TBG are based in traditional audit services, they have evolved into a wide variety of business advisory services including strategy, planning, compliance, mergers, and more.

Our credit union experts, Jeffrey Paille, Tom Giglio and Samuel Capuano, provide meaningful conversations both within and outside of the audit context on a daily basis. We sat down with these experts to discuss their backgrounds, their insights on current challenges and opportunities for credit unions, and more.

Jeffrey Paille, CPA, Partner

Starting at The Bonadio Group in 1992, Jeff has almost 30 years of experience with credit unions. In 2001, he left TBG and took the position of Accounting Manager at ESL Federal Credit Union for five years before rejoining TBG in 2006. Jeff is currently a Partner focused on serving credit unions.

During his time at ESL, Jeff was exposed to the innerworkings of credit unions and has incorporated that experience and knowledge into his current client relationships.

Jeff explained the importance of credit unions revisiting their strategies as we come out of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Plans established pre-COVID are no longer relevant, and some things are fundamentally different now. Credit unions need to re-establish strategy, even to the point of redefining what they want to be, and at Bonadio we help initiate and facilitate these conversations. It’s all part of adding value beyond an audit report,” said Jeff.

In addition to the strategic challenges facing credit unions, Jeff says one of the current top priorities for credit unions should be addressing Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL). “It is crucial to have enough time and energy allocated to effectively address CECL. If this process has not begun yet, now is the time to prioritize it. Many credit unions are finding that their initial rounds of CECL calculations yield results that are unexpected, creating the need for additional time to re-think assumptions and overall approach. Leave yourself time for this work.” At Bonadio, we’re helping numerous lenders address these challenges.

Samuel Capuano, CBA, Principal

Sam is responsible for providing internal audit and compliance services to our financial institution clients. A member of the Bonadio Group for seven years, Sam has over 30 years of experience with financial institutions as an internal auditor. Sam has also been a member of the Association of Credit Union Internal Auditors (ACUIA) for over 20 years, and currently serves as an emeritus board member.

Prior to joining TBG, Sam worked at a few financial institutions, including Sunmark Credit Union, where he gained much of the knowledge that he shares with his current credit union clients today. He emphasized that there is a value and importance in having a team that has previously worked for different financial institutions/credit unions. “We know the people, we have the experience, and we can share our knowledge with others now,” added Sam.

In addition to the priorities Jeff outlined above, Sam added that an area that credit unions should continue to be focusing on is cybersecurity, as this continues to be an NCUA supervisory priority, due to ongoing, and changing associated risks.

Tom Giglio, CIA, CSFA, Executive Vice President

Tom has extensive auditing experience and has worked within the financial institutions industry for over 36 years. He has dedicated his entire career to the risk management and internal audit field. Through providing this type of service, Tom got involved with credit unions.

Tom has been with TBG for nearly 15 years and is currently an Executive Vice President and Practice/ Team Leader within the firm’s Internal Audit Division. He is responsible for developing and overseeing the firm’s internal audit and compliance services. He also provides internal audit services in all key control areas as well as consulting on critical business issues.

“Many of our clients have difficulty finding the resources and/or expertise required to monitor their control environment and ensure compliance with the regulations they are required to adhere to. We provide the resources and expertise to do these things which allows them to focus on member service and growing their business,” said Tom.

Our credit union experts not only have decades of expertise in this industry, but they work together to combine their knowledge and solve problems. Tom, Jeff, Sam, and other members of the Financial Institutions Team, coordinate their efforts to develop the best strategies and solutions for credit union clients.

If you’re interested in learning more about our financial institution services, visit our website here or feel free to reach out today to discuss your specific situation.

This material has been prepared for general, informational purposes only and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. Should you require any such advice, please contact us directly. The information contained herein does not create, and your review or use of the information does not constitute, an accountant-client relationship.