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Vicki Gerson
Vicki Gerson
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Making the Most of the Audit Function

Columbia Bank uses Datawatch's Monarch report mining tool to improve internal audit.

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Another benefit has to do with Columbia Bank's dealings with outside vendors. For example, the bank works with a vendor that processes the thousands of daily transactions for Columbia's Visa card. The bank depends on reports generated by that company, and is limited to the reports the vendor sends. In the past, if the bank wanted additional information it could pay for the reports or manually extract the data. Using Monarch, Slepko can use a print file from one of the bank's own reports and extract the data needed. Then, the information can be manipulated in an Excel spreadsheet.

Similarly, Metavante, the bank's processor, doesn't produce a report to monitor employee accounts. It would cost Columbia thousands of dollars To have the processor produce the report. "There is a report called customer statements that is produced and has the information I need buried in thousands of pages," Slepko says. "By using Monarch, I can extract the information I need and print a two-page report in a matter of minutes anytime I need it."

Slepko is able to deploy the tool without any significant involvement from the bank's IT organization. In fact, IT's only job in this regard is routing the print files to an area on the network that Slepko can use.

Another benefit to Slepko is that he can create all the customization he wants. "Departments around the bank are seeing how I'm getting information they can't," says Slepko. "I'm showing other people in the bank how to customize Monarch so they can use it, too. I'm not a programmer and have limited computer ability. If someone is database or Excel savvy, they can learn fairly fast, and it's easy to do."

SNAPSHOT

Institution: Columbia Bank (Tacoma, Wash.)

Assets: $1.6 billion+

Business Challenge: Upgrade internal audit reporting function.

Solution: Datawatch's (Lowell, Mass.) Monarch report mining desktop software.

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