American Bankers Association

More time to devote to members.

The American Bankers Association replaces seven finance and HR systems with one, boosting efficiency and data accuracy.

Gives finance and HR one consistent set of data and tools

Speeds up insights, decisions, and approvals

Simplifies budgeting, staff management, and audits

Recoups resources needed for strategic planning

Cryptocurrency, troubled debt restructuring, overdraft protection fees—these are just a few of the issues that the American Bankers Association (ABA) helps its member banks navigate. In addition to providing research, guidance, education, and certifications, the nearly 150-year-old organization also represents its members in government relations and complex proceedings involving the $23.7 trillion banking industry.

As a professional association, ABA strives to save time and money wherever possible to minimize fees and improve services for its members. However, the trade association’s legacy technologies were hindering efficiency, insights, and strategic planning. Finance and HR staff were using seven different systems and often relied on paper to complete core workflows. To obtain reports for decision-making, employees had to either manually compile and analyze data in siloed spreadsheets or wait for the monthly reports that the IT team generated. And because reports were based on information from manual processes, employees had to reverify numbers, further delaying decisions.

Efficiency with compound interest.

To improve finance and HR efficiency and equip employees with on-demand, holistic business insights, ABA deployed Workday. Alethia Baggett, chief HR officer at the American Bankers Association, says, “People were more attached to the processes that had been in place for 20 years than the technologies, so our biggest challenge was getting them to think differently about how they approached their work.” The staff’s excitement about the new system helped speed the initial deployment and unlock a more flexible mindset for ongoing workflow improvements. Karin Flynn, chief financial officer at the American Bankers Association, says, “Even though we live and breathe the system every day, we’re still learning and making adjustments. Workday puts a lot of thought into change management, so the out-of-the-box tools that the system provides to help with that are impressive.”

One set of finance and HR data now feeds everything we do, simplifying expense reports, timesheets, performance reviews, requisitions, budgets, and headcount management.

Chief HR Officer

The ability to instantly see all sides of the business.

Consolidating finance and HR data and providing teams with standard, intuitive digital tools saves time—time that can be reallocated to mission-critical activities that serve members and the banking community. “The self-service capabilities we now have are so important,” says Flynn. “Anyone can go into the system, see their data, and know it’s accurate.” Instead of having multiple employees manually extract and compile information from different systems, finance and HR managers can immediately view holistic insights such as which positions are open and the expected salaries and benefits for them. Auditors can also independently log in to the system and easily find and test the data they need without requiring employee assistance.

Automating workflows that people used to manage manually—like expense reports, accounts payable, and revenue recognition—is a huge liberator. Knowing that these workflows include detailed audit trails is the cherry on top—it creates great peace of mind from a risk management perspective.

Chief Financial Officer

Decision-shaping data in one click versus a day.

Having on-demand access to information speeds up decision-making, but it also helps staff complete core tasks faster. “We’re seeing game-changing wins in efficiency,” explains Baggett. Previously, when a manager needed to compare an employee’s performance review with their compensation data and the organization’s compensation matrix, one or two employees had to invest a day in creating a custom report. “Today, I can get that report in real time by clicking a button in Workday,” says Baggett. Completing performance reviews is also easier. She continues, “Managers now receive notifications when it’s time for an employee’s performance review, and instead of asking me lots of questions, they click a button, get to where they need to be, and see what they need to do. That alone probably saves me 10 days of time every year.”

The difference between how we used to run our finance and HR operations and how we do so today is night and day.

Chief HR Officer

Balances to invest in member outcomes.

Now that executives spend less time on reports and double-checking data, they can focus on adapting the organization to be ready for what’s next—and help member banks do the same. “My role has always been leading our organization in all things that have to do with our human capital,” concludes Baggett. “But with Workday, I have more time to invest in strategic planning and researching what it will take to help get our organization to where we want it to be.”

Now that I’m equipped with more data than I've ever had before, I can be more effective in advising our CEO.

Chief HR Officer

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