Century Bank & Trust, with two branches and 250 million in assets, has been a BankTEL client since 2009.
When it switched core providers, its new core, Jack Henry Banking, recommended BankTEL. According to vice president Cathy Gladin, Century has always been happy with BankTEL’s products and customer service, but since the bank implemented ASCEND, things have been running more efficiently than ever.
“We use accounts payable, prepaid and accruals, vendor management, fixed assets, expense reimbursements and approval,” she says. “The list of what we don’t use is shorter.”
Because Century already had BankTEL ASNA software, learning ASCEND was easy for her 40 employee users.
“The person who does the training is Shea Adrian, someone we’ve worked with at BankTEL for a long time. The nice thing about Shea is that she used to work in banks, so when you ask questions, she understands. When you’re talking to a programmer, sometimes that’s not the case.”
Gladin finds the new software intuitive and simple to navigate.
“ASCEND is a lot better. In the old software, the pieces of the database, such as where the invoice history might be stored and where the vendor invoice might be stored, weren’t connected. Now all the pieces are connected, and there are hyperlinks in every section. When you’re looking at vendor records, you can easily click straight to an invoice.”
She compares the experience to shopping online. “It’s like when they give you the ‘customers who looked at this also looked at that’ option,” she says.
“If they didn’t have that, you would have to back up, go to a search bar, search for another item and pull it up. In the ASCEND world, there are all these links, so you don’t have to back up and go to something different.”
In her 22 years of accounting, Gladin has seen her share of audits.
“There’s a very detailed audit trail in ASCEND. I can look at a vendor, pull up an invoice, and it will list when I pulled it up by date and time. It will also tell me who made a change.”
Because of ASCEND, Gladin’s employees are able to work more independently. “You don’t have to be an expert in the program to find information that you have access to. Even without a lot of training, it’s easy to keep clicking until you find what you want.”
This means her employees no longer ask Gladin to find information for them. “They can look things up on their own and answer their own questions. It saves me time, because I’m taking less phone calls,” she says.
Why an Operational Assessment?
“The main outcome of Bank First’s Operational Assessment showed us how much we would benefit by upgrading to the new Ascend product. Most of the issues we are having, such as Microsoft spreadsheet issues, application latency, as well as having to manually do the OFAC, will be eliminated. I saw at the 2017 User Conference what a great group this will be to work with as well as all the other users out there that are happy with Ascend.”
– Wanda Russell, VP Accounts Payable/Risk Management
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