Citizens National Bank eliminates heavy lifting during audits by migrating to ASCEND

With: Dione Deaton, Accounts Specialist

Citizens National Bank was founded in 1888, by a group of businessmen and farmers in Meridian, Mississippi, who collectively raised $50,000. Now the bank has 26 branches and over a billion in assets, but it remains committed to independent, hometown banking. Citizen advertises this commitment in its logo—“The Power of Local.”

Accounts Specialist Dione Deaton has been with Citizens National for 12 years. In 2012, when she began working in the finance department, the Bank was already using BankTEL’s legacy software with its CORE system, FIS BankWay. In late 2017, Citizens migrated to BankTEL’s updated system, ASCEND. They have over 350 users working within five modules: Remote Scanning, Accounts Payable, Pre-paids & Accruals, Fixed Assets and Expense Reports.

Because she can now give auditors their own access permissions, she barely has to do any “heavy lifting” during an audit.

“All I have to do is run reports. And with BankTEL, reports are easy,” Deaton says. “It’s helpful to have everything scanned in right there. You click, and there’s an invoice.”

Her staff was pleased that the switch to ASCEND was easier than expected, and that they can now use ASCEND’s invoice-scanning feature. Before the switch, they were using an outside program to scan invoices.

“Now it’s all in one program, and that’s more convenient,” Deaton says. “It’s user-friendly, the invoice tracking is great, and it allows me to preload invoices and schedule payments. ASCEND just works great.”

Deaton appreciates the “control and security” ASCEND provides.

“I like the fact that I can scan invoices and have the supervisor approve them directly in BankTEL, and I don’t have to track someone down for approvals. It holds supervisors more accountable for getting me the invoices in a timely manner.”

“If you tag a bill for somebody to approve it, ASCEND’s not going to let you pay it till that bill is approved. And I like that I can give people limited rights, to access only the information they need.”

Recently the bank switched virtual credit card vendors. The transition was smooth, thanks to the “top-notch” customer service at BankTEL.

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