Preparing your Institution for the Annual Statement Studies Submission Campaign
Year after year, RMA organizes and supports Members to bring together the Annual Statement Studies, a product used to analyze a client’s (or borrower’s) financial and operating performance and compare it to industry peers. Over 100 years ago, RMA developed and published the general principles of financial industry benchmarking that the financial lending industry has grown to trust. Today, the Annual Statement Studies has been said to be the ‘Gold Standard,’ a testament to the quality and transparency of the data.
With another campaign upon us, we encourage all RMA Members to participate. Becoming a Statement Studies Contributor means submitting your borrowers’ anonymous financial statements for compilation with your peers to produce the Annual Statement Studies. We kicked off the 2023 Submission Campaign on May 1, 2023.
As the product manager for the last 13 years, here are my Top Five Tips for you to prepare your institution:
- Download the RMA Guide to Financial Statement Spreading. If you are new to the Credit Department, download the RMA Guide to Financial Statement Spreading. “Spreading” is the process by which a bank transfers information from a borrower’s financial statement into the bank’s financial analysis spreadsheet to present a comprehensive view of a potential borrower’s financial performance. This process aids in evaluating a borrower’s credit worthiness, identifies trends over time, and provides insight into a company’s overall operational performance. RMA has created a uniform way in which banks should be spreading financial statements. By using this guide, you are ensuring consistency throughout your spreads and, ultimately, the Annual Statement Studies.
- Contact your financial statement spreading software vendor. After you have informed RMA of your commitment to participate, reach out to your software vendor to confirm you are utilizing the most up-to-date version of their software. This means not only will you have the most up-to-date Statement Studies data available for peer analysis, but it also means your RMA Submission Utility (or Extract Report) is also current. From time to time, RMA or your vendor may need to update code or data requirements for the submission output. Confirming that you are using the current version will also increase the chances of a clean submission and allows you to collect their support contact information should you need them along the way.
- Download the RMA 2023 Annual Statement Studies Submission Participant Guide. Take the time to download and review our 2023 Annual Statement Studies Submission Participant Guide. This manual covers typical demographics of the submitter contact, submission criteria, campaign timeline, benefits and value for your participation, FAQs, and more! In addition, you can find RMA’s Statement of Confidentiality & Privacy, along with support contacts, and a 2023 Campaign checklist. This guide should be considered your best friend throughout the campaign. Use it to begin planning your campaign.
- Mark your calendar and prepare a test submission. RMA has announced the deadline to submit for the 2023 campaign is September 1. However, what might happen if you schedule to run your submission the very last week of the campaign, and we are not able to accept your file due to all being rejected, or because the file is in an improper format? In this case, you would reach out to your software vendor for help. But what if they cannot expedite support in time and the campaign closes. We would hate for you to miss out for this simple mistake. It is better to plan early, and generate a test run to avoid any obstacles! Rule of thumb RMA can accept as many files as it takes for a clean, acceptable submission.
- Engage other areas of your bank to also contribute. If you are a large institution, and lending nationally, you could potentially grow your contribution, resulting in more publishable industries, and larger peer sample sizes. Are you spreading financial statements on multiple platforms, or from multiple locations? If so, please engage with them, and share their contact information with RMA. We have the capacity to process multiple files from a single institution. Remember, we accept all commercial financial statements for Business Banking, Middle Market, Large Corporate, and Small Business Banking. The more statements we receive the more data we are able to share back with you, allowing you to improve your credit lending decisions, and strengthening your risk management practices.
While the campaign is strictly a voluntary, low-risk program, its success is determined by the engagement of our Members. If you have the resources to participate, benefits include complimentary access to the eStatement Studies, copies of Annual Statement Studies books, acknowledgment on the RMA website, and benchmarks utilizing your own data set. You’ll also be supporting the entire financial lending and professional services sector while making better and smarter credit decisions yourself.
If you are interested in learning more about this campaign, or how your institution can begin participating, please reach out to Associate Product Manager Shea Scarpa Gardner by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.