It seems that whenever a a calculation seems "off" or a problem arises when using mortgage software tools, the operators tend to assume that the mistake is the fault of the computer program. No system is perfect, but it is important to understand that user error is often the culprit here. What it comes down to is that consistent data entry generates accurate reports. As busy as you are, how will you ensure that your data entry is being done correctly? Here are four tips to help you achieve the accurate mortgage reports that you rely on.
1. Error Reports
Most mortgage softwares will allow you to create error reports to catch mistakes before they become a major issue. No person or computer program is flawless, so you must plan on mistakes before they occur, and set up a way to quickly correct them. By setting up error reports, you can manage your data as each day you will receive a program report. These reports will show you any "bad" data that the system picked up on and removed. You have the power to go back and re-enter the data if it was actually "good", and correct any errors that are still in the system.
2. Business Rules & Software coding
Think about configuring your system with value rules. Rules can be established for each data entry field, checking for appropriate characters. For example, if the data field should represent telephone numbers, the field should only allow ten numeric characters. Pop-ups and alerts can be built in to show when data has been entered incorrectly and needs attention. Limitations can be coded into the program for data size, and you can also use specific verbiage coding (ie: IF...THEN...) to customize data entry to the appropriate scenario.
Reviewing data entry records is not a lot of fun, but it is absolutely necessary as consistent data entry generates accurate reports. Set up a regular auditing schedule for routine review of all records. Make sure that all data is being entered uniformly and correctly. You may consider creating a scoring system which will require all administrators to achieve below a set percentage of errors in their work. When you make data entry auditing score a part of performance reviews, your employees will be encouraged to take care to enter data accurately.
Never underestimate the value of training. Because consistent data entry generates accurate reports, each of your employees must be trained to enter information in a specific and uniform manner. You must also make certain that each of your staff members are aware of the importance of the data they will be entering. It is easy for individuals to slip into a mind set where simply entering numbers and words into a mortgage software system seems menial and unimportant. It is your job to thoroughly explain the implications of data entry on your business. Conduct refresher tests or scenarios for those who may otherwise become sloppy after they reach their comfort level. And, as mentioned before, make auditing a part of performance reviews, being sure to reward consistency and accuracy.
When you consider the importance of accurate data entry on the state of your mortgage business, it can be a scary thought to entrust all of that information to administrators and other staff members. It is for this reason that it is vital to monitor data entry through error reporting, business rules, regular audits, and thorough training. If you always keep the fact that consistent data generates accurate reports at the front of your mind, your business will run with the smoothness and correctness that you deserve.
Chris Schwartz-Edmisten, on Wed, May 23, 2012