Lending a Hand: ASI’s Quarterly Newsletter – June 2023

A Letter from the President

Dear ASI Community,

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the first quarterly newsletter of 2023. This year has already been challenging, as anyone in the mortgage industry knows. Here at ASI, we are comforted by the knowledge that we have successfully navigated hard times before through the mortgage industry's many ups and downs over the past 30 years we have been in business. We remain committed to you, as we are all in this together.

At Advantage Systems Inc (ASI), we are committed to keeping you informed about the latest trends and developments in the industry. We have been hard at work developing new features for our products and enhancing the security of our software to better serve your needs. I recently dove into some challenges that I see in the mortgage industry, which were shared in a publication by the Mortgage Bankers Association. One main point I made was the importance of modern, flexible solutions in order to remain competitive within an evolving market and I am proud to say that ASI is at the forefront of this shift.

In this issue, you'll find informative articles about the latest developments in the mortgage industry including updates on our product offerings, tips on how to maximize the benefits of our solutions, and a spotlight on one of our valued clients, UMortgage.

We are committed to helping you find opportunities to survive and thrive. We appreciate your continued trust in ASI as we all position ourselves for the future.

Best regards,

Brian D. Lynch
President, Advantage Systems Inc.

Test Your Mortgage IQ: Can You Answer These Tricky Trivia Questions?

We hope you enjoyed our trivia section and had some fun testing your knowledge of the mortgage banking industry! If you think you know the answers to the questions we've posed, we encourage you to respond to the newsletter with the answers!

Good luck!

UMortgage: Building Stronger Communities One Loan at a Time

At ASI, we are proud to work with a diverse group of clients across the mortgage banking industry. Today, we would like to shine a spotlight on one of our esteemed clients, UMortgage. UMortgage is a leading mortgage banking company, committed to providing exceptional service and customized mortgage solutions to their clients. With over 20 years of experience, UMortgage has helped thousands of individuals and families achieve their dream of homeownership.

UMortgage's Chief Financial Officer, Gil Arbitsman, commends AMB Sierra, highlighting its role in offering a profound understanding of their business performance, thus enabling better-informed decision making. "We pride ourselves on being a technology-first mortgage company and AMB is an integral part of our software suite,” added Arbitsman. “These tools allow us to analyze and interpret substantial data sets and deliver superior outcomes.”

The Sierra Branch Reporting feature offers flexibility to UMortgage's nationwide branch managers, affording them the ability to run their own reports for improved data control and enabling a swifter response to their business needs.

"The finance function is no longer just a back-office operation for us,” said Christian Kasa, UMortgage’s Accounting Team Leader. “With AMB Sierra, our finance team has become a strategic partner to the business, providing valuable insights and analysis that fuel our growth in a challenging market.”

We are very proud to partner with UMortgage and excited to witness the company’s continued growth and commitment to creating life-changing opportunities through homeownership. Thank you for choosing ASI as your trusted software provider.

Market Insights from Redfin, the U.S. Treasury, and the Federal Reserve

In the face of rising mortgage rates and potential economic uncertainties, insights from Redfin Corporation's CEO, Glenn Kelman, U.S. Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, and Federal Reserve Chair, Jerome Powell, provide a comprehensive understanding of the current real estate market and the broader economic landscape.

Glenn Kelman on the Housing Market and Interest Rates:

Glenn Kelman, CEO of Redfin, highlights the significant role of interest rates in the housing market. He states, "We don't need the housing market to get better. When it does, and at some point it will as the Fed steps back from these rate increases, we have tremendous leverage. As we get more revenues, we'll hold our costs steady, and we'll have a more efficient real estate operation. So, it should fall to the bottom line. But it's rate, rate, rate." This statement emphasizes the importance of interest rates in shaping the housing market and Redfin's strategic approach to navigating these complexities.

Janet Yellen's Perspective on the U.S. Economy:

According to Yellen, the United States will likely have enough reserves to prevent a potential debt default until June 5. This situation provides some breathing room for negotiations between the White House and congressional Republicans, who appeared to be closing in on a compromise agreement to raise the debt ceiling for two years.

Jerome Powell's View on Interest Rates:

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has stated that it is still unclear if U.S. interest rates will need to rise further. Central bank officials are balancing uncertainty about the impact of past hikes in borrowing costs and recent bank credit tightening with the fact that inflation is proving hard to control. Powell noted that the risks of doing too much or doing too little are becoming more balanced.

Despite these challenges, Redfin, the U.S. Treasury, and the Federal Reserve are demonstrating strategic foresight and adaptability. As we navigate the complexities of the current real estate market and broader economic landscape, their insights provide anyone tied to the mortgage industry valuable guidance.

Unlock the Power of AMB 7 Sierra

At the heart of our mortgage loan software, AMB 7 Sierra, lies the capability to unlock the full potential of your data. With a focus on cloud friendly technology and KPI dashboards, users can easily select which KPIs will be active for them and drill down from a given KPI to the data supporting that KPI. AMB 7 Sierra’s script-based report layouts are fully customizable and offer different user classes, so you can tailor it to fit your unique business needs.

Here are some tips and tricks to get the most out of AMB 7 Sierra:

Cloud friendly: AMB 7 Sierra is fully browser-based and cloud friendly, making it the ideal solution for remote workers.

KPI dashboards tailored for mortgage bankers: The AMB 7 Sierra dashboard provides unparalleled access to your data. With Sierra’s KPI dashboards, users can select which KPIs will be active for them and drill down from a given chart to the data supporting that KPI.

Extensive drill-down capabilities: The extensive capability to drill down, up, and through the data gives managers at all levels a great view of their operation.

Customizable reports: AMB 7 Sierra is fully customizable with script-based layouts, so you can tailor it to fit your unique business needs.

Different user classes: AMB 7 Sierra offers different user classes, making it easy to manage user access and security. Accounting Users, Executive Users, and Branch Managers only see the data they should.

Access to Real Time Data: Whether you're a manager looking for the big picture, or an analyst who needs to drill down to the nitty-gritty, AMB 7 Sierra has the tools you need to unlock the full potential of your data.

Try it today and see the difference it can make in your business.

ApprovalSoft: Streamline Your Approval Process and Take Control of Your World

Welcome to ApprovalSoft®, our comprehensive, user-defined approach to managing any type of approval event. Whether it's vendor invoices, journal entries, cash receipts, or even engineering changes, ApprovalSoft allows you to control your payables in one place.

  • ApprovalSoft is directly connected to AMB, providing easy access to lists of vendors, loans, accounts, and other details. 
  • One of the major benefits of the ApprovalSoft system is its ability to read inbound emails, rendering the email itself as well as any attached images supporting a given approvable. This function eliminates the need for scanning paper documents and provides 100% accurate data, giving you the freedom to work from anywhere.
  • Our system offers an inbound email feature that launches a payable based on a template for that vendor. The correct vendor and default GL are automatically selected based on the sender's email address, reducing the need for manual data entry.
  • ApprovalSoft provides an approval process and audit trail for journal entries. 
  • Images of supporting documentation are managed automatically, eliminating the need to store documentation elsewhere.
  • Users can allocate any transaction to loans, just as with AMB. For large payables, users may import loan-level detail from a file. 
  • ApprovalSoft users only see the items for which they are authorized, following any prerequisites. Executives see items in their queue based on the type of item, completed prerequisites, and dollar amount thresholds.
  • ApprovalSoft offers a fully customizable approval process with established approval rules, ensuring that the right people have access to the right information. 

ApprovalSoft® lets you define who can approve what and allow managers to establish rules to determine who has the authority to approve each step. This ensures that your approval process is efficient and accurate.

When it comes to posting your approved data, ApprovalSoft® fully integrates with AMB and becomes your workflow! 

With ApprovalSoft®, you can rest easy knowing that you have a fully integrated system that streamlines your approval process and makes your workflow more efficient. Designed to work seamlessly with Accounting for Mortgage Bankers (AMB), ApprovalSoft® is the solution you've been waiting for.

Highlighting Brian Lynch, President of ASI

Brian Lynch has over 40 years of experience in the software industry, including more than 35 years in the mortgage banking sector. He is the founder and current President of Advantage Systems Inc. (ASI), which was formed in 1986 to distribute an accounting software called CONTRACK designed for the real estate development industry. Brian has also been a key force behind the development of AMB (Accounting for Mortgage Bankers) software, which has become the industry standard for accounting software for banks and mortgage companies, and has been instrumental in helping mortgage banks streamline their accounting processes.

Brian's vision and leadership have been integral to the success of ASI, which has evolved from a regional software distributor to a national player in the mortgage industry. Under his guidance, the company has developed a reputation for developing innovative solutions that help mortgage banks improve their business operations, while also providing unparalleled levels of customer service and support.

In his spare time, Brian is an avid cyclist and enjoys spending time with his family at their lake house.