Farm Credit Union Modernizes and Accelerates Its Process for Director and Officer Questionnaires
Industry: Financial Services
Headquarters: Lubbock, Texas
Board Management Goals
- Simplifying and streamlining the process of creating and collecting annual disclosures from board members.
- Fulfilling the regulatory requirements of the Farm Credit Administration.
- Providing board members with a single source of all materials and information.
- Significantly reduced the amount of staff time spent creating, distributing, collecting, and reviewing board member disclosures.
- Created a repeatable process for remaining compliant that takes minutes, rather than weeks.
- Achieved board-wide adoption.
- Saved resources by cutting down on paper use.
AgTexas Farm Credit Services knows agriculture. Founded in 1934, the rural lending cooperative provides competitively priced, reliable credit to farmers, ranchers and rural property owners throughout Texas.
As a co-op, AgTexas is customer-owned. That means each member has a voice in the business — as well as the opportunity to cast their vote in annual board of director elections.
AgTexas’ 14-member board of directors plays an essential role in the governance of the organization. And, like AgTexas’ member-owners, those who sit on the board of directors are producers and business owners involved in agriculture.
As a farm credit organization, AgTexas abides by regulations set out by the Farm Credit Administration. One regulation requires farm credit organizations to undergo an annual standard of conduct process. Part of this process involves collecting disclosures from all board members, which outline any business relationships that could be considered a conflict of interest.
But creating, distributing, collecting and reviewing these disclosures was a time-consuming, manual process for Kayla Robinson, Chief Operating Officer at AgTexas, and her team.
“We were doing everything on paper,” said Robinson.
“Even that process of catching an error and getting it fixed was really time efficient...It’s a massive time savings.”
- Kayla Robinson
Chief Operating Officer
AgTexas Farm Credit Services
Modernizing and Accelerating D&O Questionnaires
In the past, Kayla and her team manually created the year’s disclosures and then printed them to distribute at the January board meeting. While some board members would complete and distribute the disclosures on the spot, others didn’t. And this created inefficiencies for the team.
“The entire process would take a couple weeks,” said Robinson. “We had to chase some of the forms down and review to make sure they were all complete.”
AgTexas has been a happy OnBoard customer since 2019. So when the team heard that the company was launching a Director & Officer (D&O) Questionnaires feature to simplify and support this regulatory requirement, they knew it was a no-brainer.
“I attended a webinar where the Director & Officer (D&O) Questionnaires product was introduced,” said Robinson. “I immediately saw how this could be a huge time saver and said ‘let’s do this.’”
Today, the entire D&O process is completed electronically. Disclosures are created and shared via OnBoard. Board members can then complete and sign their disclosures right from their company-issued tablets. And after submission, the AgTexas team can quickly and easily review the disclosures.
“This year, the board was finished in probably 15 minutes,” said Robinson. “It’s definitely easier because I don’t have to shuffle through a bunch of papers to make sure that everything’s the way it should be.”
The D&O Questionnaire solution also makes it quick and easy for AgTexas to correct any errors that crop up. For example, Robinson and her team noticed that a director had answered a question wrong — but he’d already signed and submitted his disclosure. The team was able to go back and re-open the disclosure, change the answer and send it back to the director to review and resubmit — without having to print and mail forms.
“Even that process of catching an error and getting it fixed was really time efficient for us, versus if it had been on paper,” said Robinson. “It’s a massive time savings.”
“Being able to electronically copy content from the previous year is going to make the process a whole lot easier than when we did everything on paper.”
Creating a Simple, Repeatable Annual Process
AgTexas board members serve three-year terms. And it’s not uncommon for members to get reelected for multiple terms. Each year of their term, they must complete a new D&O.
In the past, board members would hand write and sign printed disclosures, which would then be scanned and saved as PDFs. Robinson and her team would then take the information from the previous year’s disclosures and pre-populate this information into the current year’s version. This process was time consuming — often taking several hours. And, it was prone to error.
With OnBoard’s D&O Questionnaire solution, however, the team can quickly and easily duplicate the content from each board member’s disclosure from the previous year. Then the directors are able to add, edit, and delete rather than start from scratch.
“The ability to pre-fill was a really huge selling point for us,” said Robinson. “Being able to electronically copy content from the previous year is going to make the process a whole lot easier than when we did everything on paper.”
“Our board members are really proficient with OnBoard because it’s so easy.”
Adding Value to a Familiar, Trusted Solution
AgTexas’ current board members have grown accustomed to using OnBoard to access all board-related information and materials. And they value the simple, secure user experience it delivers. Adding on the D&O solution was seamless, and board members quickly adopted the process.
“It wasn’t that big of a leap for them because they’re so familiar with the platform,” said Robinson.
Robinson anticipates it’ll be simple to get new board members up to speed with the solution, too. Her team typically conducts an orientation with new members to walk them through Onboard, and they plan to cover the ins and outs of the D&O process when they bring on a new board member.
“Our board members are really proficient with OnBoard because it’s so easy,” concluded Robinson.
Ready to Find out Where Boards are Going?
Talk to a board intelligence expert.