CUNA CFO Council Discusses a New Era in Expense Management

The chief financial officer’s role in modern expense management has traveled as far from a “bean counter” as the modern credit union has traveled from the piggy bank, according to a new CUNA CFO Council white paper.

A New Era in Expense Management is based on information gathered from chief financial officers, other financial executives, and consultants. The white paper delves into expense management practices, which go beyond budgeting to encompass strategic planning, process improvement, and revenue generation. Credit union leaders stress that expense management should focus on adding value to operations.

“I’m not as worried about increasing costs that will generate revenue or improve the member experience, as opposed to additional expenses that aren’t value-added,” said Michael J. Hadzipanajotis, Vice President of Finance for MIT Federal Credit Union. “As Vice President of Finance, I always need to think, ‘Is this good for the credit union?’”

The recession forced many credit unions to tightly manage expenses to maintain the bottom line. As economic conditions improve, the CFO’s leadership role will include examining whether proposed expenses are justified based on the ability to generate revenue or enhance operations.

“If you use expense management and the related controls the right way, then you set the tone and this approach becomes a permanent analysis tool,” said Kenneth Heydt, Finance Manager/Controller at $1 billion asset Utilities Employees Credit Union. “As we move forward from the economic challenges that dominated the last few years, this approach can become a building block for returning to financial success and gaining stability. If we retain our focus on managing expenses through the good times, you’ll be able to get through the bad times.”

CUNA Council members are eligible to receive complimentary copies of this, and over 300 other white papers; non-Council members may purchase white papers for $50 per copy. The paper is available online in the white paper section of

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CUNA CFO Council

The CUNA CFO Council is a member-led partnership of CFOs and finance professionals dedicated to providing education, leadership, networking support, professional development tools, and expertise to its members in order to shape the enhancement of the role and diversity of operations in the credit union industry. The CUNA CFO Council is one of the six organizations that make up the CUNA Councils, a network of more than 5,500 credit union professionals. For more information, visit or

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