The CUNA CFO Council White Paper: A New Era in Expense Management, Featuring an Interview with Samaha Associates CEO Sabeh Samaha By Darla Dernovsek

A crucial element in expense management is figuring out exactly how existing expenses match up to operations. Sabeh F. Samaha, President and CEO of Samaha & Associates, Inc., a technology consulting firm based in Chino Hills, CA, calls this the process of “self-discovery.”

Samaha said too many credit unions are tempted to simply focus on what’s occurring in the marketplace, often because they’re responding to the immediate needs of the credit union. That approach causes them to overlook the additional expenses that he calls “residual baggage” from past practices in multiple areas, including technology, operations, procedures, pricing, and
contractual relationships.

Credit unions that fail to engage in self-discovery often lag behind the evolution in the marketplace because they are tied to outdated practices as well as outdated contracts, which can both push up expenses. “What’s often missing is an inventory by the credit union of all its systems on a regular basis to target multiple areas, not just as contracts come up, not just as relationships go bad, but as a regular process that occurs every three to five years,” Samaha said.

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