MBA Premier Member Profile: Baker Tilly

(One in a continuing series of profiles of Premier Members of the Mortgage Bankers Association.)

Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP is one of the oldest and largest certified public accounting and consulting firms in the U.S.

BakerTillyAs an independent member of Baker Tilly International, the world’s ninth largest network of accounting firms, we bring you access to market-specific knowledge in 147 countries. Baker Tilly originated in 1931 with a commitment to deliver innovative financial solutions and solid business strategies to our clients. We believe that an accounting firm should complement the business style it is serving. Our approach balances solid financial know-how with a talent for innovation and creativity. This “can do” philosophy has resulted in our position as one of the industry’s most progressive and respected accounting firms.

For depository and lending organizations balancing compliance and risk management with profitable growth, Baker Tilly’s specialized professionals deliver tailored advice and deep industry insight to help the organization reach its business goals. We are active in industry associations, speak on current business topics, and write timely and relevant articles–providing us with a unique understanding of the industry and its challenges.

Services include:
–Assessment of collateral exposure and advance rates
–Enterprise risk management
–Evaluation of accounting and financial reporting procedures
–Evaluation of the integrity of the loan collateral, internal controls, management and overall operating performance
–Examination of formulaic and non-formulaic based credit facilities
–Federal tax
–Financial statement audit
–Fraud and forensic examinations
–Identification of collateral weakness, deterioration and/or abuse of loan collateral (assets sold out of trust) and the adequacy of the advance rates
–Internal audit
–Liquidation and/or workout arrangements
–Mergers and acquisitions support services
–Pre-funding analyses and rotational field examinations
–Technology risk and cybersecurity

MBA: What trends does your company find compelling for the next few years?

BAKER TILLY: The manner in which consumers pursue and obtain mortgage financing will likely continue to change at a rapid pace. Similarly, due to broader market acceptance of technology advancements and the changing demographics of home buyers, the processes and solutions through which lenders and servicers meet marketplace demands of the consumer will evolve. The intersection of these changing dynamics with what appears to be continuing uncertainty as to the structure of the government’s involvement in housing finance is likely to result in a period of great change.

At the same time, mortgage lenders continue to advocate for reducing the burden of post-crisis regulations related to the origination and servicing of mortgage loans. Whereas some of the recently instituted regulations, such as TRID have been essentially absorbed into the fundamental mortgage processes, the overall lack of bright-line guidance on existing laws and regulations from the CFPB continues to place what many believe is an unnecessary burden on lenders and the consumer. Regulatory reform is likely to take longer than those in the industry would prefer, but it is expected to occur within the coming years.

Other areas such as cybersecurity will become a priority risk concern in place of regulatory compliance. We believe we will see a shift in focus for risk officers to the technology and security aspects of mortgage origination and servicing. While regulations may ease in certain areas, the threat that cyber breaches pose will likely take up that space in the financial services industry. Also, with the number of third-party vendors upon which mortgage organizations rely for data security fraud prevention, we believe vendor risk management will be increasingly important throughout the mortgage industry.

MBA: What is the single most important issue facing your company right now?

BAKER TILLY: As a professional services firm committed to providing the mortgage industry with timely, comprehensive and knowledgeable solutions, we are constantly required to modify and enhance the level and depth of talent as well as the awareness of industry developments. This requires continually being aware of industry developments and staying closely aligned with industry leaders and service providers such as law firms and other advisors in an effort to address the needs of mortgage lenders and servicers. Most notably, attracting and retaining professionals with depth of knowledge as to the form and content of regulatory requirements represents one of our largest challenges.

MBA: Why did your company join the Mortgage Bankers Association?

BAKER TILLY: MBA provides us with access to a wealth of resources like education on issues, discussion on trends and future state of the industry, and peer to peer networking. These pieces are vital to our professionals as they specialize in the industry and need to be deeply involved and informed of the challenges and opportunities mortgage organizations face, as well as where the industry is headed. Without this industry specific information they would be less prepared to move beyond performing basic services and be recognized as a valued business advisors to their clients.

MBA: How has being a Premier level member benefited your company?

BAKER TILLY: Education. Understanding. Networking. MBA has been instrumental in helping us educate our professionals through conferences and meetings, gain understanding of the trends and legislative issues impacting the industry, and providing opportunities to network with industry professionals.

(MBA Premier Member Profiles are a service provided by the Mortgage Bankers Association and MBA NewsLink as a service to MBA Premier Members. Publication does not constitute an endorsement of a particular company, product or service. For more information about the MBA Premier Member program, contact Rashida Holmes at or 202/557-2779.)