one page letter

You work as department head in the information technology (IT) department at First Federal Bank. Part of your job is to conduct an ongoing assessment of risk for the institution and to recommend proper controls. Banking systems should be able to quickly collect and edit information, summarize results, and promptly correct any errors. You have identified a possible threat to “timeliness” of information.

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You have received reports from tellers that customers have been complaining more often lately of bounced checks. They have been bringing in their checkbook ledgers and bank statements, and there have been a consistent and steady stream of complaints about deposits made between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. that do not seem to post to accounts by the end of the business day.

You have conducted an examination and feel befuddled since you just installed a new system that advertised itself as quick, accurate, and reliable. This is terrible! The system cost a lot of money and you fought hard for it. You researched and recommended this system and pushed for it because it had so many internal controls and neat features for the bank and its tellers. It has decreased time by five minutes to complete closing procedures and it runs an auto-save every hour, which saves an additional step for the tellers. You have spent a lot of time training the staff and have put up with a lot of teasing about the aches and pains of new technology. You feel badly for the new tellers, many of whom are older, because the bank has hired more part-timers with experience; but you feel confident that once the tellers get used to this system they will really like it.

“Don’t sweat it,” says Whitney, your co-worker. “It’s not the bank’s fault about the bounced checks. You know people–they complain all the time. You see our new ad campaign, ‘Play Nice?’ Well, where do you think that came from? People just like to blame their mistakes on the bank and get ugly with us.”

You passed it off as that until yesterday when your own check bounced. You take advantage of the bank policy of no fees for bounced checks for employees, and then you get into gear!

What’s happening today?

You conduct an “information flow audit” and then a “technology audit.” You discover that many of the tellers have been running the 2 p.m. reconciliation procedures in the incorrect order. Instead of running close, register, consolidate/merge, and then post, many tellers have been running close, register, post, ending with consolidate/merge. The problem is, once the teller hits the post button, there is nothing to consolidate and merge! You also discover that the prompt screen for consolidate/merge has not been consistently appearing and that the tellers assumed that, because the system did not ask them to deal with it, the system was doing it automatically–especially since it does so many other things automatically!

Some of the more experienced tellers have said that on the rare occasion when the screen did appear, they couldn’t see the icon very well and admitted that it’s possible they didn’t place the cursor squarely on the icon when they clicked the mouse.

You take this issue to your boss, Terry Woodall, who is horrified and instructs you to “get on it right away.” You get your IT team on the problem and fix the system by (1) insuring the correct prompt screen appears and by (2) enlarging the consolidate/merge icon and placing it in a more prominent area of the screen.

What do you need to do?

You tell your boss you have fixed the technical problem. She asks that you, as department head of IT, communicate to the tellers how IT has fixed the problem and what the tellers need to do. This information will be posted in the break room and also be circulated immediately to the tellers. Craft the body of that document.

Develop a response that includes examples and evidence to support your ideas, and which clearly communicates the required message to your audience. Organize your response in a clear and logical manner as appropriate for the genre of writing. Use well-structured sentences, audience-appropriate language, and correct conventions of standard American English.

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