EPCOR Member Shares Why She Became an AAP

Mary Jo Grenig, AAP, Operational Support Manager, Emerald Credit Union is one of 949 EPCOR members who have worked to obtain the Accredited ACH Professional (AAP) accreditation. Mary Jo has offered to share her experience in becoming an AAP and what lead her to take that path.

Why did you decide to become an AAP?

“Many years ago, I thought about becoming an AAP. I wanted to learn everything I could about the ACH world. But, I never was motivated to do it until a couple of years ago. I was at a conference with the CEO of my credit union and we were speaking to an employee of another credit union that just achieved her AAP accreditation. My CEO said that I should think about taking the test. I guess that was the push I needed, so I decided to do it! I knew that it would benefit my credit union to have someone that was knowledgeable on the subject. I find ACH to be interesting and going through the study halls with EPCOR and attending the AAP training taught me so much about ACH that I didn’t even know that I didn’t know!”

What are some examples of situations or questions you have been better prepared to handle since obtaining your AAP certification?

“I think one of the biggest challenges for our front-line staff is better understanding of the Written Statement of Unauthorized Debit (WSUD). The best part of being an AAP is not only being able to explain what something is, but to also explain the importance of things being handled within the necessary timeframes. Before studying for the test, I had no idea that there were time limits on returns for unauthorized entries and they were not handled properly. Now, not only are we handling them properly, but our front-line staff understands their importance and timeliness as well.”

How has being an AAP helped you in your job and/or how has it helped your organization?

“Being an AAP has helped our organization in many ways. Whenever we are audited (especially with our ACH Audits) it is a plus that we can say we have an AAP on staff. It assures auditors that we are following the ACH Rules and have an expert on staff. This is also true of our credit union. With rules changing all of the time, the credit union can be confident that I am up on industry changes to make sure we are in compliance.”

What advice would you give someone who is considering becoming an AAP?

“I would tell anyone that wants to become an AAP to do it without hesitation! In some cases, for smaller financial institutions, there is a lot that we don’t typically deal with in the ACH Rules. For example – we don’t originate for corporate accounts. We only originate ACH for loan payments for our members. However, having the knowledge and being the expert in the areas that we do deal with is priceless. Also, if you are the one that processes ACH files for your organization, it is imperative that you know the rules. Even small financial institutions run the risk of not following the ACH Rules that could result in fines, which could be devastating for a small organization. Plus, your staff will look to you for advice and guidance. You will be able to answer questions with confidence. Another perk would be that AAPs get to attend a lot of training to keep up with our required credits and there is much to say about in-person training! It gives you the opportunity to talk to other financial institution employees and what they deal with regarding ACH.”

Are You Ready to Step into the AAP Ring?

As Mary Jo points out, there are so many benefits to obtaining your AAP accreditation. If you’re considering becoming an AAP, don’t do it without our AAP Prep Program. Our pass rate for people who take our program is higher than the national average. Plus, 97% of EPCOR’s AAP Prep Program participants would recommend the program. This program kicks off on May 16th, so register today! Visit our online store or reach out to Member Support via email at memserve@epcor.org or call 800.500.0100. Still on the fence? Check out our So You Think You Want to be an AAP? informational recording.