Three new software products are being offered by Grant Thornton to help community banks comply with financial accounting rules.

The products, which cover financial accounting standards 107 and 114 as well as the regulation covering loan-loss reserves, were developed for the Independent Bankers Association of America after members complained that compliance was time-consuming and difficult.

Small banks are struggling with the rules because they have limited staff and resources to devote to accounting issues, said Diane M. Casey, Grant Thornton's national director of financial regulatory issues.

"Most community banks don't have certified public accountants," she said. "There is a presumption of an expertise level that is just not there."

"GATS 107," which stands for Grant Automated Tool Series, is designed to help banks compute the fair value of loans and deposits, which 107 requires them to disclose.

"GATS 114" helps bankers document and account for reserves set aside to cover impaired loans.

Finally, "GATS ALLL" assists banks with calculating allowance for loan and lease losses under guidelines established by the Federal Financial Examination Council.

Each product runs on Microsoft Windows, and leads bankers through a menu-driven program that simplifies data entry, documentation, and reporting.

The software comes with a manual that explains how to install the program as well as a tutorial on how to input and manipulate information. A glossary of terms, copies of sample reports that banks can print out to show examiners or auditors, and a list of common problems and how to solve them also are included.

The IBAA field-tested the software to make sure bankers didn't need extensive knowledge of either accounting issues or computers to use it, said Ann Grochala, director of bank operations at the trade group.

The products cost $895 each for IBAA members and $1,095 for nonmembers. Call 800-422-7285 for more information.

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