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7 Core Tools Insurance Finance Leaders Need to Thrive

In Financial Services, Sage Intacct by itas

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Finance leaders need a core set of tools that help them to do their job and add real value to their organisation and nowhere is that more the case than in insurance. As we find ourselves firmly into the third decade of the 21st century, finance leaders are having to ensure that they evolve to thrive.

In this post we’re looking at 7 of the core things that the modern insurance finance leader needs, including;

Integrated systems

87-percent of insurance companies need to integrate their finance system with other systems

of insurance execs require the ability to integrate their financial management system with existing and new processes and systems.

One of the foundations of a slick finance operation has to be the establishment of integrated finance systems.

Insurance has for too long suffered from siloed data sources, with operational systems that don’t talk to finance and finance that won’t talk to banking and payments.

The establishment of one source of the truth, with systems that are integrated in real-time and don’t require a cottage industry of excel gurus to make it work has to be one of the prime aims of any transformation process.

Automated processes

Automation has come on leaps and bounds over the last five years or so and it no longer makes sense to have manual processing of tasks that are standardised. Automated payables, receivables, and expenses are now commonplace but it is important to push this further.

Only by removing the need for human intervention in what is after all ‘assembly line’ processes can we free people up to do the real value-add activities that the insurance sector is crying out for.

Consolidation and separation

86-percent of insurance companies need to be able to slice and dice data

of insurance execs say they must be able to slice and dice their data in a way that matters most to them – easily and quickly.

The ability to consolidate across departments, channels, and entities should be second nature to any insurance finance department.

A common chart of accounts and sensible project, function, and departmental reporting all help the CFO to instantly form a rolled-up picture of the organisation as a whole.

By the same token, it has to be possible to quickly break down the company into its constituent parts to allow profitability reporting by product, company, or channel.

Being able to ‘slice and dice’ in this way supercharges the reporting capability of any finance function.

Real-time visibility

It’s no longer acceptable to see data taking days or even weeks to roll up into a comprehensive report. Insurance leaders need the information to help them make decisions and it needs to be as current as possible.

Part of the digital transformation process needs to be the provision of real-time information to allow that to happen.

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Forward forecasting

Whilst historical and real-time reporting are important, the ability to forecast into the future is what sets the world-class finance leader apart.

Being able to forecast not just across the business, but in several different scenarios means that managers and directors can formulate plans for ‘what-ifs’.

Data assets

A thriving insurance business is founded on top-quality data assets. Understanding that data can have a great deal of value and that it can be used to creatively understand the market and the customer is a key skill for any finance leader.

Developing data assets that show the behaviour of customers before they buy, when they are on-risk and when they leave all feeds into the strategic direction of the business.

Similarly, developing data assets that relate to internal processes also helps drive continuous improvement.

Compliance

It wouldn’t be an insurance article if we didn’t mention compliance! The world of a regulated industry can be a tough one and regulators never seem to tire of finding new ways to ask for additional information.

Often this task falls to finance as ‘numbers people’.

This means that it is important that data is structured in such a way as to suit today’s regulatory environment but also to anticipate possible changes in the future.

Digital transformation is a journey and not a destination

It would be a mistake to think that once you have a new system in place that you have finished the job. In fact, the process of digital transformation is an ever-present challenge for today’s finance leaders.

The appearance of new technologies, new business models, and new risks means that for the insurance business as a whole, and finance leaders in particular the picture is always changing.

If you would like to know more about how we support insurance companies, you can learn more about how itas and Sage Intacct can help your insurance company embrace digital transformation and accelerate success, here.

We are indebted to an infographic produced by Aite and Sage Intacct as the inspiration for this article. You can find a copy of the infographic here.

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