Reap the advantages of a consolidated reporting and analytics package
Across the insurance industry, more and more companies are undertaking finance transformation, model conversion, and technology infrastructure modernization projects. A primary aim of these projects is to empower companies with integrated systems and efficient modeling processes—but, these potential benefits are not necessarily automatic. Companies should take pause and ask, “Am I getting everything out of my finance transformation and model conversion projects that I hoped?”
Systems conversions and transformation projects should provide an opportunity for organizations to revamp their reporting and analytics capabilities, above and beyond the simplifications and efficiency gains offered. Without the ability to report on the business more effectively, with more consistency and automation, and with better analytics that drive exceptional insight, the transformation is ultimately a shiny, new machine without much muscle behind it.
The true power of transformation is explanatory power—the ability to give decision makers varied perspectives on the business to help them make better decisions. A revamped reporting and analytics package should take common actuarial reports used by actuarial management, internal and external audit, finance, and risk, and look to drive improvement in the following areas:
Consistency of terminology, methodology, report structure, and report timing
- For example, when your company uses the term “True-Up,” is it using it consistently across business units and across functions?
- Are standard reports being automatically generated, with limited manual intervention, on the appropriate business day so that information can be reviewed and acted on in a timely fashion?
Data sourcing and granularity of data
- Is the company creating reports from a single data repository across all functions, to ensure data is consistent across reports?
- Are you presenting the right level of detail in the report, based on the level of management that is reviewing the results?
Flexibility of the reporting environment
- Are your business leaders able to quickly toggle between various views (looking at results by product, legal entity, accounting classification, cohort, etc.), on-the-fly, without intensive work rerunning ad hoc reports?
- Are your business unit or line of business actuaries empowered with the tools needed to answer nonstandard or one-off questions from upper management in a timely fashion?
Messaging across departments
- Are finance, risk, valuation, and accounting viewing the same results and interpreting them in a consistent format?
- Are results being communicated to external shareholders in the way that the creators of the results intended?
In today’s uncertain market environment, where leaders are continually looking for information that is timely, consistent, reliable, insightful, and actionable, developing an effective reporting package is much more than just “the cost of compliance” or “financial statement development.” While a comprehensive reporting package certainly does ease the burden of internal and external audits, as well as regulatory oversight at the state and federal level, the true benefit comes from enabling the reporting to drive intelligent business decisions.
Enhanced analytics, combined with an efficient, controlled reporting package, is an essential tool in helping your organization stay one step ahead of the competition. It enables the actuarial function to become a key strategic partner in the organization, trusted to be a reliable source of actionable information. Even more, the process of developing such a package helps expose areas where the relationship between finance, actuarial, and IT should be improved, further benefiting the organization.
Now is the time to ask—am I getting everything out of my finance transformation and model conversion projects that I hoped? Or am I still reporting the same way, on the same date, with the same difficulties? A comprehensive reporting and analytics framework should be the finishing touch on any truly successful modernization project.