Most corporate data ultimately is used to feed financial systems and drive C-level decisions, so having the chief financial officer (CFO) as an ally or even as a sponsor for your insurance core system transformation seems like an obvious choice. But do you know what CFOs need from a new insurance core system?
Does Your System Offer Balance & Control Functions?
Even among the major players in the insurance technology space, many rely on partners and third-party integrations to offer balance and control functions that were built into legacy systems created 30 years ago, such as the ability to:
- balance across various applications
- take the data from those applications and post it to the corporate ledger in a summarized form
- then go back to that data for audit, or state department of insurance compliance
- identify the exceptions immediately, before the fact, and as financials are being processed
The fact that many contemporary systems lack those functions out of the box is all the more surprising because, despite all the current focus on advanced reporting, analysis, and dashboards, CFOs’ reporting requirements are very much predefined.
Property and casualty insurers, for example, have to create page 14 of the “yellow book.” While it’s different for mutuals, life insurers, and others, you get the point: their needs are consistent, predictable and utterly crucial for the continuation of the company, the success of the project, and even the sale of the software platform.
Core System Transformation from the CFO Perspective
But consider that just from the CFO’s perspective: You’re asked to sign off on a system that requires, but doesn’t offer, the critical functions that are native to your decade-old legacy system. You’re wondering, “How am I going to balance?” If you can’t sign off on the financials, as required by Sarbox, how are you going to sign off on the purchase decision?
Frankly, it’s a headscratcher. But it’s also a pretty compelling differentiator for an insurance technology software vendor — like Duck Creek — that provides this critical functionality in-house, and not through a third party.
Our deep understanding and appreciation of the challenges confronting CFOs is reflected in our system architecture, not only in our billing system but through our suite of insurance technology applications. And of course, Duck Creek also provides automation, the ability to identify exceptions, access and review every transaction, and two levels of data coherence: both financial and transactional. That’s the way forward for your financial reporting.
Have you discussed what your CFO needs from a new core system? Have you asked? He or she can be an extremely powerful ally or sponsor for a project like this, and it pays to include them early in the decision making. After all, you’re going to need their signature some time.