What are the challenges facing the finance function, and specifically the insurance finance function? Accenture research uncovered three main challenges.
Today’s market is characterized by volatility, uncertainty and change. Sixty-eight percent of insurance finance executives cited cost management as the most important way to manage volatility, with risk management (65 percent) and capital planning (57 percent) following closely.
Many insurance CFOs reported challenges in finding the right mix of skills in today’s workforce, and in keeping finance skills up to date. The most common ways to manage and maintain the finance workforce is with competitive salaries and benefits, tying performance rewards to both individual and company success, and encouraging innovation and collaboration.
With more data than ever, it’s an increasing challenge to manage the data and draw business intelligence from it. Forty percent of finance executives, and 46 percent of insurance CFOs confirm that they are dealing with increasing and incompatible data volumes.
Achieving finance mastery
From the Accenture 2011 High Performance Finance Study, we identified a group of finance masters. Characteristics of finance masters include:
- Excelling in value-added areas, such as target setting, strategic planning, and budgeting and forecasting.
- Distributing and optimizing finance functions across geographies.
- Adopting a broader approach than non-masters.
- Attracting and retaining talent with competitive salaries and benefits.
This is the third in a three-part series on the redefining the insurance finance function. Read the earlier posts in the series:
Part 1: Key findings of the 2011 Accenture High Performance Finance Study
Part 2: Recommendations and implications of the 2011 Accenture High Performance Finance Study
To learn more, download Redefining High Performance in the Insurance Finance Function (pdf; opens in a new window).