Accenture’s recent High Performance Finance Study found that insurance CFOs, like those in other industries, have added “achieving growth” to their list of high priorities. So, besides focusing on cost management–and in addition to dealing with a plethora of issues from complex legacy systems to digital transformation to an ever-expanding set of new risk, regulatory and compliance requirements—insurance finance executives must make plans and investments to create a solid foundation for growth.
No easy task.
My colleague, Chris Johnston, discusses the way forward in PropertyCasualty360. He makes the case that insurance CFOs serious about growth should focus on three key elements:
- Get the technology platform in place. Insurers should be taking steps to update their platforms so they can simply processes, improve information access, and, in many cases, reduce costs through technological innovations such as cloud computing.
- Organize for regulatory change. Among insurance CFOs surveyed for our research, nearly all (98 percent) say compliance and regulatory issues are crucial to their function’s performance. But a large number—43 percent—also say changing regulations are negatively impacting the finance function’s performance. Insurers must get organized and that entails preparing the necessary data for regulatory compliance, while making steady progress against monitoring and reporting compliance needs.
- Align talent with the growth agenda. Insurers can maximize resources if they free highly skilled workers from routine tasks, focusing them instead on skills that bring real value to the business and to customers. Training might be required to give people the skills required for growth areas such as performance management and analytics.
Johnston goes on to discuss ways for the Finance function to focus on the growth of mature lines, while allowing latitude for emerging products that offer good prospects but are inherently uncertain. A must-read for insurance Finance execs!