Europe, the next frontier for e-Accounting…
OK, so it’s not rocket science, but e-Accounting has recently taken some giant leaps. For those of you scratching your heads, let me explain: e-Accounting is the term we use to refer to work we are undertaking to further automate certain insurance and reinsurance administrative support processes such as technical accounting.
A driving force behind this work is the Ruschlikon Initiative, a group of leading global insurers, reinsurance and broking companies all working together to make the changes and iron out the practical elements of the task in hand. The initiative is supported by ACORD, the Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development, which is the insurance industry's not for profit global standards developer and a resource for information on object technology, electronic data interchange, and electronic commerce.
The key to the success of this work is that we have designed one new global approach for international insurance, reinsurance and broking participants. Through international market collaboration this has now set the stage for an optimum processing model and a move towards a straight through processing approach.
Clearly there are a lot of players involved and this is a big task, so why are we all bothering? Well, through better synchronization between brokers and insurers/reinsurers, the online system significantly improves client service by enhancing the quality and efficiency of the accounting and settlement process. Ultimately by making these improvements to processes, we can reduce operational cost and enhance client service. A huge win for all!
In 2014 we did make some significant leaps forward. Here at XL Group our insurance and reinsurance operations continue to be pioneers in adopting the approach in new market locations, and also expanding further the scope of the project. In the last quarter of 2014, XL Group’s insurance operations partnered with Willis Group Holdings to be the first insurer in the US to successfully implement a full e-Accounting process.
Now our sights are firmly set on Continental Europe. The Ruschlikon Initiative is looking at how e-Accounting can work and be implemented in the accounting processes with co-insurers. Progress is being made, tests run and all the major international carriers are engaged.
There is a massive opportunity here for the global insurance and reinsurance market to really step up and pioneer a better, more efficient way of working. 2015 promises to be another year in which e-Accounting can make further advancements – all systems go!
First published in Post magazine on 22nd of January 2015.