Navigating the new world – Preparing for insurance accounting change (IFRS 17)

If implementation of the forthcoming insurance contracts standard is to reach the best possible outcome for your organization, we believe it needs to be seen as more than just a compliance exercise. This will entail

  • combining multiple strands into a common program,
  • identifying linkages
  • and addressing dependencies

across the business in a logical sequence and thinking strategically about possible effects on the organization and its stakeholders. A well-developed and ‘living’ plan assigns clear accountabilities and breaks down objectives into manageable tasks for delivery to realistic time-scales in order to establish an effective blue-print for success.

Our methodology groups activities into four manageable phases:

  1. assess the change
  2. design your response
  3. implement your design
  4. sustain your new practices, securely embedding them in business as usual.

Key success factors

Our experience shows us there are many factors that will contribute to successfully implementing insurance accounting change, including:

  1. Dedicated staff: In our experience the single biggest factor contributing to program success is the presence of full-time staff dedicated to the project, with a wide range of skills including data management, IT implementation and project management and who know your business.
  2. Spend sufficient time and energy on the initial impact phase: It is essential that an insurer plans for this critical phase and allows for sufficient time to perform a gap analysis on a line-by-line basis through the income statement and balance sheet and supports disclosures.
  3. Consider fundamental questions surrounding core business drivers: earnings trends, growth opportunities and target operating models. The earlier effects are identified, the more time an insurer will have to develop and implement a strategic response.
  4. Training staff: Many organizations underestimate the amount of personnel training required. Designing a comprehensive training strategy and program is highly complex and requires careful planning.
  5. Robust project planning: The plan must be achievable and continuously refined with formal tracking and monitoring.
  6. Clear communications: Communication needs to be both formal and informal and applied throughout the life of the program.
  7. Careful change management: IFRS conversion will lead to significant changes in how people do their jobs. Some of the biggest challenges have arisen when the cultural issues have not been acknowledged and addressed.
  8. More than just an accounting and actuarial project: Implementing the forthcoming insurance contracts project will undoubtedly be a multi-disciplinary effort.
    1. IT specialists consider the functionality of source systems and enterprise performance management (EPM) systems;
    2. Change management specialists focus on behavioral change and communication;
    3. specialists in commercial functions (tax, data management, executive incentives, etc.) bring a holistic approach to the program.

Robust project management helps to bring everything together coherently.

Assessing what the forthcoming standard will mean for you

Accounting, actuarial, tax and reporting

Q1. What are the key accounting, actuarial, tax and disclosure differences between our current generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and the new standards? What are the key decisions that need to be made by management regarding the alternative treatments that are available?

Data, systems and processes

Q2. What will the impact be for our data requirements, and on the systems and processes used for

  • data collection,
  • actuarial projections,
  • calculating and accruing interest on the contractual service margin
  • and consolidation and financial reporting systems?

Are there quick fixes that we can use? Can we leverage recent investments in infrastructure or will we need a major overhaul?

Q3. How will the group‘s close and other processes be impacted?

Business

Q4. What is the estimated directional impact on profit and equity and what are the key decisions and judgments that this will influence?

Q5. What are the key impacts for my business and how will these be influenced by the choices open to us? Who will need to understand results and metrics on the new basis?

People and change management

Q6. Who will be impacted by the conversion, what skills and resources are likely to be needed and what training needs can we identify?

Program management

Q7. What would a high-level conversion plan look like and what is its likely impact on resources?

IFRS17 3

Click here to access KPMG’s methodology paper

Digital Strategy and Transformation

Digital Strategy for a B2B World

It’s easy to see why so many view companies like Uber, Amazon and Google as the business models of the future. They’ve redefined their industries. They’ve rewired the customer experience. They’re not afraid to fail fast, learn from mistakes and make the changes necessary to stay well ahead of the market.

None of this is news to leaders of industrial and other business-to-business (B2B) companies. But these executives also know full well that what works in the consumer realm doesn’t always translate in a B2B context. Failing fast? That’s problematic in industries such as chemical processing or offshore drilling, where the smallest mistake can trigger epic disaster. Moving quickly? We’ll get back to you when our channel partners get back to us.

Redefining the industry? Easier said than done in a business like aviation, where many stakeholders operate in a complex, interdependent ecosystem. The truth is B2B is different than business-to-consumer (B2C) when it comes to digital strategy, and it requires a different approach. There are many lessons to be learned from digital innovators like Amazon, and the opportunities are very real. But simple comparisons to what works for these digital standouts aren’t always useful in an industrial setting and often come off as naive or impractical, feeding the notion that digital is more hype than reality. This gets in the way of deciding how digital can, in fact, transform important parts of a business and makes it hard to create alignment around the right path forward.

Digital Destination

Click here to access BAIN_BRIEF-Digital_Strategy_for_a_B2B_World

Digitalization in Insurance: The Multibillion Dollar Opportunity

The business of property and casualty insurance— assessing risk, collecting premiums and paying claims— hasn’t changed much since 1861, when a group of underwriters sold the first policies to protect London homeowners against losses from fire. Recently, though, the insurance industry has embarked on a radical transformation, one spurred by a series of digital innovations whose widespread adoption is just a few years away. Bain & Company and Google have identified seven key technologies—namely,

  • infrastructure and productivity,
  • online sales technologies,
  • advanced analytics,
  • machine learning,
  • the Internet of Things,
  • distributed ledger
  • and virtual reality

—that have already begun to disrupt the industry and whose impact will accelerate in the next three to five years. These new technologies are likely to be a boon for consumers, bringing more choice, better service and lower prices.

For those insurers ready to seize the initiative, digitalization presents an immense opportunity. The companies that stand to benefit the most are those that use the impetus of digitalization to rethink all their operations, from underwriting to customer service to claims management. The impact on both revenues and costs can be enormous. An analysis by Bain and Google shows that a prototypical P&C insurer in Germany that implemented these technologies could increase its revenues by up to 28% within five years, reduce claims payouts by as much 19% and cut policy administration costs by as much as 72%.

These pioneers in digital technology can gain an edge over their rivals by becoming more effective and efficient. They’ll be able to trim costs and pass on those savings to their customers, thereby winning new business and gaining market share. The digital laggards, by contrast, will find themselves fighting an intensified price war and scrambling to protect their competitive positions.

Digital P&C

Click here to access BAIN_BRIEF_Digitalization_in_Insurance

Six IT Design Rules for Digital Transformation

Superior performance in the digital age calls for an adaptable technology infrastructure that manages the complexities of a multicloud environment, embedded security and compliance policies, and deep business alignment. Best-in-class IT operations and the software vendors that support them are adopting a playbook based on six core rules for IT design.

  1. Break boundaries across IT stacks. Given that companies are unlikely to achieve complete migration to the public cloud anytime soon, CIOs need monitoring, discovery and confi guration tools that function in hybrid, multicloud environments as well as up and down the stack, from legacy systems to consumer-facing apps.
  2. Embrace DevOps. As firms increase the cadence of their digital offerings, they have no choice but to integrate software development and IT operations. Already, as many as 60% of enterprises are using or planning to use a DevOps approach to building and installing software, according to a survey by Gartner. Modern IT organizations require software that works across the production chain and that’s designed for rapid testing and validation.
  3. Be open. No modern solution can be an island. As designers produce focused, best-in-class solutions instead of massive monolithic systems, openness becomes critical. Companies need modular, opensource and application-program-interface–friendly software that is designed for easy extensibility and integration with other apps. CIOs expect to be able to combine the capabilities of their disparate systems to serve new needs.
  4. Incorporate policy engines. Cost pressures have driven CIOs to seek to automate their IT operations. They want to escape the massive manual efforts that they currently rely on to monitor policies, including compliance, data governance and security rules. They need solutions that have builtin logic to identify and remediate against rules in order to enable policy management across a hybrid infrastructure.
  5. Induce insights. As digital apps proliferate, companies are becoming fl ooded with an abundance of data—some of it useful, some of it not. CIOs need analytical tools that use techniques such as machine learning to glean insights from disparate sources.
  6. Insist on user-friendly experiences and tools. In a complex world, IT professionals are demanding intuitive, easy-to-use software. They are no longer satisfied with hard-to-master, second-rate applications; they want a consumer-level user experience. They need solutions that are software-as-a-service (SaaS) capable, simple to install and have immediate, out-of-the-box functionality.

IT Transformation

Click here to access BAIN_BRIEF_Six_IT_Design_Rules_for_Digital_Transformation

 

State of Digital Analytics: The Persistent Challenge of Data Access & Governance

Disjointed, inaccessible data is a major productivity inhibitor for analytics teams, diverting skilled resources from contributing to valuable business intelligence.

Analytics teams struggle with data access. In addition to listing data silos and data access among both their top data and analytics challenges, above, nearly three in five said it takes days or weeks to access all the data needed for their work or the work of the teams they manage. Only a third were able to access all their data in a day or less.

AMOUNT OF TIME FOR ANALYSTS AND ANALYTICS TEAMS TO ACCESS DATA

Nearly two in five analytics professionals are spending more than half of their work week on tasks unrelated to actual analysis. Forty-four percent of managers reported that more than half of their team’s work week is spent accessing, blending, and preparing data rather than analyzing it, while 31 percent of analysts said they spend more than half of their work week on data housekeeping.

TIME SPENT PREPPING DATA, RATHER THAN ANALYZING IT

As a result, the majority of analysts have found it necessary to learn programming languages specifically to help them access and/or prepare data for analysis. Outside of mandates from their employers, a full 70 percent of analysts reported taking it upon themselves to learn to code for this reason, and more than a quarter of those analysts have spent 80 or more hours learning to program.

ANALYSTS LEARNING PROGRAMMING SKILLS TO OVERCOME DATA ISSUES

It should go without saying that data professionals tasked with analyzing organizational information meaningfully and actionably cannot adequately perform their core job function without accurate data. Yet in addition to raising the data access challenges above, the industry is also split in terms of confidence in data accuracy. Nearly half reported that they question the accuracy of the data they or the teams they manage use regularly, while a little more than half said they are confident about their data.

Data Analysis

Click here to access TMMData’s detailed Survey Results

Digitizing IT

Digital transformation is the new strategic imperative—no longer just a handy source of competitive differentiation but a must-do for every company, in every industry, and across every geography.

The challenges involved, however, are testing leadership teams to their limits: how can they best

  • wrap digital services around existing products and services,
  • launch new ones that capture customers’ hearts and wallets,
  • and find innovative ways to interact digitally, both internally and externally?

And how can they achieve their goals against a backdrop of stretched budgets and competing priorities ?

In the eye of the storm sit the chief information officer (CIO) and the IT team.

As digital technology becomes embedded in almost every aspect of doing business, IT is increasingly called upon to advise the C-suite

  • on the feasibility of new approaches and to deliver new applications and services,
  • while continuing to perform the day-to-day tasks that keep existing systems up and running.

This report explores both the challenges and the opportunities facing IT in an era of digital transformation. Written by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and sponsored by SAP, it is based on a survey of more than 800 business and IT leaders across Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia-Pacific, along with desk research and interviews with C-level executives at major international organisations.

The key findings are as follows:

  • Digital transformation lacks strategic co-ordination. Digital transformation is firmly on the agenda for the majority of companies, and they are busy with a variety of digital initiatives. They are investing in a range of technologies and pursuing a wide array of objectives, most commonly improving products and services and boosting the customer experience. But only a minority of organisations have devised and implemented a digital transformation strategy to direct these initiatives. Those that have done so are substantially more likely to see their digital initiatives as being effective (93%) than those that have not (63%).
  • The way in which digital transformation is implemented varies considerably between firms—and even between departments. The CIO is the most likely executive to take ownership of digital transformation (37%), but CEOs (20%) and chief operating officers (15%) are also likely owners—and 16% say that digital transformation is not owned by one individual member of the C-suite. Meanwhile, 29% report that digital initiatives are led by individual business units, 24% say they are led by a dedicated digital unit, and 22% say they are led by IT. Interestingly, respondents from IT are more likely to believe their digital initiatives are centrally coordinated than those in other functions, revealing a distinct lack of “joined-up thinking” on the matter.
  • Both IT and non-IT executives believe that the IT department should take a more active role in digital transformation. Executives both inside and outside the IT function consistently report that IT should ideally play a more active role in key capabilities that support digital transformation than is currently the case. The biggest discrepancy concerns innovation—just 7% of executives say that IT leads their organisation’s attempts to identify opportunities to innovate, while 35% believe that it should. The fact that IT executives agree shows that it is not for want of ambition that they do not currently lead these capabilities. Instead, the data suggest that they are constrained by the obligations of their current role.
  • Digital transformation is a test of the IT department’s ability to collaborate. Digital products and processes require input from multiple departments. As a result, digital transformation is a test of an organisation’s ability to work across departmental lines. The majority of executives of all stripes agree that collaboration between IT and non-IT management will provide the greatest opportunity for success in digital business initiatives. “Everyone has to succeed together,” as one digital executive puts it.
  • IT departments are evolving for the era of digital transformation, but there is much more to be done. IT departments have begun to adapt their working practices to meet the needs of digital transformation—and their peers in other functions are noticing. Almost half (45%) of non-IT executives say the IT department has changed the way it works “completely” or “significantly” to support digital transformation, while 40% report “limited” changes. However, IT executives themselves report limited adoption of key methodologies associated with digital delivery, such as Agile software development (17%) or DevOps (15%). These new ways of working are by no means easy to adopt, but this implies a degree of inertia that few companies can afford.

Digitize IT

Click here to access the Economists Intelligence Unit’s detailed report