Executive Brief: 3 Key Success Strategies for Insurance, Banks, and Financial Services

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  • Published: July 7 2014
Financial services organizations are always looking for ways to improve business processes to implement tighter control—and improve the bottom line. But finding new ways to boost efficiency is challenging. One strategy for success is to improve the use and allocation of resources in order to eliminate errors from duplicate data entry. Discover more about this strategy and two others, as well as how they can benefit you.

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Mid- to enterprise-sized insurance, banking, and financial services organizations are always looking for different ways to improve their business processes in order to implement tighter controls and improve the bottom line. 

But the question is not “what’s broken?” After all, with the advent of enterprise systems, there’s not much room for a broken business process to hide.

The real question is “what haven’t you done already?” Where in the organization have you not looked to for improvement?

The fact is, insurance, banking, and financial services organizations that are hampered by inflexible and inefficient back-office operations struggle to recognize—and take advantage of—increased efficiencies.

More specifically, here’s where you’ll find room for improved efficiency:
  • implementation of financial controls
  • financial and operational reporting and analytics
  • accounting functions (including cost allocations, consolidation, purchasing, payables, and project controls)
In fact, automation of core accounting processes brings about three key strategic benefits that chief financial officers (CFOs), financial managers, and comptrollers can leverage to meet this challenge:
  • improved resource allocation and use
  • full visibility into and control over processes and data
  • ability to easily adapt to significant events (such as mergers and acquisitions) and changes
We’ll explore these three points in detail later on, but for now it’s worth calling out the problem that underscores these benefits: All too often, back-office functions are mired in inflexibility and task duplication. For many insurance, banking, and financial services organizations, this is the result of relegating back-office functions to back-of-mind.

However, insight into information, processes, and events can be one of your most powerful assets. And the ultimate way to success? Bringing back-office insight to front-of-mind.

Let’s turn now to the three key success strategies for tighter controls—and an improved bottom line.

Success Strategy #1: Improving Use and Allocation of Resources

The Context
Ask any CFO, financial manager, or comptroller to point to the prime cause of operational inefficiency, and they’ll tell you it’s unnecessary duplication of effort—in other words, entering the same data into multiple, disparate systems (such as purchasing, accounts payable, etc).

Inevitably, these separate systems lead to a lack of process coordination across departments, maintenance of duplicate data, and users who are relegated to using ungainly spreadsheets to reconcile and report across the separate systems.

Such inefficiencies can make month-end closings a real headache, with accurate information needing to be wrested from your front-office systems into your accounting packages (back-office systems); from your order management applications into accounts receivable; from purchasing into accounts payable …

Inefficiencies such as these not only open the door to increased errors, they also lead to the loss of valuable time, as you sift through and attempt to reconcile disparate information.

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