Achieving unified corporate financial management

Carmela Owens of Tagetik told us how the company is helping insurance companies around the world to simplify and streamline business processes

By Guest on 19 August 2016
Achieving unified corporate financial management

This article first appeared in the Summer 2016 issue of The Record.

Insurers need to manage increasingly complex risk and reporting processes to comply with ever-tougher regulations, both in the country where they’re headquartered and in the various countries where they do business. For finance teams grappling with multiple source systems, this kind of reporting is difficult to control. “These requirements require disclosure about business performance, governance and risk management, valuation methodology, plus large amounts of prescribed data about capital, solvency, risk profile and other financial matters,” says Carmela Owens, alliance manager at Tagetik. “In addition, these disclosures must be made publicly available and can run to over 100 pages of data, analysis and commentary. Teams face tight deadlines to provide reports which often include multiple sets of audited US GAAP statements and statutory reports.”

Merger and acquisition (M&A) activity adds more complexity, as new companies are incorporated into existing systems and processes. “Insurance companies must actively consider their risk exposures to current and future investments over extended timeframes and ensure they have sufficient capital reserves to cope with potential risks,” says Owens.

Digitisation is key to overcoming these challenges, enabling automated processes that speed up turnaround times and reduce error. “Big data holds the potential for improvements in customer segmentation, risk calculation, fraud identification and other areas,” says Owens. “The challenge is to cost-effectively enhance the IT infrastructure and capabilities, either internally or through off-the-shelf systems.”

More than 750 customers in more than 35 countries – including Talanx, Manulife, Generali, Aegon, and Allianz – count on Tagetik to achieve those goals. “Tagetik automates and controls the regulatory and risk management reporting process with a single solution that provides built-in financial intelligence and collaborative workflow, reducing the time it takes to produce regulatory reports and eliminating the errors that occur in heavy manual processes,” explains Owens. “We also provide a comprehensive, pre-packaged application to handle the current and future reporting obligations of companies that need to comply with European Solvency II standards.”

Tagetik can be deployed on-premise or in the Microsoft Azure cloud, and enables finance teams to manage processes with little IT support. “Internal management reporting, external reporting and regulatory reporting can be managed through Tagetik’s Performance Books, which uses Microsoft Office as its interface, making it easy for the end user to work with,” says Owens. “But unlike stand-alone Office documents, Tagetik’s reporting information is stored in a database, so any changes made to underlying numbers are automatically reflected in documents, notes and disclosures. Numbers are subject to rigorous validation and business rules that ensure all is in balance before being presented.”

The solution’s forecasting and modelling capabilities enable insurers to quickly compare scenarios and conduct ‘what-if’ analyses, supporting better decision-making and assisting in preparation for M&A activity, says Owens. “Structural changes are effectively handled to provide insight into the impact of events such as the value of the investment at any stage, net equity impact or rollover into a dividend. In addition, multi-standards awareness is provided to handle US GAAP and IFRS, and to show year-over-year comparisons. Cashflow is automatically calculated, as double-entry logic is part of the system.”

Multi-dimensional reporting, delivered through familiar technologies, is key to enabling the efficient analysis that is critical to today’s insurance businesses. “Tagetik enables insurers to immediately analyse results, model and compare the full financial statement impact of business ­scenarios, adjust the plan, and update rolling forecasts,” says Owens. “Analysis can be delivered through Analysis Services, Reporting Services and PowerBI, leveraging the skills of Microsoft-trained internal resources. Insurance executives can see the profitability of each product, analyse which policies are underperforming and why, and quickly understand the impact of business decisions on the firm’s profit and loss, cash position and financial performance. By automating many of the manual processes involved in financial management, insurers can enable themselves to meet current and future industry demands.”

Carmela Owens is alliance manager at Tagetik

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