Overcoming financial data challenges: Best practices for insurance firms

In this blog, we explore common financial data challenges and provide best practices to overcome them. Sharing insights from AutoRek’s insurance lead Piers Williams and accounting and reconciliations expert Mark Baker, it summaries key points from our Insurance finance and accounting operations best practices webinar.

The financial data landscape can be hard to navigate. Without a centralised or standardised way of processing data, challenges are bound to occur downstream.

As Piers notes, “finance and accounting functions deal with lots of different data sources, in different formats […] so, there is quite a challenge bringing data together.”

Combined with issues surrounding quality, consistency, fragmented and frequency of data, it is often a challenge to organise and manage the sheer volume of financial data received.

However, failure to do so can be hugely detrimental to your organisation.


How financial data challenges impact organisations

The business impact of failing to manage financial data efficiently and effectively is vast. Not only can it lead to poor data control and inefficiencies, but it can also create issues in terms of scalability and flexibility.

As Mark highlights, “manual processes don’t scale the way they should to get economies of scale.”

So, as data control becomes more pressing, it’s important to consider whether “it’s best to have skilled team members doing manual preparation tasks or it’s better to unlock their time and effort to focus on value-add,” Piers says.


Reconciliation and data matching best practices

What does good look like when it comes to reconciliations and insurance finance and accounting best practices?

Piers and Mark highlight these key points:

  • Granular level data – being able to reconcile at the lowest level. This means you have full control and understanding of any balances that you’re carrying in the accounts.
  • Repeatability – being able to consistently apply the same process across all reconciliations and processes in the business. This allows you to remove risk and create a consistent level of accuracy across teams.
  • Flexibility – being able to adapt to accommodate regulatory change and becoming proactive, rather than reactive.
  • Real-time – being able to access data as and when you need to. There’s now a huge desire to “have things yesterday,” Mark says. So you need to be able to access data whenever required.
  • Reportable – information is power, so having that data at the click of a button allows for better decision making and resource deployment.
  • Scalable – being able to scale your operations as your business grows.

If you’re looking to have greater control over your data, scale business operations and reduce inefficiencies, it’s probably time to automate.


What are the benefits of automation?

How do you overcome financial data challenges and move beyond spreadsheets and inefficiencies? Automation can solve a lot of these issues.

The benefits of automation are extensive and include:

  • Removing manual work
  • Improving control and governance
  • Granular management of data
  • Consolidating data management
  • Real-time processing and reporting

Automation frees up staff, allowing them to fully use their skills and knowledge to add value to your organisation.

There are also opportunities to leverage technologies such as AI, ML, blockchain and intelligent automation to “supplement automation and process data quicker. ”

You can learn more about these technologies by watching the webinar.


Key takeaways

  • Effectively managing financial data is challenging due to diverse data sources and formats. Failure to consolidate this data can lead to poor control, inefficiencies, and a lack of scalability.
  • What does good look like? Granular data, process repeatability for consistent accuracy across the business, and being able to adapt to regulatory changes. Real-time data access and scalability are crucial for informed decision-making and supporting business growth.
  • Automation is key to improving financial data management, offering benefits such as improved control, real-time processing, and data consolidation. It reduces manual work, allowing staff to focus on value-added activities.


Watch the full webinar here.