The annual EY Global Insurance CFO Survey of finance leaders from nearly 60 global insurers found that 74 per cent cited better insight – including faster, relevant and integrated financial analysis – as a top priority.
“Ongoing, intense pressure on margins is forcing insurers to look at every potential way to improve top line growth and return on capital. This includes moving into new products, new territories and M&A, as well as fulfilling their digital agenda,” said Grant Peters, EY Oceania Insurance Leader.
“Digital technology is driving exponential growth in the volume of data being managed within organisations.
“For insurance CFOs, the challenge of effectively managing these large volumes of data to extract and deliver timely, relevant and concise insight in an efficient manner has never been greater, and investing in this area will be vital to achieve the business and revenue growth they seek.”
The survey also noted how many CFOs had clear goals in creating their target finance operating model by 2020, including expanding their role across financial data and analytics to enable a more integrated vision across finance, actuarial and risk.
Digital solutions are raising business expectations of what could and should be achieved from the finance function, with more pilot projects due as CFOs start to better understand the opportunities new technology can provide.
“Some insurers are already investing in finance change programs to encourage thoughts about how financial reporting, planning, analysis and management information will be delivered in the future,” said Mr Peters.
“New technologies, coupled with the drive for increased efficiency, present a real opportunity for CFOs across the insurance sector to press the ‘reset’ button and focus on change.”
Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.