CGI teams with Norwich Union and Allianz for account reconciliation system
13 December 2007 | 3396 views | 0
Source: CGI Group
CGI Group Inc. (TSX: GIB.A; NYSE: GIB), in collaboration with two of the largest insurers in the UK market, Norwich Union and Allianz Insurance, today announced the launch of an Account Reconciliation Centre (ARC), a flexible web-based tool that is set to make paper-based insurance account settlement a thing of the past.
Provided as a managed service hosted by CGI and accessed via imarket, the e-commerce portal, ARC has already proven itself during a six month business pilot involving Allianz Insurance, Norwich Union and a range of their brokers. Today, ARC is being made available to the wider broker community, facilitating a transition from manual, paper based processes to an efficient, fast flow of electronic information.
"ARC is an accounts settlement system that has been developed in consultation with the industry, for the industry - one that brings efficiency to the back office and tangible benefits to both sides involved in the business process: insurers and brokers," said Tim Gregory, Vice-President, Insurance Sector, CGI.
ARC is being launched at a time when insurers and brokers are under an ever increasing pressure to reduce their operating costs. It is designed to transform the settlement of insurance accounts between insurers and brokers - a process that has, until now, been expensive and largely paper-based. By enabling automatic matching of all but the exceptional items, ARC brings savings in both time and effort, dramatically reducing the administrative burden associated with the traditional account settlement process and allowing brokers to view all outstanding debt in real time.
Donna Lovewell, Head of Collections, Norwich Union said: "Throughout ARC's development and pilot programme stages, CGI has incorporated feedback from both insurers and brokers to ensure that the system does exactly what we need it to - make our work easier and more effective."
How it works
ARC streamlines the account reconciliation process, providing insurers with an up-to-date view of the status of brokers' accounts and, consequently, the progress of statement reconciliation. The system also improves communication between brokers and insurers, leading to quicker query resolution - an immediate benefit already observed by the pilot users. In addition, ARC reduces the peaks and troughs of the monthly cycle, which means that insurers and brokers can make more effective use of their time. Sophisticated enquiry facilities, which include comments and audit trails, make the interrogation of entries easier and reduce the dependency on individuals in the credit control team.
Research carried out by CGI shows that up to 50 percent of brokers' time is spent on the reconciliation of items where the broker and insurer already agree on what needs to be paid. ARC's auto-matching functionality virtually eliminates this problem, allowing brokers and insurers to focus their effort on the items that need attention.
"The feedback we have had on ARC from our credit control teams and the brokers participating in the pilot programme has been overwhelmingly positive. Queries are getting resolved quicker, and the communication between us and brokers has improved greatly. ARC will bring significant efficiencies and cost savings to both our and our brokers' business," said Chris Hanks, General Manager, Commercial Division, Allianz Insurance.