January 5, 2012 Ken Jacobsen

Insurance Agency Switches from QuickBooks to Microsoft Dynamics GP for Stronger Financial Reporting Compliance

The insurance industry continuously undergoes a lot of scrutiny when it comes to managing their financial records. As a leading Microsoft Dynamics Partner for ERP and CRM based out of Michigan, at the TM Group we work with many insurance companies. One of our insurance clients was using QuickBooks to manage their books and felt a number of growing pains that left them at risk to audits.

As an insurance agency, they had unique reporting requirements and had to report on a statutory basis instead of an accrual basis. With QuickBooks, they had to jump through a lot of manual hoops to make the reporting fit their needs and even then they felt it couldn’t be 100% trusted. They knew manual processes increased the risk greatly for entry errors.

They also didn’t have the ability do detailed budgets in QuickBooks because the tracking capabilities didn’t go deep enough. This meant budget allocations were extremely difficult to manage because they couldn’t see what department needed funds and/or resources at any given time, making room for a lot of financial miscommunication throughout their organization. In QuickBooks, they never really had an audit trail because changes weren’t tracked appropriately. When someone made an adjustment, there was no tracking of who did it, when they changed it, or even why they made that change. In addition to compliance risk, this escalated confusion across the company.

One of the biggest pains they experienced was in accounts payable. They have many vendors they work with across multiple states that require unique tax code requirements and more. QuickBooks didn’t allow them to consolidate vendors, so each time they had to send a check, they had to create a new account. This greatly limited their ability to track payments because they had so many that went out on a regular basis.

These growing pains were essentially time bombs ready to go off if an audit team showed up. Luckily, our experienced consulting team and Microsoft Dynamics GP was able to help them out of this bind with a number of enhanced financial and reporting functionalities:

  • Unique Reporting: With Management Reporter in Microsoft Dynamics GP, they now have access to the reporting they need. They can have separate general ledgers that helps create statutory reports versus the normal accrual reporting. They can also see segmented financial statements so if they need reports for multiple departments, they can produce a consolidated statement and drill down into individual departments. It’s set up similar to a reporting tree and really helps our client gain insight into their business finances to make better decisions as well as proactively resolve issues before they even start.
  • Advanced Budgeting: Because of this detailed reporting, they can monitor their current expenses against their revenue to determine whether they’re going over budget in a particular department or have an excess of money that can be leveraged elsewhere. These reporting trees have allowed our client to do proper allocations across departments so departments are now funded appropriately.  Microsoft Dynamics GP also gives them the flexibility to do multiple budget versions so they’re never really restricted by their accounting solution.
  • Tracking: Our client now has complete audit control of their General Ledger. In Microsoft Dynamics GP, they can make an adjusting journal entry and have complete tracking of who made the change, when it was altered, and the reason behind it. These tighter audit controls included in Microsoft Dynamics GP make their accounting system more secure so they can be confident in their records.
  • Multiple Vendor Locations: Our client can now manage their accounts payable much more efficiently and their vendors get paid on time. Accounts Payable in Microsoft Dynamics GP allows them to consolidate their vendors. If one vendor has multiple addresses, they can create it under the same master account, making reporting much more accurate and easier to manage. At any given time, they can see where the payment is based on a payment ID. This efficiency as greatly improved their cash flow as they can now strategically plan and schedule payments to meet the needs of their vendors as well as their cash flow needs.

Being in more control has increased their trust factor greatly in their new accounting solution, and Microsoft Dynamics GP continues to see them through their unique financial management needs.