Online reconciliation service to be rolled out after success of summer pilot

A new web-based system for account reconciliation is to be rolled out to brokers following a pilot with Norwich Union (NU) and Allianz.

It is claimed that the system will cut accounts reconciliation costs by half.

The Account Reconciliation Centre (ARC), which is accessed via Imarket, provided insurers with an up-to-date view of the status of brokers’ accounts, according to CGI which hosts the system.

ARC also improved communication between brokers and insurers, leading to quicker query resolution, the company said.

A spokesman for CGI said: “It is designed to transform the settlement of accounts between insurers and brokers – a process that has, until now, been expensive and largely paper-based.”

Research carried out by CGI showed that up to 50% of brokers’ time was spent on the reconciliation of items where the broker and insurer already agree on what needs to be paid.

The pilot programme for ARC was carried out during the summer and included 21 brokers co-operating with NU and Allianz.

Tim Gregory, CGI vice-president, insurance sector, said the system would now be rolled out to other brokers and insurers. He said the company was in discussions with other insurers, adding that 50 brokers were now signed up to the system.

Allianz commercial general manager Chris Hanks said: “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 our brokers’ businesses.”

NU director of operational services Greg Gladwell said: “The accounts reconciliation process has remained unchanged for decades. ARC provides a first step towards automation.”

Julie Flynn, operations director at Brokerbility, said: “ARC has significantly streamlined the account reconciliation process at our end, making the following month’s accounts much quicker and more efficient.

“This is mainly due to the fact that we no longer have to repeat queries on unresolved items month after month – all history of annotations is securely saved and, if need be, brought forward to the next month.”