Ward Group, a consulting firm specializing in the insurance industry, is kicking off a new benchmarking program for finance and related operations.
Ward Group has applied its benchmarking methodology to analyze expenses and staffing levels for the finance function including operational analysis of investments, billing and collections, and internal and external audit. The finance benchmarking program is a one time study that will be conducted in 2008.
Finance and related areas can be affected by premium size and ownership structure (public versus mutual), especially in the internal and external audit functions, according to Ward. This program is designed to provide company comparisons segmenting results by operating profile to adjust for these factors.
“The challenges of the current market have hit the finance function at insurance companies particularly hard. Companies are forced to revisit areas such as the budgeting process, compliance functions, finance expense structure and the performance of their investment portfolios. Our new finance benchmarking program provides an operational snapshot that helps CFOs and other financial executives evaluate these important areas,” said Jeff Rieder, president of Ward Group.
The company is seeking insurers interested in participating in the 2008 study.