2017 ICTA Nomination. Technology by ClearPay.
Brokerages have historically (and currently) been very heavy users of cheques to settle monthly agency bill and out of cycle payments. The primary reason for this has been the requirement for brokerages to submit a remittance report with their payment. The only way to do this has been by a report attached to a post dated cheque.
The ClearPay technology was activated before September 2016 and serves to expedite the ability for brokerages to move to submitting payments electronically and remittance advices directly from their broker management systems. The digitization of the payment and remittance submission process can offer material benefits to the accounting department at Everest Insurance Company of Canada.
The technology automates and standardizes much of the payment process for brokerage and Everest Canada employees in accounting. The features of this process include:
- Real time notifications: Everest Canada employees receive real-time notifications of pending payments as they are authorized by brokerages.
- Standardization of remittance reports: Regardless of the originating broker management system, all incoming reports from brokerages using ClearPay are digital, standardized in content, visual presentation and format. Reports are provided immediately upon brokerage’s payment authorization.
- Automated deposit of funds on date specified by brokerage: Funds payable by brokerages are transferred directly from brokerage account to Everest Canada’s account, with no action required by either party.
- Payment dashboard: At any time, Everest Canada personnel can access ClearPay web application to determine payment status, search for payments and exportable reports.
Three main areas that ClearPay positively impacts operations at Everest Canada
- Conversion of incoming payments to electronic: With each incoming payment via ClearPay, Everest Canada would no longer have to handle, record and deposit cheques. On average, with each payment coming in electronically, the time savings would be approximately five minutes per payment (90% savings). Additionally, electronic deposits into the bank account are approximately 20% of the cost of depositing a cheque.
- Digitization and standardization of incoming remittance data: With remittance both standardized and digital, the time for Everest Canada employees to reconcile accounts receivable can be reduced. Remittance advices coming in outside of ClearPay currently take multiple different formats (ie. PDF, XLS, and CSV), forms (mail, email) and have no standard data sets that are provided. The simple standardization of what data is received combined with the visual standardization of data presentation are the primary reasons why reconciliation can be done faster.
- Positive brokerage experience: Brokerages can move to paying Everest Canada electronically in minutes which makes it simpler to do business with Everest Canada .
- Assurance of payment date and amount: With the advance notice and assurance of payment, Everest Canada accounting personnel can spread out reconciliation work from what is now heavily weighted to month end workloads. Also, electronic payments eliminate any delays due to postal/courier disruptions.
- Faster Reconciliation: As each remittance report is the same, it will allow quicker reconciliation for Everest Canada accounting personnel.
- Brokerage relations: Brokerages can be up and running to pay Everest Canada electronically from their broker management system in minutes versus other much more time intensive and non-BMS methods. This makes it easier for brokerages to do business with Everest Canada.
- Reduced communications with brokerages on payment status: With real time notifications and ability to access a dashboard view of payment status, ClearPay can reduce the need to communicate with brokers as to status of payments.
- Ability to enhance cash flow forecasting: With the dashboard view of payments, Treasury has the ability to increase the accuracy of cash flow forecasting and thereby optimizing balances in the right investment instruments.
- Reduced time and reduction of banking fees versus depositing cheques: Reducing the need and frequency to deposit cheques at the bank provides efficiencies to accounting personnel. As well the cost of an electronic deposit is approximately 20% of the cost of cheque deposits.
- Enhanced security: Electronic deposits are a more secure way of moving funds than cheques.
Everest Insurance Company of Canada offers property, casualty and specialty lines insurance through a network of licensed brokers in all Canadian provinces and territories. The company is one of the fastest growing commercial oriented insurance companies in Canada. For more information, visit www.everestcanada.com.
ClearPay is a web based application which simplifies the collections of premiums and reconciliation data from insurance brokerages. For more information, visit www.clearpaycanada.com.
Source: Everest Insurance Company of Canada