The time for implementing IFRS 17 is running out, while the challenges in building reporting processes that support internal steering are significant. That’s the most significant finding of our recent roundtable on IFRS 17 implementation hosted at Microsoft Switzerland.
The roundtable featured a gathering of IFRS 17 compliance experts, including representatives of Swiss and international insurers and re-insurers, to explore the challenges and best practices for IFRS 17 compliance.
IFRS 17 is the new global standard for insurance financial reporting, and the roundtable served as a forum to discuss lessons learned and practical implementation advice. It included compliance projects involving the deployment of Systemorph’s IFRS 17 Solution.
The event was moderated by Daniel Diederichs, Head Insurance solutions at Synpulse, along with Dr. Daniel Trzesniak, our Head of Product Strategy and IFRS 17 Initiative Lead.
Systemorph customers reported on their experiences implementing IFRS 17 and shared valuable insights into the compliance journey.
We learned that this journey is not about setting up a software tool run a few customizations but rather is a comprehensive and complex data management transformation project.
Steering P&L and Change Management as Key Success Factors
Dr. Martin Schmid, Head of IFRS 17 methodology at Baloise Group, pointed out how crucial the availability of real-world figures is even at the initial stages of an IFRS 17 compliance project:
“Working with Systemorph on a proof of concept, we could run real world portfolio data and start calibrating our IFRS 17 models to gain deep insights on the connection between IFRS 17 and local GAAP as well as Asset Liability Management (ALM) measures at an early stage of the project,” Dr. Schmid explained in his talk.
In the discussions, participants generally agreed that IFRS 17 is far more than a compliance exercise for yet another principle-based standard. It rather puts a company’s ability to steer asset management, actuarial modelling and ALM tactics in sync.
“…actuaries with accounting knowledge and accountants with an understanding of actuarial modelling will be highly in demand”Karthik Thilak, IFRS 17/9 Global Program Director at Zurich Insurance Group
Karthik Thilak, IFRS 17/9 Global Program Director at Zurich Insurance Group, underlined the importance of bringing actuarial function and accounting closer together. “Those actuaries with accounting knowledge and accountants with an understanding of actuarial modelling will be highly in demand,” Karthik said.
A software solution covering the IFRS 17 closing process should therefore enable actuaries and accountants to collaborate effectively. To meet these requirements, Systemorph provides full transparency on each data element flowing through the IFRS 17 reporting process and aligns actuarial and accounting nomenclature. Specialists in both fields can still use conventions and norms they are used to.
Closing Process and KPIs
All participants estimated that their organizations will keep or accelerate closing timelines under IFRS 17. Considering the complex actuarial modelling tasks involved, especially on the life insurance side, a high degree of automation and governance is essential.
As Dr. Roland Bürgi, founder and CEO of Systemorph, showed the roundtable gathering how our IFRS 17 solution allows insurers to directly tab data from actuarial modeling systems if they wish to. This reduces the requirement to map and prepare data for an integration layer.
This highly agile approach is at the heart of Systemorph’s solution, based on the innovative Vertex Platform, which provides users with an end-to-end view on all data elements flowing into any accounting position.
When it comes to KPIs, the roundtable speakers outlined how their organizations went through a journey that required new methodological concepts and their rapid implementation once KPI sets were finalized.
All participants appreciated the open exchange in this industry-leading IFRS 17 forum focused on the Swiss market. While everyone agreed that no time can be wasted when it comes to the implementation of IFRS 17, participants were confident that with the right methodology, technology and resources they are well prepared.
You can learn more about IFRS 17 implementation guidance and best practices in our new series of articles available here.