Summer is the perfect time for taking a break from the daily grind. Things slow down a bit and you’re able to get a little more space, breathe in some fresh air and start doing big thinking on how you can help your agency grow.
One of the best things to do over these long days is to read up on industry trends around how to record, analyze, and improve your business’s finances. Insurance agency accounting is something you have to do but may not be something you understand as well as you’d like. Take these relaxed days as an opportunity to begin learning.
Check out these other insurance agency blogs to add to your list
So, for your hammock time this summer here are five insurance agency accounting blogs to add to your reading list.
5 Insurance Agency Accounting Blogs to Read this Summer
- Accounting Coach
This blog is an encyclopedia of information for owners without a background or experience in accounting. Accounting Coach teaches the basics through an interactive, easy to follow course. There are short explanations, videos, and quizzes and games to test your knowledge as you learn. Or, if you’re just looking to get the quick facts on a topic, you can jump to a section to learn more.
- The CPA Desk
The CPA Desk offers insightful, easy to read posts on what you need to know about running your business. It also includes short videos to help explain or elaborate on topics. It’s a great go-to to keep you informed and updated on industry happenings.
Boost your insurance accounting knowledge with these advanced agency accounting tips
- Between Wall and Main
The title of this blog refers to hitting the spot between Wall Street and Main Street, taking the “lessons learned from Wall Street” to small business owners. Author Seth David provides innovative solutions for small businesses and has a great handle on trends in accounting practices and tech.
- 5 Minute Bookkeeping
5 Minuet Bookkeeping is made up of quick posts and short video tutorials on the ins and outs of managing your books. Veronica Wasek makes complex concepts seem simple, writing in a straightforward, easy to understand manner. This blog is a great place to go when you need to brush up on different accounting tasks or encounter an issue.
GrowthForce talks accounting to non-accountants. The blog offers tips and news on how to use accounting to help your small business succeed, in a way you can understand. An informative, easy read.
Find out how integrated accounting can help you do more, better
Add the SIS Blog to Your List
We’d be remiss to not mention the SIS blog, which covers dozens of topics including agency accounting. We post weekly on what’s important to independent insurance agencies, ranging from marketing to perpetuation to technology trends and more.
See a topic we’re missing? Contact us to let us know! We’re always looking for new ways to serve the independent insurance community. Happy reading!
Earlier in the year, I wrote a post on some of the top insurance agency reporting methods underutilized by agencies. With so many to share, we’re on to part two. In this post, I’ll outline three reporting tools that will bring you to data wizard status. Start putting these into practice, and you’ll find you can process information faster, easier, and more accurately to help your agency grow.
Are You Making the Most of Your Agency Accounting Data?
Insurance agency accounting can be fraught with small mistakes that lead to huge headaches. With so many moving pieces in an agency, it can be difficult to keep track of the multiple pieces that make up accounting in an organization. Often, we hear from agencies struggling with:
- Maintaining accounting accuracy, especially among those with multiple branches
“With multiple locations, the accounting plug-in is a must…The financial reports I can produce (with the accounting plug-in) are second to none. It’s a piece of cake to do seemingly complex reports.” – Berndt and Murfin Insurance Agency
- Avoiding errors and omissions particularly in light of unavoidable human error
- Investing too much time entering and tracking financial information
- Creating and understanding relevant reports around cross-selling opportunities, producer performance, and for tax preparation among other areas
“With Partner XE, I can get our entire agency billing and accounting done in three or four hours a month. That’s a tenth of the time it used to take.” – Huesman Insurance Group
Creating a Better Accounting Experience
These accounting woes tend to stem from a lack in an agency’s management system capabilities. Agency management systems have come a long way in addressing financial processing. Some critical pieces for accounting success include:
- An integrated accounting system to automate and eliminate error from time-consuming tasks like commission matching and invoicing
- Customized reports that can be set up once and run regularly integrating financial information and customer data as needed
- Direct bill commissions download to connect commissions with customers and policies automatically
- Reliable and timely training and service around accounting areas
“The individual customer service (with Partner XE) is outstanding. When we have a problem and we send an email, we get an answer within the hour…Knowing you’ll get a resolution in a timely manner is essential.” – THW Insurance Services
A Better Experience with SIS
We know these accounting struggles well: we’ve heard them from our partner agencies. It’s feedback from these partners that prompted us to add integrated accounting, direct bill commissions download and other features to help ease the stress of financial tracking and processing in our Partner XE management system. And, should our users need a quick refresher or hit a snag, we’re just a phone call or email away from solving the issue with our expert support team.
Hear more on what our clients have to say about Partner XE by reading our client stories. Or get in touch directly at email@example.com or 800.747.7005, Option 6.
It’s a new year and you’re ready for a fresh start. You’ve made your resolutions and one is clear: get more business!
What are you waiting for? Ready, set, GO!
“Go where?” you may wonder. You’re not alone. A recent Outbound Engine report showed 24% of respondents didn’t know where to focus their insurance marketing efforts.
How can you make moves in marketing when you don’t know where to go? The first step is finding out what works from those who’ve tried it. Check out these top insurance marketing blogs to help you and your agency follow through on your resolution this year.
Read more on how to set and achieve your agency goals in the New Year
Insurance Marketing Resources
- Media Blog: Chock full of tips and tricks to manage social media marketing, from set up to strategy and beyond. A great starter for those just dipping their toes into the social media waters.
- Agency Updates: The brainchild of Robyn and John Sharp, this blog covers everything from social media marketing strategy to day to day agency management. They share monthly marketing plans to help you prepare for every season, complete with downloadable calendars to keep you on pace.
- Digital Marketing Experts Blog: The name says it all. This blog covers all aspects of digital marketing: content creation, strategy, lead generation, referrals, and everything in-between. Plus, there’s weekly news articles sharing what’s happening in digital marketing today.
- leadPops Blog: leadPops specializes in providing marketing and lead generation solutions for insurance agencies. They provide tips for online, offline and referral marketing through a variety of content types. And, their info is easy to digest and focused on giving you the most bang for your buck.
Check out six other industry blogs to add to your daily routine
- Inbound Insurance Marketing Blog: Inbound Insurance Marketing President Heather Sloan grew up in the insurance industry. Her expertise and experience shine through as she focuses on how to help agencies target their specific customer demographics. The blog covers big topics like how to map buyer decisions to a marketing strategy and offers small tips like how to come up with creative content. It’s practical, readable, and relatable.
- Paradiso Presents: Chris Paradiso founded Paradiso Insurance in 1998 and has been showing agencies how to leverage digital and social media ever since. Paradiso uses real-life examples from their own social and digital marketing, covering brand building, blogging, and overall social strategy among other topics.
Putting it into Practice
Now that you’ve got your ideas, it’s time to put them into action. This can be particularly challenging if it’s your first foray into digital marketing and your budget is tight.
That’s why we created one of our most popular eGuides: “Digital Marketing on a Budget.” You can access the full guide on our resources page. And, get even more marketing resources on our blog at sispartnerplatform.com/blog.
See something missing? Let us know! We’re always looking for more ways to help independent insurance agencies grow their business. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our contact page to fill out a form and we’ll be in touch.
In your busy agency, mistakes are inevitable. Your goal is to minimize errors, especially oversights in insurance agency accounting. Accounting errors are (literally!) costly and can cause a domino effect of issues throughout your agency.
Read how to avoid other common agency E&O mistakes
How can you avoid these issues? By utilizing the one tool that touches each part of your agency: your agency management system. Your management system has the means to prevent errors from happening and, if needed, clean up your accounting messes when the inevitable happens.
Preventing Accounting Mistakes
Make preventative practices the norm. Leverage your agency management system to do the following:
- Utilize direct bill commission download
- Put producer commissions on policies
- Establish agency-wide processes for entering financial info
- Audit yourself regularly
- Get integrated accounting to stop double-data entry
Find out more on integrated accounting and how it can benefit your agency
Fixing Financial Errors
No matter how closely you watch or carefully you step, you and your agency staff are only human. Mistakes happen. When they do, know what tools you have in your management system to fix them. Use your system to:
- Unapply incorrect client payments
- Void improper checks
- Unpost checks attributed to the wrong account
- Unreconcile bank statements
- Close/reopen months when posting items in the wrong period
Are you maximizing your management system? Find out how to utilize it to its fullest
Reaching Out for Help
How do we know these preventative and restorative practices? We got them right from our SIS team, who work with our clients daily to help them stay out of trouble…and get them out when the inevitable happens. We want our clients to feel secure in reaching out for help, allowing us to fix their issues so they can worry about bigger things.
You can find out more about SIS, our commitment to service and support, and how Partner XE can help grow your business at sispartnerplatform.com. Or, get in touch with a real person today by dialing 800.747.7005, Option 6.
Integrated insurance agency accounting is the bacon of your business.
Yes, this is a bold statement. But, hear us out: both are great on their own – and serve as a staple in your agency (or kitchen, respectively). Starting to see the similarities?
Look at it this way:
- Bacon can make things we don’t enjoy suddenly enjoyable. Dreading that salad? Add bacon! Have a lack luster soup? Bacon works there, too!
- Integrated accounting – though not edible (or as delicious) possesses this same versatility. Sick of time drains like commission matching and invoicing? Add integrated accounting! Frustrated with compiling complex reports? Integrated accounting can simplify your life!
Here are just a few examples of how integrated accounting can transform cringe-worthy aspects of your operations:
- Policy Commissions: Integrated accounting saves hours of searching and eliminates incorrect assignments. It syncs easily with Direct Bill Commission Downloads, connecting commissions to clients and policies instantly.
- Invoicing: When accounting links with your management system, invoicing is almost automatic. The systems knows what premium is due when, filling in information for you. And installment invoicing is a breeze since policy information is readily available in the same system.
- Agency commissions: With integrated accounting, commission templates can be created to calculate money due automatically. Commissions can be based off of multiple criteria, including transaction type, new business versus renewal, producer and/or CSR and line of business.
- Reporting: Integrated accounting offers better reporting solutions and automated complete financial reporting. If your agency’s data is in one database, you will no longer have to run twice as many reports or merge two sets of data together.
Bottom line: integrated accounting makes daily agency processes more appetizing.
Integrated management system accounting saves time, decreases frustration, and offers better workflow. Entering data once cuts down on keystrokes and makes it easier to find and integrate information. The benefits increase more with multiple locations and/or books of business. A general accounting program simply isn’t fit to handle a complex insurance agency account set-up.
We’re making integrated accounting delicious at SIS.
At SIS, we recognize the benefits of integrated agency management accounting and take it one step further. The Partner XE accounting system is designed specifically for independent agencies by independent agencies.
Our accounting system goes beyond integrations with Quickbooks: it’s built in as part of our software program. This agency-focused system can handle:
- General ledger, chart of accounts, and client ledger,
- Agency and producer commission reconciliation,
- Vendor bills and direct bill commission downloads,
- Payroll and withholding templates, and
- So much more!
To find out more about our comprehensive Partner XE system and its many capabilities, contact us at 800.747.7005, Option 6.