Customer Impact

CAC/Cobbs Allen automates revenue operations with Comulate to save headcount, improve data quality, and become more resilient

Ryan Mix,
Solutions Consultant
CAC/Cobbs Allen has reduced manual direct-bill work by 80%+ and increased organizational resilience using Comulate’s revenue automation
Comulate’s revenue intelligence provides CAC/Cobbs Allen with critical business insight into carrier compensation trends and precise variance tracking
Leveraging Comulate’s powerful tools, CAC/Cobbs Allen runs a more efficient backoffice, enabling production and service teams to focus more on delivering for clients instead of getting paid

Over twenty years ago, Vicky Morgan joined Cobbs Allen to manage its direct-bill revenue process for its growing employee benefits practice. Morgan and the Cobbs Allen accounting team relied on very manual processes to record and reconcile direct bill revenue from carrier statements. Early on, the volume of revenue was low enough that Morgan allocated time to find missing or incorrectly paid commissions. “I found hundreds of thousands of dollars that weren’t paid to us or processed properly,” she says.

As Cobbs Allen grew, Morgan’s manual process became a bottleneck. It became increasingly challenging for her and the accounting team to keep up with the growing volume of revenue and reconciling statements would bleed into nights, weekends, and holidays. “A lot of our commissions depend on the correct policy details being in Applied Epic, and as our service and production teams grew, the scale of data quality issues like incorrect policy data could grind our reconciliation process to a halt,” Morgan explains. 

Vicky Morgan, Revenue Analyst

The challenges weren’t limited to the accounting team. “These issues would affect if and how producers were paid, and require service teams to be involved in the revenue process,” says Morgan. The manual process and lack of purpose-built tools would also prevent her from serving organizational stakeholders. When Cobbs Allen’s President requested revenue reports, Morgan recounts that “The data he wanted to see would have been impossible to pull manually in the time he needed it,” she says.

“Every piece of software we tried made my job harder because it didn’t understand the many nuances and complexities of this direct bill workflow. What was meant to save me time ended up creating more work.”
Vicky Morgan
Revenue Analyst
“The sheer inability to do certain things because I lacked the necessary technology has caused me decades of frustration and anxiety.” 
Vicky Morgan, Revenue Analyst

“We planned to expand the team but found Comulate instead”

Kamini Patel, Director of Business Operations & Data Management at CAC/Cobbs Allen, is described internally as “Cobbs Allen’s problem solver.” She was particularly aware of the accounting team’s challenges, so when Cobbs Allen’s leaders asked Patel to solve the direct-bill problem faced by Morgan and the accounting team, Patel was stumped. “Vicky’s role was so complex, I’d given up hope that we’d find a solution,” she says. The firm had already tried three different solutions that all promised to make the direct bill team's job easier, yet not one of them helped. Because of the complexity of the work, Patel believed the only option was to expand headcount. 

“Every piece of software we tried made my job harder because it didn’t understand the many nuances and complexities of this direct bill workflow. What was meant to save me time ended up creating more work.” 
- Vicky Morgan, Revenue Analyst

Patel first heard of Comulate from a trusted longtime consultant of Cobbs Allen, and remembers feeling a mix of interest and skepticism upon first seeing Comulate.

“When I saw the Comulate demo for the first time, I’d never seen anything like it,” Morgan says. “I thought it would be awesome if it worked.” Comulate would avoid additional workarounds and actually reduce Morgan’s time spent doing manual work—everything she’d been promised for nearly twenty years. It would also enable leadership to avoid further expanding the team's headcount. 

To roll out the new software, Morgan sat down with the Comulate team to discuss their team's processes, workflows, and needs. “I felt heard and the more I used the tool, I realized I could do work that had never been possible,” she says. As she used Comulate, she believed in its power to help her—because she saw results. 

“After twenty years of anxiety-filled month-ends, for the first time, all revenue was processed and we were ready to close the books by noon,” she says. 

Saving time, increasing organizational resilience, and being a better partner to production and service teams

For Patel, not only was seeing Morgan’s speedy adoption of Comulate and the results it produced highly rewarding, it changed the equation.

"We went from planning to hire more dedicated people for this role, to significantly reducing the time it was taking our already-stretched-thin team. It changed the equation.”
Kamini Patel, Director of Business Operations & Data Management

“Comulate turned a complex role requiring tribal knowledge into a process that is mostly automated and very trainable,” Patel says. When you have people that have been doing something very manually for decades, a lot of information is in their head and that poses a real organizational risk—one which Comulate helps us avoid.”

Kamini Patel, Director of Business Operations & Data Management
“The value Comulate has brought to CAC/Cobbs Allen is beyond any software I’ve seen on the market. It helps people do their jobs more efficiently, it improves data quality, ensures we’re collecting all revenue and it gives us time back—that is payroll hours, which saves our organization very tangible resources in the short and long term.” 
- Kamini Patel, Director of Business Operations & Data Management

CAC/Cobbs Allen has realized several benefits from using Comulate, including:

80% faster revenue and reconciliation process

Morgan now spends 80%+ less time manually processing direct bill. “Statements that used to take me 3-4 hours to finish happen in just minutes with Comulate,” she says. As a result, she can finally again focus on revenue integrity and take on other finance tasks to support one of the fastest-growing brokers in the country. 

Realtime reporting that saves dollars and time

“Revenue and variance reports used to take me a couple of days, but with Comulate, I can pull and action on them instantly, allowing myself and others to move faster,” Morgan says. And, with Comulate, she has confidence that the reports are accurate. For Patel, Comulate helps answer critical revenue questions faster than ever before. “Whether we’re chasing a carrier for dollars or answering producers’ questions, we’re able to be so much more efficient,” she says.

Organizational resilience

As Morgan nears retirement, her job can finally be handed off to a new accountant. Complex revenue processes and institutional knowledge are now embedded and automated in Comulate’s software, instead of in Morgan’s head, making her work something others can do. And as CAC and Cobbs Allen grow, Comulate will make it easy to see who’s responsible for which revenue issues and the status of each. “It means a lot to me that I’m handing off my role to someone else who will have immensely more powerful tools than I did over twenty years ago when I began this role,” Morgan says. “Comulate has made our accounting organization so much more efficient, transparent, and resilient. I am very proud to have been able to get us to this point.”

Unique partnership

“Working with Comulate doesn’t stop with our usage of it like most software products,” Patel explains. “It’s one of the first pieces of technology we’ve procured that continues to deliver improvements and solve problems alongside us every week.”

Deep tangible and intangible impact

For Patel, using a tool like Comulate only reinforces her belief in the potential for improvement with modern tools. “With tools like Comulate, the more data we get, the more we understand our business and the better decisions we can make, which expands our possibilities. Comulate automatically captures critical statement data that we previously ignored or lacked access to, and makes that data available to us with powerful, easy-to-use reports,” she says.

“Comulate has turned some of the most tedious tasks I’ve seen in our organization and made them shockingly simple and near-instant. On an emotional level, it’s removed stress and anxiety that were just standard parts of my role for the last twenty years.”
Vicky Morgan, Revenue Analyst

Patel echoes her sentiment: “We’ve always struggled to get everything in before the close of our accounting month, let alone ensure we were paid correctly. Comulate has changed that and brought new possibilities, particularly around revenue intelligence we didn’t even expect when we first procured the platform. We can clearly put a dollar sign on headcount saved and  revenue recovered, but we’re also realizing the immense relief Comulate provides to leaders and the accounting team—and the value there is pretty immeasurable.”

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Last updated March 2024
About the partner
CAC Specialty/Cobbs Allen is a national independent agency focused on risk management in niche practice groups headquartered in Birmingham, AL. Cobbs Allen delivers commercial insurance, employee benefits, personal insurance, and alternative risk financing services to its clients and is ranked in the top 25 U.S. brokerage firms by Insurance Journal.