Reconciling direct bill statement transactions can be cumbersome and time-consuming. This process often involves manually looking up clients or policy numbers in an AMS and becomes even more complex when a set of transactions cannot be reconciled to existing policies. Many direct bill teams refer to these unreconciled transactions as exceptions or discrepancies. Managing the process of trying to apply these transactions to AMS policies is a significant time sink and a hallmark of the traditional direct bill process.

Resolving exceptions requires careful research. A policy may need to be renewed, while other times, a line of business or an entire client may be missing from the AMS. Many exceptions necessitate sending emails to or creating activities for the service team, which often require additional follow-up and reminders. While waiting for resolution, these exceptions are typically tracked using highlights directly on a PDF or in a central exception tracking spreadsheet. Even when the service team completes the requested action, they often fail to follow up with accounting, leading to frequent checks against the AMS to identify newly updated or created policies. This process is not only time-consuming and inefficient, but also prone to errors.

Handling exceptions can be even more complex for acquisitive agencies, leading many of the largest brokers to adopt purpose-built revenue automation. Auto-reconciliation, embedded service team communication, and realtime automated exception resolution, are three core areas of purpose-built reconciliation that drive resolution. 

Auto-reconciliation engine resolves most exceptions

Oftentimes, statement transactions don’t exactly match AMS policies because of slight discrepancies such as additional zeros within policy numbers or abbreviated client names. These differences, albeit small, cannot be automatically resolved by most rigid systems, which require a perfect match to reconcile. Purpose-built automation, by contrast, reduces the number of exceptions encountered by automatically reconciling transactions to policies, even non-exact matches.

For transactions that aren’t auto-reconciled, closest possible policy matches are shown alongside excepted transactions, enabling reconciliation with a single click. From each manual reconciliation, specialized reconciliation algorithms learn nuances, for example, that a carrier line name of  ‘V’ maps to ‘Voluntary Vision’ in the AMS, and apply these learnings to automatically resolve future exceptions. When transaction and policy details differ substantially, algorithms remember to automatically reconcile the same transaction details in future months to the same policy. These powerful, purpose-built reconciliation algorithms enable 95%+ of transactions to be auto-reconciled in any given month.

Embedded emailing simplifies service team communication

In some cases, exceptions can’t be resolved without the service team taking action, for example, renewing a policy or updating a line. Requests to service teams are often sent via email. This workflow is highly disjointed, occurring between a physical statement, the work-in-progress AMS reconciliation, and Outlook in another window.

Embedded emailing bridges the gap between the reconciliation process, exceptions, and their associated communication. Emails with pre-populated templated content and service team contact details, eliminate much of the time spent composing requests. When an email reply from the service team is received, responses are shown on the excepted transaction, removing the need to switch between the statement and Outlook. Instead of living in individual inboxes, these conversations with service are visible to the entire team, making it easy to understand the latest status of resolving a particular exception.

Realtime tracking and automated resolution of exceptions

While waiting for a response from the service team, exceptions can be further classified by applying tags (e.g. needs renewal or client not found), and internal comments. Tags enable expected transactions to be filtered to specific reasons and reported on, and to identify the root of common issues. Sometimes, accounting may not always receive a response from the service team, even if the requested action has been completed, resulting in transactions remaining unapplied for months, in a static spreadsheet. To avoid frequent and manual AMS lookups for policy updates, background reconciliation periodically scans integrated AMSs for policy changes and automatically reconciles when a match is found. Background reconciliation eliminates manual touches and enables revenue to be applied as soon as it can be.

Instead of tracking unresolved exceptions manually in a spreadsheet, purpose-built revenue automation provides a realtime, automatically managed hub for all unapplied transactions. Accounting is able to maintain visibility into every exception and can use powerful filtering to replace the disarray and overhead of exception spreadsheets.

Exceptions solved faster, with a fraction of the work

Purpose-built revenue automation provides a transformative approach to resolving revenue exceptions for large brokers. Specialized auto-reconciliation algorithms, embedded communication, and automated background resolution represent a step-change in capabilities for accounting teams. In addition to saving mundanely-spent time for both accounting and service, these capabilities provide far greater auditability, and controls, for both private and public enterprises.

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