In 2021, single-entity filer Sunz Insurance transitioned completely from its legacy annual statement solution to Gain Compliance after using Gain’s Notes solution. In this customer story, you will learn how two stat veterans, who were very familiar and comfortable with their prior vendor’s product, recognized the benefits of embracing new technology for their NAIC filings.
“When we looked at Gain Compliance, it showed what an annual statement package should be in this day and age.”
“I wouldn’t be overstating it by saying that we’ve just clearly experienced a much better statement process than previously.”Dave Skup,. Controller
In early 2020, Dave Skup, the Controller at Sunz Insurance, first saw Gain’s Notes solution. To that point, he had leveraged the Microsoft Office suite – Word and Excel – to complete the Notes. This cumbersome process was made even worse by the ever-evolving NAIC framework.
The decision to move to Gain to complete the Notes was an easy one. “Once we saw the opportunity to use a Notes section that already had the tables built into it and all the work could be done in one place, it was a no-brainer for us,” Dave recalled.
The benefits were immediate: “It probably saved us four days to a week just by removing the need to review any changes to the guidance and implementing them.”
Several quarters later, Dave saw a demonstration of Gain’s Full Statement software. Even though he was not actively considering a change at the time, Dave thought it worthwhile to review an alternative to his legacy vendor’s solution. “We weren’t really looking at new software for the annual statement. I had been using Wings for maybe ten years at that point, and I was very familiar with it,” he explained. “But the integrated Notes and the ease of use [of Gain’s solution] caught our attention.”
The main takeaway from that demo ended up being the perspective it provided. “The Wings software package…we liked it, but it was old. It had been developed years ago,” he said. “When we looked at Gain Compliance, it showed what an annual statement package should be in this day and age”
The Accounting and Financial Reporting Manager Perspective:
When Tom Myers joined Sunz as Accounting and Financial Reporting Manager, he brought along extensive experience working on NAIC filings. “I was originally involved with a life insurance company, so I’ve done blue book reporting. But, I’ve also done fraternal reporting and, most recently, I’ve done property and casualty reporting here at Sunz.”
Along with this broad knowledge base, Tom had used a full range of annual statement software packages as well. “I’ve used The Complete Package (TCP) and StoneRiver’s eFreedom,” he recounted, “and I used Wings when I came to Sunz.”
TCP was his first annual statement software solution. “It was in-house when I started working at that company. I got accustomed to it, and It worked fine.”
Wings was the last annual statement software he used before using Gain. “I found Wings to be very difficult to maneuver at first. It took me a while to get used to it,” he explained. “but when you’re in the midst of the annual statement, you just find a way to get it done. You’re under time constraints and while no software package I’ve used has kept me from delivering a statement on time, there were challenges when it came to learning a new package.”
In contrast, he found Gain to be very user-friendly. “Gain is the most efficient and easy-to-use of all of the software packages I have encountered. I like the aspect of being able to upload investment and asset files via text files, that works perfectly,” he said. “I like being able to export PDF selected pages for review. I like the fact that the software ‘carries forward’ prior period amounts in the Notes and how the text is pulled from prior period reporting; that helps a lot.”
Gain’s validation dashboard matches his concept of how the statement comes together. “Gain does a really good job – when you run the validations and the software points out the discrepancies,” he said. “The one piece that is really nice is that when you have a validation error, you can use the links in the report to go right to the cell. So you’re where you need to be in the statement and can see exactly what is causing the error.”
The Controller Perspective:
As Dave Skup made clear, the team at Sunz had no problems with their previous vendor. To the contrary, at the time the decision to switch was made, his team was both familiar and comfortable with how their legacy software worked.
They simply saw some things in Gain’s software that would be valuable to them. “It included a lot of improved abilities and new programming techniques that weren’t in the old software we were using,” he explained. “Things like drop down boxes, we had very few of those in our old software. The ability to gray out and eliminate the information rather than moving from one tab to the other saved us time. We really just liked the updated look and feel of the software.”
In addition to those additional benefits, Dave said they were able to make the change in annual statement software quickly and easily. “We had some initial training with the Gain staff, where we went over the capabilities and some ways to do things,” he recalled. “That [initial] training was all we needed; it went well and we haven’t needed any training since.”
Dave noted that with their previous vendor, they had more cross-check errors to manage because of limitations around collaboration. Gain’s modern platform has made it easier and more efficient for team members to enter reporting data. This, in turn, increased initial data quality and compressed the time for meaningful analysis of validations.
He estimates that the time savings the team experienced with Gain’s Notes solution further increased when they expanded to Full Statement. “We have, probably saved another couple of days because we don’t have to copy and paste anything from prior years because it’s all right there when we open up the statement in the next period.”
Through improved workflows, the team is now well ahead of filing deadlines. “We are filing our annual and quarterly statements earlier with Gain than we were in the past. We would file almost at the last minute in the past,” he said. “I’m looking at our Q2 statement that’s due August 15th and we filed it July 25th, which is great for us to be able to get it done and get it out of our way, so it’s really helped with those filing deadlines.
While that time savings is meaningful, Dave recognized that the team is simply having a better experience. “I wouldn’t be overstating it by saying that we’ve just clearly experienced a much better statement process than previously.”
Statutory accounting veterans have been forced to build processes and workflows around the limitations of legacy annual statement software products. While they recognize what they’re doing is manual and time consuming, these workflows become routine and, over time, accepted.
Financial reporting teams want to do more than just maintain routines. Rather, they want to improve workflow efficiencies and automate processes whenever possible. Gain’s modern and intuitive software is helping them do that.
Learn more about how Gain has improved outcomes for financial reporting teams for other carriers.