Accounting for Similarities. What Stakeholders Believe The Institutes’ Affiliation with IASA Can Deliver
Doug Ramsey, a vice president, enterprise technology at Travelers, says membership in IASA (the Insurance Accounting and Systems Association) made a big difference in his management of his career.
“It was just an incredible place for me to understand varying professions within the insurance industry,” Ramsey said, of the impact membership in the insurance educational nonprofit has had on his business network and business knowledge.
Although focused at its core and origins on those who work in accounting and systems administration within insurance, IASA’s scope is broader than that.
“It’s progressed to reach a variety of professionals, outside of finance and technology, to operations and risk management,” Ramsey said.
Now, as board chair of IASA, Ramsey can count an affiliation with The Institutes (based in Malvern, PA) as the next step in the advancement of the potential benefits IASA can offer to its membership and the industry at large.
The new affiliation was announced by both entities in mid-October.
Pete Miller, president and CEO of The Institutes, the ever-expanding insurance educational not-for-profit, sees this new affiliation with IASA as yet another step in The Institutes’ drive to better educate, elevate and connect those interested in risk management and insurance.
“For us, it not only reaches the finance professionals but it also has content that we think is extremely useful and valuable to the companies that we try to serve,” Miller said.
“I think we can also help their members connect, not just within the realm of insurance finance professionals, but other parts of the industry, due to the reach we have,” Miller said.
That reach has expanded substantially in recent years.
The Institutes has engineered a number of affiliations recently with the goal of becoming an ever more relevant and innovative source of knowledge and connection for those managing and transferring risk in an increasingly volatile world.
In just the past five years, The Institutes has affiliated with the International Insurance Society (IIS), the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I), the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance, (CLM), the Insurance Thought Leadership (ITL) publication, and this magazine, Risk & Insurance, among others.
As Travelers’ Ramsey regards the insurance space, its increasing reliance on data and the tools necessary to manage and make sense of that data are areas where he thinks IASA membership can play a growing and meaningful role.
The use of artificial intelligence and tools such as blockchain are already transforming the underwriting, risk mitigation and claims payment landscape. Ramsey said he’s looking forward to seeing how IASA members can help their employers navigate this tech-heavy landscape. He thinks the affiliation with The Institutes can only improve IASA’s chances of bringing relevant expertise to the table.
“Now, being part of The Institutes, we can operate at a level of efficiency and scale that we weren’t able to operate at previously,” Ramsey said.
Hank Straub, the president of the Mid-Atlantic chapter of IASA, said the opportunity to attend IASA meetings is vital to helping insurance accounting and systems professionals make sense of the wave of technology that is transforming the industry. An important piece of that education is learning how to implement system advancements that not only make sense but are affordable and can provide a return on investment.
“How to do it efficiently and in a way that is cost-effective is really important,” Straub said.
“It’s at these chapter meetings where you can get face to face time with your fellow professionals. We bring in national subject matter experts from whom we can learn how to incorporate some of these advancements into our work,” he added.
The Institutes built its brand as an educational organization that provides courses and designations such as the CPCU® and the Associate in Risk Management (ARM™).
Miller said the affiliation with IASA will provide yet another avenue for continual professional education in the area of statutory accounting. That’s particularly important given some of the new accounting standards that are being implemented in Europe and elsewhere.
Miller added that tapping the knowledge of accountants and others that touch the investment side of insurance will add a new dimension to The Institutes’ pool of risk management professionals and thought leaders.
“It’s a segment of the market that will help us enormously,” Miller said. &