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Insurance accountants unprepared for IFRS, survey finds

If IFRS were implemented today, 30 percent of insurance accountants would be u

A new survey indicates many accounting and financial professionals in the insurance industry may not be ready for changing accounting standards.

The second annual Financial Regulatory Survey from insurance technology firm StoneRiver found that, while half of respondents said they have some form of enterprise risk management process, less than one-quarter - 23 percent - said it was a formal process with reporting. Just 12 percent said they were currently engaged in a process to implement an ERM process. 

Roughly 60 percent reported that their current software setup could not handle implementation of International Financial Reporting Standards or Own Risk and Solvency Assessment requirements. If IFRS were implemented today, about 30 percent said they would be unprepared and learn as they go.

“Responses to some of the survey questions were not surprising, but they were disheartening," said Connie Jasper Woodroof, StoneRiver liaison to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. "In today’s business atmosphere, a company needs to stay current on looming regulatory issues so the organization can move ahead with a plan when those regulations go into effect.”