Delta Lloyd Group ensures accuracy in financial reporting

Simplifying report generation and reducing overtime by 25 percent

Published on 11-Feb-2013

"This year, the ten members of staff involved in the report generation process worked 25 percent less overtime, even though they were still getting used to the new software. This is a big win for Delta Lloyd Group and its staff." - Arnold Honig, Team Leader for Reporting, Delta Lloyd Group

Customer:
Delta Lloyd Group

Industry:
Insurance

Deployment country:
Netherlands

Solution:
BA - Business Analytics, BA - Performance Management, Business Integration, Business Performance Transformation

Overview

Delta Lloyd Group is a financial services provider based in the Netherlands. It offers insurance, pensions, investing and banking services to its private and corporate clients through its three strong brands: Delta Lloyd, OHRA and ABN AMRO Insurance. Since its founding in 1807, the company has grown in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium, and now employs around 5,400 permanent staff. Its 2011 full-year financial reports show €5.5 billion in gross written premiums, with shareholders’ funds amounting to €3.9 billion and investments under management worth nearly €74 billion.

Business need:
As a publicly listed company, Delta Lloyd must produce various reports to comply with local and industry-specific regulations. Any errors or missed deadlines could lead to financial penalties, reputational damage and potentially a negative impact on the stock price.

Solution:
The group implemented IBM® Cognos® Financial Statement Reporting, a solution that automatically populates reports with accurate, up-to-date financial data.

Results:
IBM® Cognos® Financial Statement Reporting accelerates and simplifies report generation, so staff put in 25 percent less overtime.

Benefits:
The solution improves accuracy and quality of reports, helping Delta Lloyd Group protect its good reputation and avoid financial penalties. It supports XBRL tagging, helping Delta Lloyd Group to meet current and future regulatory requirements.

Case Study

Delta Lloyd Group is a financial services provider based in the Netherlands. It offers insurance, pensions, investing and banking services to its private and corporate clients through its three strong brands: Delta Lloyd, OHRA and ABN AMRO Insurance. Since its founding in 1807, the company has grown in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium, and now employs around 5,400 permanent staff. Its 2011 full-year financial reports show €5.5 billion in gross written premiums, with shareholders’ funds amounting to €3.9 billion and investments under management worth nearly €74 billion.

Since Delta Lloyd Group is publicly listed on the NYSE Euronext Amsterdam, it is obliged to produce annual and half-year reports. Various subsidiaries in Delta Lloyd Group must also produce reports to fulfil local legal requirements: for example, banking and insurance reports are obligatory in the Netherlands. In addition, Delta Lloyd Group must provide reports to meet international requirements, such as the IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) for accounting and the EU Solvency I Directive for insurance companies. The data for these reports is gathered by the group’s finance department, which is divided into small teams in several locations, and then converted into XML so that it can be published on the corporate website.

Importance of accuracy

The most challenging part of the reporting process is the “last mile” – the stage at which the consolidated figures are cited, formatted and described to form the final text of the report. Delta Lloyd Group was using Microsoft Excel for the last mile stage of the reporting process. To minimise the risk of errors, the finance team needed to manually check all the data in its reports for accuracy. These manual checks were very time-consuming.

Arnold Honig, Team Leader for Reporting at Delta Lloyd Group, comments: “Accuracy is essential in financial reporting, since errors could lead to penalties, reputational damage and even a negative impact on the company’s stock price. We needed a new solution that would automate some of the last mile processes and reduce the risk of manual error.”

The group decided to implement IBM® Cognos® Financial Statement Reporting (FSR) - as of 2013 FSR is now referred to as Cognos Disclosure Management. The implementation of the software was completed in just six weeks during the late summer. This rapid implementation gave the finance department enough time to prepare a trial draft of the annual report in FSR, based on figures from the third financial quarter. The successful creation of this draft gave Delta Lloyd Group enough confidence to use Cognos FSR for the final version of the annual report, which was published shortly after the end of the year.

Boosting employee satisfaction

Employees are delighted with the IBM Cognos FSR solution. Delta Lloyd Group has divided the annual report into chapters, and each member of the reporting team is responsible for one chapter. Arnold Honig says, “Since employees can work on documents simultaneously, they can share the huge workload involved in report generation. Before the reporting process was inefficient, because only one person could work on the report at a time.”

Since the workload can be divided up, staff can complete the report with less overtime. Arnold Honig comments, “Previously, employees were putting in two weeks of overtime during the eight weeks required to generate a report. This year, the ten members of staff involved in the report generation process worked 25 percent less overtime, even though they were still getting used to the new software. This is a big win for Delta Lloyd Group and its staff.”

The group is expecting further reductions in employee overtime in the future as staff become more familiar with the software.

Accurate reports

The IBM Cognos FSR solution automates key stages in the report-writing process by populating the final report with accurate, up-to-date financial data. Wherever the text of the report needs to mention a specific financial figure, the finance team simply inserts a “variable” – a tag that is linked to an underlying data source. Wherever the variable appears in the document, FSR will pull the figure through from the source into the report. If the value of the figure needs to be changed, the team can simply update it in the source, and the new value will automatically flow through into the text – maintaining accuracy and consistency of data throughout the report.

Arnold Honig comments, “The ability to update figures automatically across the whole report reduces the scope for manual error inherent in spreadsheet-based processes and activities. Since we have full control of our reporting processes, we can produce better quality reports more efficiently and reduce our business risk.”

IBM Cognos FSR also provides a comparison feature, which highlights any changes made to reports. This feature makes it quicker and easier for users to review new versions of documents and ensure the accuracy of their reports.

Adhering to industry regulations

In the future, Delta Lloyd Group is planning to extend its use of IBM Cognos FSR to generate internal management reports. It will also help Delta Lloyd Group to meet industry regulatory standards, which are becoming stricter. Arnold Honig comments, “The EU Solvency II Directive will come into effect soon, and our Solvency II reports will need to be tagged with eXtensible Business Reporting Language [XBRL]. By implementing IBM Cognos FSR, which fully supports XBRL tagging, we have equipped ourselves to meet both current and future regulatory requirements.”

About IBM Business Analytics

IBM Business Analytics software delivers data-driven insights that help organisations work smarter and outperform their peers. This comprehensive portfolio includes solutions for business intelligence, predictive analytics and decision management, performance management, and risk management.

Business Analytics solutions enable companies to identify and visualise trends and patterns in areas, such as customer analytics, that can have a profound effect on business performance. They can compare scenarios, anticipate potential threats and opportunities, better plan, budget and forecast resources, balance risks against expected returns and work to meet regulatory requirements. By making analytics widely available, organisations can align tactical and strategic decision-making to achieve business goals.

For more information
For further information please visit ibm.com/business-analytics.

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Software:
Cognos Financial Statement Reporting, Cognos Disclosure Management

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2013. IBM Nederland, Johan Huizingalaan 765, 1066 VH Amsterdam. Produced in the Netherlands. February 2013. IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, and Cognos are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at: www.ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance results may vary depending on specific configurations and operating conditions. It is the user’s responsibility to evaluate and verify the operation of any other products or programs with IBM products and programs. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided. The client is responsible for ensuring compliance with laws and regulations applicable to it. IBM does not provide legal advice or represent or warrant that its services or products will ensure that the client is in compliance with any law or regulation.