It has never been easy being an insurance company CFO. Inaddition to the issues created by complex legacy systems andorganizational models–and the move to digital transformation–CFOsin recent years have had to deal with new risk, regulatory andcompliance requirements. 

As part of Accenture's 2014 High Performance FinanceStudy–in which we spoke to more than 600 CFOs and seniorfinance officers in multiple industries–we surveyed more than 75individuals from major P&C and life insurance companiesworldwide. We found that insurance CFOs, like finance officers inother industries, have added "achieving growth" to an already longlist of high priorities. This means that, in addition to theirongoing focus on operational cost management, insurance financeexecutives are making plans and investments that will create asolid foundation for future growth. Executing on these plans,however, will not be easy.

Respondents highlighted managing business complexity as a keychallenge. In particular, dealing with legacy systems andenvironment was highlighted by 59% of insurers as a key issue.Legacy systems paired with the need to optimize the capitalstructure of the enterprise were the top two issues named byrespondents. The overall challenge of managing the needs of diversestakeholders was the third most commonly identified concern, namedby 49%. Complexity cannot be avoided, but managing complexityrequires concerted action to simplify, standardize and optimizebusiness information, processes and tools.

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