What Does an Insurance Accountant Do?
An insurance accountant is responsible for completing numerous tasks in the course of a work day. He or she is responsible for managing all types of accounts for an insurance broker, including accounts receivable, payroll, investments, pool management, and claims. An insurance accountant may also be responsible for performing audits on the departments in the insurance brokerage house. These audits may take place quarterly, semi-annually, annually, or on a one-time, as-needed basis. An insurance accountant may also be responsible for performing basic financial analysis of prospective acquisitions for the broker, including investment opportunities, smaller insurance brokers, or any other source of capital acquisition.
Primarily, an insurance accountant keeps the accounts assigned to the accountant's department. This involves keeping spreadsheets of incoming revenue, including premiums, interest from investments and payouts from other insurance brokers. An accountant for an insurance company is also be responsible for tracking outgoing funds, including payouts for claims, operating expenses and other overhead, payroll, and bonuses.
The scope of an insurance accountant's duties is directly related to the segment of the insurance firm to which the accountant is assigned. At larger brokers, one accountant cannot be responsible for completing an accounting review of every aspect of the company. Instead, the accountant will focus only on claims or premiums or on investment income or funds related to the insurance company's membership pool. Generally, an entry level insurance accountant will be responsible for the basic compilation and analysis of spreadsheets, while a mid-manager accountant will handle more complex analysis while managing a team of several entry level accountants. The senior managing accountant for a particular department is responsible for delegating tasks, making decisions on problems that arise, and performing audits and reviews of the accountants working in the department.
Some insurance brokers organize the company in such a way that a particular department of insurance accountants are tasked with performing internal audits on all other departments in the company. This type of insurance accountant must have experience with financial investigation, including the review of a breadth of data and documentation, understanding all internal financial policies in detail, and applying any laws that apply to the insurance company. The auditor must compile all pertinent data, review all of the financial figures, determine whether funds are properly allocated, if the books are accurately kept, and if any improprieties or lackluster performance is occurring.
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