Expert Tips for Invoicing in Applied Epic
Technology | Connections Editor | Feb 1 2018
Applied Epic has robust functionality for virtually every department of an insurance agency. It can be valuable to compartmentalize the various functions that Applied Epic has and focus on what the users of that specific aspect need to know to do their jobs well and keep the system processes on track. Today we are examining the elements of Applied Epic accounting for the front-office user.
We talked to Brenda Davis, IT Project Manager at Alliant Insurance Services, about Applied Epic invoicing and accounting services, and how to take full advantage of what the system has to offer. For additional guidance, be sure to check out her webinar presentation.
Tell us a little bit about your webinar topic and what you're planning to cover in the presentation.
Davis: Applied Epic is a one-stop shop for people servicing insurance clients, and an important aspect of that is the accounting piece. My course will focus on those who do invoicing. Depending on how an agency is configured this may be a customer service representative who works with the insured, or it may be someone in the accounting department. In the webinar, we will walk through the process of creating agency-bill items and cover invoicing premiums, taxes, fees, installments, direct-placement taxes and fees, adjustments, accounts receivable templates and more.
Are there certain aspects of setting up invoicing in Epic that is particularly confusing for new users?
Davis: Before launching Epic, an agency will configure the accounting section addressing several items that will make invoicing easier for staff, such as creating transaction codes, configuring if transactions are commissionable or not, etc. We will not address any of the configuration that occurs in Epic. The course I facilitate will demonstrate for staff how to complete typical transactions taking the mystery out of invoicing. There is a robust transaction functionality in Epic, and the key is understanding who should use which parts and how to streamline the process.
What is the biggest challenge you hear from other Applied Systems users in regard to Epic invoicing?
Davis: I think people in general are afraid of the numbers. They are used to talking about insurance coverages with their clients, but when it comes to the numbers, they know it's important and useful, but they’re intimidated by it and don’t understand how it works. It doesn't have to be difficult; in all my years working for this agency, invoicing has been intimidating for many staff members.
Another challenge has been communication between front-office and accounting staff. Their perspectives on numbers is different, and the language they use when discussing numbers is different — they’re both talking but the way they’re communicating isn’t effective. Accounting talks in terms of “debits” and “credits,” and front-office staff use terms like “premiums,” “taxes” and “fees.” Developing effective communication between these two groups will help in working toward eliminating frustration. It's about learning to translate between the two teams and speak both languages.
With that in mind, who is the ideal audience for this webinar?
Davis: It’s really for anyone who is required to create transactions. For our agency, that is typically front-office staff, but depending on how an agency is structured, their accounting department may be responsible for creating transactions. I have had accounting staff sit in on my presentation, and they have told me that it helps with that disconnect in communication because they're seeing everything from the front-office user's perspective. This course isn’t really geared toward leadership unless they want to understand Epic’s invoicing functionality.
How does Epic invoicing differ from TAM invoicing?
Davis: It's been a while since I taught TAM, but I will tell you that we continue to do acquisitions and migrations from TAM to Epic, and staff really like the invoicing piece in Epic. In TAM, things aren't as clear, and in Epic things are more straightforward, clear and easy, and people who switch over appreciate that difference.
What are some of the key considerations when setting up an invoicing structure in Epic?
Davis: I can't speak to what accounting does when it comes to setting up general ledgers as my focus is on users creating transactions. When we acquire other agencies, we do a workflow gap analysis looking for invoicing scenarios they may currently be using that we may need to create a new transaction code for or document a process. We intentionally chose not to over-engineer our system (e.g. instead of creating transaction codes for every scenario, we consolidate by type — a “company fee” code where 100 percent of the funds are remitted to the carrier can be used to invoice many types of company fees that need to be invoiced). Duplicate fees can be an issue, which is why streamlining processes works well for an agency.
What is the number one takeaway you hope for attendees to get out of this webinar?
Davis: Attendees will see that Epic invoicing isn’t difficult. My goal is to reduce some of the uncertainty when invoicing in Epic. For agencies without a dedicated training department or internal training connecting with other Applied Client Network members, participating in this type of webinar and using tools available through Applied Systems, such as Applied University, is beneficial. Epic invoicing offers a lot of functionality but isn’t difficult to master. I hope they see that it is not a daunting task and that it is doable.
I'm open to having people connect with me after the webinar if they have specific questions. When migrating to Epic, they don't know what they don't know, and it's helpful to talk to someone who can share their experience.
Brenda Davis has worked in the insurance industry for over 40 years at both the carrier and agency levels. She was in the role of corporate trainer for more than 17 years with primary focus on automation training before moving to IT as a project manager responsible for system migrations to Epic.
Want to learn more about Applied Epic invoicing from Brenda? Download the webinar today!
Tags: Technology , User Tips , Applied Epic