Driving Your Agency’s Success with Performance Auditing
The term “audit” has long been associated with skepticism and apprehension, and performance audits in insurance agencies are no exception. However, despite the initial unease they may provoke, performance audits can be invaluable for your agency’s growth and success. The key lies in understanding why these audits are necessary and how to effectively carry out this seemingly daunting task. In this article, we aim to shed light on the benefits and provide you with some strategies on conducting performance audits that yield meaningful insights.
Benefits of Performance Audits
Avoid Errors & Omissions
When your agency migrated to your agency management system, whether it was Applied Epic, AMS360, or another, you likely implemented workflows and established expectations that were use in training your staff. These workflows and expectations have not only served as a foundation for your existing team but also continue to be utilized during the onboarding process for new employees. However, It’s human nature to start finding shortcuts and workarounds for tasks that we perform daily. Sometimes, these lead to bad habits and consequently an opportunity for an error & omission. A critical mistake agencies often make is solely relying on training without actively verifying if staff members are adhering to established workflows. The best way to determine if your team is following those established workflows is to audit files.
Evaluate Effectiveness of Workflows & Identify Necessary Changes
Audits are also a great way to evaluate if your Applied Epic or AMS360 workflows are working for your agency or if they need to be amended. If you audit files and find that certain portions of workflows aren’t being followed, it raises the question of whether the issue lies in the clarity of the workflows themselves or their effectiveness. Is it possible that the workflows have become unclear over time, or that they no longer align with the agency’s operational needs due to the adoption of new technologies or integrations? While we don’t recommend frequent changes, we do encourage that agencies review questions and concerns with workflows and update them when necessary.
Identify Departments that Need Additional Resources
Auditing can also identify areas of the agency that may need additional resources. For example, if you review workloads and find that one department has written a substantial amount of new business in the past 12 months, you may also find it necessary to hire an additional resource to help support those accounts or shift a portion of your book to a carrier service center.
Best Practices for Conducting Audits in Your Agency
Now that we’ve discussed some of the more important reasons that your agency should conduct performance auditing, let’s delve into some best practices that can ensure the effectiveness of these audits.
Be Transparent with Your Staff
So how do you implement audits without creating that environment of fear and hostility toward the process? We encourage the process to be implemented with transparency. Clearly identify what is being audited and the scale on which they will be evaluated. Explain to your staff that the process isn’t just to find out what someone is doing wrong but to also find what is being done right. What can the agency do better for them? The results will foster an environment where staff wants to do well and more importantly give them an opportunity invest in their own development.
Provide Additional Resources and Training
Did you know that based on a recent survey 86% of millennials shared that they could be prevented from leaving their current position if training and development were offered by their employer? That’s right, your staff wants to feel like you invest in them and encourage them to be better versions of themselves. Make the audit process one that is positive and that also gives back. When you find that someone has underperformed give them the resources to fix the problem. This can be done through written documentation, recorded documentation, or even live support and training.
Outsource your Performance Audits
While agencies can perform their own performance audits, it’s often challenging to allocate the resources and time for this task – that’s where outsourcing comes in. By outsourcing your performance audits, you can tap into the expertise and specialized knowledge of industry professionals who have in-depth experience with insurance and the agency management system you are using. They bring the necessary skills, tools, and processes to conduct comprehensive audits, ensuring accuracy and thoroughness.
Another benefit of outsourcing your performance audits is the objectivity that it brings to the process. External auditors bring an objective perspective to the process, as they are not directly involved in day-to-day operations. That objectivity enables them to assess workflows and performance without bias, identifying potential gaps or areas for improvement that may have been overlooked internally.
How Kite Technology Can Help
KiteTech has helped countless agencies over the years implement auditing programs, resulting in significant improvements in data reporting, errors and omissions claims, and employee morale.
To learn more about our auditing services, Applied Epic agencies, click here and AMS360 agencies, click here. If your agency would like assistance in developing an auditing program or configuring reports to support your processes, contact us today to schedule a conversation. We are here to help!