Applied Epic

Closing the Year in Applied Epic: Why It’s Important and How to Do It

No matter what type of fiscal period your agency operates by, year-end procedures should be performed in Applied Epic for accounting. This is typically done after all items for the last month of that year are recorded. Some agencies do keep the previous fiscal year open for a little longer, which allows for any applicable adjustments to be made. You do not have to close the fiscal year to begin work for a new one. 

However, Year-End should still be done once you’re ensured all items for that year are recorded and all adjustments have been made. 

If, at this point, you realize that your agency has never executed year-endor you simply need a refresher on this processcontinue reading through this article. We will explain the importance of executing year-end, how it’s done, and what happens afterwards. 

Why Should I Perform a Year-End Procedure in Applied Epic?

The biggest and most important reason year-end procedures are done is for reporting purposes. When the process is initiated, it generates year-end journal entries (YJE) that zero out the Income and Expense accounts. Your Income figures should not roll into the following fiscal year.

As a result, this process pushes figures for net profit and/or loss in Retained Earnings on the Balance Sheet. If Year-End is not run, your Income Statement for the following year will show the previous year’s figures in the Year-to-Date column.

How to Process Your Applied Epic Year-End

Year-end procedures are performed similar to Month-end. You will navigate to Procedures, then Accounting, and then Year-End. If you have multiple agencies configured in your system, you will need to highlight each one and click Actions and Close Year. However, before you get to that last step, make sure all months in that closing fiscal year are closed first. Navigate to Month-End, generate journal entries for the last month, then click Actions and Close Month. 

If there are previous months still open, Epic will tell you that those will need to be closed as well and will do that for you. 

Important Note: Never Finalize a Month

If a month is finalized, it cannot be re-opened to allow for adjustments you may need to change. As mentioned before, you can close the final month of the fiscal year and keep that year open to allow for adjustments to be made (perhaps adjusting entries by your CPA). But if you do close the year, you can still make adjustments.

You can re-open the month of the closed year, which automatically re-opens the year. Make any adjustments needed, generate journal entries once more, close the month, and then re-close the year.

The system will generate new year-end journal entries to include the adjustments made. If you do keep the year open until adjustments are made, make sure you move the Default Month forward to the first month of the new fiscal year so that nothing is accidentally transacted or added/removed against the previous year, which can mess up reporting.

Your Next Steps After a Year-End is Completed

With the fiscal year closed, you can run reports that contain the most accurate data for that year. To capture the full year’s financial data, run your Balance Sheet (Accounting Month Criteria: Select month open through last month of the fiscal year) and Income Statement (Accounting Month Criteria: Select Month – the final month of your fiscal year).

If after reviewing you find things do not look right or adjustments are needed, follow the steps mentioned in the previous section of this blog. You can re-run the reports after those adjustments are made to apply the fixes. Always save copies of the reports prior to making any changes or adjustments. You can track your changes and go back a step if needed. 

How KiteTech's Consulting Team Can Help with Applied Epic

If you are unsure on the integrity of your accounting data and want to begin utilizing accounting reports, KiteTech can help. We’ve put together a library of resources about Applied Epic that you can check out.

Our Epic Consulting team can also review your data and determine whether some cleanup is needed or if an Applied Epic Fresh Start is necessary. If you find your agency does not have the bandwidth to keep up with the bookkeeping in Epic, we can handle that for you as well!

Reach out to us today to discuss how KiteTech can help with your Epic Accounting needs!

Kellie Halfpap

Kellie Halfpap

Agency Consultant
Kite Technology Group

Why Should I Switch to the Applied Epic Browser?

There is a lot more dialogue happening about the Applied Epic Browser compared to the Applied Epic Desktop. You may be asking yourself, “Why should I switch?” You may have heard others on your team stating, “I tried it and I didn’t like it” and give you a list of reasons why they didn’t prefer it to Epic Desktop.

Well, I can say confidently that they haven’t tried Epic Browser recently or they didn’t work in it for long enough.

Just like anything new, it takes a little time to get used to it. But I will promise you the benefits of Applied Epic Browser will outweigh a small amount of discomfort you might feel at the onset while learning to maneuver through the new and improved Applied Epic.

I want to share just a few of those areas that you may not have been aware of that are available to you if you were to start using the browser.

Updates for Epic Browser Don't Interrupt Your Workflow

I’m sure you have heard this over and over, but this truly is a significant change. Updates to Epic Browser are done more often and are almost seamlessly applied.

Previously, updates were done in large chunks and took an extensive amount of time to review and prepare for the multitude of changes that would be happening at once. It had the potential of interrupting your workflow and create frustration.

Now, updates are done more often and changes are minimal, making it much easier for you to review and prepare for changes.

Simplicity Added for Viewing Documents

Don’t even get me started about the great things regarding attachments! What, I can look at a document without even opening it? No way! Yes way! 

In Epic Browser, you can view a document in attachments without even opening it, saving you precious time. 

Applied_Epic_Browser-Viewing_Documents

A New Resource Center is Available

I haven’t even gotten to the best part yet. They have added a Resource Center that you won’t believe. There are overviews for things such as Navigating Epic, Learning Epic, and Accounting features.

In the Resource Center, you will also find Step-by-Step tutorials. What are those, you ask? These tutorials will walk you through a process while you are in your own client’s account. You no longer need to follow a printed document or watch a video and write down the process and hope you got everything.

Tutorials walk you through the entire process while you are doing the actual transaction! (Drop the mic) Of course, it still also has all of the other previous areas that you went to through the “help” link. It is just a lot easier and broken down for easier access.

Applied_Epic_Browser_Resource_Center_Preview

Make the Jump to the Applied Epic Browser

I could continue with even more reasons why you should switch to the Applied Epic Browser, but these three were some of the biggest stand-out items for my team.

We here at Kite Technology Group have been utilizing the Epic Browser for months and have seen nothing but value, and we hope you will too. 

We are here to help you if you do have questions or need assistance with Applied Epic. Feel free to schedule a time for us to talk about Applied Epic Browser or any of your Applied Epic questions. You can also check out our Applied Epic Resources page to find insightful webinars and other helpful resources. 

Laura Fisher

Laura Fisher

Applied Epic Agency Bookkeeper
Kite Technology Group

Understanding Applied Epic Terminology: A User-Friendly Glossary

Building on our previous Applied Epic Accounting Glossary blog, we’re now diving into a more general glossary of terms. We’ve put together this list to help clear up some confusing terms and answer common questions that often puzzle Epic users. While it’s not an exhaustive list, we hope this glossary can serve as a valuable resource designed to address those elusive terms found within Applied Epic.

General Applied Epic Glossary of Terms

Access Button

Our favorite “button”! Located on the navy blue Options bar, the Access button allows you to filter areas of Epic (Activities, Attachments, Transactions, etc.) by the policy term. It makes searching for information so much easier. Pro Tip: attach everything to the workflow activity and use the Access button to filter items by workflow (New Business, Renewal, Endorsement, etc.).

Account Type

Epic holds insureds and prospects in the same database and they cannot be deleted, so when entering a new client make sure you have all boxes checked on the Locate screen to avoid duplicates.

  • Insured – Active clients with in-force policies
  • Prospect – Potential clients with or without policy quotes

Activities

  • Workflow Activity – The activity used for documentation and follow up for the workflow. For example, if renewing use RENR, if adding a new policy use APOL. Make all notes and attach all documents to this activity. Avoid using activities like CALL or APPT – keep all your notes together.
  • System Generated Activity – These are activities that are generated by performing an Action in Epic For example, Actions > Renew will give you the RENR activity. Using system generated activities keeps users from having to ask, “Which activity should I use?” and keeps everything consistent within the agency.
  • Manual Activity – Use these when you are not ready to perform an action in Epic. For example, if a client is calling about a potential change but is not ready to endorse, use PEND – Pending Change to document the conversation(s). Keep your manual activities filtered by using Categories to prevent decision fatigue for your users.

Contacts

The screen in Epic that stores the people and entities associated with the account. These can be named insureds, but can also be holders, key employees, etc. Right click on the contact’s name to assign it as the Main Business Contact or the Primary Contact.

  • Main Business Contact – this should be the business itself and will appear on all ACORD forms.
  • Primary Contact – this should always be a person, specifically the primary person to speak to about the account or policies.
  •  

Interface

Also called “Download”. Carriers send policy data, eDocs and messages (both PDF versions of documents and messages from the carrier in the form of activities), claims data, and direct bill commission transactions to a mailbox managed by IVANS, and Epic in turn retrieves this information from it.

Marketing

There are three areas in Epic that may be referred to as “Marketing”:

  • Reports/Marketing – run a report to generate a letter, send an email template, add an activity or sticky note, or send an SMS to clients. You can do this in the Marketing Options section of the Delivery Options screen of the report.
  • Marketing Module – in the Policies screen, used to market multiple lines of business to multiple carriers.
  • Applied Marketing Automation – an additional product offering from Applied that allows your agency to send email content (both ready-made and create-your-own) to clients.

Opportunities

Epic’s built-in sales manager. Use this area to track potential sales. Set up sales goals in the Employee Account and track them through the Dashboard available on the Home screen.

Policy Status

The policy status identifies where the line of business is in the policy life cycle. It drives your reports and should help you distinguish between Quotes, Active policies, and Cancelled policies – whether Lost or Retained.

Renewals Manager

A dynamic version of the Expiration Report and a great alternative to paper. Use this to keep track of renewals, updating the Renewal Stage along the way so that you and your colleagues can pick right up where you left off.

Suspense

Also called download suspense, this is a section in the Procedures area where users with security access can process items that have been retrieved from the agency’s IVANS mailbox but for various reasons have not automatically attached to the account or policy in Epic.

Task

While the Activity represents the workflow, the Tasks within it break it down further. Agencies can use Tasks as a step-by-step checklist for the workflow or a one-off assignment to a team member. Assigning a task to someone else retains your ownership of the Activity, and places it on both users’ Home screens.

 

Conclusion

We hope that this glossary has shed light on the terminology used throughout Applied Epic and will help you navigate this powerful platform. If your agency uses Applied Epic Accounting, be sure to also review our Applied Epic Accounting Glossary. If you have further questions or need additional clarification on any terms or concepts, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at consult@kitetechgroup.com or via our contact form. Our team is here to help!

Jenny Honican

Jenny Honican

Agency Consultant
Kite Technology Group

Data-Driven Performance Reviews: How Applied Epic Reports Can Help

It’s that time of year when agency management teams are working on performance reviews for their teams. If your agency uses Applied Epic, you are fortunate to have access to a wide range of customizable reports that provide valuable data about employee performance. With the flexibility to modify various criteria such as date ranges, activity codes, and employee selections, you can tailor each report to suit your agency’s specific workflow needs. These reports serve as invaluable tools for assessing employee productivity and adherence to your agency’s workflows. To initiate a report for a performance review for the current calendar year, simply adjust the date range to commence in January 2023, ensuring you have a comprehensive overview of the entire year’s data at your fingertips.

Applied Epic Reports for Performance Reviews

You can find these reports under Reports/Marketing> Activity. Please note that reports with an asterisk (*) behind the name are part of Epic’s new report pack. If your agency does not have these reports, please be sure to contact Applied and have them load the report pack into your database.

Submission Status by Premium Payable Report

This report will show you activities that are associated with activities per submission for premium payables per employee. You can filter the criteria for a certain date range and premium payable.

Standard Workflow – New Business – Policies Entered Report

This report will show you all new business policies entered per employee.

Activity Report

This report will show you all activities with a screenshot of the description. You can filter by activity codes, dates, employee, open or closed. It can give you an idea of the workload per employee assuming they enter and utilize activities.

Activity Analysis by Who/Owner Report*

This report is an overview of certain activity codes that you can choose, either open, closed or both, per employee within a date range, with a highlight on the activity code. This gives you a summary of total number of activities per employee.

Open Activities Analysis by Who/Owner Report*

This report will show how many days an activity has been opened and days overdue.

These reports under: Reports/Marketing>Transaction.

Producer Commission Report

This report will show you the commission for producers. Set the criteria for the year and you can view each producer and their commission for the year.

Accounting Productivity Report

This report shows the number of accounting functions performed per login.

Conclusion

These are just a few of the reports in Applied Epic that can provide valuable data for your performance reviews. Applied Epic has a wide range of reports that can be modified to help you tailor the level of detail to your specific needs. The flexibility to modify each report and layout empowers you to make the most of your data. If you have any questions about reporting in Applied Epic or would like to learn about any of our other Applied Epic Consulting Services, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to help!  

Brooke Perrone

Brooke Perrone

Agency Consultant
Kite Technology Group

How to Streamline Your New Employee Onboarding with Applied Epic

Hiring a new employee is a significant undertaking, but the work doesn’t end once they join. Effective employee onboarding includes both the process of familiarizing your employees with your organization as well as managing the necessary administrative tasks. Did you know that Applied Epic can help you with that? In this blog post, we share how you can use Epic to better manage your new employee onboarding process.

Applied Client Network Resources for New Employee Onboarding

You can find several resources on the Applied Client Network for New Hire Onboarding. They offer a:

  • New Hire Checklist for Agency Hiring Managers
  • Customizable Onboarding Education Tracker for New Employees
  • Industry and Company Terminology Resources for New Employees template

In addition to these documents there is an entire Communications Template Package with various email and word templates that can be used in communication with your new hire. These documents can be found at  https://www.appliedclientnetwork.org/education/new-hire-onboardingN (appliedclientnetwork.org)

Managing New Employee Onboarding Tasks with Applied Epic

The Agency Consulting Team here at Kite Technology Group also recommends using Applied Epic to help manage some of the additional tasks that you need to complete for your new employee.

We recommend adding an activity when adding a new employee. This activity may be tied to the event of adding a new account or a manual activity. Once the activity is decided upon, tasks can be added and/or assigned for all the items that need to be done for that new employee. These could include:

  • Adding User Login
  • Adding User to the Security Group
  • Assign the employee’s lookup code to the User
  • Assign/Schedule Reports
  • Process Workload Reassignments
  • Assign access to Carrier Websites
  • Documenting User Access at hire
  • Assigning rights to access other employees’ signatures, activities, tasks or renewals.
  • Assign Applied University Courses or other Training Modules

With a good onboarding process, you can tailor the new hire experience, keep new employees engaged and improve your time to productivity.  A good onboarding program will help to improve your employee retention and retention means less time and money on rehiring and retraining. 

Managing Employee Offboardings

We also recommend creating a manual activity for employee exits. Like employee onboarding, the activity and tasks will be started as soon as HR notifies the employee will be exiting. These tasks will create a checklist that can be shared across a team to ensure that your system access is terminated, and all of the proper procedures are followed upon the employee’s departure.  

Training for Applied Epic Users

Ensuring that your new employees are proficient in Applied Epic is vital for both their success and that of your agency. Applied Epic training that focuses on your agency’s workflows boosts operational efficiency and guarantees consistent, high-quality service. If you don’t have the internal resources to provide training, KiteTech can help. Check out our Applied Epic Resources Page for our collection of on-demand webinars, blog posts, and training videos. 

Our suite of Applied Epic Consulting Services includes customized training solutions for your new employees or those transitioning to a different role. With our expertise, your team will be equipped to harness the full potential of Applied Epic, driving productivity and fostering a culture of excellence. Contact us today to learn more!

Laura Whaley

Laura Whaley

Agency Consultant
Kite Technology Group

Decoding Applied Epic Accounting: Your Comprehensive Glossary

Applied Epic’s accounting features introduce a range of terms that may vary from traditional accounting vocabularies or those in other agency management systems. For agencies newly adopting Epic for their accounting practices, unfamiliar terms can lead to uncertainties regarding process accuracy. To assist, we’ve provided a list of commonly used words and phrases in Applied Epic as they relate to various accounting workflows. Use this as a guide to help clarify any ambiguities in your agency’s accounting procedures. 

Applied Epic Accounting Glossary of Terms

Accounting Method

Configured based on how agency recognizes income and pays producers/brokers.

  • Cash – Agency recognizes income when it is received.
  • Accrual – Agency recognizes income when policy is billed/transacted.
  • Partially Paid – Agency pays producers/brokers when partial commission is received. This would include installments (either Direct or Agency Bill) or client down payments.
  • Fully Paid – Agency pays producers/brokers when full policy commission is received or when client pays premium or down payment in full.

Accounts Receivable

Any money owed to the agency by a client or Finance Company for Agency Bill policies.

Agency Bill

Policy premiums are paid to the agency by the client. The Agency retains their commission and forwards net premium and any applicable fees to the company/broker.

Applying Credits to Debits

Applying client payments and CFIN transactions to outstanding balances on client accounts.

Balance Sheet vs Income Statement

  • Balance Sheet – A report that shows all Asset, Liability, and Equity GL balances. Assets equal Liabilities + Equity. These GL balances perpetually roll year-to-year.
  • Income Statement – A report that shows all Income and Expense GL balances. At year end, net income moves to Retained Earnings on the Balance Sheet and all GL balances revert to $0 for the beginning of the new fiscal year.

CFIN vs Actions > Finance

  • CFIN – Finance company pays the company/broker.
  • Actions > Finance Transaction – Finance company pays the agency who then pays the company/broker.

Chart of Accounts

General Ledger (GL) accounts specifically coded for recording Assets, Liability, Equity, Income & Expense.

  • Regular – GL account codes that do not require sub-accounts (i.e., Accounts Receivable, Bank Accounts, Sweep, Equity accounts)
  • Title Accounts – Primary GL accounts that typically include Sub-Accounts (i.e., Income accounts, Payable accounts, Expense accounts)
  • Sub-Accounts – Breakout categories for your Title Accounts by entity (Carriers, Brokers, Expenses, etc.)

Direct Bill

Policy premiums are paid directly by the client to the company/broker. Company/Broker will forward commissions to the agency.

Direct Bill Commission Download

A way to receive commissions through IVANS which puts them into Download Suspense for processing to Direct Bill Reconciliations.

Direct Bill Download Suspense

Where downloaded commissions are waiting to be processed and recognized as actual transactions and income received to the agency.

General Ledger

  • Receipts – Where deposits are recorded. This can be client payments, Direct Bill commission, miscellaneous income items, return premium, or money received from a Finance Company.
  • Disbursements – Where agency payments are recorded, either electronically or by check. This could be Premium Payables, Vendor Payables, payroll, sweep payments, etc.
  • Journal Entry (JE)– Created when you need to move balances from one GL account to another.
    • System Generated Month-End Journal Entries (MJEs) – Configuration-driven Journal Entries that run automatically at month-end based off the completion of a specific workflow (Direct Bill Commission Receivable and Cash on Account Receipts tied to a Reconciliation, Invoiced Agency Bill items, Producer/Broker Commission Expense and Payable accounts).
    • Manually Entered – Journal Entries agency creates to correct GL account balances, or as a second option to record transfers between bank accounts, payroll, credit card payments, etc.
  • Reconciliations –
    • Direct Bill – Where to record commissions agency receives for direct bill policies through Download, Import, or manual entry.
    • Premium Payable – Where to pull in the transactions made on the client screen to pay net premium to company/broker. Creates a Disbursement when Finalized and Actions > Pay Statement.
    • Pr/Br Payables – To reconcile commissions due to a producer/broker.
    • Bank – To verify all activity entered in Epic matches activity in your bank account.
  • Direct Bill Import – A way to record Direct Bill commission received through an Excel mapping file that contains criteria from the commission statement.

Issuing Company (ICO)

The company that underwrites the policy being written. Think of it as the ‘paper the policy is written on.’ The NAICs are configured to the Issuing Company, which ensures Download operates properly.

Payables

Any items the agency needs to pay.

  • Vendor – Items owed to entities not related to policies. This can be agency expenses like electricity, rent, advertising, license renewals, loans, credit card, office expenses, etc.
  • Premium Payables – Carrier invoices for clients with agency bill policies.

Premium Payable Entity (PPE)

This can be a company or broker and is the one who pays commission to the agency and who the agency pays for Agency Bill items. A PPE company can be the same as an ICO, but it is important to check the policy to ensure if there is a difference.

Status of Accounts (aka General Ledger) Report

A report that shows all GL account activity as debits and credits with beginning and ending balance for each GL account. In standard accounting, this report is well known as a General Ledger report.

Conclusion

To properly utilize the accounting reports (or any report) in your Epic system, you need accurate data. To help maintain accurate data it is crucial to understand accounting workflows in Applied Epic, including its various terms and phrases. If you have any questions on the terminology defined above, or on Epic accounting in general, do not hesitate to reach out to us at consult@kitetechgroup.com. You can also visit our website to learn more about KiteTech’s Applied Epic Accounting and Outsourced Bookkeeping Services. Want to download and save this glossary as a PDF so you can easily refer to it as needed? Click here to download now. And be sure to check back next month for our next glossary of General Applied Epic vocabulary.

Kellie Halfpap

Kellie Halfpap

Buffy Johnson

Buffy Johnson

Laura Fisher

Laura Fisher

Brooke Perrone

Brooke Perrone

Applied Systems’ Hosted Exchange Retirement: What it Means for Your Agency

Recently, many of you may have received an email from Applied Systems, notifying users about their decision to retire their Hosted Exchange and Insuremail services by the end of December 2023. This development could have significant implications for agencies relying on these services. In this video and blog post, we’ll explore how Applied Systems’ Hosted Exchange retirement might affect your agency and what strategic measures you can take to ensure a seamless transition to a new service.

A bit of history

Several years ago, Applied began hosting email for agencies using a product called Microsoft Exchange.  Exchange is a fantastic product, and back in the days of servers, this is exactly what we deployed in agencies.  But as the years went on, Exchange was increasingly designed for large organizations.  It required larger servers and more server roles.  It required special skills to manage, and it was difficult to keep secure. This meant more expense. Meanwhile, cloud alternatives were getting better and more cost effective all the time.

These days, there are far better options out there for agencies and Applied is recognizing that.  This will allow Applied Systems to reallocate time and effort into products like Epic, where their core expertise really shines. Check out this recent update from Applied Systems to learn more.

So what does this mean for your agency?

Receiving the letter doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re using the service.  So the first step is determining if this applies to you.  Your IT folks should easily be able to determine this. They’ll want to check inbound email, your copiers and scanners, and Epic DMS.

If you ARE using Applied’s email services, you’ll need to have all of your data off of those services before the end of December 2023. That’s not much time, so you need to start making a plan now to transition to another solution.  For this, I recommend Microsoft 365. Microsoft 365 has become the industry standard for email, but the 365 ecosystem is much larger than that. You can use Microsoft 365 to replace servers, deliver cybersecurity, implement cloud desktops, and meet compliance requirements.

KiteTech is here to help

If you are currently using Applied’s email services, and need help migrating to Microsoft 365, we can help.  I would encourage you to reach out to Kite Technology sooner than later, so we can begin helping you plan for the change.

 

If you’re already using Microsoft 365, and you’re curious about how you can make it more effective and secure, we can help with that, as well. We have made Microsoft 365 a part of everything we do, and we would love to help you make Microsoft 365 part of everything you do. Contact us today, to learn to learn more about our Managed IT Services and Microsoft 365 Consulting

Jason Gobbel

Jason Gobbel

Chief Solutions Officer
Kite Technology Group

5 Key Benefits of Using the Applied Epic Browser

Warren G. Bennis, a well-known advisor to four of the US Presidents, said that “In life, change is inevitable. In business it is vital.” I am sure we can all look back and remember many times in our personal or professional lives when we have had to learn something new. While change can be challenging and feel uncomfortable, once we overcome the learning curve, the benefits often become apparent.

Similarly, in our work with hundreds of agencies using Applied Epic, we’ve seen some resistance from end-users to adopt the Applied Epic Browser. However, we can assure you that while it may take some getting used to, switching to the Applied Epic Browser will be a decision you won’t regret. Let’s discuss some of the key benefits of the Applied Epic Browser.

1.  Enhanced Accessibility and Flexibility

In the wake of the pandemic, our lives and work underwent significant changes. As we transitioned to remote work, organizations were faced with the daunting task of ensuring the protection and integrity of client information stored on personal desktops or laptops outside of the traditional office environment. Consider the convenience and peace of mind that would have come with accessing everything through the internet and storing it securely in the cloud. That’s precisely what the Epic Browser offers—a seamless solution that enables you to access your Applied Epic application anytime and anywhere, as long as you have internet access. 

2.  Improved Client Service and System Management

The enhanced accessibility that comes with the Epic Browser revolutionizes how seamlessly you can access your clients’ information on the go, enabling you to provide superior client service. Similarly, you also have the ability to stay on top of critical management tasks. You are able to manage privileges, initiate workflows, and monitor data use by just logging in to your computer.

3.  Advanced Security

The Applied Epic Browser is not just user-friendly, but also prioritizes security. Web-based applications use cryptographic technology, which is one of the safest and most efficient ways to protect your clients’ information. Additionally, the browser allows you to customize security features based on your organization’s needs. This flexibility enables you to choose and implement the best security practices that meet your agency’s needs. You’ll be able to work confidently knowing that your organization is equipped with top-notch security measures. 

4.  Streamlined Updates

The Applied Epic Browser introduces the advantage of more frequent and smaller updates, which greatly benefits both your back and front office staff.  This approach of smaller updates at a higher frequency minimizes disruption to your team by making changes easier to understand, learn and implement. As a result your team will adapt more seamlessly to new features leading to smoother transitions and improved productivity. Not only that, but you’ll have access to the latest features and enhancements as soon as they are released.

5.  Greater Productivity and Simplified Workflows

Another significant benefit of the Epic Browser is related to how it maximizes productivity and simplifies workflows. One example of how it achieves this is by offering features like pre-fill/population and suggest-as-you-type functionality. These features help your staff work faster and more efficiently by reducing the time and effort required for data entry.

In addition, recent updates to the Epic Browser have introduced the Attachment Preview feature, which allows you to view attachments without the need to open them separately. This feature saves time and makes the process more efficient for your staff, eliminating unnecessary steps to complete tasks.

By focusing on improved features like these, the Epic Browser empowers your team to work with greater speed and effectiveness, enabling them to accomplish their tasks with greater ease and efficiency.

Conclusion

As you can see, if you’re not already using the Applied Epic Browser, there are many great benefits to make the change. While it may take some time to learn the new features and functionality, the investment of time will be well worth it. To learn more about the Applied Epic Browser, check out this article by Applied Systems: Your Epic Browser Questions Answered

Ready to unlock the full potential of your Applied Epic system? Our team of Applied Epic experts can provide tailored solutions to meet your agency’s unique needs. From optimizing workflows to helping you streamline your Epic accounting, we’re here to guide you every step of the way. Contact us for a consultation and let’s embark on the path to success together!

Laura Fisher

Laura Fisher

Applied Epic Agency Bookkeeper
Kite Technology Group

Correia, R. (2022,Dec. 15) Browser-Based Technology Is Transforming Insurtech | Applied Systems Blog

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!

Laura Whaley

Laura Whaley

Agency Consultant
Kite Technology Group

Bookkeeping in Applied Epic: 10 Best Practices for Accurate Financial Reporting

Accurate bookkeeping in Applied Epic is an area where many agencies struggle and lack confidence in the integrity of their accounting data and financial reports. Applied Epic has a well-designed accounting system that captures all your agency’s financial data and organizes it into various financial reports. These reports are critical analytical tools that can help management understand the financial health of your agency, as well as assist in making financial decisions about agency growth and process improvements. In this article, we will explore 10 best practices for bookkeeping in Applied Epic to help you ensure accurate financial data.

Best Practices for Accurate Bookkeeping in Epic

1. Record Every Financial Transaction with Receipts and Disbursements

Accurate financial data involves keeping track of every single financial transaction in your agency. Knowing how much you earn and how much money you spend is important for getting an idea of your actual income and expenses. Entering your receipts and disbursements and verifying them on your bank statement or your online banking portal is a critical step to ensuring that every transaction is recorded in Epic and reported on your financial statements.

2. Record Payroll Entries

Another important step of bookkeeping is recording the payroll. Whether you calculate, record and submit your agency payroll on your own or use an outsourced payroll service, entering your payroll data into Epic ensures that all payroll transactions are recorded on your financial statements accurately.

3. Reconcile Direct Bill Commissions

Reconciling your direct bill policy commissions is another critical step in accurate financial reporting. For direct bill commissions, you can download, import, or manually reconcile your commissions and once reconciled, tie them to your commission deposits to ensure that they will be reported on your income statement correctly.

4. Reconcile Premium Payables

There are multiple steps necessary for the accurate recording of your premium payable/agency bill policies in Epic. The accurate invoicing of the policies to your clients, recording the receipt of their payment, reconciling the premium payable to the company or broker, and disbursing payment of the premium payable to the carrier are the steps necessary to properly record these transactions in Epic.

5. Record Direct Bill Sweeps

Many agencies offer the courtesy of collecting policy payments for their clients and paying the carrier on their behalf. These are called “sweeps”. Making sure the client’s payment is receipted to their account and the payment to the carrier is recorded as a Premium Advance will accurately capture these transactions in Epic and keep the premium bank account balance and accounts receivable on the balance sheet accurate.

6. Reconcile and Pay Producer and Broker Commissions

Whether you use the Pr/Br Reconciliation feature in Epic or reconcile and review your producer/broker payables manually, you need accurate Pr/Br commission data in your system so you can pay them commissions that are owed. Verifying that commission agreements are set up and attached to policies in Epic will ensure that your producers and brokers are paid accurately and timely every month.

7. Perform Monthly Bank Reconciliations

Reconciling your bank accounts monthly is a critical bookkeeping step that ensures that all financial transactions are recorded in Epic and that your bank balance in Epic ties to the bank account. This reconciliation will ensure that all financial data is correctly reported on your financial statements.

8. Run Month End Accounting Reports

In Epic, there are several month end accounting reports that you can run and review before closing your month. These reports will help you determine if there are any incomplete transactions and ensure that you have reconciled all commissions received and that your receivables and payables tie to your General Ledger.

9. Analyze General Ledger Account Balances Using the Status of Accounts Report

The Status of Accounts report is a valuable tool to review the debit and credit transactions in all your General Ledger accounts. Use this report to analyze the detail of your balance sheet and income statement balances when balances look incorrect. Once you determine what caused the errors in your balances, you can further complete transactions and/or enter a journal entry to correct balances.

10. Review of Final Income Statement and Balance Sheet

Once you determine that your financial reports and data are complete and accurate, the final monthly bookkeeping step is to close the month in Epic. Once you close the month, you are now ready to submit your final monthly financial reports to your CPA if required. Management will also now have the tools they need to analyze the agency’s financial data to plan for future financial decisions.

Conclusion

Proper bookkeeping in Applied Epic is essential for agency management to understand in order to be able to make informed financial decisions. Without knowing the details of your agency’s finances, it’s difficult to evaluate opportunities for growth and investment. Monthly and yearly financial statements can give you a lot of information about your agency and help you pinpoint areas for improvement. They are also vital for your CPA to obtain for accurate and timely tax reporting.

Accounting and bookkeeping in Epic can be very overwhelming for an agency when they don’t trust the accuracy of their financial data. If your agency needs help with accounting and bookkeeping in Epic, the KiteTech Agency Consulting team is here to help! We have extensive experience in Applied Epic accounting and we are ready to provide customized solutions that meet your agency’s unique needs. We can assist your agency with accounting optimization, forensic accounting and cleanup, and even outsourced bookkeeping services. Contact us today for more information!

Buffy Johnson

Buffy Johnson

Agency Consultant
Kite Technology Group

Outsourced Applied Epic Bookkeeping

Applied Epic

EXPERT OUTSOURCED BOOKKEEPING

Are you struggling to keep up with the demands of accounting in your agency? Kite Technology can help! Our Agency Consulting team has bookkeepers on staff with expertise in Applied Epic, ready to provide customized solutions that meet your agency’s needs.

We understand that every insurance agency is unique and has specific accounting needs. Our expert team takes a custom approach to outsourcing and will develop a plan that meets your agency’s specific accounting requirements. We will also implement our KiteTech Best Practices to ensure that you get the best possible service.

With our outsourced bookkeeping services, you’ll have a dedicated KiteTech bookkeeping team member who will be focused on all of your agency’s accounting needs.

Do you have concerns about the accuracy of your agency’s current accounting data? We can also provide forensic accounting and cleanup services to help agencies achieve accuracy in their financial reporting.

BOOKKEEPING SERVICES

including but not limited to

ENTRY OF RECEIPTS, DISBURSEMENTS, AND JOURNAL ENTRIES

We will handle the accurate and timely entry of all bank transactions, which is vital to your agency’s accounting data and report integrity.

VENDOR PAYABLES

We will manage your vendor payables, ensuring that all bills are paid accurately and on time, ensuring that expenses are appropriately allocated.

ACCOUNTING MANAGEMENT REPORTS

Our team will deliver regular accounting management reports, providing an accurate picture of your agency’s financial health.

DIRECT BILL COMMISSION RECONCILIATION

We will ensure that your direct bill commissions are accurately recorded and reconciled to your financial records, including manual recording, importing, and direct bill commission download processing.

PRODUCER/BROKER PAYABLES

We will provide a method for producer and broker payables whether that be by producer commission reports, production reports, or by utilizing the Pr/Br reconciliation in Applied Epic.

REGULAR SCHEDULED MEETINGS

We will schedule regular meetings with your bookkeeper to review progress, discuss any accounting issues, and ensure that all your accounting needs are being met.

PREMIUM PAYABLE RECONCILIATION

We will reconcile your agency bill invoices and statements, ensuring that all transactions are paid on time and recorded in Applied Epic. This ensures that your premium payable reports are balanced to your financial records.

MONTH-END BANK RECONCILIATION

We will reconcile your bank accounts at the end of each month, ensuring that all transactions are recorded accurately and that all discrepancies are identified and resolved.

Learn how we can eliminate your agency’s accounting headaches!

MAXIMIZE YOUR AGENCY’S POTENTIAL

Maximize your agency’s growth potential by outsourcing your bookkeeping tasks to our team of experts. KiteTech’s Agency Consulting team understands that your time and resources are valuable, which is why we provide efficient and cost-effective solutions that allow you to focus on your agency.

By choosing our services, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your accounting and bookkeeping needs are being handled by a team of professionals with extensive Applied Epic expertise. Our customized solutions are tailored to meet the unique needs of your agency, and we work closely with you to ensure that all your requirements are met.

BENEFITS OF OUTSOURCING:

Expertise

Professional bookkeepers have the necessary skills and experience to handle complex accounting tasks, ensuring accuracy and compliance with accounting standards.

Cost Savings

Outsourcing can be a cost-effective solution, as it eliminates the need to hire a full-time bookkeeper and reduces overhead costs associated with in-house bookkeeping.

Peace of Mind

With an outsourced bookkeeper, you can have peace of mind knowing that your financial records are accurate and up-to-date, allowing you to make informed decisions for your agency's future.

Efficiency

Outsourcing bookkeeping tasks can help streamline processes, reduce errors, and save time, allowing you to focus on core business activities.

Customization

An outsourced bookkeeper can tailor their services to meet your agency's specific needs and requirements, providing customized solutions that align with your business goals.

Growth Potential

With our outsourced bookkeeping services, you can focus on growing your business without worrying about the time-consuming tasks of bookkeeping.

Transaction Reports in Applied Epic (Part II)

Transaction Reports Part II

In this final installment of our Reports series, this article will highlight more Transaction reports that are most effective for agency management and daily operations. While we cannot review every report found under Transaction Reports, the ones listed below have proven to be most valuable when it comes to transaction-based data tracking.

Government Payables Report

If your agency pays government taxes/fees, this report will display outstanding as well as ones paid in the Government Payables Reconciliations area in the General Ledger. Use this to balance outstanding items that have not yet been paid.

Month-End Balancing Current Premium Payables*

This report is based off the Balancing Current Premium Payables report. This is a highly useful report to run at month-end to confirm your Payable Balances with your PPEs is in align with your GL Account Balance on the Balance Sheet. When run, any differences between the two will be highlighted for each out of balance PPE. Ensure that your Balance Sheet is correct and that all payments have been paid to carriers/brokers with this report.

Month-End Balancing Producer/Broker Payables*

This report is based off the Balancing Current Premium Payables report. This is a helpful report to run to balance your GL accounts by displaying outstanding items that have not yet been paid out to producers or brokers. When run, it will highlight the difference if the payable balance does not equal the GL Account Balance for each producer/broker and will display payables that are on the Balance Sheet even for previous periods. This report can only be used if your Epic system is configured to reconcile producer and/or broker payables. If this is not something currently activated in your system and you would like to start, go to Configure > Accounting > System Settings to turn this feature on.

Producer Commission

A Producer Commission report is used to review producer commission that is posted by month-end based on the producer’s payment method for Agency and Direct bill transactions. This is a great report to send to a producer’s My Reports for them to track their commission. You can modify the criteria to show data by month and send it to a producer’s Reports Quickview.

Production Report – Modified

This report is a production summary report with several different major sorting options. You can view columns for the transaction amount, agency commission, and Pr/Br commission sorted by Transaction types, Premium Payable, Policy/Line Type, Pr/Br, and/or Account Name. You can change the report criteria to run the report specifically based on what transaction data you want to see.

Unapplied Cash/Credit Report

This report should be run to identify if there are any client payments that have not been applied to an invoice, if credits to debits haven’t been applied, or if there is money due back to a client from an overpayment. It is recommended to run this report before closing the month.

Verify Transaction Commissions – Premium Payable Agreements

This report is used to identify discrepancies between the transacted commission information for premium payables and the company commission agreements in Epic. You can modify the criteria to show data by Agency Bill, Direct Bill, or both. You also can run the report by premium payable company or premium payable broker, or both.

Verify Transaction Commissions – Producer/Broker Agreements

This report is used to identify discrepancies between the transacted producer/broker commissions and the producer/broker commission agreements in Epic. You can modify the criteria to run the report by producer/broker to send to them individually for review.

Conclusion

Be sure to review all the available reports found under the Transactions section to ensure that you are running all the ones that best fit your agency’s needs. This is the last Reports section to review, so stay tuned for a complete downloadable booklet that will include the highlights off all the reports from our previous articles. 

If you have any questions on any of the reports we have reviewed or would like assistance configuring a report to your agency’s needs, feel free to reach out to our KiteTech Consulting team. We’re here to help!

 

Kellie Halfpap

Kellie Halfpap

Agency Consultant
Kite Technology Group

Buffy Johnson

Buffy Johnson

Agency Consultant
Kite Technology Group

Transaction Reports in Applied Epic (Part I)

As we near the conclusion of our Applied Epic Reports Series, this article will highlight the last section of Reports – Transaction Reports. Due to the large number of reports available in this section, we will be breaking this into two parts. Utilizing transaction reports assists with tracking client balances, general ledger payables, and more. We cover some of the most useful reports below, but also recommend checking out all reports available in that section to see if there are others that fit your agency’s needs.

Aged Outstanding Current Balances Report

When a transaction is created or a payment is applied to a client account, it creates a receivable entry that will show up on the Aged Outstanding Current Balances Report. This report shows an aged date to help you determine if a client still owes payment for a policy, if credits/debits need to be applied, or if a refund is due to the client. It is useful to run this report at least monthly so that outstanding items are taken care of in a timely manner. If a client has not paid for a policy transaction, their account could fall into Notice of Cancellation status, so this report can help track the aged date of items due.

Balancing Current Premium Payables

When it comes to agency bill transactions, you want to make sure that your agency has paid your carriers/brokers in a timely manner. To see what payables haven’t yet been created/reconciled for a determined time period, run this report to see what accounts still have open payables in the general ledger account. We recommend running this report quite frequently in order to make sure payments have not been missed and prevent Notice of Cancellations or E&O risk. 

Balancing Producer/Broker Payables

This report will only be useful for agencies who have the ‘reconcile producer and/or brokers’ option configured in their Epic system. If you utilize and reconcile Pr/Br Payables under General Ledger > Reconciliations, this report will show items that have not yet been reconciled and remain in the producer/broker payables GL account for the specific time period selected. This helps to ensure your producers and/or brokers have gotten paid for all accounts, and it is recommended to run this report when determining payroll for the month. To enable this reconciling option, go to Configure > Accounting > System Settings, then select the appropriate option that fits your agency needs. 

Commission Tracking Report

This report tracks agency commission for each policy by client to ensure that commission is received as expected. It will display every transaction for that policy in the policy term. You can also analyze premium and commission discrepancies that exceed a certain threshold. This report can be helpful to determine that all policies have estimated premium and commission amounts entered and that commissions have been reconciled for each policy. It will identify missing data and help determine that commissions have been received from the company or broker. It is useful to run this report at least monthly to ensure that commissions are being received and transacted in a timely manner.

Direct Bill Report

Use this report to view direct bill revenue that has been received or is still outstanding. This report has multiple criteria options depending on what kind of information you are looking for. If you select the Unpaid criteria, this will list items found in the Direct Bill Commissions reconciliation area. If you want to see commissions received, set your criteria to items Partially Paid, Fully Paid or Paid. If you want to see items that have been reconciled but do not have a receipt associated, select the Reconciled, Not Paid criteria before running the report. 

Earned Commissions Report

This report is a very helpful summary when wanting to identify total commissions earned by a company or broker. It summarizes the earned commission detail for each transaction for a policy and breaks it down in PPE order by premium earned, Pr/Br commission amount as well as agency commission earned. At the end of the report, a summary page is included for totals by PPE. It provides good insight as to how much the agency is earning from each company and broker and what the Pr/Br commissions are for a designated period. This is also a useful report for management to assess total sources of revenue by company and broker.

Conclusion

As mentioned throughout this article, many of the reports mentioned are most helpful when run frequently to keep the length of the report minimal and ensure your General Ledger remains balanced. When it comes to month or year-end balancing, reconciling outstanding balances and payables becomes more time consuming and confusing when you have 20+ pages per report. 

Our Agency Consulting team here at KiteTech, specializes in how to implement these reports, set up automatic report scheduling, and can also assist with balancing the General Ledger when the workload becomes too much. For questions or to discuss how to properly utilize any reports mentioned in the series, contact us today at consult@kitetechgroup.com. Check back next month for the Part II of Transaction Reports, which will conclude our Reports Series. 

Kellie Halfpap

Kellie Halfpap

Agency Consultant
Kite Technology Group

Buffy Johnson

Buffy Johnson

Agency Consultant
Kite Technology Group

Policy Reports in Applied Epic (Part II)

The second part of this installment will cover the remaining reports found under the Policy section. These reports can provide beneficial information, reduce E&O risk, and ensure policy workflows are being followed. Be sure to check out Part I of Policy Reports in case you missed it. As previously mentioned, make sure you have the new Report Pack downloaded from Applied to ensure you have access to all Reports available. We will not cover all reports found under this Policy section, but instead highlight the ones that are typically most used by multiple types of agency staff.

Expiration Report

This report can be very useful when shared with staff – either emailed monthly or sent to their Report Quickview. The Expiration Report lists policies that are due to expire within your set desired time range. This report will also show policies that already expired and were never renewed, allowing servicing staff to catch up on missed renewals. To prevent E&O risk, it is crucial to check each policy on the report to ensure there are no gaps in coverage. If a policy should remain cancelled/expired, the cancellation Service Summary Row should be entered with the line status changed.

New Business – Multi Layouts*

If you want to track policies with the NEW line status, use this report which will help track agency revenue. The multi-layouts option allows you to select how you want this report sorted – by ICO, PPE, Policy Type, Department, Producer, First Producer, or Branch.

Policies With No Transactions

It is important that all Agency Bill policies are transacted in order to ensure accurate reporting, revenue, and commissions. Use this report to find those policies that do not have transactions entered. This can also be a helpful report to regularly send to servicing staff, either emailed or sent to their Report Quickview.

Retention Report – Multi  Layouts*

If you want to track your agency’s retained business from the past year, use this report which will calculate your retention percentage by diving retained business by overall total business. The multi-layouts option allows you to sort by Premium Payable, Producer, Branch. This is useful report for management to be able to track how the agency performed for the overall year.

Verify Policy Commissions- Premium Payable Agreements & Producer/Broker Agreements

If a policy has an outdated agreement, or an agreement missing, this will cause out of balance commission reports. To ensure the correct agreements are being applied to a policy or account, use these two separate reports to help you find gaps in data or data that needs to be updated. The Premium Payable Agreements will compare the premium/commission on existing policies to the commission agreement that is listed on that policy. The Producer/Broker Agreements report does that same thing, only with producer and/or broker agreements on a policy.

While not every report under the Policy report section is highlighted on this two-part series, we recommend checking out all reports found under this section in case they can prove useful to your agency’s needs. In the next Reports installment, we will highlight Transaction reports which will also be a multi-part series, so be sure to check back as we conclude this series. If you have any questions regarding reports, we would love to help! Contact us at consult@kitetechgroup.com today!

Kellie Halfpap

Kellie Halfpap

Agency Consultant
Kite Technology Group

Policy Reports in Applied Epic (Part I)

In this installment of our Applied Epic reports series, we’ll go over some of the most helpful reports found under the Policy Reports tab. When you want to find specific information regarding a policy, the reports found under the Policy section will provide a myriad of data depending on what you are looking for. Many of these reports will help reduce your E&O risk and find gaps in data on an account. Since there are so many reports in this section, we will be splitting our review of Policy reports into two parts. As a reminder, if you do not already have the latest Report Pack installed, contact Applied to get those uploaded to your Epic database. Many of the reports we will review are from that pack.

*Audit Workflow – Expired Policies, Not Renewed*

This report provides a great resource to locate the policies that were never reviewed in Epic. Assuming that these policies should have been renewed, this report lists the expiration dates in the past. It can also point out rewritten policies that were not processed correctly. If a client’s policy was never renewed in Epic, it could mean the renewal process was never started causing a lapse in coverage. Use this report to reduce your E&O risk and find those missed renewals to ensure coverage has not lapsed by mistake.

Audit Data – AB policies with 0% Agency Commission*& Audit Data & DB policies with 0% Agency Commission*

Though these are two separate reports, the information they provide is similar. These reports will list policies that have been entered into Epic but are missing the Line commission (the agency’s commission) on the policy application. If the agency’s commission is zero, then the calculation for the producer/broker’s commissions will also be zero. This will cause your Production reports, Income statement, and any other transaction reports to be incorrect. Depending on the volume of your agency, this report should be run quite frequently.

Audit Data – Policies with Blank Pr/Br*

This report will identify policies where the line Pr/Br tab is blank. Blank Pr/Br will impact your Producer Commission Reports, and if your agency pays producer commission, it is crucial that there is a producer and/or broker commission amount listed on the Line Pr/Br tab. *Bonus Tip – if you are entering Pr/Br on a package policy, be sure to click ‘Apply to All Lines’ so that it is displayed on each line. This will ensure that, no matter the line selected when reconciling commission for that policy, the commission will be included.

*Audit Workflow – Policies with In Process SSRs* & Audit Workflow – Policies with Submitted SSR’s*

Again these are two different reports that provide similar information. To make certain that a workflow has been completed, you want the Service Summary Rows (SSRs) to end in Issued or Not Issued stage. When a SSR is left in the In Process or Submitted stage, it raises the question on whether that workflow has actually been completed. It will also prevent Download from updating a policy if left In Process. While Submitted stage typically mean that an application has been sent to the carrier (maybe for a quote or change in coverage), some agencies consider Submitted stage as Bound coverage. Depending on the date that it was submitted, that SSR could probably be moved to the Issued Stage. Reduce your E&O risk and make sure workflows are being fully completed with these reports.

Book of Business – Line Book & Book of Business – Policy Book

Depending on whether you want to see information by Line or by Policy, a Book of Business Report will detail an agency’s current book of policies. The Modify Criteria options allows you to filter information if needed or see everything on your book. While reports are typically run as PDFs, you can edit this layout to drop more information on the report and run as an Excel, which will provide an easier way of filtering information on the report and break down everything into its own column. Using a Book of Business report is a great way to find gaps in data by policy, like missing premium or commission, missing Producer/Account Manager, etc.

Binder Reports

There are multiple reports for Binder detail. The standard Binder Report will list all binders entered and will indicate their status. But if you want to find out the specific date a binder was closed, if binders were closed more than 30 days from system date, or confirm all open binders have been closed, there are specific reports filtered to find this information. Each of these reports can be found if you sort your screen by Based On, to bring these reports to the top of your screen.

Conclusion

While there are numerous reports available under the Policy section, the ones highlighted in this review can prove to be extremely valuable in finding gaps in data and reducing your E&O risk. Be sure to check back next month for Part II of the Policy Reports where we will highlight even more helpful reports. 

If you have any questions regarding the use of any of these reports or are interested in any of our other Agency Consulting Services, be sure to contact us today!

Kellie Halfpap

Kellie Halfpap

Agency Consultant
Kite Technology Group

Transactions in Applied Epic Webinar Recording

You can watch the on-demand webinar below at any time
Play Video about Applied Epic Transactions

Kite Technology’s Managed IT and Consulting Services are designed to help independent insurance agencies across the country operate at a high level. Our team of insurance technology professionals is passionate about helping agencies like yours leverage technology to meet business objectives and grow. To get the conversation started, please select one of the following divisions below and schedule a complimentary consultation. We look forward to talking with you!

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Managed it services
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Learn how our Managed IT Services can benefit your organization. We can help you improve business performance, operate more securely and better support your remote workforce. We are eager to help you meet your technology goals.

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consulting appointment

Our Agency Consulting team is eager to help your team get the most from your Applied Epic investment. Schedule an appointment to learn how we can help your agency optimize your system, improve utilization and maximize your efficiency.

Management and Opportunities Reports in Applied Epic

In our latest article of our Applied Epic Reports series, we will cover Management and Opportunities Reports. Management Reports in Applied Epic are a great resource for auditing. These reports primarily give you a more in-depth look at a user’s security or activity but there are a few hidden gems, which will also be reviewed. In addition to the Management reports offered in Epic, there are a few Opportunities Reports available to you as an owner or manager to monitor your agency’s sales leads.

Applied Epic Management Reports

Permission Detail, Security Group, User Detail and User Login Reports

The first group of reports we will review is a set of reports built around Logins and Security. These 4 reports are: Permission Detail, Security Group, User Detail, User Login Report.

  1. User Permissions Detail Report – you can decide which area or sub area of Epic you want to look at and report who either has been granted access or who is denied access.
  2. Security Group Report – enables you to report on all users within a group and the permissions that group gives each user.
  3. User Detail Report – is often used to document a user’s rights at the time of hire or termination from the company. It is a detailed look at that users group memberships, structure access, program access, and bank account access.
  4. User Login Report – has been used more since the onset of COVID. This report enables management to see who logged into the system and when. Layouts and Criteria for all these reports are rather straight forward.

Unrouted Attachments- Analysis Report

The next report is one from Applied’s latest report pack, the Unrouted Attachments Analysis Report. This report can be run at any time to analyze what items are still in a user’s unrouted attachments folder. This report will highlight bottlenecks in the Front-End Scanning process and which staff members have items unattached. This is a great report to review when you are concerned with items not being processed or processed in a timely fashion. The default criteria looks at all items and all employees an can be adjusted as desired.

Policy Checking Report

Another report that can be utilized to identify bottlenecks is the Policy Checking Report. The Policy Checking report lists the Policy Checking requests that have been sent for processing, with a description of each item, its owner, and its processing stage. This report can help you track the volume of Policy Checking usage in your system and monitor the time that Policy Checks take to complete. Running this report on a weekly basis is recommended, to identify any Policy Checks marked Ready that still need attention and to ensure timely completion of the process and efficient service to your clients.

Verify Policy Renewal Commission Agreements

The Verify Policy Renewal Commission Agreements Report displays each policy’s commission agreements before and after it was renewed using the “Renew” action. If the system has made any changes to the commission agreements, the report also gives the reason for these changes. Use this report to confirm that the correct commission agreement has defaulted on each policy. Unfortunately, if there were commission agreement changes on policies renewed by Download, those will not be included on this report. You can adjust the criteria to focus on a specific structure or even by producer.

In addition to these reports covered above if your agency utilizes Confidential Client Access, myEpic Workflows, or SMS features in Epic, there are additional reports that may be valuable to you here in the Management Reports section.

Applied Epic Opportunities Reports

Before you get started, make sure your sales team is entering and managing Opportunities in Epic. It is an area of Epic that is not widely used but provides valuable information about your pipeline.

From the prospect or client account, click Opportunities. Click the Add button to add a new opportunity. Enter all pertinent information. As the opportunity is worked, have your sales team progress it manually through your agency’s preconfigured sales stages by right clicking Change Stage. This can be done right from the Home Screen. Opportunities can also be entered and managed from the Applied Mobile app!

As Opportunities are won and lost, right click and Close Opportunity with Won/Lost, revenue, etc. Be sure to enter Sales Targets into your producers’ Employee Account (Lookup Employee, go to Account Detail, Sales tab) so they can see their progress on their home screen’s Dashboard.

Sales Report

The default criteria of the Sales Report searches for closed Opportunities that have been Won. The first time it is run, you will need to update the Actual Closed Date to an appropriate range (no longer than 1 fiscal year). For example, if you are looking at sales for 2022, enter an Actual Closed Date of Fixed date range 01/01/2022 – 12/31/2022.

Out of the box, the first part of the report is a detailed listing of won Opportunities, grouped first by the Opportunity owner, then by the month closed, with premium and revenue totals after each month and each producer. Calculated fields will compare the totals with Sales Targets entered in the Employee record. A summary section follows the detail, recapping each member of your sales team for each month of the year.

Pipeline Report

The default criteria for the Pipeline Report searches for Opportunities with a status of Open. The first section is a detailed listing of Opportunities still in your agency’s pipeline, grouped by Owner, then Stage, with Stage Duration, and Estimated Premium and Revenue columns. A summary follows grouping these open Opportunities by Owner, and an Average Duration and totals.

Hit Ratio Report

The default criteria for the Hit Ratio Report is all Opportunities in your database. If you would like only to see the current year’s Opportunities, modify the criteria as needed. This report will return a detailed list of all Opportunities by Owner, followed by a # Won and % Won, # Lost and % Lost, and Total Closed. A summary section follows.

Forecast Report

The default criteria for the Forecast Report searches for Opportunities with a status of Open. It is like the Pipeline Report, but rather than returning all open Opportunities, it is designed to be run for a specific time period. Select the criteria for the Target Close Date within your time range (month, quarter, etc.).

Conclusion

Agency Owners and Operations can use Management Reports to get insight on what rights their employees have, where bottlenecks in process may be occurring and to verify Policy Renewal Commission Agreements and Opportunities Reports to get a glimpse into sales, summarize won and lost leads, and see what is coming in the pipeline.

We also recommend reviewing our previous articles in our Reports Series listed below. If you have questions regarding the use of any of these reports or would like to learn more about how our Agency Consulting Services, can help your agency better-utilize Applied Epic, be sure to contact us today. We would love the opportunity to learn more about your agency and how we can help!

Laura Whaley

Laura Whaley

Agency Consultant
Kite Technology Group

Jenny Honican

Jenny Honican

Agency Consultant
Kite Technology Group

Interface Reports in Applied Epic

In our latest installment of our Applied Epic Reports series, we will review the Interface Reports. Interface Reports can be used in conjunction with your Communications Log or independently. Reports are available for Automated Download Invoices (ADI), Claims, Direct Bill Commission Download (DBCB), eDocs and Policies. The Communications Log is a consolidation of all these reports and will include all lines and products that download. For large agencies or agencies that download with many carriers the Communication Log can become quite lengthy and hard to work with.

Before we look at the reports in each category, know that within each download product type there is an error report. The error reports will tell you when a download was sent by a carrier in which a data field is not accepted by Epic. It is our suggestion to contact Applied anytime you find these in your reports. They will work with IVANS and Carrier partners if necessary to identify what the error was, correct it, and get the item resent. Now, let’s look how some of these other reports available.

Claims

The Claims received report enables the download administrator or processor to choose criteria relevant to the claims they would like to see. Criteria could be claims received on a certain account, assigned to a particular team member, or all claims received within a specific timeframe. Perhaps there is a natural disaster, and the agency is attempting to reach out to clients who have suffered a loss. The agency could use this report to find all clients who reported a claim within the event date(s) for a follow-up.

DBCD Reports

In additional the error report there are two other reports available to DBCD. The first is the Information Received report. This report will show DBCD received for suspended statements. Criteria can include date rate, specific transactions, carrier, and client among many others. The second report is the DBCD Received report. This report shows you which commissions were received within the specific session date(s).

eDocs

Criteria available for the eDocs received report Policy type, eDoc & Message type, and Policy type. Let’s say for example, your agency utilizes account service assistants for processing. The agency would like to have ‘Employee A’ pull a policy checklist for all policies received on commercial accounts beginning with A-L, ‘Employee B’ will be responsible for commercial accounts beginning with M-Z and ‘Employee C’ will handle all Personal Lines clients. You could set up a report that either generates daily or sent to each employee QuickView Reports, which reports which policies were downloaded within their alpha split.

Policies

There are 3 reports available for policies besides the error report. The first is Policies Exception report. This report specifically shows how many downloads were received within the criteria chosen that exceeds the agencies predetermined threshold for premium increase. This report could be useful in circumstances when the agency is seen an uptick in lost business. You suspect that a particular carrier is passing on large rate increases with little notice. Running this report will enable you to pinpoint a particular carrier or even a specific line of business. The second is Policies Information. This report is going to tell you if an issuing/billing company or commission agreement has been updated due to download. The third is the Policies Received report. This report is the most widely used report. Criteria for this report could include structure, servicing, policy type and transaction type among many others.

Conclusion

The reports found under the Interface tab would be helpful for anyone who manages download including your servicing staff. These reports enable your agency to set up reports for processors, so they only see their responsibility as well as research special circumstances within a date or carrier concern. We also recommend reviewing our previous articles about Account Reports, Activity Reports and General Ledger Reports. If you have questions regarding use of any of these reports or are interested in any of our other Agency Consulting Services, contact us today!

Laura Whaley

Laura Whaley

Agency Consultant
Kite Technology Group

General Ledger Reports in Applied Epic

In this third installment of our Applied Epic reports series, we’ll go over some of the most helpful reports found under the General Ledger tab. The reports found under this tab are very helpful when it comes to month-end reporting and are recommended to run throughout a month to ensure you remain in balance. If you have a dedicated accounting person or department in your agency who handles bank reconciliation, it may be helpful to copy these reports to their My Reports so they can run them frequently and get them prepared to send to management for each month-end review.

Balance Sheet

Your GL accounts are broken out into different groups – Asset, Liability, Equity, Income & Expense, which are then broken down further into subaccounts. The Balance Sheet report will list the amounts that are in your agency’s asset, liability, and equity accounts for a specific period (you can modify the criteria to view the timeframe needed). Use this report to ensure that General Ledger is in balance. You can also modify the criteria on this report to include the subaccounts if needed.

General Ledger Register

If you want to see an overall view of what has occurred in the General Ledger area of Epic, run this report. It will provide a detailed overview of any receipts, disbursements, journal entries, voided entries, vouchers, etc. You can also set the criteria on this report to filter by specific GL accounts if needed.

Income Statement

While the Balance Sheet report reflects asset, liability and equity, the Income Statement report will provide details on agency net profit/loss, income, and expenses for a time period that you can filter in Modify Criteria. It will provide current and year-to-date figures and you can also choose whether to include or exclude the subaccount detail. It is important to note with this report that if the Income account(s) have a debit balance, the balances will display as a negative; if the Expense account(s) have a credit balance, the balances will also display as a negative.

Status of Accounts

As mentioned previously, there are multiple GL accounts within Epic to reflect deposits and disbursements. To ensure GL accounts remain in balance, we recommend running this report frequently. This report includes opening and ending balances, transactions affecting the balance, and the net change in the balance. For example, if you have recently migrated to Epic, you may still have outstanding transactions from your previous system. You would not transact on the client accounts again in Epic since they are already billed in your previous system, so you would take the outstanding balance for the Premium Payable Entity (PPE) and reflect that under an Opening Balance GL account in Epic. As you are paying funds to the PPE for those outstanding balances, you would apply those disbursements to that GL account which would chip away from that balance. You can then run this report, which would show you the opening balance, all the payments made so far, and what balance still remains.

Conclusion

The reports under the General Ledger tab will be very helpful for anyone who manages your accounting within your agency as well as for management to ensure that General Ledger figures remain in balance, especially when it comes to month-end reporting. We recommend reviewing all the other reports not mentioned as well by checking out our other articles about Account reports and Activity reports. If you have any questions regarding the use of any of these reports or are interested in any of our other Agency Consulting Services, be sure to contact us today!

Kellie Halfpap

Kellie Halfpap

Agency Consultant
Kite Technology Group

Activity Reports in Applied Epic

In this second article of our series on Applied Epic reports, we will review those found in the Activity report group. The default reports in the Activity group provide summaries, but selecting a single activity code in the criteria section allows you to perform a deep dive into its use. For example, if you use a “CALL” activity, but want to know if it’s used properly, you can filter just to that activity to review how it is being used. You may also want to include Activity Notes and/or Tasks to determine whether they are used correctly. Like the Account reports, most data fields can be selected within the Modify Criteria selection of the report detail.

Activity reports can be helpful in determining employee productivity and can also help management discern if more workflow training is needed. Since every interaction is recorded in activities, these reports allow a glimpse into the client base.

With one of the recent updates to Epic, you can also generate Marketing Options such as letters, emails, sticky notes, or SMS based on activities in a report. This could be used to target clients that you want to reach back out to for quoting or re-marketing. Maybe you want to have a quick touch point for new claims activities entered. The possibilities are endless!

Remember to always copy from the main report group to My Reports by clicking Actions > Copy Report To or right clicking the mouse.

Activity Reports in Applied Epic

Below we review some of the more beneficial Activity reports that you can use in Epic. Please note that reports with an asterisk (*) behind the name are part of Epic’s new report pack. If your agency does not have these reports, be sure to contact Applied and have them load the report pack into your databases.

Activity Report

This is the standard “out of the box” report that will provide you a list of activities. Grouped by Lookup Code, the columns provided on the report are the Activity Code and Description, the Who/Owner Code, Follow up Date, Association, Status, Entered On, and Entered By. It’s a good report to use if you just need to know if an activity code is being used, review notes entered, provide a flat number of open activities to evaluate agency workload, or provide a list of past due activities.

Activity Analysis by Who/Owner*

Applied has taken the Activity Report to the next level with the Activity Analysis by Who/Owner. Where the Activity Report is arranged by Lookup Code and returns the total number of activities, this report is arranged by Who/Owner and contains a summary line of number of activities and a breakdown of the number open and closed. Two layouts have been added to the end of the detailed report, including a Summary by Who/Owner of each activity code and a Summary of the total number of activities by Who/Owner.

PRO TIP: On the Layouts screen, copy the Detail by Who/Owner layout (highlight and click Actions > Copy Layout To) to the end of this report’s Layouts to have the Summaries print first.

Carrier Submission Hit Ratio – by Not Written Reason*

In order to utilized the functionality of this report, you must utilize the Marketing Module in Epic along with the Unsuccessful reasons. This report is based on the activity generated by Actions >

Submit to Carriers. The default activity code is SCAS. You can also include manually entered activity codes that are entered for quoting outside the Marketing Module. With that workflow in placey, you can use this report to determine the Hit Ratio and identify patterns with unsuccessful quotes by carrier. Start by entering the quoting activity codes and the carrier/broker in the Criteria section of the report. It will provide a detailed list of each quote and a summary at the end of the section.

Open Activities Analysis by Who/Owner*

Similar to the Activity Analysis by Who/Owner, this report gives a list of all open activities. An extra column on the far left provides Days Overdue. This provides insight into how long it takes employees to complete certain activities as well as finding out if activities are being closed in a timely manner. In addition to using this for follow up, it’s a good report to pull for staff supporting employees who are out of the office for an extended period.

Conclusion

These are only a sample of the various Applied Epic Activity reports that can be immensely helpful to your agency. If you missed last month’s article on Account Reports, be sure to check it out! If you have any questions regarding the use of any of these reports or are interested in any of our other Agency Consulting Services, be sure to contact us today!

Jenny Honican

Jenny Honican

Agency Consultant
Kite Technology Group

Tips and Tricks for Accounting in Applied Epic

There are many different methods and best practices to implement when it comes to Accounting in Applied Epic. In the first of our accounting series, we discussed Agency Bill and Premium Payables; in the second how to reconcile Direct Bill if your agency was on a Cash basis. In the last of this Accounting series, we will review various tips and tricks that may prove useful to furthering efficiency, ensuring accurate reporting, and getting full utilization out your investment into your Epic system.

Change your Default Month/Month End Processes

It’s important to close the month at the end of each accounting month, however, did you know that you don’t have to close on the last day of the month? If you move the default month to the new month, it will stop users from entering any further data in your closing accounting month. Procedures > Accounting > Month End then Actions > Change Default Month. Now you can continue to finish out the closing month without users entering new data. For extra security, you can also lock the month, however, you will have to unlock each time you need to enter something in the prior month. We recommend having a goal of completing your month end processes by the first few business days of the month. Don’t forget to Actions > Close Month, not Finalize!

Communicate within Epic

Many accounting departments rely on paper or email correspondence with servicing staff for things like agency bill invoices, check requests, policy information errors, etc. You can maintain better data and keep documents secured by utilizing activities in Epic to relay that information. There are a few options for utilizing activities for accounting. You can generate an activity from the Generate Invoices event and use that activity to attach invoices from the carrier or broker. Default that activity who/owner to the accounting staff so that they are not only notified that an invoice needs to be paid, but they can quickly access the invoice needed to send with the premium. You can even add multiple choices for different types of invoices. For example, $ABI – Agency Bill Invoice, $RET – Return Premium Invoice, $FIN – Financed Invoice. Another option would be to generate these activities manually. The servicing staff would enter the activity and attach all necessary documents for the accounting staff to access and process. Accounting can use these activities to follow up on payments from the client, carrier or finance company as well.

Go Paperless in Accounting

Another way to maintain accurate data and create efficiency in accounting is to attach ALL documents in Epic upon receipt. Attach items such as commission statements to the carrier/broker. You can even generate an activity when you attach those items so that you know there is a statement that needs to be entered or reconciled in General Ledger. Attach other documents such as vendor invoices, commission agreements, and any other items pertaining to accounting to the company or broker in Epic.

Be sure to label your documents with standard naming conventions. This will create efficiency when you are searching or researching documents. Using naming conventions throughout your accounting processes will increase that searchability and also provide some organization. For example, if you receive a direct bill commission via direct deposit, label the receipt “EFT Travelers May 2022 DB Comm”. Then when attaching the statement label it Travelers May 2022 DB Comm Stmt $1500.00. Lastly, in the Direct Bill Reconciliation, label the reconciliation Travelers May 2022 DB Comm. Notice how each description is very similar but has additional details based on where it is entered. Remember that some information is already generated in Epic, so you won’t need to type it in. An example would be the effective date of a deposit.

Get Better Data with Configure, Required/Desired Fields, and Utilities

There are many tools within Epic that can increase the accuracy and completion of data that can effect your accounting processes. Here are a few that can help:

– Require Pr/Br Commission

Configure > Policy > System Settings > Commissionable Producer/Broker Requirement. This function will ensure a Pr/Br is entered before a policy can be closed.

– Pr/Br Commission Agreements

Configure > Policy > System Settings > Pr/Br Commission Agreements. Here you have 2 options. If the producer/broker has multiple valid agreements you can choose to “Use the prior term’s commission agreement (if valid) upon renewal. This will stop Epic from choosing an agreement at renewal and is specifically beneficial when there is a split agreement between producers.

– Commission/Premium Calculations

Configure > Policy > Commission/Premium Calculations. Turn this function on to calculate any premium/commission at the line level and add it up to the policy level. This minimizes data entry if you have users enter estimated premium and commission only at the first line level of a policy. If you enter the agency commission percent and the estimated premium at the line level, this function will also calculate the estimated commission for you.

– Required/Desired Fields

If you’re having issues getting data entered into certain fields in Epic, right click on the field and select Desired or Required. Desired will highlight the field in yellow drawing the user’s attention to it. Required fields are highlighted in red and the user cannot exit that window before entering data into that field. Be careful when requiring, because the user may not always have the data available when completing certain processes.

– Pr/Br Reassignment Utility

If you have recently created or updated Pr/Br Commission agreements, you can use this utility to assign agreements that are new or updated as long as there is an existing Pr/Br listed on the policy. It is similar to a workload reassignment but with a few different options. This can also be used to cleanup old agreements or reassign books to a new producer or house producer code.

We hope that our Applied Epic accounting series has been helpful to you as you expand on using the accounting functionality in Epic. The KiteTech Agency Consulting Team is here to help if you have any questions about Applied Epic accounting or any of our other consulting services. We have a variety of engagements that are customized to meet your insurance agency’s unique needs. To learn more, please contact us to schedule a conversation. 

Lauren Roberts

Lauren Roberts

Director of Agency Consulting
Kite Technology Group

Account Reports in Applied Epic

Applied Epic offers an array of reports based on the Account Detail screens. While most reports are based on Client accounts, don’t forget that the Account report group consists of Employees, Companies, Brokers, and Vendors as well. Most data fields can be selected within the Modify Criteria selection of the report detail.

Data at the Account level enables agencies to aim their marketing to specific targets. The Account report group is useful for both cleaning up data and creating mailing lists. Export filtered lists into Excel for import into third-party email distribution platforms, or use Epic’s Marketing Options in the report’s Delivery Options section to both run the report and generate an email to clients.

Remember to always copy from the main report group to My Reports by clicking Actions > Copy Report To or right clicking the mouse.

Here are some useful Account Reports in Epic:

Audit - Current Clients With Blank Primary Contact Emails*

This report shows accounts where the Primary Contact has a blank email address. This is a useful report to use for cleanup within your Epic system. When the email address is listed for the Primary Contact, this allows more streamlined and automated communication. Criteria should be only active accounts with condition of policies being At least one current/renewed policy.

CSR Usage - Attachments Accessed*

If your agency utilizes CSR24, there is a shared documents feature which allows your clients to access documents that are attached in Epic. These documents can either be accessed by either the portal or mobile app, and you can determine which clients can see certain documents. Use this report to determine which clients are accessing the shared documents feature to improve client customer service. Modify the criteria based on the date attachments were accessed as well as the folder or sub folder accessed.

Company Commission Agreements & Producer/Broker Commission Agreements

Use both reports respectively to identify all Company and Producer/Broker Commission Agreements that have been established in your Epic system. Modify the agreement effective and expiration date criteria to match a current book of business criteria to view all current agreements.  Example:  Effective date = Open thru today’s date and Expiration date = Tomorrow’s date thru Open.

Current Clients, All Contacts - Multi Layouts*

This report will list all current clients, including their contact information, that are sorted by Classification. There are numerous criteria that you can set to filter your results, including department, number of claims, policy expiration date, where they live, etc. This report is useful for targeted marketing those specific clients based on their designated Classification.

Current Clients, Primary Contacts - Multi Layouts*

Like the previous mentioned report, only sorted by SIC and NAIC codes and targets business accounts based on those codes.

Active Accounts With No Active Policies

This report can be used for cleanup to locate active accounts that no longer have active policies on them.  Criteria should include all active clients with a policy condition of no current/renewed policies.  Once you have cleaned up the accounts, you can run this on a regular basis to identify accounts to inactivate.

These are only a sample of the various Epic reports that can be immensely helpful to your agency. There are numerous reports within Applied Epic that can be beneficial to your agency depending on the information that you are striving to achieve. From gaps in data, to workload management, to cleanup, there is a report that can provide the data you need. In this blog series, we’ll highlight a different section within Applied Epic’s Reports each month, so stay tuned to learn more about specific reports that your agency can leverage.

If you have any questions regarding the use of any of these reports, or are interested in learning more about KiteTech’s Agency Consulting Services, be sure to contact us today!

*NOTE – Any report with an asterisk ( * ) next to it is a part of the latest Applied 2021 Report Pack. If you have not already done so, be sure to contact Applied to request that this back be uploaded to your system to access these reports.

Kellie Halfpap

Kellie Halfpap

Agency Consultant
Kite Technology Group

Direct Bill Commission Reconciliation in Applied Epic

In the first installment of our Epic Accounting Series, we discussed the importance and steps involved with Premium Payables. For the second in the series, we will be going over how to fully reconcile Direct Bill commissions for an agency set up on a Cash basis, which will include the different areas to use within General Ledger. As mentioned in our previous article, the goal is to have a better understanding of the main General Ledger, as well as achieving more accurate reporting but to also ensure your producers and brokers are being paid accurately. While there are other available options within Epic, this is our most recommended of methods for entering and reconciling Direct Bill commissions.

Enter Receipts for Commissions Received

When you receive commissions from carriers, the first thing you want to do is enter it under Receipts in General Ledger. This ties the commission to the appropriate subaccount, which will provide cleaner and easier reporting, and will give you a way to mark the actual reconciliations as paid. This is done by going to General Ledger > Receipts > and adding a new Receipt.

Enter the details on the Add Receipt Screen. Direct Bill Commissions should be associated to the Operating Account, and the effective date should be the date it was received in the bank. Make sure the Accounting Month is correct (if you are not performing Month-End closing or changing the default month, this field may be incorrect). Enter your description and click Continue.

The Detail screen is where you enter the total commission information from a carrier. Locate the company, input the payment method, payment date, and paste the description from the previous screen. Enter the amount select General Ledger to apply it to. Locate your Direct Bill Commission Income GL Account and input that carrier’s code for the subaccount (this will further help with accurate reporting). If you have multiple entries from one day’s deposit, or need to record MVR fees, you can enter additional entries on one receipt by clicking the Add button at the top of the screen. The Add button at the bottom will create a whole new receipt. When you are finished with a receipt, you can click Finish which will close it and take you back to the main Receipts screen.

If no further action needs to be made, the next step would be to finalize the receipt by highlighting that entry and clicking Actions > Finalize Receipt. This will give it a Refer number, which you will use to tie it to the matching reconciliation entry.

Enter in all the Receipts you have for the commissions you have received. Once you are finished with this area, the next step would be to record the Direct Bill Reconciliations.

 

Recording Direct Bill Commissions

There are three ways to record direct bill commissions: Download, Import, and manual entry. Utilizing Download will be the most efficient way to record commissions received from carriers, but you need to work with IVANS to make sure the carriers you work with are able to download commissions to your Epic system. Once that is turned on and set up, your first step for recording with Download is navigate to the suspended commissions by going to Procedures > Interface Management > Assign Items in Suspense > Direct Bill > Run. From there you will see the list of various commissions received. It’s important to set up the necessary columns so that you can easily find each commission grouping.

Each grouping is assigned a Batch ID, which you can sort by to gather all commissions in that batch together. You want to look at each entry in the batch to make sure there are no blanks in information, and to make sure the Accounting Month is correct. If you find an entry without its lookup code, for example, that means that Download could not find that account in your system to tie it to. This could mean that the policy number in Epic is entered differently from the carrier’s records, or maybe the policy has not been renewed yet. Make sure to locate and fix any accounts with blank information while on this screen, or it will not process and move out of Suspense. It is also crucial to look at the Premium Payable Entity listed for each entry in the batch – make sure they all match and list the same entity. Make sure any changes you make on this screen, you also make on the account’s policy level so that going forward, this information will be correct the next time commission downloads for it.

To move a Batch out of Suspense, click Actions > Update Items in Suspense > Direct Bill.

The next screen will show you everything from Download Suspense. Click Deselect All so it does not select everything. You want to filter to the specific Batch ID then click Select All – this selects everything in that batch. Before clicking Finish, click on the edit pencil under the Comm Log section at the top of your screen and select Notify Only so that it does not print. You can now Finish. It will take a few seconds to process depending on the size of the statement. Once finished, navigate over to General Ledger > Reconciliations > Direct Bill to see the entry that you just processed.
The next most efficient way to record direct bill commissions is to use the Import feature in General Ledger. If you can receive or pull Excel statements from the carrier, you can easily create a Mapping File and copy that information to your Mapping File template. Some set up under Configure will be needed to set up your Mapping File, which will match your Excel template.

After your mapping file is configured and your Excel template is created, you can copy/paste the commission statement information onto your template. Save and close the template then navigate to General Ledger > Import > Direct Bill Transactions. Add a new import and complete the Add Batch screen.

The next screen after clicking Finish will take you to the Import suspense screen. You will see your Import which may say Processing – click refresh after a few seconds to see the completed import. If the total does not match the carrier statement, open the import to locate errors (ex: it cannot find the policy, or the billing type is incorrect). Locate the accounts and fix then re-upload the import. When the total is correct, you can proceed with moving the import by clicking Actions > Import Batch. It will take a few seconds to process but will disappear from this screen once completed and move over to Reconciliations > Direct Bill Commissions screen.

The third way to record Direct Bill transactions is by manually entering them. This is done by going to General Ledger > Reconciliations > Direct Bill Commissions. Click on the + button to add record a new commission entry.

In the next screen, select whether you are recording a Company or Broker statement, then also select whether you are recording commissions or reconciling commissions. The difference between the two is that when you select Record commissions, you are adding items right from a carrier statement that is not already transacted in the system. Reconcile commissions, used when your agency is on an accrual basis, means you have transacted the items in the system and are now comparing them to the statement. Select the appropriate choice, your carrier entity, description, accounting month and select Detail.

When you select Record commissions, the next screen shows you a list of filtered policies of all accounts written through that carrier. You can expand your search to find specific policies, or you can clear that filter, select the add button in the middle of the screen and do a manual search for the accounts listed on the carrier statement.

When you click the Add button, it takes you to the screen where you can search for your account. Select how you want to locate by (client name, policy number, etc.) and find the client. Choose the correct policy and make sure you select ‘Both’ under Record Transaction. If you know the type of transaction (new business, renewal, endorsement) select that code. If not, select the Direct bill code, and input the amount and commission details. If you have additional accounts on the carrier statement, click Add to find another account and repeat the process until you are finished with the statement. When you are done you can click Finish. Verify that the total commission amount matches your carrier statement and close the record.

With that record highlighted you can now proceed with finalizing and tying the entry to the Receipt entered previously. To finalize, you click Actions > Finalize Statement.

After that, you want to click Actions > Associate GL Item. A window will appear which will allow you to associate to the Receipt. Select the Operating Bank Account and enter the associating refer number. Next to Detail, click on the dropdown and select the receipt line that matches the Direct Bill amount. Click Finish. This completes the Direct Bill reconciliation process.

Following these steps and incorporating any of the three ways to record direct bill commissions will ensure proper reporting and that your producers and brokers are properly paid. As always, KiteTech is available to assist with standardizing your accounting procedures or to help you take your Applied Epic utilization to the next level. Contact us today to find out more.

Kellie Halfpap

Kellie Halfpap

Agency Consultant
Kite Technology Group

Implementing Epic Renewals Manager Webinar Recording

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Premium Payables in Applied Epic Accounting

When it comes to the General Ledger section of Applied Epic, we find that there tends to be numerous accounting workflows with additional steps that agencies do not realize need to be completed. When these workflows are not completed in their entirety, it causes unbalanced and inaccurate reporting, which can then create pain-points especially when using these reports for month-end bank reconciliation. In the first of our Accounting Series, we will be going over Premium Payables and the steps that must be taken to fully reconcile agency billed policies to achieve accurate reporting. The goal of this series is to help you gain a better understanding of the main areas of General Ledger and enable you to utilize Applied Epic’s accounting features to the benefit of your agency. 

RECONCILE PREMIUM PAYABLES

When paying carriers or brokers for agency billed policies, it’s important to reconcile and reflect those as paid. This is done by going to General Ledger > Reconciliations > Premium Payable and adding a new Reconciliation entry.

Once the appropriate entity and amount due is selected, the next step is to click Actions > Pay Statement. This action finalizes the entry and reflects it as a Disbursement to the carrier or broker for the payment. 

If the statement is for a returned premium from the carrier or broker, you will need to finalize the reconciliation (Actions > Finalize Statement) for the returned items and Associate the GL Item from Receipts where you deposited the return.

You can also finalize the statement and then enter the Receipt for it to select the statement in the Receipts area.  

RECONCILE MANUALLY REVERSED AGENCY BILL TRANSACTIONS

Sometimes you will come across a zero-dollar reconciliation. This can occur when you are flagging items that have been manually reversed. It is important to know that you should NOT close these items without paying, as this will result in those transactions remaining on your Premium Payables reports. The proper way to reflect those items as “paid” is to create a $1 Journal Entry in Epic. Create a new Journal Entry and add a $1 debit from your premium payable GL code and a $1 credit to the same code.  Save the Refer # from this journal entry to use for all zero-dollar premium payable reconciliations going forward.  When you have finalized a zero-dollar reconciliation, you then associate that statement to the $1 Journal Entry refer number that you created.

PREMIUM FINANCING IN EPIC

If your finance company sends the premium directly to the carrier, you will reflect the amount financed and paid to the finance company by using the CFIN – Company Finance Transaction – code.  This removes the balance from the client account.  It will also be reflected in the Premium Payable Reconciliation for you to flag to reduce the amount you will be sending to the carrier.  

Alternatively, if your finance company sends the premium to your agency for you to forward to the carrier or broker, you will need to use Actions > Finance Transaction from the client transactions screen.  This will remove the financed amount from the client’s balance and move it to the Finance Company receivables.  When you receive the premium from the finance company, you’ll apply it directly to the Finance Company receivables. You would then enter the amount paid to the carrier or broker as a Disbursement. 

If there is an instance of a return premium due to the finance company, you will still finance these transactions and they will still need to be reconciled in Premium Payables under General Ledger. The difference is that the premium balance is moved from the client to the finance company. 

REPORTS FOR PREMIUM PAYABLES

There are multiple reports that you can run monthly to find and balance any outstanding Premium Payables:

  • Balancing Current Premium Payables – Use this report to balance to the Premium Payables General Ledger account for prior periods.  You also can view the client’s receivable balance and whether the agency has paid the carrier or received premium from the carrier.  
  • Aged Current Premium Payables – This report will reflect the age date of a premium payable due to the carrier or broker.
  • Premium Payables – This report is very similar to the Balancing Current Premium Payables report.  However, the Balancing Current Premium Payables report includes a summary page at the end in addition to this information.  

There are some newer versions of these reports available from Applied; contact Applied Support to have the new reports loaded to your Epic system if you have not received them yet.  As always, KiteTech is available to assist with standardizing your accounting procedures. Email us at consult@kitetechgroup.com to find out more. 

Kellie Halfpap

Kellie Halfpap

Agency Consultant
Kite Technology Group

5 Habits for Ensuring a Successful Insurance Workday

Whether you are working from home or are back in the office, creating and maintaining a proper routine is vital for a successful workday. How you structure your day can essentially set up how productive the rest of your day, and even your week, will be. To help you maintain focus and motivation throughout the day, below we share five strategies that you can use to maximize your efficiency and keep that overwhelming feeling at bay.

1. Write Out a Daily To-Do List

Start your day by asking, “What items are of utmost importance? Is there anything I promised to deliver today?” Write it all down and prioritize it, with the most important at the top. That way, you know you need to accomplish these items by the end of the day, no matter what. Having a visual list of tasks also ensures nothing is missed and provides you a sense of accomplishment when you cross a completed item off. You can move anything that did not get accomplished to the next day’s list, but make sure urgent items remain a priority.

2. Check Email, Voicemail and Your Epic Home Screen

Review your inbox and make sure that there are no more than 100 emails. The goal is to have all insurance emails attached in Epic, so be sure to frequently review your correspondences to identify what you should move to a client file. If you have any voicemails, address those first, especially if a client called to request a change in their policy or has a question regarding coverage. Next, review your open activities on your Epic Home Screen. It can be overwhelming to see a long list of open activities; however, taking the time to triage them helps you avoid becoming stressed throughout the day. Work on what is urgent first and go down from there. If there is an activity that is not urgent and you do not think you will be able to address it that day, update the follow-up date to the next day. Again, just make sure that it is still taken care of in a timely fashion.

3. Schedule Your Time and Set Reasonable Timeframes

Use your calendar to your advantage to block out time to work on specific items. Try to refrain from multitasking, as stretching your attention across multiple tasks could lead to forgetting to fully complete aspects of a workflow. Setting reminders on deliverables will also be helpful to ensure items are completed on time and sent to the client in the timeframe promised. It can also be more efficient to group similar types of tasks together. For example, if you have a bunch of endorsements to complete, work on those concurrently, then move on to the next set (i.e., new business, claims, renewals, etc.). Grouping similar tasks together keeps you focused on one process instead of jumping back and forth through multiple workflows.

4. Work Efficiently in Epic

To make the most out of your workday, make sure you work as efficiently as possible within Applied Epic. First, start by customizing your Home screen. Choose what data you want to see by selecting the appropriate columns and setting how many days in advance you want to see open Activities. Next, make sure you set up Field Defaults – many workflows can be formatted to auto-populate information to save you the time from manually typing it in. For example, configure the Client Add workflow to preselect your Business Type, Format, Structure, and Servicing Roles. That way, when you add a new client, you do not need to add this information manually. When you can auto-fill as much information as possible, it saves you time and navigating Epic becomes faster and more convenient. 

Lastly, make sure you attach files and correspondences to the appropriate policy, activity, claim, etc. Associating the attachment correctly in Epic keeps the client file organized and makes finding those files easier and quicker. There are many other ways to ensure efficiency within Applied Epic, so make sure you are familiar with your company’s workflows and check out our previous articles for additional Epic guidance.

5. Give Yourself Breaks

No matter how busy your day may be, your mental health should always remain a priority. To avoid burnout, make sure to take to your lunch breaks. It can be so easy to fall into a habit of staying at your desk all day but take a few minutes throughout the day to stand up and stretch. Whenever possible, spend your breaks outside to get some fresh air. This will help your brain reset, and you will be able to return to your work refreshed and more ready to tackle the rest of your day. It is also critical to end your workday at a reasonable time. While there may be days when working late is necessary to finish an important task, like a client’s policy renewal, that should be the exception, not the rule. A consistent work-life balance prevents job fatigue and keeps you mentally and physically healthy.

Following a daily work routine helps you establish habits that support your goals and ensure you have a successful day. Implementing any of these strategies will assist in maintaining focus and motivation throughout your workday. While everyone’s routine will look different, the important thing is making sure it works for you and that you can stick to it consistently. 

KiteTech’s Agency Consulting team is passionate about helping our clients supercharge their productivity. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you optimize your Epic system for better efficiency, reach out to us at consult@kitetechgroup.com. We are here to help!

Kellie Halfpap

Kellie Halfpap

Agency Consultant
Kite Technology Group

Transitioning Your Accounting Practices From QuickBooks to Applied Epic

It has become an ongoing trend that agencies are beginning the transition of moving some or all their accounting information out of QuickBooks to their Epic system. The main advantages to this transition would be that all your agency information would be condensed into one platform, and you would ultimately be able to pull the most accurate reports with all your data being in one place. But there are certain differences and steps that need to be taken for a clean transition and to make sure you are utilizing the accounting features in Epic accurately. 

Below we’ll discuss the most important steps, however, it is important to know that appropriate training and assistance is imperative to ensure your agency completes this transition correctly and that your employees understand the features and capabilities Epic has related to accounting.

Perform an Epic “Fresh Start” Cleanup

Even if you haven’t been using Epic for accounting purposes, odds are that there is still some data in your system that needs to be cleaned up. If you are going to transition to Epic, make sure you are starting with a clean system that does not contain old data that could affect your reports. This is a task best handled by a consultant or Applied Epic Accounting Specialist, as they know what steps are needed to clean up your Epic system and provide you with a clean slate configured to fit your agency’s needs.

Set up Your Bank Accounts and Enter Opening Balances

You will want to ensure that your bank accounts are set up and configured within Applied Epic since you will be recording direct bill commissions, premium payables, vendor payables, etc. Typically, you will have an Operating Account (for commission and vendor payables/expenses) and a Trust Account (client receivables and premium payables). After that, select your start month and record your beginning account balances. This way, at the end of each month, you can reconcile and ensure your accounts match what you recorded in Epic.

Determine Who Will Transact on Account and Who Will Access General Ledger

Will account managers/CSRs transact policies on account, or will that be designated to one person? It’s imperative to determine who will be performing these operations within Epic and provide proper training and workflows accordingly. If the account managers or CSRs are not transacting, there needs to be communication between them and the accounting department – this can all be performed within Epic. You can configure specific accounting activity codes to go directly to the accounting contact that will advise them on what action they need to make on a particular account. If you are unsure how to set this up, a consultant can advise on the best way to utilize this feature so that all information stays contained within Applied Epic.

Run Reports to Find Gaps in Data

Before you start reconciling commissions in Epic, you want to make sure that there aren’t any policies with missing or incorrect data. For seamless and easy accounting entry, you will want your existing data to be as accurate as possible. Run a Line Book of Business report to look for discrepancies such as missing or incorrect Producer commission in the Pr/Br tab, incomplete Servicing tab information, and incorrect policy statuses. Cleaning up and fixing any incorrect or missing data will be beneficial, not only for accounting but also for ongoing accurate reporting.

Turn on Download and Set up Mapping Files

Before you begin reconciling commissions, work with IVANS to turn on direct bill download. Find out which carriers you work with that download commissions, and make sure those are ready to start coming in through Download. Utilizing Download will be the fastest way to record direct bill commissions. You will also want to set up your mapping files in Configure, as you may also have commission statement spreadsheets to import into Epic for direct bill transactions. When it comes to direct bill commission entry, importing is the 2nd fastest way to record transactions from a carrier statement. However, for a mapping file to be successful, all policy details need to be correct – this includes correct bill type, PPE, policy number, and effective date.

While moving your accounting information from QuickBooks to Epic may seem daunting, it makes the most sense to have all data in a single platform. Epic also has a multitude of reports available that can provide an accurate overview of your data, but only if all the information is recorded into Epic. Some agencies may not be able to fully transition all their data over to Epic for various operational reasons, but we do recommend utilizing the accounting areas in Epic as much as possible. Each area of Epic affects and connects to another, so recording all information (accounting or otherwise) will ensure data is entered correctly, workflows are followed, and your reports and balances are accurate. If you are unsure how or where to begin, feel free to reach out to KiteTech to schedule a complimentary consultation to discuss your agency’s accounting needs. We are here to help!

 

Kellie Halfpap

Kellie Halfpap

Agency Consultant
Kite Technology Group

Our Favorite Epic Highlights from Applied Net 2021

Though attending Applied Net in person offers a much more interactive approach to the conference, the best part about it being virtual is the fact that it makes it easier to attend multiple sessions back-to-back and re-watch them to gain full understanding of the subject matter. This year, Applied Net was once again filled with fantastic sessions full of knowledgeable material to help enhance your Applied Epic experience. There were many new updates, features and capabilities being rolled out this year. Below we share some of the Epic highlights we’re most excited about and what you can expect from Epic with the recent updates that have been released:

1. Expanded Email Templates

One update that we were most excited to see was the enhanced functionality of the Email Templates. Prior to this latest release, this feature was very limited. Now you can create an email template directly from Outlook which attaches to the client file in Epic. There is also an option to add an email template with Marketing reports. You can set up these templates with your agency’s branding as well as configure templates based on certain workflows to streamline email messaging.

2. EZLynx – Applied Merger

It was announced earlier this year that Applied was acquiring EZLynx, which would bring greater automation in carrier rating and broaden marketing opportunities for agencies. This is integrated with Applied Epic, and it was announced at AppliedNet that by December, there will be 100 Carrier options. EZLynx is a popular rater especially for Personal Lines producers, so this further enhance the comparative rating experience.

3. Indio Submission Activities

Agencies using the Indio integration will now have a more seamless flow between Epic and Indio marketed submissions with the new activity update. You can now enable submissions created in Indio to be associated to Epic activities. When a submission in Indio is updated (for example: submitted, accepted, declined), you will be able to see this status on the activity screen. Viewing the status of a marketed account in Epic, and the ability to push information back and forth between the two platforms, streamlines discussion and workflows between Account Managers and Sales Personnel.

4. Applied Epic Benefits

Many exciting updates came to Applied Epic specifically for the Benefits Department. In the past, Epic was very limited to the type of Benefits-related information that you could put in an application. Now, there are Benefits-specific details in the Accounts Detail section that will then trickle down to the policy. You will also be able to enter $0 premium when reconciling Direct Bill commission statements – previously, you had to enter a non-zero amount in the premium field, which did not provide accurate reporting. 

Now, the reports generated will be much more accurate as you will not have a stand-in premium in those fields. Lastly, you will be able to turn on Direct Bill Download for Benefits/Life & Health policies, which will certainly save time by reducing the need to manually input commission statements and reducing your E&O exposure. You will need to contact the carriers you want to receive downloaded commission statements from and ensure you system is set up correctly to receive them.

5. Expanded Sales Automation

Sales Automation is a built-in Epic integration and a very helpful tool for managing your sales pipeline and set your goals for the year. But not every agency is set up for a standard calendar year. Now you can configure your Epic system by selecting Fiscal or non-calendar year if that is your agency’s preference. This will allow a more accurate picture of your sales goals and provides a further tailors Epic to your agency’s needs.

The wonderful thing about Applied Epic is that it’s always evolving and finding ways to improve and expand its capabilities to fit the needs of its agency user base. Applied Net this year once more offered opportunities to grow your knowledge and learn more features and unique ways to enable Applied Epic to meet the needs of your agency. At KiteTech, we always look forward to learning new processes and best practices that we can then pass on to our clients. If you would like to learn more about our Epic Consulting Services and how we can help you get the most from your Applied Epic system, contact us at consult@kitetechgroup.com to schedule a free consultation!

Kellie Uhlhorn

Kellie Uhlhorn

Agency Consultant

6 Ways an Applied Epic Consultant can Benefit your Insurance Agency

Insurance agencies have an abundance of daily responsibilities on their plates – those can include keeping up with renewals, making sure endorsements are processed promptly, getting policies checked and sent out to insured and keeping up with client relationships. Of course, an agency’s obligations do not stop there, so it can be challenging to delegate the time for crucial operational tasks such as updating and maintaining your agency management system. Because this is the primary component for operating your agency efficiently and avoiding E&O exposure, that is where an Applied Epic Consultant can provide value. Whether you are currently using Applied Epic or are migrating in the future, a consultant can handle those essential responsibilities that ensure you are maximizing the use of your Epic database.

Below are some examples of how working with a consultant can be beneficial to your agency:

1. Create or Update your Applied Epic Workflows

Workflows are how an agency uniquely uses Applied Epic to its advantage. Standardized workflows are vital to the agency’s operations and should assist in creating efficiency and accurate use of the system. Those workflows should also be maintained and updated routinely with the installation of regular updates received by Applied. An agency consultant can work with your agency to develop custom workflows and make sure they are updated as needed.

2. Custom Reports Management

Reports provide valuable information about your Epic data. When run regularly, they help identify data discrepancies, provide a list of policies upcoming for renewal, track your Book of Business, and more. Reports also assist with reducing your E&O risk when reviewed frequently, which is why they should be set up, scheduled to run, and delivered to the appropriate people within your agency. Leveraging the appropriate reports assists with auditing your agency by identifying missing or incorrect data, further reducing your E&O risk. Building custom reports is a great task to delegate to an Applied Epic  consultant as it can a time-consuming to set up. A consultant can also provide training on report setup and scheduling and perform audits for your agency.

3. Employee Training

The process of migrating to Applied Epic includes educating all current employees on using and navigating the new system. But what happens when you hire new employees who will then need training on your Epic system and workflows? Or what if current employees can benefit from additional coaching? An agency consultant can step in and provide training if you do not have the capacity or a dedicated trainer in your agency. A consultant can also provide additional training during the initial migration or when you implement new standardized workflows.

4. Epic Migration and Optimization Assistance

During the Epic conversion process, you will need to make numerous configuration decisions for the agency in a system that is all new to you. A consultant specializing in Applied Epic can provide valuable insight and guide you through options in configuration based on your agency’s needs. After migration, many agencies find that they could benefit from additional optimization assistance to further increase efficiency – an Applied Epic consultant can look at your Epic system to find inconsistencies and make suggestions on optimizing your use of Epic.

5. Accounting Assistance

Applied Epic has sophisticated accounting capabilities and procedures that can be challenging to fully utilize and understand. If you are not currently using these features in Epic and would like to but don’t know where to start, an Applied Epic consultant can assist with transitioning your accounting processes and provide training. Just as a consultant assists with training servicing staff, they can also train new accounting staff based on your agency’s unique workflows. Accurately entering accounting information is key to getting reliable reports from your database. If you are unsure about the accuracy of your accounting, working with a consultant can go a long way in improving your agency’s accounting processes.

5. Applied Epic Integrations

Numerous beneficial software integrations are available with unique features that can further boost your agency’s operations and efficiency. Learning more about these products and incorporating them within your agency is another example of how a consultant can work with your agency. To learn more about some of the more popular Applied Epic integrations, check out our previous article.

When implementing Applied Epic in your agency, it is crucial to ensure that you are not only getting the most out of your investment but are doing so correctly and efficiently. With all the daily responsibilities that agencies balance, it can be challenging to prioritize tasks like those mentioned above. An Applied Epic consultant can help guide you towards the best options for your agency and serve as an additional resource to ensure your Epic system is set up and maintained to your agency’s standards and needs. 

If you have questions about Kite Technology’s Agency Consulting Services or would like assistance regarding any of the engagements mentioned above, email us at consult@kitetechgroup.com to schedule a complimentary consultation today. We look forward to learning more about your agency’s needs and how we might be able to help. 

Applied Epic Integrations – Further Enhancing Your Agency’s Efficiency

One of the many benefits of being an Applied Epic user is the number of integrated platforms developed to enhance your Epic experience and boost your agency’s virtual efficiency. The insurance industry has become much more sophisticated through technology and online processes, so it is vital for your agency to keep up with this trend. Whether you are Management, an Account Manager, or a Producer, there are integrations that you can incorporate with your daily workload. But with so many now available, you may be asking, which one(s) is best for my agency?  Below, we’ll review a number of Applied Epic integrations that agencies can take advantage of to help them operate more efficiently and serve their clients better.

CSR24 & Applied MobileInsured

CSR24 and MobileInsured are no-brainers when it comes to Applied Epic integrations that your agency can benefit from. CSR24 brings convenience to Account Managers and clients by providing document and policy management in a portal that is accessible at any time. Clients can request changes to a policy, initiate and track claims, and request or even generate their own insurance certificates. MobileInsured furthers the accessibility by providing a personalized mobile app customizable for each client and your agency.  

Ensuring your clients are consistently receiving top-notch customer service is crucial for your agency’s continued success. If you want to be able to route calls faster, record those calls to ensure quality service, and reduce E&O risk, blueButler may be the solution for you. It gives you the ability to see client information from Epic when a call comes in. You can make notes and associate that call directly to a policy, contact, or activity within Epic. Management can create tags, scripts, and checklists for consistency in call workflows. It can also show you daily call activity and the recorded audio to ensure the service provided is always precise and meets agency standards.  

When it comes to renewals and remarketing policies, carriers often require their own separate application completed on top of other supplementals to provide a quote. Asking a client to fill out multiple applications can be time-consuming and frustrating, and trying to keep track of each application also comes with its challenges. Indio helps reduce the risk of E&O exposures while saving you time by automating data to populate across multiple carrier applications, custom forms, and questionnaires located in their 15,000+ application library. Within Indio, you can easily track changes in exposures or receive a notification when a client fills out or submits requested information. Clients can even flag questions that they need assistance with, which will notify the Account Manager directly. Agencies have found a higher return rate and faster turnaround time of applications from clients due to the ease of use of this product.  

Marketing your agency and the services you offer is a vital process for maintaining a strong book of business and ensures your clients and prospects are receiving up-to-date industry content. Marketing Automation allows you to create, send and track email campaigns to target a specific audience. You will have the ability to send a myriad of content found in the Marketing Automation library containing both PNC and benefits materials. You can pull contact information directly from Applied Epic and track your campaigns’ open and click rates. Marketing automation is a great way to regularly stay in front of your clients while also providing them with valuable information.  

For an agency to operate and provide exceptional service to its clients, it’s essential that sales and servicing staff work together efficiently. Applied Epic for Salesforce offers a seamless operation by allowing producers to sell and market on the CRM platform and transfer the data directly into Epic. The Account Manager can then track and keep up with the status of a client account. The dashboard within Salesforce allows you to keep track of sales and performance with detailed reports and enables you to remain up to date on your book of business and opportunities. Attachments, activities, opportunities, and more can be created in either Salesforce or Applied Epic and pushed to the other platform ensuring sales and service are working with current information. If Producers don’t have an Applied Epic license or use it often, having Salesforce is a great way to keep their Account Managers in the loop regarding where they are in the stages of selling and marketing for a specific client.  

Created to eliminate the traditional “spreadsheeting” process and reduce E&O risks, Benefits Designer allows you to build custom proposals and compare different benefits plans all within one system. Premiums and rates are calculated automatically for you, and you can update costs in real-time to present a side-by-side comparison of coverage based on client budget and needs. Relevant information can be transferred directly into the policy application within Epic, reducing manual entry even more. Numerous plans can be created based on client structure, whether they are self-funded, fully insured, or community rated.  

eSignature Solutions

Reduce the need for physical paperwork and decrease wait time by incorporating an eSignature platform into your agency’s operations. Programs like DocuSign and RightSignature help you manage agreements and contracts by providing the ability to prepare and sign them all online. Send and receive signed documents without sacrificing security compliance. These two specific products also transfer signed documents right into Epic, which will notify you via an Activity. 

No matter the role you play in your agency, there is an Applied Epic integration that can benefit you and your agency. With the bi-directional integration that each platform offers, you are reducing your E&O exposure and saving time by cutting out the need for manual and duplicate entry. Our KiteTech Consultants are here to help you optimize your Applied Epic system and assist you in deciding which platform(s) would benefit your agency the most. Contact us today at consult@kitetechgroup.com for a free consultation.

An Applied Epic Checklist to Start the Year Right

As you look ahead into 2021, you may be wondering if there are specific procedures you should be implementing to set your insurance agency up for success and optimize your Applied Epic system. Below we share a few recommendations on items that we feel are important to check off this time of year.

Run Expiration Reports

This is the time of year when many employees are taking time off, so it is imperative to make sure they are aware of all policies that are renewing this month or in early January. Even if employees regularly receive Expiration reports, sending out more frequent reminders during the holiday season will help ensure expiring policies are addressed, which will, in turn, help you avoid a possible E&O exposure.

Employee Performance Reviews

This is typically a great time to meet with your employees and review their performance over the past year. If you have implemented employee auditing practices, you should review the results and utilize them for performance reviews. Auditing reports can be a crucial tool in determining which employees are doing a great job or require more guidance and training.

Clean-up Outstanding Balances and Premium Payables

Insurance Companies and clients will also have limited staff this time of year due to the holidays. Run an Aged Outstanding Current Balances report to view all outstanding client balances and send out statements early to avoid trying to collect or pay multiple outstanding invoices after the new year. Apply Debits and Credits throughout the month to get those cleaned up for Year-End. Running the Balancing Current Premium Payables report will help clean up any manually reversed transactions and identify any transactions that may be outstanding to the carrier or return premium to the agency for the year. This accounting step is especially important if your fiscal year ends in December.

System Clean-Up and Workflow Review

If you have specific configurations and workflows set up for your agency, this may be a good time to review them to ensure they still make sense for your agency processes and procedures. Start a discussion with your employees or use the employee audits (if implementing) to see if there are any gaps in workflow procedures that you should amend to increase efficiency.

New Product Research

Now is also an excellent time to research new products that integrate with Applied Epic. Programs like Indio, DocuSign, blueButler, or Salesforce can be great software additions to increase your agency’s efficiency and productivity. If most of your employees work remotely, these products can make that operation more seamless by automating certain processes. Learn how these products could benefit your agency. For example, Indio has a great feature that will copy duplicate information across multiple carrier applications saving you or the client from re-writing the same information over and over.

Checking off these items will set your agency up for continued success going into the new year. It is important to run reports periodically this month to make sure you address upcoming renewals and handle any outstanding balances. Touching base with employees and reviewing workflows will ensure continued efficiency within Applied Epic. Finally, take some time to research new products that can prove beneficial for further automating practices that save time and keep remote work seamless. If you would like assistance or guidance with any of these recommendations or would like to learn how we can help your agency utilize Applied Epic more effectively, contact us at consult@kitetechgroup.com.

Applied Epic Post-Migration: Steps for Continued Success

Did your agency just migrate to Applied Epic, or is in the process of migrating now? Regardless of the platform you are migrating from, transitioning your team to an entirely new system can feel daunting. If you have already completed the training provided and finished transferring your data, you now may be asking yourself, ‘What should be my next step for success?’ We’d like to offer some recommendations on additional steps that you can take to help your staff be fully prepared to utilize Applied Epic effectively and help you experience a successful migration.

Configure Epic to Fit your Agency

Before your employees start navigating Applied Epic, it is essential to configure it properly to fit your agency’s needs. This includes setting up field defaults, required vs. desired fields, folder structures, activity codes and categories, system events, tasks on activities, etc. For example, you can configure specific activity codes to only be visible to a particular department, which reduces options and ensures employees choose the code that best fits that workflow. It is imperative to configure Epic properly as soon as possible because once your employees start to use the system, changing certain settings and functions will be more challenging.

Set up Reports

Reports are a great way to track information entered in Epic. Setting up various reports ahead of time can help you audit your data to make sure information is entered correctly and moved through the different workflow stages timely. Reports can also help employees stay up to date on upcoming renewals, track new and loss business, and help you determine if information is missing on accounts (e.g., Servicing Roles, Estimated Premium/Commission, Pr/Br, and Agency Commission). Once your reports are set up, you can automate delivery to your employees and departments at a specific time or make them available in their Reports Quick View. Expiration Reports, for example, would be a great report to send to your employees’ Reports Quick View as they can refer to this report at any time to see which accounts have policies coming up for renewal.

Create & Standardize Your Workflows

To ensure that your employees clearly understand how to utilize Epic, you must create and standardize your agency workflows. Standardized workflows serve as a valuable guide your employees can follow as they learn the Epic platform and provide a reference for when they need guidance on a particular function. To ensure your workflows will work for everyone within the agency, we recommend that you have a team that includes a member from each department work together to create them.

Provide Additional Training

It is important to remember that as your agency continues to learn and grow within Applied Epic, it will be essential to continue providing additional training to your employees to develop their skills. If a workflow needs to be updated or changed, or employees are struggling to follow workflows, additional training will ensure continued growth and efficiency. You can use reports and perform audits to find possible inconsistencies with workflows and areas where additional training is needed.

Be Patient with the Process

Migrating to a new system can be stressful for both management and employees. It may be tempting to take aspects of how you used your old system and try to apply them in Epic because that is what you are used to doing. Epic has its own unique functions that are different from your old system. Your agency’s workflows are also going to be different, so it is crucial to avoid copying how you navigated your old system in Epic as it will only cause frustration in the long run. Trust the learning process and know that while Epic is an entirely different system, eventually, the workflows and structure will ‘click,’ becoming easier and more comfortable to navigate. Be patient with the process, ask questions, and refer to your workflows every step of the way.

Configuring Epic, setting up reports, standardizing workflows, and providing continued training are essential tools to implement after migration and will set your agency up for success with the Applied Epic platform. It is important to remember that learning a new system takes time, but that daunting feeling will not last forever. By managing your team’s expectations, continuing to have patience, and trusting the process, your agency will be Applied Epic pros in no time.

For help applying these practices or to learn how to utilize Applied Epic more effectively in your agency, contact us at consult@kitetechgroup.com for a free consultation.

 

Automating Your Workflows: Tips on Optimizing the Use of Applied Epic Download

The Download feature in Applied Epic is one that can automate tasks and create efficiencies in multiple areas: policy applications, transactions, activities, attachments, for example. While it does require some time to properly configure how Download will influence each of these components, once set up, you will find that having certain functions automated for you saves time and creates efficiency in your daily workload. Here are some features of Download and how they can prove beneficial when implemented into your workflows:

Consider Instant Download Versus Scheduled Download

It is standard to schedule Download to occur one to two times per day, the most common being once in the morning and once in the evening after work hours. Alternatively, you can implement Instant Download, which will pull updates from carriers as they occur throughout the day. Instant Download is particularly useful when it comes to important events like claims or reinstatements. In these cases, it is more beneficial to the insured and you as the Account Manager if Download updates a change to the account in real-time versus at a scheduled time, as it keeps their account the most up to date. Instant Download also takes away the large batches that often come with a scheduled Download: when Downloads are only occurring once or twice a day, the system can get clogged and take longer to process; however, when using Instant Download, they are processing in smaller batches as changes or updates occur, which takes less time to process.

Create Separate Download Transaction Codes from Agency Bill Transaction Codes

To keep an account updated and accurate, consider setting up separate Download transaction codes. Most of the time with Agency Bill, you would be billing the full annualized premium amount, applied to the Annualized field at the Policy or Line levels. But with Direct Bill, it is often difficult to determine if the amounts listed on a statement is for a total annualized premium, an endorsement, an installment, or just commission received. You can configure Epic to have the “Policy” download update your Annualized Premium and have a separate set of Direct Bill transaction codes that do not affect your Annualized Premium. This is a great way to prevent issues with transactions downloaded that may be classified as a renewal but are actually an installment, for example.

Configure EDOCs With Your Agency’s Naming Conventions & Folder Structure

When using EDOCs to attach policy documents, most of the time, the description is ‘Downloaded Policy’ or something similar. You can override the attachment descriptions to match your agency’s naming conventions by pulling in field defaults for Policy type, Effective Date, Policy Number, etc. However, it is important to note that this would not work for endorsements, as EDOC cannot decipher which Service Summary Row to pull the description from. It is also beneficial to set EDOCs to attach documents to the appropriate folder and subfolder, saving you from re-routing the attachments to the correct locations.

For the Activities screen, setting up unique EDOC activity codes that further specify what that activity contains is an easy way to distinguish what is coming in through EDOCs, saving you from clicking through activities to figure out what each is. For example, you can set up an ECLA code for downloaded Claims, an EREN code for downloaded Renewals, or an EPOL code for downloaded policies. You can even put descriptions on these codes like ‘Claims Document Download,’ which provides even more detail about each activity before opening it. Utilizing unique codes and descriptions makes searching for a specific document or activity easier as well.

Implement the Use of Download Activities Instead of Communication Log

While you are most likely used to a printed or emailed PDF Communication Log of what Download has imported each day, you might want to consider using Activities instead. Download Activities is especially important if you utilize the Instant Download feature – a Communication Log generated multiple times throughout the day would not be efficient for the system or your Account Managers. While you can change the report to run at a specific time rather than after each time a Download occurs, Activities will ultimately prove to be easier to manage, and they mirror the same information on the Communication Log.

With most employees now working from home, Download Activities is more practical than printing a daily Communication Log. It is better to keep the information in the system rather than having each Account Manager have multiple printed pages or PDFs to sort through and manage. Activities are also a great way to schedule your time and workload – if you cannot get to a particular activity or account that day, you can easily change the follow-up date on your Home Screen.

Setup Tasks on Download Activities

Though Download does provide a streamlined way to get through your daily workload by processing changes and attaching documents for you, it is still essential that the Account Manager review certain activities Download generates before closing them. Setting tasks on Download Activities provides a checklist for the Account Managers to ensure what Download processed is accurate and complete with no further actions needed for that workflow. Setting tasks prevents any E&O exposures as, while Download is a fantastic feature, it is still important to double-check your work.

To accommodate these Download features, you may find that some workflows may need to be updated, or additional training is necessary. However, proper configuration of each of these tools will lead to more efficiency within Applied Epic. Implementing Download can help you attach documents to accounts faster, provide an improved view of your daily activities and workload, and can update accounts instantly as changes occur. For more information or help setting up Download for your agency, contact us at consult@kitetechgroup.com for a free consultation.

Developing Standardized Agency Workflows

If you are among the many agencies utilizing the Applied Epic platform, do you know there are a myriad of configurations and uses that you can set to make it work uniquely to your agency’s needs? Even if you are implementing the workflows set by Applied Epic or have developed your own, there will come a time when you need to step back and make sure that those workflows are still working and proving beneficial to your agency. Updating and standardizing your workflows is an important part of running your agency efficiently while also ensuring that information is entered into your database accurately. If you are trying to determine if your workflows are already standardized, or if it is time to update them, it is helpful to evaluate your agency using questions such as:

  1. Are your employees efficient?
  2. Are you getting accurate reports from Epic?
  3. Can you or anyone else follow behind them and understand their work?

If you answered no to any of these questions, then it is time to seriously consider standardizing your agency workflows and doing so will come with many benefits: First of all, standardized workflows can create efficiency when you streamline functions in Configure. An excellent example of this would be having only one activity open per workflow. Second, standardization allows each person in your agency to follow behind someone and understand where they are at in a workflow. Finally, you can prevent harmful E&O exposures by ensuring the workflow requires steps to be followed, such as attaching documents or updating the application properly. Many agencies find that inaccurate reporting is often directly related to the agency workflows. For example, if you are reporting on Estimated Premium and Commission, that needs to be instructed in the workflow. Otherwise, employees may be skipping that field if it is not required in Epic.

When you are ready to develop your workflows, it is important to choose the right team to get the job done. Your team needs to be efficient and open-minded, and you may want a representative from each department for times where you may need more than one activity code per event. Include member(s) of management who will determine what reports are required, and someone who has hands-on working knowledge of Applied Epic, such as an account manager.

Once you have your team in place, you can apply some best practices to the development of your workflows. Remember, adapting what you “used to do” will not allow you to take full advantage of Epic efficiencies.

A great starting point would be in Configure. To automate a workflow, you need to understand Epic Configuration of Events, Activities, and Tasks. You will also need to re-evaluate the Configure setup periodically, especially when there are major Epic updates. Start with Events and identify which ones are associated to activities and how those activities are being generated and used. Determine whether you need an activity to generate for documentation, follow up, or reporting purposes only. Keep in mind that you can set activities to generate in the background or even be kept hidden when you need them only for reporting purposes. Configure your activities with field defaults, follow updates, tasks, and further actions for additional automation.

Next, determine how you will structure your workflow manual. It is best that you categorize your workflows by department and/or process. For example, you may have separate workflows for Personal Lines Renewals – Downloaded and Personal Lines Renewals – Not Downloaded. It is possible that some workflows can be used by multiple departments as well, so be sure to involve representatives from each department, so you do not make changes that negatively impact the other departments.

Finally, remember it is essential to audit your data and employees once you have trained and implemented the standardized workflows. Without auditing, you will be unable to determine whether the workflows that you worked so hard to create are even being followed or understood. Be sure to check out Kite Technology’s webinars for more information on Auditing and Reporting for System Integrity.

Standardizing workflows is a beneficial tool to ensure your agency is getting the best use out of Applied Epic and that information is inputting accurately. It creates efficiency with configured streamlined functions, prevents potential E&O exposures, and allows for employees to easily pick up and work on an account, no matter if it is theirs or another colleagues. If you would like more information about developing your agency’s workflows, email us at consult@kitetechgroup.com or visit us online at https://www.kitetechgroup.com/insurance-consulting.

adam atwell

Adam Atwell

Cloud solutions architect

Adam is passionate about consulting with organizations across the country to help them develop and execute a cloud adoption strategy that meets their business needs and future objectives. Adam oversees and manages our company strategy for Microsoft 365 adoption and is responsible for future growth and development inside Microsoft 365 and other cloud technologies.