The original timeline for IFRS 17, with an effective date of 1 January 2021, presented a significant implementation challenge for many insurers and, as our benchmarking study In it to win it showed, many were facing a struggle against the clock. The additional year brings not only more time — but an opportunity to better understand results and optimise performance on an IFRS 17 basis. The extra time also brings the prospect of delivering greater value from finance, by developing a roadmap to a better financial reporting capability and, as a minimum, containing future costs.
But the change also brings challenges. Some insurers would have liked a longer deferral and the additional year is to enable entities to adapt to further changes to the standard, albeit aimed at reducing its complexity. So it's crucial that insurers don't take their foot off the gas, thinking that they will pick up the pace later: that multiplies risks and cost.
Instead, the opportunity now presents itself to be more ambitious in those areas where you can derive greater value from change and to better understand results in the new world.
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