It is now approaching four years since IFRS 17 was published and the market has been maturing with increasing pace ahead of the now, January 2022 go-live date. The news shared by the IASB in late 2018 was that a provisional agreement was made to delay the start date by one year, a compromise on the two years that the industry as a whole was calling for. This delay offers some comfort to insurance companies who have not yet made significant progress in the planning process, although some are merely seeing the delay as an adjustment to their timetables which allow for an appropriate level of implementation and testing; very few insurers are using the delay to proportionally delay their programmes.
IFRS 17 represents the greatest accounting standard change to hit insurance firms, and with programme budgets in many cases being set higher than those set aside for Solvency II, the stakes are high and there is increasing market and board focus on IFRS 17 implementations, and what IFRS 17 will mean for the business and shareholders.
The implementation of changes to insurance business and their systems will be wide-reaching, and programmes are likely to involve areas of the business ranging from actuarial and finance through to IT and operations. IFRS 17 programmes will demand a range of skills from across the business, and likely from external partners and vendors. Alike to the Solvency II implementations of 2015, insurance companies once again have the juggling act to perform of onboarding and developing brand new knowledge and skills, managing a high profile implementation likely to involve a high degree of technology change, working to a regulatory-driven hard stop deadline which doesn’t offer the opportunity for dry runs. With these factors in mind, a year does not seem much of a delay, and more an opportunity for catch-up.
VantagePoint has a unique experience of working intrinsically within insurance companies, focusing on the implementation of regulatory and accounting change programmes and through our business partnerships across the UK, Europe and the rest of the World. We bring a wealth of experience in developing solutions for insurance businesses, and more importantly, solutions that can fit seamlessly into existing architectures, to be owned, managed and supported exclusively by the business teams who get the benefit from them, without the requirement for input by IT.