How to Process Commissions Faster with an Agency Management System
As part of the commissions department at an agency, you’re primarily responsible for processing commissions, finding missed commissions, answering agents’ questions, and providing insights from commission data to make business decisions. Without the right tools in place, all of these tasks can become time consuming and frustrating.
These are big responsibilities that guide the direction of the agency as a whole.
Notre Dame of Maryland University points out three skills all data analysts (including commissions analysts) must have: problem-solving skills, accuracy and attention to detail, and written and verbal communication skills. While these are skills you must have personally, they, too, can be largely influenced by the technology at your disposal.
Let’s take a look at the things commissions managers and analysts do each commission cycle and how having the right technology can play a beneficial role throughout the process.
Process Commissions Efficiently
There are many steps involved in processing commissions; they can vary agency to agency, but the following is a summary of what it typically looks like.
- Check agency bank accounts for incoming deposits
- Gather carrier statements - download from carrier websites, collect them from emails, or gather from an upline
- Import commission statements - create new maps for any new carriers and enter commission data from PDFs into standard template
- Process commissions - if necessary, add any new agents, add new policies, update rate tables and schedules; process commissions per carrier
- Send agent statements - via email (not necessary if agents have a login to view their statements)
- Pay agents - via checks, direct deposit, etc.
Without an agency management system with commissions processing capabilities, all of these steps (especially steps 3 and 4) include manual data entry, which can take days.
With AgencyBloc, processing commissions is done in a way to save you serious time and resources. Initial setup includes creating rate tables that dictate how to calculate your agency’s splits. You then connect those rate tables to the associated policies, which are tied to agents.
Once setup is complete, AgencyBloc processes commissions based on carrier statements you get from the carrier. With over 4,800 carriers mapped, AgencyBloc recognizes what the carrier pays based on the statement you get from the carrier.
When uploading a carrier statement to AgencyBloc, entries and deposits are added to what is called a Commission Transaction. The Transaction organizes your commissions by a unique ID, which you can use later to search for specific information. With all this information in one place, you can quickly refer back to past carrier statements and confirm the payment amounts.
Once you import the carrier statement, AgencyBloc does the processing for you.
Importing and processing is typically the biggest time-savings spot for agencies—where many say they spend 75% less time processing commissions after they switched to AgencyBloc. This is because they are no longer manually entering data line by line or copying and pasting renewal data, and all the policy and commission data is already within AgencyBloc and tied together.
Once commissions are processed, you can download and send agent statements, or you can give your agents a login to view their statements.
This was a very high-level explanation of processing commissions in AgencyBloc. For more detail, check out this guide: The Agency's Guide to Commissions: Efficient Processing, Uncovering Misses, & Analyzing Performance.
Find & Reconcile Missed Commissions
Commission analysts are also responsible for identifying and reconciling missed commissions. To do this, they:
- Run reports to identify missed commissions
- Contact carriers on policies that are missing commissions
This can be one of the biggest challenges commission analysts face without the right technology. Sometimes, carriers are behind on payments, they pay incorrectly, or there are missing payments.
Without a commissions processing system, identifying these missed or incorrect payments can be near impossible.
With AgencyBloc, you’re able to identify missed commissions in a couple of ways:
- On a policy level, commission payments not received by statement date or by bill from date
- Within reports, like the Commissions Not Received report
Once you identify missed payments, you’ll need 5 pieces of HIPAA data (usually name, date of birth, SSN, phone number, and address—but these can vary) to reconcile with the carrier, all of which you can find on AgencyBloc’s Commissions Not Received report.
Answer Agent Questions on Commissions
Commission analysts are also usually the liaison to agents regarding any questions they may have about their commissions. Whether the agent receives their commission statement via email, mail, or a login to an AMS portal, they might have questions regarding their payment.
Depending how many agents your agency has, a lot of questions could come in at the same time around payday. That’s why having your agents, policies, and commission data within the same system is vitally important. With everything tied together, following the trail of activity is much easier to be able to answer agents’ questions quickly and accurately.
Use Commission Data to Make Better Business Decisions
Lastly, the agency looks to the commission manager and/or analyst for financial information to help them make business decisions, like:
- Processing bonuses
- Making employment decisions
- Administering lead drops (if an agent sells 20 policies, they get a free lead drop, for example)
- Updating or working out better deals/change in commission rates for agents who are heavy hitters
- And, overall, answering important company questions, like:
- What direction should we go?
- What products should we drop, keep, or add?
- Do we need to add more agents?
- Do we have enough money for marketing?
- How profitable are our carriers?
- How profitable are our groups?
- Did we meet the carrier bonus or retention parameters?
- What do our commission numbers look like for the future?
Quickly and accurately answer these questions for the business using commission reports. In AgencyBloc, there are standard commission reports and custom report capabilities. With all of your data in one place, you can filter down to only what you want to see and choose the columns of data that are most important to you.
Examples of standard commission reports are:
- Commission Totals: This report shows you a summary of commissions coming into your agency. Customize the report by picking your own filters and columns.
- Commission Received: This report allows you to monitor commissions received by policy, group, individual, or carrier.
- Policy Commission Payees: Use this report to take a look at how you currently have your commission payees set up on your policies.
- Commission Payments: This report summarizes details related to commission payments you’ve received.
- Commission Projections: This report shows you a summary of projections for policies you’ve set up. Information like this allows leadership to compare where they are currently with where they could potentially be in the context of commissions.
With commission reporting, you’re able to answer those business-critical questions with confidence.
Processing Commissions with an Agency Management System
With AgencyBloc's Commission Module, commission managers and analysts are better equipped to do their job more efficiently and effectively. Spend 75% less time processing commissions, easily identify and reconcile missed commissions from carriers, quickly and accurately answer agent questions, and provide comprehensive guidance to agency owners and others who are making business decisions.
See AgencyBloc's Commission Module Live
Request a 1-on-1, personalized demo to see AgencyBloc and get your commissions questions answered.
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This blog was originally published on May 27, 2020, and has been most recently updated and republished on January 25, 2022.
by Kelsey Rosauer on Tuesday, January 25, 2022
Process Commissions Efficiently