PaperSave Ensures ROI for Online Insurance Procurement Company: Answer Financial
Answer Financial, based in Encino, Calif. with satellite branches in Knoxville, Tenn. and Ogden, Utah, has helped clients in all 50 states insure more than 3.5 million vehicles and homes (though Answer Financial also offers health insurance for both people and pets).
Answer Financial, based in Encino, Calif. with satellite branches in Knoxville, Tenn. and Ogden, Utah, celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2018. To date the company and its 600 employees has helped clients in all 50 states insure more than 3.5 million vehicles and homes (though Answer Financial also offers health insurance for both people and pets). A true innovator in the insurance industry, Answer Financial was one of the first to offer self-directed consumers the opportunity to do brand-neutral comparisons.
Over the past two decades Answer Financial has progressed with the times, providing real time information to its clients first by phone and then via the internet, though it took an Allstate acquisition in 2001 to serve as a catalyst for the accounting department to receive a desperately deserved update. Inna Bass, Answer Financial’s assistant controller/accounting says she and her four co-workers faced difficulties mostly in three areas. “Number one, we had a very painful approval process. Files went missing, signatures were unreadable. We would print out a copy of an invoice, put it in a folder, deliver it to the appropriate office, then wait until the person would approve it. Sometimes, if it took too long for a director to approve it, we would stand in the doorway. Then we could bring back the folder and print a check. We needed that approval stamp—we need to be in complete compliance,” she explains. “Number two: we had to get rid of filing cabinets. And we were losing papers. And, three, when it came to self-audits and financial audits, we needed to be able to access our paperwork quickly.”
After mentioning she was eager to affect change and concurrently take her office paperless, Bass’ GP Partner, Technology Management Concepts (TMC) suggested PaperSave. “I thought it was definitely more user-friendly than its competitors,” she recalls. “It worked really well with GP. And the price was right.” Bass was soon working with PaperSave to create a streamlined, efficient workflow with a few configurations to apply to our process, as the company’s invoices are directed to various approvers based on total invoice amounts.
Her peers responded enthusiastically. “Everyone was excited,” she recalls. “I received training from consultants who helped us convert and install. All our managers got training over the phone. It was an easy process.”
Bass says PaperSave implementation helped Answer Financial reap results in many ways, which became apparent in short order: “We had filing cabinets. Now we don’t have any. We would send boxes to storage and have to retrieve them for audits. It was a complete mess. We got rid of storage.” Having the software also allowed the company’s only accounts payable person to regain approximately 15% of her week for tasks now that her time was not being spent filing and searching for paper. And, perhaps most importantly, Bass adds: “Approvals used to take one week. Now they take two days. We log in every day, so if we see something hasn’t been approved in a couple of days we send an email reminder. But it doesn’t happen that often now.”
In the five years since Bass started using PaperSave she has become an ardent supporter of the product. “It’s pretty simple,” she says. “You just launch and go!”
“It’s effective, it’s efficient and it saves time and money. I think it works perfectly.”
— Inna Bass, Assistant Controller/Accounting, Answer Financial