The business of insurance brokerage is classified as a serviced based business like consulting firms. Therefore, the simple and straightforward procedures we followed when implementing the QuickBooks for consulting firms are exactly what we will adopt here. You may want to ask; why then are we doing a review of QuickBooks for insurance brokerage companies when we had already posted several tips on how serviced based companies can use the accounting software? Here is the reason – unlike a consulting firm, the money received (Premium) from the clients is not recognized as revenue. Only a percentage of that amount (Premium) is treated as “brokerage”, while the rest is payable to the insurance service provider. Hence, the need to understand how this can be implemented in QuickBooks can never be overemphasized.
In this guide, we will be sharing practical tips on how insurance companies can deploy QuickBooks for effective cash flow and financial management:
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The Customer centre in QuickBooks allows you to manage your customers, see their outstanding balances and track recent transactions. As an insurance agent, this window will help you add all the clients who are currently subscribed to insurance covers and if there are premium receivable from these clients, you can also enter the value at the beginning balance date. The payable is not supposed to be treated as an income. Here, you will learn the simple trick to map them to your liability account!
N.B. Deleting a client on the system cannot easily be processed until all pending balances are cleared.
These are the real service providers and as such, should be treated as vendors under the “Vendor Centre”. When adding the insurance service providers, you should take proper note of all premium payables in your books to avoid misrepresentation on premium payable reports. While you can easily add more vendors, the same restriction on deleting names of clients also applies here too.
Tracking Your Commission on Premium.
When clients pay a premium, be reminded that only a percentage of the value is recognisable as commission income in your profit or loss while the rest should be treated as a liability or payable, which is to be remitted to the insurance companies.
How then can we treat this in QuickBooks? Here is what you should do:
- Create a service item called “premium” and map it, under the income account drop down to a “premium payable account (account type: liability) and save.
- Create another item type for “other charge” and enter the agreed percentage of premium you are entitled to and map it to the income account; this is the actual income (brokerage) that will be displayed on your profit or loss report. Failure to follow this important steps means, “all premium received will be wrongly posted as income”.
- On the invoice window, select a line item for the premium paid and another line for the commission income.
- As the cash is paid into your bank, you are also expected to use “record deposit” on QuickBooks to record all inflows to your bank accounts.
For Premium Paid To The Insurance Companies On Behalf Of Clients.
Since all premium paid by your clients sits in your bank account, it is usual for you to pay off the payables by remitting all premium received to the insurance. QuickBooks displays all premium payables with the “pay bills” available to help you make payment from your bank account to a selected vendor (insurance company). Before you make payment, you need to have setup your banks and their respective balances.
The same way you make payment for the premium on behalf of clients, that is how you record all administrative expenses from your petty cash.
At the end of the month, you are expected to reconcile your bank balances with your QuickBooks cleared balances; use the reconciliation window to process all missing transactions in your bank statements like credit transfers, bank charges, dishonoured credit, uncredited cheque etc. The end point of your reconciliation is that the beginning balance of the following month in QuickBooks should corresponds with what you have in your bank.
While these are few of the basic deliverables of implementing QuickBooks for an insurance brokerage firm, you are free to talk to our consultants on specific areas we can solve your toughest accounting challenges. Connect with us at:
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Phone no: +2348105090001.
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