Faster P&L delivers greater financial confidence at AXA

Rapid, IFRS 17–compliant financial processes and reliable sales planning provide courage and agility in turbulent times for global insurer

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Anaplan allows us to do our work differently and quickly see results.
Linnart Ruser, Financial Operations Lead, AXA Germany


less time needed to create P&L statements enables rapid response to change


data consolidation frees up time for analysis


reliable data and calculations gives financial and sales planners greater confidence

In today’s insurance industry, conditions can change with no warning. To provide customers with security and support when they need it most, AXA constantly monitors and fine-tunes its strategic direction to mitigate risk. With Anaplan integrated into its financial environment and underpinning finance and sales planning, AXA can react quickly to market events and give decision-makers accurate, reliable insights that help them confidently set a course for success.

AXA protects the property, health, and businesses of 93 million customers in 51 countries. In recent years, the insurer has faced a series of challenges in quick succession, including high inflation, rising interest rates, and new mandates from the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation.

To stay at the top of its industry, AXA tracks evolving markets and makes fast, well-informed strategic decisions and plans. “Planning plays a big role for our finance department — and for AXA as a whole — because our financial stability is the foundation upon which we offer our customers outstanding protection,” comments Linnart Ruser, Financial Operations Lead at AXA Germany. “Planning allows us to look into the future, and have full transparency in our balance sheet and profit and loss [P&L] statements.”

As it prepared to implement IFRS 17 standards, AXA reevaluated its existing financial processes and saw opportunities for improvement. In the past, group-wide P&L calculations and focused sales plans for each business segment required time-consuming data consolidation. This manual work slowed decision-making, and limited AXA’s agility when adjusting its strategic goals to meet the evolving business environment.

Establishing a reliable source of truth

To eliminate time-consuming data consolidation and develop IFRS 17–compliant accounting processes, AXA implemented Anaplan as a platform for finance and sales planning.

“Anaplan supports a broad spectrum of use cases at AXA, including P&L calculations for our health and life insurance, and sales and financial planning for our property and casualty business,” says Ruser. “Our Anaplan ecosystem provides a complete picture of our business operations and performance.”

To create that complete picture, AXA integrated Anaplan with a variety of data sources. “The Anaplan Data Hub pulls information from our SAP solutions, mainly the general ledger which we call Copernic, and our data warehouses,” continues Ruser. “We also use information from our sales and distribution systems, which we funnel through our Data Hub into our calculation models.”

Despite the sophisticated financial planning landscape, Anaplan users at AXA find the solution to be very intuitive. “You can easily drill down and analyze data,” reflects Ruser. “And because Anaplan is simple to use and reliable, it reflects the values and the culture at AXA.”

Gaining data-driven insights fast

Stepping up financial and sales planning with Anaplan has enabled AXA to accelerate key processes, resulting in faster insights and greater flexibility. “Anaplan allows us to work differently and quickly see results,” explains Ruser. He also notes that routine process times have been cut by more than 50%. “Previously, we would spend weeks consolidating and preparing data to create P&L statements, but now we can see consolidated results in a matter of days. This enables us to respond to external factors faster.”

Embracing Anaplan has also helped AXA to meet the latest accounting standards. “The transition to the new IFRS 17 model that we implemented in Anaplan was a great success,” reports Ruser. “What’s more, our colleagues are much more confident when looking at data and also more confident when heading into processes, because they knew that the data they saw was reliable, and they could quickly analyze any issues or any errors in the calculation.”

Ruser and his team are also impressed by the business agility that Anaplan enables. “We can implement changes to how we model and how we calculate” without relying on costly outside help, he notes. “You can analyze data, change dimensions, and drill down into sales by product, by entity, by year.”

Inspired by its recent successes with Anaplan, AXA aims to use the solution to continue building models that add value. “In the near future, we plan to create an overview model in our IFRS 17 environment that will enable us to consolidate all results from every segment of our business,” says Ruser. “We’re confident that we can achieve this using Anaplan and look forward to the fresh insight that it will provide.”

Linnart Ruser, Financial Operational Lead, AXA Germany: AXA is the one of the largest insurance companies in the world and we are focusing on providing protection for our customers across our property and casualty business and also about our life and health.

Prior to Anaplan, we were slow when it comes to consolidating our forecasts and planning results. It took weeks to make strategic decisions. This is really important for us to make quick and profound decisions as our environment is becoming more and more complex and volatile.

Anaplan allows us to do our work differently as we can quickly see results. We don't have to wait for consolidation runs. Every user can use it individually. We are not dependent on an IT department, so we can implement changes to how we model and how we calculate. You can analyze data, change dimensions, and drill down into sales by product, by entity, by year.

Our colleagues [are] much more confident when looking at data and also more confident when heading into processes because they knew that the data they saw is reliable and they could quickly analyze any issues or any errors in the calculation which saves us a lot of time.

I am Linnart Ruser, Financial Operational Lead at AXA Germany, and we plan with Anaplan.

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