Search
Insurance Industry Fueled by Finance, Accounting Professionals

Insurance Industry Fueled by Finance, Accounting Professionals

The financial complexity and sophistication of the insurance industry make it an exciting place for accountants and financial professionals to work. “Insurance companies, by virtue of having thousands of small transactions, are numbers-oriented companies,” says Kathleen Enright, assistant vice president of financial reporting for a large insurance firm in Northbrook, Illinois, and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ Insurance Expert Panel. “It’s being able to aggregate those transactions and those results that requires so much skill.” 

Finance professionals and accountants often start out at large insurance companies as entry-level accountants where they process customer transactions in operations, close the books in corporate accounting or work in financial reporting where data from all parts of the company come together.

Most outside hiring into professional-level accounting positions at State Farm Insurance in Bloomington, Illinois, occurs at the finance-trainee level, says Michelle Baragona, a recruiter of nine years. “For the trainee level, we generally seek new grads or candidates who have been out of school five years or less, with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field, plus at least 18 hours of accounting coursework and a GPA of at least 3.5,” she says. A CPA or continuing education is a plus.

Trainees then work as analysts or in supervisory roles after training, depending on their skill set and the company’s needs, Baragona says. As Enright explains, after starting in one area, moving around to other areas will give you a broad-based understanding of the company’s accounting, which can help advance your insurance career.

Baragona also recommends taking advantage of corporate support for certifications such as the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), or another professional designation from a trade group such as America’s Health Insurance Plans or LOMA International.

Large insurance companies also use accountants and finance professionals to complete financial reports required by state regulators, adds Bryan Cascarano, a senior recruiter for the Mergis Group’s Atlanta office.

“Across the industry as a whole, most of the jobs we’re seeing require a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field,” he says. “Many companies have raised the bar with additional requirements for their best-paying positions, such as a master’s degree, accounting certification or accounting software knowledge.”

As long as you’re seeking a finance or accountant position where you’re directed by another accountant, you can move into insurance without prior industry experience, says Shane Graham, partner and insurance practice leader for Kaye/Bassman International in Plano, Texas. As you move up the corporate chain of command, that changes. Companies seeking to fill management positions typically ask Graham to recruit candidates from other insurance companies or public accounting firms that handle insurance clients, because they want employees with the industry knowledge necessary to drive good financial decisions, he says.

No College Degree, No Problem

Those with a high school diploma and solid math and computer skills will also find opportunities within the finance and accounting departments of insurance firms. “We typically bring people in as finance assistants to work in the finance department, compliance, travel and expense, compensation, tax, planning and analysis, or general accounting,” Baragona says. “The job involves lots of data entry. For instance, in the travel-and-expense area, you’d help State Farm employees put through their travel and other expenses for reimbursements.”

Other jobs involve more contact with customers, such as opportunities in the company’s call centers for insurance and banking. While they often attract high school graduates, these positions are also appealing to college students, because the work is typically part-time, which allows them time to attend classes, Baragona says.

Small insurance companies, such as brokerages, offer another employment avenue for entry-level accountants. “Brokers are willing to take on a bookkeeper to do accounting functions within a small office,” Graham says. “Then, at the end of the year, they hire a CPA on a project basis to make sure everything is in line.”

With the insurance industry employing about 2.3 million people, there’s plenty of challenging work for accountants and finance professionals. And for college graduates, at least, the industry can be a steady source of employment, as long as you’re willing to make a commitment early in your career. 

Articles in This Feature:

Latest Jobs

EASTERN SHORE HOSPITAL CENTER
Posted: 10/26/2014
Cambridge, 21613
Powell Industries
Posted: 10/26/2014
Houston, TX, 77002
CHI St. Lukes Health
Posted: 10/26/2014
Houston, TX, 77002
Memorial Hermann
Posted: 10/26/2014
Houston, TX, 77002
Grocery Haulers Inc
Posted: 10/26/2014
Trooper, 19403

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile

 
 
 

Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
ArtBistro
Create and connect.
Excelle
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships
Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Education.org
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military.com
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.

Interviewing

100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2014 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2014.4.65.72-211
eTrustLogo