As agents, carriers, vendors, and industry-related associations, we believe data standards should be implemented to improve the efficiency, timeliness and accuracy of data collection. The goal of this effort, led by the National Association of Surety Bond Producers (NASBP) and the Surety & Fidelity Association of America (SFAA), is to automate both the delivery of financial data throughout the chain of custody from contractors to sureties, and the exchange of bond-related information between the agent and surety. In addition, data standards implementation will help to recognize the following industry-wide benefits:
- Eliminate the rekeying of data
- Remove the need to interpret data received from contractors
- Improve timeliness of data available to sureties for analysis
- Increase responsiveness of sureties to contractors
- Improve contractor timely access to credit
SFAA and NASBP have worked with ACORD and XBRL US to develop financial data elements and forms to benefit the industry. The strategies we are taking to reach these benefits are:
- Encourage the use of standardized forms, which employ ACORD standardized data fields.
- Encourage the use of financial data standards for the Work-In-Process report and financial statements.
- Engage all members of the supply chain including the principal, accounting firm, bond agent, software provider, risk manager, and surety carrier to encourage the use of data standards.
- Minimize startup costs to all stakeholders, ensure that standards developed mesh seamlessly with existing processes, and that all gain from standards implemented.
National Association of Surety Bond Producers and the Surety & Fidelity Association of America see this as a unique opportunity to make one of the most important advancements in terms of collaboration and efficiency in our industry. By listing your organization below as a co-signer, you are indicating your agreement with the goal of using surety and financial data standards to improve efficiency and enable automated data collection in the underwriting process.