Policy Works blog | Commercial lines bliss

The Modern History of Bordereau (Abridged Version)

Written by Kathleen Kotchon | Mar 8, 2018 12:00:00 PM

When Microsoft®Office was introduced at our brokerage in the 1990s it was a game-changer. We had people come out from HQ to train us; we even held training on weekends to avoid having too many staff away at once.

Before MS Office came along to change our lives and the way we handled workflows, we were using WordPerfect for DOS. Coincidentally, management gave us the same pre-training pitch about WordPerfect replacing the typewriter and how it would make our workflows more efficient, only this time it was WordPerfect out—Microsoft in.

At that time, this new technology didn’t change the way we handled bordereaux. A slip was still handwritten, attached to the file and sent to accounting. The accounting department used a legacy system where transactions like invoices and bordereaux were generated.

I could go on, but this is the abridged version after all.

Fast forward 30 years and MS Office, namely Excel spreadsheets remain the de-facto standard for bordereaux. The reasons why Excel spreadsheets are still being used are clear:

  • Excel is part of the Microsoft Office Suite which makes it sharable and easily accessible.
  • One or more staff at your brokerage are proficient users, especially if they’re generating bordereaux regularly.
  • It’s an empty canvass. You can build almost anything on a spreadsheet and turn it into a graph or pie chart with a single click.

Another reason spreadsheets are popular is because they’re flexible. It’s easy to move rows or columns and split information into one or more sheets.

Flexibility is also their biggest flaw. For example, have you ever tried copying and pasting data when the number of columns don’t match or contain multiple date formats? Even the most advanced Excel users experience problems that lead to frustration, especially when the spreadsheet is deadline oriented, like bordereaux.

What is the future of bordereau reporting? Machinable data.

Machinable data is at the heart of every bordereau. At Policy Works, we regenerate the rich data already captured to issue policies into bordereaux. No copying, no pasting and all in real-time.

Whether you're new to bordereau or have had "the pen" for years, we can help you understand and assess your data management needs.