Skip to main content

Zurich NA Transforms its Financial Transaction Processing with AP Solutions from Serrala

6 min read

Zurich North America

Commercial property-casualty insurance company

Founded in Switzerland in 1872

Expanded to North America in 1912

Customers including 95% of the Fortune 500


Business Need

As a large, multi-line insurer, Zurich North America (Zurich NA) needed an AP automation solution to help manage the millions of invoices and claims generated by its insurance brokers and customers each year. The company, which was planning a move to SAP S/4HANA, wanted to improve the speed and accuracy of AP processing during the upcoming IT transformation project.

Zurich NA’s top AP automation business needs included:   

  • Lowering costs and reducing processing time.  
  • Eliminating manual tasks for processing payment requests. 
  • Ensure timely claims payments. 
  • Executing the automation across several different integration systems. 
  • Providing the organization with complete visibility into the claims across its headquarters and outsourcing partners.

Their Accounts Payable Landscape  

  • 65-70K invoices/month 
  • Invoice processing both In-house and by BPOs in Poland and India 
  • 1500+ users – Invoice approvers and creators 
  • Multiple claim types, sources, and formats  
  • Multiple integrated systems 

Zurich NA also needed to extend the same level of automation to its manual journal entry process. In each fiscal period, the company generated thousands of manual journal entries, which needed to be uploaded, reviewed, and approved before each period close. These entries allowed the insurer to account for corrections or other financial transactions, such as last-minute claims, that occurred across the insurer’s over 100 legal entities.

Key challenges they faced creating manual journal entries included: 

  • Lack of visibility into the thousands of manual journal entries that were generated for over 100 legal entities each period 
  • Spreadsheets being used to manually create, manage, and upload the journal entries into SAP  
  • Journal entries were routed for review and approval using email, which prevented the finance team from having full control over the critical financial close process in SAP 
  • Very small group of authorized approvers had only a few days to complete the time-sensitive review and approval process 



In 2019, the Zurich NA team began working with Serrala to design, configure, test, and deliver the Serrala FS² Accounts Payable solution that would fully automate financial transactions as they transitioned to SAP S/4HANA. Some of the key AP Solution Components included:  

  • An end-to-end process via direct integration into the SAP system 
  • A SAP S/4HANA-Certified solution for a seamless transition 
  • Intelligent automation of payment requests and seven unique processes 
  • Over 60 unique data validations based on invoice type, source, vendor, etc. 
  • Flexible approvals in SAPgui, Email, Fiori, Mobile 
  • Integration with Coupa, eZAccess, FAST (TPA status), and legacy mainframe systems 
  • Automated Payment Requests and Claims using FS² AccountsPayable 
  • Configurable business rules to enable auto-posting based on invoice type and amount 

During the initial phase of the AP project, the company realized that it could also extend the same level of automation to its manual journal entry process. They implemented FS² Journal entry alongside the AP project. The solution automates the capture, creation, and approval of manual journal entries in SAP. With it, Zurich was able to create a centralized processing hub to achieve a faster, more secure financial close.

Key features of the financial solution include:  

  • Early validation of journal entry data  
  • Automated approval of manual journal entries  
  • Streamlined journal entry templates  

With the two FS² solutions, Zurich NA was well on its way to financial operational excellence.


The overall automation Zurich NA achieved using this selection of Serrala products significantly reduced the time and effort required to process claims and complete the financial close. Incoming claim or journal entry data was automatically enhanced and validated before it was processed, which increased the accuracy of financial reporting and reconciliations. As a result, the payables team was able to reduce out-of-balance errors for claims to almost zero. Simple rule-based processing tasks were completely automated and more complex tasks such as approvals or reversals were sent to the AP or accounting teams for additional handling.  

Digitizing both the AP and journal entry processes made it possible for the insurer to lift and shift work across the organization. Automation enabled the company to reduce the time required to post the AP or JE transactions. It also gained complete transparency and centralized control over these financial processes. 

According to Zurich North America’s Director of Payables Dan Lyjak, “[the solution] helped us rethink the way we were processing our payables. As a result, we're looking at ways to further adjust our processes to eliminate redundancies and we’re reassessing what work is done and by whom. Is it a human, a full-time employee, a robot, or a piece of technology software? I do envision the way we do things will change based on this experience.”   

The company found it easy to train and update agents remotely, which unexpectedly came into play when parts of the organization transitioned to working remotely in 2020, just as the improvements were completed.  

Zurich NA finally had end-to-end automation of the AP and manual journal entry process.

Result Highlights:

  • Improved usability with a modern user interface 
  • Reduced cost of processing invoices 
  • Enabled touchless processing across 7 unique claims payment processes 
  • Increased accuracy of financial reporting and reconciliations 
  • Accelerated invoice approvals with mobile access for field claims agents 
  • Enabled visibility into invoices across its global shared services locations 
  • Increased the accuracy of financial reporting and reconciliations 
  • Simplified field agent training 
banner-rectangle 8

Facing similar Accounts Payable challenges?

Do you think you could benefit from Serrala’s award-winning solutions for accounts payable automation? Speak with one of our experts today!


Related content


Why it's essential to move to an Integrated, Digitized AP solution

The need for an integrated digital approach to every part of your accounts payable workflow is now essential. Learn more.

How Honeywell integrated a single global automated AP process across six global business groups


Reducing AP Cost: Unlocking Efficiency and ROI with AP Automation

Explore the difference between top-performing and bottom-performing AP organizations and the benefits of using an AP automation solution.

It’s time to grow your business

Award-winning solutions for financial automation

As pioneers in financial automation, Serrala offers a highly powerful and flexible suite of solutions that have successfully empowered finance teams all over the world to optimize and modernize their financial processes.

Up to 85% manual efforts reduced
Up to 90% faster invoice approvals
Lower cost 
per invoice

Connect with us and begin unlocking the full power of your financial processes

Contact Us