What Is Associate in Insurance Accounting and Finance (AIAF)?

Associate in Insurance Accounting and Finance (AIAF) is a professional designation program designed to educate candidates about understanding and preparing financial statements for insurers. This program covers topic areas such as insurance information systems, accounting and regulations for property and liability insurers, and other related coursework.

Understanding Associate in Insurance Accounting and Finance (AIAF)

Insurer financial statements are prepared to comply with regulations set forth by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and other regulators. To obtain the designation, the candidate has to complete the program and pass exams administered by the Insurance Institute of America (IIA). The designation is offered by The Institutes.

Program Requirements

Required courses are Insurer Accounting Management, Insurer Risk and Capital Management, Insurance Operations and Finance, and Accounting for Insurance Professionals. The ethics requirement includes Ethics 311, Ethical Guidelines for Insurance Professionals, and Ethics 312, Ethics and the CPCU Code of Professional Conduct.

The designation is offered by The Institutes as one of 25 professional designations. The Institutes calls itself "the industry’s trusted and respected knowledge leader, The Institutes and our affiliates are committed to meeting the evolving professional development needs of the risk management and insurance community. We prepare people to fulfill their professional and ethical responsibilities by offering customer-focused and innovative educational, research, networking, and career resource solutions."

The organization offers these other professional designations: Associate in General Insurance (AINS); Associate in Claims (AIC); Associate in Risk Management (ARM); Associate in Commercial Underwriting (AU); Accredited Adviser in Insurance (AAI); Associate in Reinsurance (ARe); Associate in Insurance Data Analytics (AIDA); Associate in Insurance Services (AIS); and Associate in Management (AIM).

Professional designations have expanded in recent years, especially in financial services. While these designations have long since been accepted as part of the financial services establishment, the new wave of credentials that has since arisen has served to cloud the validity of some of the older certifications such as CPCU and CFA. However, a closer analysis of many of these designations quickly reveals that they only require a small fraction of the coursework that is demanded from the traditional sources of accreditation.

For example, the Accredited Asset Management Specialist (AAMS) and Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor (CMFC) designations can certainly aid advisors in the investment selection and management process (and will also likely sound impressive to clients and prospects). However, the academic curriculum required for either certification barely scratches the surface of the material covered by either the CFA or even the CFP curricula.