The importance of aligning your workforce expenditure with your operational budget in the aged care sector

For any business – but particularly those in the aged care sector – to be successful, it’s crucial that they align their workforce expenditure with their operational budget. This means having accurate forecasts for how many employees will be needed and what their roles will be, as well as tracking actual staff hours and leave taken. By doing this, an organisation can ensure that they are providing quality care while staying within budget.

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety has shone a light on the importance of human resources in the sector, and under the new AN-ACC funding model launching in October 2022, there will be increasing emphasis placed on being able to analyse and align the anticipated and real financial costs of providing care in order to secure appropriate funding for clients. This makes it more important than ever for aged care providers to have a clear understanding of their workforce expenditure and how it fits into their operational budget.

For aged care providers, there’s a real need to be able to retrieve accurate and timely data across all segments of the labour budget and for all facilities. And while LightArc is usually engaged initially by organisations to provide solutions for a perceived top-level alignment issue, according to CEO Ashley How, what usually results is a “drilling down through the budget and how it’s built to further examine the operational metrics and what’s actually happening. And the outcome? Greater visibility across the organisation with more opportunities actually raising their heads.”


It’s anticipated major HR issues in the aged care sector moving forward will firstly be resourcing and actually ensuring the right people are employed before then becoming a recording, reporting and compliance issue in order to justify and secure funding. The requirement for quarterly reporting of labour data across the organisation (and not just limited to registered nursing or direct care) risks becoming an additional burden for organisations not equipped to analyse the data accurately and aggregate that into financial terms. It will therefore be crucial for any organisation to be able to justify funding allocations and demonstrate how these align with labour actually being used.

With funding directly at risk, the cost of non-compliance will be high. At the end of the day, as How says, “an organisation is going to need very granular metrics and proof for compliance. From a direct care point of view, it will be expected the data will justify and validate what’s actually being provided.”

Organisations that are able to proactively engage with their workforce expenditure and operational budget – both in the short and long term – will be best placed to weather any changes or challenges that come their way. By aligning these two key areas of their business, organisations can ensure they are providing clients with quality care while also staying within budget and maintaining compliance. For further information or assistance with your organisation’s budgeting and human resources, get in touch with LightArc today.

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