Common financial reporting challenges facing aged care providers

Stringent financial accountability and reporting are just two of the many common challenges faced by aged care providers among a whole raft of changes coming to the industry in Australia.

To help overcome these challenges, BlueCross, Victoria’s largest provider of aged care services, worked with Board and LightArc to overhaul its processes and procedures. This article outlines the journey they took.

The Financial Reporting Challenges Faced

When, in June 2019, BlueCross made the decision to work with LightArc and implement Board, they were looking to overcome a number of business challenges. Of these issues, one of the most significant was concerning financial management and reporting and the consequent need to improve efficiency by streamlining processes in this operational area.

There were a number of identified existing practises that required attention. One was the time-consuming and resource-intensive reporting protocol. Reports were manually being printed, collated and bound for hard-copy distribution to the members of the executive and senior leaders team. This was taking days of team time and considerable physical resources too. The team knew there had to be a better way.

The business experienced challenges common to organisations of all sizes. Notably, “set and forget” forecast budget once a year no longer served the complexity of managing multiple sites and arms of the business. Multiple software systems and data management tools also made data difficult to acquire, integrate and analyse consistently.

financial reporting solution

Solution requirements

BlueCross was seeking to find a solution that would facilitate efficient collaboration and the sharing of accurate, reliable, and transparent information in a timely manner. They were also specifically looking to:
  • Streamline and simplify reporting processes
  • Implement a centralised self-serve screen that could access necessary data across the company, irrespective of location, and without the need to take the request to the finance team at head office
  • A means of sharing information and results more quickly and comprehensively to allow residents and staff to make better informed financial decisions
  • Establish clear links between budgeting and planning with financial reporting to enable accurate monthly comparisons and begin quarterly forecasting.
  • Integrate the staff rostering system to manage actual hours used vs budget hours. As staff costs comprise 67 – 75% of monthly expenditure, the integration of real-time labour reporting across the company would allow for more accurate forecasting.

What Board Delivered

The implementation of Board has resulted in BlueCross now having a robust financial forecasting and reporting system that’s accurate, accessible and consistent. Across the multiple sites, there’s now an efficient means of recording and tracking information that ensures decisions are data-driven and aligned with company forecasts.

Easy access to reliable data has meant they now have a single source of truth from a financial perspective and are making informed and more agile decisions.

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