Not-for-profit Baptcare oversees $144 million budget with BOARD budgeting and forecasting solution
As one of Victoria and Tasmania’s leading community service providers, Baptcare provides care and support to vulnerable and marginalized people. The faith-based organisation administers over 70 community service programs across 30 locations. These include residential services for older people, transitional housing for people seeking asylum, foster care, family, children and youth services, and mental health services.
Baptcare receives most of its funding from federal and state governments. In 2014/15, the organisation received $150m in revenue, with 80% spent on service delivery.
Baptcare’s top priority is delivering high-quality programs and services to older people, children, families, people with a disability, financially disadvantaged people, and people seeking asylum. Accurate budgeting, forecasting and reporting are essential for ensuring these valuable services continue.
Baptcare’s 1700 employees cost and monitor every project to ensure budgets stay on target. Variances are identified and accounted for as early as possible, and funding bodies for each program are kept up-to-date with regular, in-depth reports.
However, by 2014, Baptcare had outgrown its budgeting and forecasting platform. It was about to lose support from the developer and lacked transparency, which meant employees did not understand or trust the numbers produced. The platform didn’t have all the capabilities that the growing not-for-profit required for financial visibility.
Baptcare sought a new tool to make budgeting and forecasting faster and more accurate. Unlike its predecessors, the solution needed to be scalable, flexible and allow employees to:
- Create multiple budgets and forecasts across any range of months
- Budget using either a detailed bottom-up process or top-down approach
- Take complex awards and allowances into account when budgeting and forecasting payroll
- Build a transparent budget framework
- Produce complex reports without IT support
“Specifically, we wanted a solution that could grow and be quite flexible for us. We don't do just one element of aged care. We operate in quite diverse areas. We went into this change with a very open mind in that we didn't want to simply replicate what we had. We wanted to find the best way of budgeting and forecasting.”
Tammy Campbell, Senior Finance Business Partner
Baptcare engaged Professional Advantage to implement a BOARD budgeting and forecasting solution. As one of Australia’s leading not-for-profit technology solution providers, Baptcare trusted Professional Advantage to deliver a cost-effective, value-adding project that would support its mission and vision.
Professional Advantage recommended Baptcare implement BOARD, an all-in-one platform for budgeting, forecasting, planning, and analytics. In addition to being flexible and user-friendly, BOARD eliminated the need for separate business intelligence and analytics tools – helping Baptcare’s IT budget go further.
Professional Advantage’s BOARD solution provided:
- Dynamic online budgeting and forecasting across the organisation
- Support for complex calculation rules and assumptions to accurately model future revenue
- Management of complex planning areas, including:
- Capital expenditure
- Budgeting across multiple cost centres using varying capitalisation dates, depreciation methods and asset classes
- Allocations based on percentage of revenue, number of FTEs and occupancy
- Integration with Microsoft Dynamics AX
BOARD introduced a detailed Human Resources section, incorporating hourly rates by shift and multiple shift allowances. These new capabilities allowed finance to assist the business to:
- Calculate pay increases, bonuses and leave loadings
- Split staff across multiple cost centres
- Account for variations in working hours, such as when an employee takes maternity leave
Since Baptcare implemented BOARD two budget cycles ago, it has reported benefits, including:
- Time savings – global forecast updates now take 30 minutes instead of two hours
- More informed decision making – accurate budgets ensure resources are allocated where needed
- Reduced manual handling and human error through automation and integration
- Streamlined budgeting and forecasting processes for payroll
- Improved confidence in data integrity and accuracy
- More complete HR reporting
- Integration with Baptcare’s CRM and payroll systems, to provide a single, holistic view of business performance
- Self-service financial reporting and analytics, including visualisations and dashboards, to provide instant access to income statements, balance sheets and cash flow projects
- Rolling forecasts to reduce budget preparation efforts, while also improving forecast accuracy
“Other than the time savings, the big change for us has been user confidence in the system. There was always a level of mistrust in the old system because of the inability to see how numbers were processed. Now everyone can drill down quite easily and see how the numbers are derived.”
Tammy Campbell, Senior Finance Business Partner