"For us, Corporate Planner is a very efficient and user-friendly tool."
Manager of Deuz Retirement Home
- Variance analyses
- Plan-actual comparisons
Care of the elderly – a black hole? Keeping costs in check at Deuz Retirement Home with Corporate Planner
Our society is ageing. This has led to the costs of medical and geriatric care going through the roof. In light of this development, systematic monitoring of economic efficiency is essential for retirement homes. With CP software, the necessary cost transparency is taken care of.
Corporate Planner has been in use at Deuz Retirement Home since 1998. At the Christian institution near Siegen in Germany, the software is used for internal management purposes. An important part of this is the preparation of the financial plan – a detailed statement of the projected expenses and revenues and of the planned investments and covering funds for a fiscal year. The financial plan for the coming year is drawn up during the last quarter of the previous year before being approved by the board. “For us, Corporate Planner is a very efficient and user-friendly tool,” says Hermann Müller, manager of Deuz Retirement Home. “What used to take our Accounting weeks to prepare is now ready within a few days”. The corporate performance management software is used to keep track of economic efficiency over several years, as well as for detailed plan-actual comparisons of particular areas. Corporate Planner furthermore provides automatic variance analyses and charts for inclusion in the monthly reports.
Legacy solution up against its limits
Before Corporate Planner was implemented, corporate performance management tasks were performed using Excel. However, the management staff were not going to be satisfied with this in the long term. “Managing all the figures of our institution and preparing reasonable analyses in Excel used to take a lot of time and effort and was prone to error,” as Gottfried Steinseifer, Head of Accounting at Deuz Retirement Home, recalls. It was not possible for the data to be imported automatically; these had to be entered by hand – several times, in some cases. If one file was inadvertently overlooked when updating the figures, errors would slip in unnoticed. Analyses such as cash flow calculations or the monthly budget-actual comparisons always took an enormous amount of time to prepare. In addition, the reporting system was very rigid – were the figures to be viewed from a different angle, a completely new report had to be created. “As time progressed, the Excel spreadsheets would have become even larger, more complex and slower anyway,” Mr Steinseifer continues, “which is why we switched to Corporate Planner without further ado.”
Clear display wins the trick
The staff were given a compact one-day introduction by Corporate Planning. Holger Schwarz from the Siegen consultancy firm ®KOLDI Consulting GmbH was on hand to assist the staff in putting into practice what they had learned. The retirement home was divided first into various profit centres, such as care services, social services, housekeeping and administration, before individual structures for financial accounting were developed. After that, the staff used the master tree function to create the profit and loss account structures. With this layout, it is instantly clear how a parent field, Profit, for instance, is made up. This is shown by its subsidiary fields which branch out into ever increasing detail, and the numerical data on which each field is based are also displayed at the same time. Various data streams, perhaps a budget-actual comparison with variances, are likewise shown alongside each other. The results for any particular time span can be displayed simply by adjusting the time slider. “It is impressive how quickly the program adds the structures for each profit centre and aggregates the entire organisation in an inverted tree view,” Steinseifer comments. The chart function comes in especially useful. With this, the data in the system can be presented in two or three dimensions. Steinseifer explains: “We use this function in board meetings, for example – a picture being famously worth a thousand words.”
Routines make work easier
Corporate Planner links together the various components dynamically, producing a self-contained, consistent system. These links are extremely convenient when it comes to preparing analyses and evaluations. In order to retrieve the data in the pre-systems, Datev and Sinfonie being currently in use, an import script was created with the help of ®KOLDI Consulting GmbH. With this import script, all the figures can now be automatically transferred to Corporate Planner at regular intervals. The data can then be exported in a format defined by the user. The program also has interfaces to the Microsoft Office software.
After five days of hard work, the corporate performance management system at the Deuz Retirement Home was up and running – comprehensive documentation included. “We are very satisfied with the application,” concludes the manager of the retirement home, Hermann Müller. “Today the software is used by our Accounting and our Executive Management.”
About Deuz Retirement Home
Deuz Retirement Home has taken on the task of providing the elderly with assistance and care in secure surroundings. This is done deliberately according to principles laid down in the Bible, the word of God. In its charitable role, however, it is also open to other people seeking help who are ready to accept its Christian leaning. The residential home is backed by the registered charity Altenheim Deuz e.V.