Rolling Forecasting Through COVID-19

Another buzzword in healthcare is Rolling forecasting; under descending financial pressure, increasing revenue, and market volatility. 

Most healthcare industries have started implementing their forecasting strategies right during the Coronavirus pandemic. But the pandemic is not over yet and we are slowly moving back to normal; The New Normal (Living with the Coronavirus).

In their new report, Kaufman Hall stated that even before the coronavirus outbreak healthcare industry in the US  is facing a stumble in revenue. 

Due to the steep decline in Hospital financial Health, 2020 is considered “Tumultuous” since the decline of hospital margin hits 55.6% downhill. 

We cannot blame the virus completely for the downfall; even before the pandemic, most hospitals hit a negative operational margin. To be precise the hospital margin was 3.5% but why?

 When the coronavirus hits, the figures kept going down; facilities are forced to stop non-Covid care programs since they are busy handling the virus-affected patients.  This resulted in a decrease in patient visits and revenue; on the other hand, expenses in the form of PPE kits soared up. (Most facilities ran sort of this kit, physicians, nurses, and nurse practitioners had to buy it themselves.)

Reasons behind the downward flow of healthcare operational margin are:

  • Increased Covid-19 hospitalization rate

  • Decreased elective care program visit

  • Declined outpatient revenue

  • Expense soaring up

Know the statistics behind the tumultuous 2020:

By end of the 2020 calendar year, hospitals in the US closed down their financial and operational records with the following figures.

  • Without funding from the CARES act, the median operation margin was as thin as 0.3%. It was 2.7% with the CARES act funding.

  • The invasion of Covid-19 caused a decline in patient days which resulted in the drop of 7.3% (low) discharges in the entire calendar year.

  • But the average length of stay from January to December increased by 6.6%.

  • Emergency visits took the hardest hit, the figures fall short of 16.2% in the entire 12 months.

  • The operating room minutes also descended to 10.5% in 2020 when compared with the previous year.

Why Rolling Forecasting?

If you want accurate forecasting of your financial health and transparent data then Rolling Forecasting is the only solution. Rolling forecasting helps finance experts to develop a new finance model appropriate for this pandemic situation, to positions themselves well in the short-term and long-term effects that brings hanges to the liquidity, profitability and capital structure. 

Rolling Forecasting empowers healthcare organization in making the correct decision and bringing change to the budgeting environment.

By making use of current data available in the hospital records comparing it with the present data meanwhile taking multiple scenarios into account rolling forecasting is carried out. 

Most of the organizations usually run three tests with conditions such as Very favourable, Favourable, and Unfavourable in their Rolling forecasting model.

Based on the analysis made by rolling forecasting, finance expert calculate and make strategies for their financial health for short-term and long-term. Rolling Forecasting provide more detailed insights compared with traditional budgeting method.

Not only in Budgeting but Rolling forecasting helps healthcare organization in staffing adjustments as well. 

The world is slowly going back to normal, but many hospitals till now experience the effect of the pandemic by means of reduced flow in patient visits. Every organization is struggling to set things back to normal which is not an easy work like a snap of finger to do. 

Budgeting and Financial drop can be pulled up by using Rolling Forecasting model. If you have doubts on implementing rolling Forecatsing model in your organization feel free to Contact our Finance leaders for expert insights.

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Budgeting and Forecasting

What are Budgeting and Forecasting?

Are you satisfied with the profit your business is making?

If you are satisfied, then you should think of making it consistently. But how are you going to do it?

Usually, business owners start with Accounting.

  • Estimation? Check  ✓
  • Expense?    Check ✓
  • Evaluation? Check ✓

Did we miss something here! Well… Most businesses forget about Budgeting (Some do it) and Forecasting.

These two game-changers drive your business in the right direction towards uphill.

 

Business toward upward direction

 

Budgeting is a detailed outline of how your plan for this fiscal year to be carried out from time to time. It covers items like revenue, cash flow, expense, and debt reduction.

Budgeting is as crucial as planning. Every business requires budgeting to manage their expenses and revenue plan. When the actuals exceed the budget then the financial model can be adjusted accordingly, which allows us to make necessary changes to the company whenever something goes wrong or out of hand.

 

Budget planning

 

Next comes Forecasting; it analyses the past performance of your business and plans for the financial future of your company.

Forecasting predicts how your company is going to perform in the future considering sales & targets. This prediction is done with a clear understanding of a company’s historical data and current market scenario. The management team can anticipate the result based on past financial data of the company.

The features of forecasting are:

– Forecasts should be updated regularly; when a change in inventory, operation, or in your business plan.

– Immediate action can be taken on the forecasted data.

 

Increase revenue

 

As per an internal survey that we conducted among the audiences, it is clear that budgeting helps businesses keep revenue and expense on track while Financial Forecasting works similar to weather forecast; the management team can avoid potential malfunctions in operations/inventory for the smooth running of your business.

Now that Budgeting & Forecasting became easier with Cloud-based software. They generate accurate predictions & budgets in a jiffy with fewer errors.

Today, Budgeting and Forecasting need not be a cumbersome process. There is specialized software in this category that you utilize. You must have careful when choosing a Budgeting and Forecasting software. Here are some questions all purchasers should think about before looking for the right partner:

  1. Am I looking for a cloud solution or an on-premise hosted solution? 
  2. Do I want an Excel replacement software or a software that works closely with Excel? 
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Streamline Your Budgeting And Forecasting

How To Streamline Your Budgeting And Forecasting Process Using Cloud Software

Even if you are not in the market for a cloud budgeting and forecasting software, you probably are curious about whether such a tool can streamline your budgeting and forecasting process. Creating a budget or updated forecast with a dedicated tool can help you feel more in control of your budgeting and forecasting process and let you obtain trusted numbers while saving valuable time. The trick is to figure out the right combination of tools and processes to help you get the job done with reduced stress. This post will help teach out how you can use cloud budgeting and forecasting software to streamline your budgeting and forecasting process. 

Step 1: Understand your current budgeting and forecasting process

The first step in using cloud budgeting and forecasting software to streamline your budgeting and forecasting process is to understand your existing process deeply. Keep in mind, however, that it’s easy to get caught up in too much of the details. It is important to chart the budgeting and forecasting process at a high level so you can determine the pitfalls associated with it. 

Many organizations that we deal with want to reorganize their chart of accounts into P&L statements for each budget head. Using these Actuals, the budget heads will work with their internal team and build a new forecast. Then the finance team consolidates these forecasts and produces management reports and does further tracking. 

Understand your current budgeting and forecasting process
Understand Your Current Budgeting And Forecasting Process

Tip: Try to get to a high-level process in the form of a flow chart so you can discuss this with your finance team and refine it further. This step is very useful in understanding how your cloud budgeting and forecasting vendor of choice will help you streamline your budgeting and forecasting process. 

Step 2: Map out how a Cloud Budgeting and Forecasting Software will improve the process. 

Almost all cloud budgeting and forecasting software is built around three fundamental concepts:

Rearchitecting your data storage in the form of Multi-dimensional Cubes:

Almost all cloud budgeting and forecasting software is built around the concept of Cubes. Multi-dimensional Cubes allow for a more robust way of data storage as supposed to Spreadsheets. You can imagine a cube as a spreadsheet with more than 2 dimensions. If the chart of accounts takes up the rows and months are used up for the columns then the third dimension can be Year, the fourth dimension can be Scenario and etc. 

Rearchitecting your data storage in the form of Multi-dimensional Cubes
Understand How Cubes Work

Cubes are the foundational aspect of a Pivot Tables. The data in the Cube can be easily sliced and diced using Pivot Tables. Your cloud budgeting and forecasting vendor of choice should provide you with easy tools to do data analysis on your Cubes. 

Separating the presentation of data from the storage of data:

The biggest benefit of storing the data in Cubes is in separating the storage of data from the presentation layer. Any good cloud budgeting and forecasting software should allow you to present the data in the cubes in the form of multiple presentation templates. This is important because each budget head will require different forms of data presentation. All the data can be connected to a centralized cube and can be easily consolidated. 

Separating the presentation of data from the storage of data
Separate Your Data Storage From Presentation

Tip: Most finance users are savvy in Excel so ideally selecting a cloud budgeting and forecasting software that uses Excel as its primary presentation layer will be easy to adopt. 

Utilizing a task management system as an alternative to email chains:

If you are still using email chains to manage your budgeting and forecasting process, you know how painful the process can be. Emails were meant to be for one-off messages. For managing Tasks, there needs to be specific task management functionality in your cloud budgeting and forecasting software. 

Utilizing a task management system as an alternative to email chains
Use a Budgeting Task Calendar

Ensure your cloud budgeting and forecasting software has a robust task management system so you can run a stress-free budgeting process. The common features of the task management system

  1. Ability to create a task calendar where appropriate roles and due dates can be scheduled
  2. The task management system should email regular updates so everyone associated with the task can see the risk of completing the task on time. 
  3. The task management system should have a role-based approval system so the finance team knows that they are consolidating approved numbers.
  4. The task management system should be closely tied with the Cube data and Templates. For example, the tasks should have the capability to assign specific templates along with it. When the final approval is done, all the cells associated with that task should lock-up so no further edits can be done. This allows for clear audis and trustability in the numbers. 

Step 3: Determine the role of Excel in your Cloud Budgeting and Forecasting software

There are many cloud budgeting and forecasting software vendors. Many of them tout themselves as Excel replacement software. While replacing Excel may have some advantages, it is important to remember that many Finance users have already built deep expertise in Excel. Excel has great ways to organize and present data, derive calculated numbers through formulas and create charts from the data. It is the most ubiquitously used spreadsheet software in the market. 

Any good cloud budgeting and forecasting software should let you work within Excel. Make sure your cloud budgeting and forecasting software vendor let you use Excel as the primary interface. If it doesn’t, you’ll have trouble adapting to a new presentation layer. 

Determine the role of Excel in your Cloud Budgeting and Forecasting software
Some Organization Want An Excel Add-In Others Want An Excel Replacement

Many do not know that Excel is actually very cloud friendly. Even Excel that you use on your desktop or laptop is fully integrated with the cloud. Office 365 provides a cloud API connection to each individual cell in Excel. Through this method, multiple apps can be developed and deployed in the Excel app store. 

Note: PivotXL is an Excel Driven Cloud Budgeting and Forecasting software. contact us to learn more.

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