Calxa is a very important tool in our systems, and has become integral to our overall management reporting systems.

Daniel Learoyd

Manager - Financial Services, Health Workforce Queensland

Health Workforce Queensland is a non-profit organisation with its head office in Brisbane that helps support and retain rural and remote General Practitioners working in Queensland. The organisation was started in 1991 by the Department of health and Ageing, and employs 31 staff.

Daniel Learoyd, their Manager – Financial Services, participated in the 2011 non-profit ICT report, which identified the difficulties NFPs faced with financial reporting.

While most people surveyed agreed that popular programs like MYOB and QuickBooks were good overall, some of those surveyed commented that their needs weren’t being met, especially when it comes to reporting to government funding bodies.

Here is what Daniel had to say:

 

How would you describe the business you are in?

We run numerous programs of assistance for GPs working in the bush. Programs provide financial incentives, training and upskilling to encourage GPs to work in rural and remote areas.

 

Who are your clients and customers?

Rural GPs and their families. We are expanding into allied health service workers as well, because GPs operate as part of a team and all remote health workers need support. Programs are primarily financial, training and support.

 

What changes are taking place in your category?

In the current financial environment, everybody expects more for less. Customers also expect everything more quickly today than they used to.

Our GPs need more help too, with training and IT skills. They are time poor and a lot of rural and remote GPs still use manual systems.

There have been many developments in online and hands-on training for doctors, including simulation and videoconferencing. SimMan is a portable and advanced patient simulator for team training, which has proved to be very useful, allowing doctors to practice emergency treatment of patients.

Government is increasingly focused on improving health treatment in rural and remote Australia and with the increased focus, has come the requirement for more reporting.

 

How have you been successful?

We have very high level of rapport with the rural GPs. Most importantly, we are trusted. They know we are there to help them and they view us an important support channel. Simply, they can ask us any question about legislation and we take the burden of knowledge in this ever-changing area off them. We keep them informed about all changes in health and regulation.

 

What prompted you to look at the Calxa solution?

The increased demand for reporting is where it all began. We use MYOB, but we were frustrated with its limited reporting capabilities.

We started by looking at our organisation to see what we actually required with reporting. Because we are commonwealth funded, we looked at the sources of government funding and we looked at our operations.

In conclusion, we decided it would be best to set up two internal services – corporate services and grant services.

Funding comes from three main sources across fifteen different grants. Reporting levels under these grants are numerous. We have to be able to provide hundreds of different views of the data that we gather.

Reports could be doctor focused or outcomes focused with selected KPIs against regions, individual GPs, programs and locations. We had to be able to deliver answers to any question we were asked.

 

How did you decide which program to use?

I provided a paper to the board on our analysis of the organisation and its needs, and one of the main issues was our capacity to report against our funding.

After that, I went looking for a solution that would give me the reporting capability I knew we needed. I knew about Money Manager and I looked for other solutions on the internet.

We got an evaluation version of Calxa. I discussed our requirements with Calxa over the phone and I could see that it might prove to be the best solution.

Following this, I then tested Calxa in accordance with our plan to see that it fulfilled all our reporting requirements. Over a few days, I was able to see that we could create all the reports necessary and I organised a meeting on progress with the board.

Finally, my presentation demonstrated the capacity of Calxa to create reports and its flexibility. This was important. Everyone in the organisation manages a part of the overall budget. We try to customise each individual budget to suit the way the managers have to report.

 

Where did you go for advice?

I didn’t need to. Calxa was obviously the solution we needed.

 

How did you know who to trust?

Calxa has been very good in responding to questions and suggestions. They are continually improving their program. But mostly, they listen to their market and they add new functionality and time saving macros all the time.

The program is very intuitive and user friendly.

 

What mistakes did you make that you wish you hadn’t?

None. We tested the program thoroughly before committing to it.

 

What were the main risks?

Probably the main risk was not over-complicating what we had to do. We needed to do something about our situation. The reporting burden was too much.

Using the program reduced any risks. You can pick it up and use it very quickly. A lot of it depends on the structure that you have set up in MYOB. If you have got that right, then Calxa gives you a highly enhanced reporting capability.

 

What advice would you give to somebody else?

I’d say definitely give it a go. You have the data there already in your financial software package, whether you use MYOB or QuickBooks. So see what you can do.

You can export you reports in Excel or PDF. Errors are instantly reduced.

 

What were the barriers you faced?

Demonstration was how I overcame any internal concerns. There were no barriers.

 

What are the business benefits?

The program puts you in control of your data. Cutting down errors, it saves time. It really simplifies the reporting process. The best part, it allows you to automate and manipulate data with accuracy. Cashflow forecasts can be prepared in a few minutes.

It is a bridge between MYOB and Excel. Foremost, it puts me in control of my data. I can consider and identify potential problems before they occur.

Importantly, it provides the managers and the board with the knowledge to run the organisation with eyes wide open. Simply put, it is a very powerful business intelligence tool.

 

Are any of these business benefits quantifiable?

At the end of each month I can save more than two days in reporting.

 

Are staff happy with what you have done?

Managers are more hands on. The program is in a central location on a server, but it is dynamic. It allows managers to look at the real budgets as they change from day to day. Now, it provides an ongoing reference tool, so managers can compare their budgets with the overall board approved plan.

We run Calxa on a secure remote server, so all managers with access rights can connect to the program and run reports.

So, before each monthly finance meeting, they can connect and see the status of each program. They can see what has been spent, what is still to spend and what can be shifted forwards.

It means I don’t have to email out PDFs of reports. They do it themselves in our centralised environment and it increases their sense of responsibility and control.

 

What is the most important thing you have learned in the last year?

Bringing the managers into using Calxa was a most significant event. It allows us all to work together as a team.

All managers have responsibility for a part of the operation. Now they can see how it all interrelates and where their program fits into the big picture. We have recruitment, locums and training, and by working together more effectively and transparently, the whole organisation is more effective.

 

What are you planning to do next?

With improved budgeting, we are taking it to the next level. Where we are heading is becoming more contestable with government funding. We are becoming more “lean and mean.”

Government wants more for less. That is the current mantra. So, managing budgets more effectively demonstrates the capabilities of a program like Calxa.

 

About Health Workforce Queensland

Health Workforce Queensland is a non-profit organisation with its head office in Brisbane that helps support and retain rural and remote General Practitioners working in Queensland. The organisation was started in 1991 by the Department of health and Ageing, and employs 31 staff.

 

The Organisation