The assisted living industry is constantly changing in an effort to provide the best possible care for residents while keeping families involved and trusting that their loved ones are in good hands. This focus can result in two different sides of the business having different needs – the clinical side is focused on providing care, community, and connection for residents and families, while the back office is focused on keeping the business itself healthy and providing owners with timely information about the health of their businesses.
It’s too easy to focus only on one side of the business – the clinical care side – and forget to focus on the health of the overall company at the same time. Here are four steps to help your organization overcome obstacles that can be thrown your way when dealing with the accounting challenges in the assisted living industry.
Understand That Clinical Care, and Accounting Have Different Needs
It’s all too easy to look at a clinical care package that will make a world of difference for your patients and end up with a financial system that is difficult for your accounting team to work with. They are both valuable sides of the business and have different needs. Bundling best-in-class software, together with a great clinical care package, partnered with a strong financial accounting system, can help you take care of both your residents and your business at the same time.
Integrate your Systems
You likely have at least four different systems that are critical to running your business: your clinical care system, a CRM system, a payroll system, and an accounting system. You may also have a few more thrown in for good measure – expense reporting and consolidated purchasing software are two more that might be in place. Taking the time to replace manual data re-entry with good integrations will save you time, allow you to expand without adding more staff, and provide you with faster financial data – all enabling you to keep a better eye on the health of your business.
Consolidate your reporting
If you have multiple communities, you also likely have 2-3 companies that make up that single community. Your accounting team has to consolidate all of those companies to provide you with the metrics and reporting you need – so invest in the accounting system that will make that process seamless and easy. This makes it easy for ownership to review performance daily across your entire collection of communities. Also, if you have several communities that have different investors, you’ll want a system that makes it easy to report on those specific communities without having to resort to Excel.
Provide a Portal for your Executive Directors
Your Executive Directors need to know how their community is doing against its budget, both for the month and budget per bed. Sending them spreadsheets every month won’t help them control costs quickly – but providing them with a portal that shows them up to date information whenever they access it will make it easier for them to see how they are doing and adjust in the moment.