Case Study: Holland Bloorview
Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital is Canada’s largest children’s rehabilitation hospital focused on improving the lives of kids with disabilities. Located in Toronto, Ontario the Hospital works with 7,000 children each year, in both inpatient and outpatient services.
7,000 children per year
Holland Bloorview needed a budgeting tool that would provide efficiencies throughout the process.
Questica Budget Suite
Questica Budget met the Hospital’s budget and provided the functionality required.
- Time savings
- Secure Application
- Publish Next Budget Year
- Access to Budget Data
- “What-if” Scenarios
The budget process begins each year with the Finance team preparing budget sheets for each of the 50-plus managers. Funding for the Hospital is provided primarily by the Ontario Ministry of Health, so the Finance team does not set the budget, but is responsible for indicating assumptions and budget parameters.
In November, managers receive their budgets and have three weeks to work on them before submitting them to Finance. Budgets are then cleaned up, reviewed for reasonableness, and the 300-plus spreadsheets are consolidated into a summary report. Budget binders are prepared for each of the five corporate units. This process is time consuming and relied heavily on only a couple individuals in the Finance team, leaving them vulnerable should one of these knowledgeable resources leave or be reassigned.
The Finance team was so heavily involved in the manual steps of the process that their time was being misused. The Hospital had grown and with that the complexities of budgeting had increased. In addition, they had seen a significant increase in their mandate requirements. Their manual Excel environment was no longer able to meet their growing needs. They needed more flexibility in terms of changing assumptions, running scenarios and other functionality.
Holland Bloorview is a children’s rehabilitation hospital, so most the budget (85%) is related to Human Resources (HR) rather than supplies and equipment. Managing the complexities of salaries, compensation and benefits are difficult to do in Excel. The Hospital budgets by person rather than position type and payroll needs the ability to track hourly rates, as well as other pertinent data. Being able to track this information effectively is critical to keeping costs in line.
The entire budget preparation took upwards of six months, turning the focus away from other important tasks. While the budgeting timeframe wouldn’t be affected, the new budgeting tool would need to provide efficiencies throughout the process.
Holland Bloorview issued a Request for Information (RFI) to see if any tools were available that fit within their budget. Since the Hospital is funded primarily by the Ontario Ministry of Health, their funding is specific and limited. Once they determined that there were solutions available within their price range, they issued a RFP to better drill down into the specific functionality of the tools.
After reviewing the tools against the Hospital’s specific set of requirements, they shortlisted four solutions, reviewed the requirements again and Questica Budget was selected. Implementation took place over several months.
Holland Bloorview has been able to improve efficiencies in their budgeting process, and refocus the valuable resources of their Finance team.
The Hospital has seen a significant savings of time using Questica Budget. The entire budget process has been decreased in length and the Finance team has been able to increase efficiencies in the process. Weeks have been eliminated from budget preparation and managers now have more time to work on preparing the most effective budget for their department.
The old method of budget preparation meant a lot of non-value-added labour by Finance, on data entry and checking budgets line-by-line. With Questica Budget, the Finance team can now focus on working with Managers on model changes and efficiencies, as well as other duties that better utilize their skillset.
Holland Bloorview uses both the canned reports and a couple of custom reports. Some of the most frequently used reports include Position Costing Detail, Year-over-Year Comparison and Budget with Details. The ability to include notes and associated documents has led to more clarity and a better sharing of budgeting decisions.
Questica Budget allows Finance to establish security access-levels based on their business hierarchy. Managers and the Finance team are the only resources that can access the system and managers only have access to their own budget data.
Publish next budget year
The Finance team can set up the initial budgets in a couple of hours, rather than the endless hours required to manually prepare individual spreadsheets. The cumbersome task of entering Full Time Equivalents (FTEs) is no longer required – FTE budget data is already in place and managers now just need to make changes to costs as required.
Access to budget data
With Questica Budget the Finance team has constant and immediate access to budget data at any time. They no longer need to wait for budget files to be sent to them, they can make changes and provide feedback immediately. During the budget review process, once managers submit or promote their budgets, Finance can lock them to ensure Managers don’t go in and make changes.
During review, changes requested by senior leaders are easier to manage. Simple changes such as reducing a budget by a specific amount can be made by Finance, directly in the budget. Complicated changes such as changing the number of FTEs or changing the staff mix, are demoted back down to the managers to do themselves.
The ability to create multiple “what-if” scenarios, and to understand the impact of each one has been a significant benefit. The Scenarios feature enables all users to create multiple versions of their budgets and to run summaries at any point to understand the impact of each version. This provides insight that would be difficult and time consuming, if even possible with Excel.
Thanks to more efficient budgeting, Holland Bloorview is brilliant.