This article discusses the modern, dynamic, and business user friendly financial reporting options available for Healthcare organizations using Sage 100.
It has been a while since I have blogged, and in that time, I have had several great opportunities to talk to finance and accounting professionals, as well as executives, about their Business Intelligence (BI) and Corporate Performance Management (CPM) needs. Some of these conversations happened at BI360 Focus 2016, some of these manifested as one-off conversations, and one even occurred on a flight to Portland. Lately though, it seems like I have not only been in conversation with more healthcare professionals, but I’ve also found myself personally and professionally curious about this industry. The healthcare industry seems to be one of the most complex and regulated sectors – and for good reason obviously, but the effect it has on financial reporting requires sophisticated, yet business user friendly BI tools. The best financial reporting tools for Sage 100 users offer Healthcare-specific data management that produces the necessary financial reporting and/or dashboards.
This blog article will focus on modern financial reporting with Sage 100. I’ll first discuss the bigger picture of what you should be looking for to achieve your financial reporting and analytical objectives. Then, I’ll zoom in on the financial reporting modules delivered by certain, more dynamic products that can enable Healthcare organizations to produce traditional financial statements, meet regulations, and present information to key stakeholders and decision-makers.
What are some key considerations that you should know about as someone who is responsible making sense of the financial and operational data with Sage 100? Like most accounting systems, Sage 100 offers some options for analytics and reporting, either natively or under the larger Sage umbrella, but most offerings are limited and proprietary, meaning that you will end up using multiple report writers for different analytics and you’ll be learning multiple different systems with sometimes a steep learning curve due to your business end users typically being more accustomed to Excel. You’re going to want to look at the different types of platform, the business user friendliness factor of the product, and whether it is a stand-alone product or one that is positioned within a full BI suite that includes a data warehouse.
In my conversation with an accountant on my flight to Portland, I heard what I almost always hear: Excel is firmly established in the business world, especially for finance and accounting folks. And there are Excel add-ins that take the trusted spreadsheet program and accelerate it with a software ribbon addition to the toolbar. These seem like the logical top choice for any team that wants a familiar, easy-to-use, but powerful solution for financial reporting with Sage 100 data – and other systems, operational and/or financial data. However, there are other options: proprietary and web platforms also own parts of the market. Proprietary platforms are built by the independent software vendor (ISV) and operate outside of the familiar Excel framework, but can be a powerful alternative if you’d prefer to not employ Excel. And the web and Cloud options continue to grow in popularity, not just for the accessibility and low maintenance, but also the security and licensing. Furthermore, some products are a hybrid: proprietary, web offering or an Excel-powered Cloud solution.
Financial reporting solutions should make your life easier, whether you’re in the healthcare industry or not. If you’re opting to upgrade your financial reporting processes beyond Sage 100, then you’re likely going to spend money on a tool, as well as time and energy. Therefore, you want to find a tool that reports beyond the General Ledger (GL) and offers you a streamlined, powerful experience, with meaningful output. When you’re looking at report writers, you probably want to go with an offering that is part of a BI suite that at least includes a configurable commercial data warehouse to accommodate the diverse systems of data and/or subsidiary information. Additionally, you might be interested in adding a budgeting tool – or want to produce dashboards with Sage 100 or other system data for your executives. Now, let’s discuss the Healthcare-specific analytics that you might need to produce with a modern BI tool.
Reporting can range from traditional financial statements, straightforward and simple or consolidations of different data sources and/or subsidiaries. You can also harness the power of some more dynamic solutions to create dashboards for executives that showcase actuals versus budgeted revenues, monthly or twelve month trends, gross margin, inventory turnover rate by distribution center, top customers with drill down items, top products or items with drill down to customers, and top suppliers. Another dashboard example executives might find interesting would involve benchmarking, pulling data from external data sources to compare your company and select Healthcare companies. Executives are perhaps going to be the most interested in revenue – and what is impacting the revenue, but there are other focal points for Healthcare organizations trying to make smart decisions about the future.
There are a lot of moving parts for Healthcare companies, some involving Sage 100 and some pulling data from other sources. In dealing with insurance, you might want to compare the number of claims versus claims paid, as well as claims rejections by reason, top payors and top physicians. You might want to run a report or create a dashboard based on the clinical experience – detailing the number of admissions and readmissions, by a diagnosis-related group (DRG), which is a system that classifies inpatient stays into groupings for payment. Your report could pinpoint the average length of stay as a twelve month trend, the average charge by DRG, and/or the count by patient type. You might want to analyze data you have around patient satisfaction, by facility, by patient type – and this could lead to a report about wait time by facility and by patient type. Maybe you want to look at post care support visits and avoidable readmissions. All of this said, there’s also the more traditional reporting that involves Profit and Loss (P&L), a statement of operations with KPIs, and variance reports by clinic, by physician, etc.
The point is that, nowadays, you have powerful, dynamic options – and you should do the work of looking at today’s solutions. You’ll for sure want to pinpoint what you’d like to accomplish and what your specific organization needs from a reporting solution, now and in the not-so-distant future, as you plan to grow and develop as an organization. You’ll probably have plenty of questions along the way. Solver offers Excel and web-based reporting as a stand-alone module or as part of the comprehensive suite of BI360 modules and would be happy to answer your questions and review BI360’s easy-to-use solution for collaborative, streamlined decision-making capabilities for Healthcare organizations using Sage 100.