Sophisticated Budgeting and Ease of Use Fosters Collaboration & Accountability
Q: Can you tell us a little about your organization?
A: Carroll County Memorial Hospital is a 25 bed Critical Access Hospital with over 250 employees located in Carrollton, Missouri. We provide emergency services, diagnostic services, day surgeries, outpatient specialty clinics, rehabilitation services, family care, and cancer care.
Q: What were some of the budgeting challenges you were facing? Why did you begin your search for a new solution?
A: Prior to Centage, we had been using Excel for budgeting and planning. In addition to the cumbersome nature of spreadsheets - with the manual data entry and broken formulas - one of the biggest challenges was not being able to provide the different departments the ability to be involved in their portion of the budgeting process.
We wanted the directors in each patient care area – from rehab to radiology to the surgical unit and onward – to have access to their budget information so they could be involved and take ownership, which was difficult to do in Excel. It was also difficult to track budget numbers as they changed and it was really easy to make a mistake.
Q: What were you looking for in a budgeting and planning solution?
A: We needed a more sophisticated solution that would help to streamline our budgeting process, provide greater accuracy, and make it easier for budget contributors to review their numbers.
Q: What are the biggest benefits you are seeing with Centage’s Planning Maestro?
A: When it came to building our annual budget in Excel, we found that it was not only difficult to involve budget contributors, but there was also a lot of manual work and room for error. Planning Maestro offers intuitive automation out of the box which helped us streamline the collaboration process and enables us all to work together on the upcoming year’s budgeting process. The solution does the ‘back-end’ work for you so you are ahead of the game and can easily build the next year’s budget and involve the necessary contributors.
Also, because Planning Maestro integrates with our GL, Dynamics GP, we can pull actuals data so we can monitor and analyze our budget vs. actuals whenever we need, which is something we weren’t able to do before. Each month we would have to do a trial balance upload which was quite time consuming. Having the data automatically input from Dynamics GP into Planning Maestro and having everything in the right spot at the end, has been a nice upgrade for us.
And lastly, not only does our Finance team find Planning Maestro easy to use but we also have strong support and ownership from the patient care area directors because they are able to contribute, review and maintain their individual department budget numbers and compare them to their actuals throughout the year, which gives us more accurate insight into financial health and performance. Being able to easily view one piece of the budget at a time – whether it’s drilling into revenue or drivers or expenses – helps make it not so overwhelming to review, especially for non-finance users like the patient care directors. I have used other budgeting software in the past and Planning Maestro is one of the most user-friendly ones out there.