Integra proves its worth at healthcare charity, Praxis Care
Increased control of expenditure
Complete visibility throughout the organisation
Accountability at budget holder level
Praxis Care was registered as a charity in Northern Ireland in 1983 and is now a major provider of services for adults and children. The organisation operates in four areas: mental health, learning disabilities, acquired brain injury and elderly services, including dementia. In order to manage the charity effectively, Praxis Care has established a ‘scheme’ system which includes a whole range of activities. There are currently more than 110 schemes, including 10 central service departments supporting around 1,500 people. In order to furnish the Finance Department with the relevant information for them to analyse and report to Senior Management and stakeholders, each scheme is responsible for supplying data, including income and expenditure details. Employing 1,200 staff, Praxis Care owns 138 units and as well as donations from fund raising, income is provided by various stakeholders including individuals, councils, trusts, government funding and the HSE.
Prior to 2011, Praxis Care was using Sage to manage its bookkeeping requirements and Microsoft Office products for data manipulation and reporting. Kieran McConville, Management Accountant and Project Manager, explains, “The old system created a lot of issues. It was too labour-intensive and couldn’t handle our complex reporting needs. Praxis Care is a growing charity, which means our reports are continuously changing, demanding more and more detailed, comprehensive and complex information. With the previous system, we were unable to analyse detailed transactions and had to resort to manual intervention to satisfy our stakeholders’ demands.”
He continues, “Each scheme dealt directly with many of its suppliers dealing with high volumes of invoices. This was very time-consuming and impractical and offered us very little detailed information that we could share throughout the organisation. There was limited central control of suppliers and we felt that a centralised approach would save time, increase efficiency and provide more effective cost management.”
In order to increase the required reporting, enable more informed decision-making and incorporate the ability to drilldown to transactional level in real-time, Praxis Care decided to find a fully integrated, enterprise-wide solution for its financial input and reporting needs. “IBSS's consultants have been excellent from day one and we are now looked after by the support team, whose response continues to be proactive and professional.”
Praxis Care is very pleased with its decision to purchase the Integra Financial Management solution. Kieran McConville comments, “With the increased automation, information is
flowing much faster through the organisation. Integra is able to cope with our complex structure extremely well and we are enjoying complete visibility throughout the operation. In
addition, the emailing of management reports is so much easier than before. Integra provides us with improved accountability, allowing the budget holder to drill-down to see an invoice –
an excellent attribute. There is a lot more information at our fingertips which helps us provide our stakeholders with more accurate reports and better decision making.”
The response from the schemes is very positive, particularly the invoice approval process and audit trails. Management has also given positive feedback as they now see the organisation as a group and are able to drill-down to schemes and invoices - a more transparent way of working. Control of expenditure has also improved, because it is now very easy to see where there is an overspend or underspend.
Pauline Flynn, Praxis Care’s Finance Director concludes, “IBSS’s consultants have been excellent from day one and we are now looked after by the support team, whose response continues to be proactive and professional. Integra gives us confidence in the information that goes both in and out of the business. We firmly believe we have not just bought a product for our current requirements, but have invested in a long term business relationship, that will help us save time and money for many years to come.”
Why Integrated Business Software and Solutions?
Praxis Care met a number of suppliers, saw product demonstrations and visited reference sites. Kieran McConville comments, “It took a year to find the right company but in the end, IBSS and the Integra finance solution came out on top. It was a unanimous decision.”
He continues, “IBSS was the clear winner with excellent credentials. The site visit provided very positive feedback and even though our reporting requirements are quite complex, they understood what we needed at an early stage. The company was also willing to mock up a test environment and demonstrate how our specific structure would work. The reporting and authorisation controls were brilliant, with accountability at every level of payment and receipt. We saw the flexibility of Integra’s reporting tools and how the Business Intelligence module could be used to drill down and analyse the information we need. Other systems had similar functionality in different parts of their software, but Integra had everything, all in one integrated package.”