You know you need a new approach when you are forecasting out 72 months. Because aged Care provider Mckenzie needed a smarter way to plan, they turned to Jedox. Here’s what happened.
McKenzie Aged Care Group provides aged care services and accommodation for older Australians across the states in eastern Australia. McKenzie puts people first to support lifestyle, choice and independence. In this interview, Sam Perrin speaks with McKenzie Project Accountant, David Sherwood on how they used Jedox to make a positive contribution to their cornerstone values of empowerment, ownership and collaboration.
Jedox: How did you start with Jedox?
David Sherwood, Project Accountant, McKenzie Aged Care: That’s an interesting story. A couple of years ago, I was working on a project that was ending, and one of my colleagues had been to talk to the CFO here about a tool that they were putting in. They wanted someone internally to own it. So I came over here and I found out they were putting in Jedox. At the time I didn’t know Jedox, but it was very much like TM1 and I knew TM1 very well.
Jedox: What happened next?
David Sherwood, McKenzie Aged Care: We got the model working for actuals. With the recent upgrades to Jedox we are now able to drill-through to transactions in our Epicor Finance system easily. We’ve turned off Crystal Reports and Frx for our management reporting. Now Jedox does that for us.
Then we went to work on our budget and forecast models. The budget and forecast models are built at a very low-level of detail, and our forecast model is huge, and goes over 5 or 6 years. The models include P&L, Balance Sheet and Cash Flow, all integrated, all self-balancing. You feed in your P&L and starting balances and it rolls it all through.
Jedox: Has Finance found Jedox easy to use?
David Sherwood, McKenzie Aged Care: Yes. Jedox has been a good project. I’ve enjoyed working with it. We create the reports ourselves. For example, I’ve created a report for the Directors of Nursing at our Aged Care facilities. They can review their monthly P&L and grab an account they want to look at, right-click, drill-through, and there’s the information. There’s far more we can do than we had ever anticipated. It’s been great.
Jedox: How else are people using Jedox?
David Sherwood, McKenzie Aged Care: Our Directors of Nursing use a report – they probably don’t even realise the data is coming from Jedox since they’re end-users. They know to click on cells and expand rows, and then right-click on them to drill-down, but it’s all automatically refreshed when new data comes through in the monthly report. Everything updates for them.
We just give them a Jedox spreadsheet, and they can drill down to their transactions straight away. For example, we’re using it for the chefs in our kitchens. At the end of the month we just look at a report that shows their cost per resident, gives them a few graphs, and it’s all sourced out of Jedox. None of our operational people have to worry about it, for them it’s just an Excel spreadsheet.
We also do our external financial statements. We’ve got a management reporting hierarchy, and a hierarchy for financial statements. We give the auditors our financial statements and a cross-reference table, and off they go. That made it a lot simpler to produce our annual accounts. Once you understand what you can do with Jedox, it’s great. We want a new KPI? We add in a new rule, and there it is, done.
Jedox: Have there been any IT issues along the way?
David Sherwood, McKenzie Aged Care: No, not really. The server sits within the world of IT and is backed-up and all that. But in terms of managing the models in Jedox, and for access, I determine what’s going to happen. We aren’t reliant on IT.
The main reason I talk to our IT is for an upgrade, to check the server machine is backed up and a snapshot is taken. Otherwise IT generally doesn’t come into it. The system just works.
Jedox: Any further thoughts?
David Sherwood, McKenzie Aged Care: Having worked with TM1, I was happy to work with Jedox. I mean yes, TM1’s a nice product, but for well over $100,000 for basic budgeting and forecasting, whereas we did this for around $30,000. You can share Jedox with a lot more people at that price – and solve more business problems. Jedox does our actual reporting, it does our budgets, it does our forecasting. And as we grow, we can roll it out to our facilities easily. We’re developing 5 new facilities right now, so we’re looking at a strong growth path over the next 3-5 years.