Innovation – U1

The HPFT Finance Team

Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust
East of England, Mental health

“it addressed the issue of getting high level financial information in a timely manner to Executives to support decision making.”

Peer Reviewer

“Helped change the focus of the senior finance team to look at the wider (and therefore hopefully the strategic) picture.”

Peer Reviewer

“Clearer understanding of materiality across the finance team meaning they will focus on making adjustments to what ‘really matters’”

Peer Reviewer

The Problem

The Finance Team need to be able to report an expected financial position in time for the first Executive Team meeting of the month, rather than waiting for the full month end process to complete, because otherwise the Executive Team do not have the information they need in order to make key financial and operational decisions for the Trust, in enough time to make a difference in the same month.

The Challenges

  • How might we help the organisation by giving them a Flash position on Working Day 1 so that they can make key decisions early in the month?
  • How might we hone in on the key areas which impact the financial position so that we know what to examine?
  • How might we get the necessary data so that the Flash position is as accurate as possible?
  • How might we learn to estimate realistically so that the Flash position is as accurate as possible, without doing the whole job early?
  • How might we report this so that the necessary info is available without a full I&E?

The Outputs

The tangible product is an excel sheet with the Flash Position on Working Day 1, and a narrative report for the Executive Team on the first Monday of month end process.

The Outcomes

  • Firstly as a finance team we understand our position and our data much better than we did, as we have had to examine several areas in depth, early in the month; we have needed to really understand and not just blindly accept that the “data says x” – so month end is more driven by intelligence and understanding, not process driven accrual calculations.
  • Secondly as a finance team it has helped us all focus on the bigger picture and not the minutae, what really matters / will make a difference.
  • Thirdly for the Exec Team and wider SLT it has been easier for them to make earlier decisions, rather than waiting for a longer formal report mid month say.
  • Fourthly also for the Exec and SLT, summarising the I&E aids understanding in non-finance people, because we present what really matters, not everything.