Working Day 1 Reporting
How do you close down in one day?
“So how do you close down in one day?” is very often the question that comes first when people ask us about working day one reporting. The short answer is we don’t, the purpose of day one reporting is to publish our financial position on the first working day of the month. The first question invariably changes, but not by much “so how do you report on day one?”. Again the answer is overly long; in its simplest form we shift everything except payroll a little to the left on the calendar and maintain a strict timetable.
When working day one reporting was implemented here at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, we ran a number of workshops and came up with four key areas that we needed to focus on (1) sub ledger procedures (2) contract income (3) pharmacy and (4) management accounts.
Every area of the timetable was reviewed and for each area an action plan was put in place to meet the new timetable. Each process change documented the before and after approaches, with a clear communication plan out to the wider team. An initial trial run was conducted during the September close and we moved to day one reporting from the October month end.
The communication plans were focused on engagement, rather than just dissemination of information. The engagement work started with our Director of Finance with a clear commitment to making the change happen. Showing senior support and buy-in was a critical success factor in delivering working day one reporting.
Tangible benefits from this project include the reduction in duplication of effort and time saved on running the month end processes. The intangible added value from this is the additional time we can now spend with operational front line teams in understanding their financial results
The main lesson learnt throughout this project is that when all the teams within the Finance department collaborate, communicate, and work together on a shared goal we can achieve something special – this project would not have been possible without this whole-team approach.
The second lesson is around wider collaboration, during the project we worked with our external agency suppliers, internal information providers like Pharmacy and commissioning information teams. As a function we are exceptionally reliant on so many stakeholders and partners that we always need to remember we are a key part of the bigger team.
Attached to this blog you will find:
- Finance Month End Timetable
- Examples of action lists from the workshops
- Senior Finance Team update paper
- Example of a Process Change document