Administrative overwhelm — transforming home care accounts payable to survive

Thursday, 29 February, 2024

Administrative overwhelm — transforming home care accounts payable to survive

The introduction of the Improved Payment Arrangements added a substantial administrative burden to the already over-stretched aged care workforce.

With every service event needing to be claimed individually, care managers are battling piles of untracked, and sometimes hand-written, invoices that need to be individually entered into their ERP, reconciled to the appropriate visit in AlayaCare, and claimed via Services Australia. A recent AlayaCare and Redmap survey found that 50% of aged care providers have three or more hands managing their invoices from receipt to entry into your home and community care software system and the ERP.

The consequences?

  • Untracked invoices mean zero transparency for the care provider
  • Stressed and over-worked care managers spending time on data entry instead of client care
  • High risk of missing a Services Australia claim and being left out of pocket
  • Difficulty locating specific invoices for any vendor enquiries
  • Poor cashflow if not pre-booking care events
  • Potential to forfeit the claim if the recipient has departed (under the 70-day rule)

The changes have already seen providers large and small question the sustainability of continuing to service this market. It is imperative that the aged care sector adapt in order to continue to provide a high level of care to older Australians.

Leveraging technology to survive

In 2022, RMIT-Cisco Health Transformation Lab released a report in response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. This report highlighted the critical role that technology and digitalisation have to play in transforming the aged care sector, emphasising the need to automate and streamline non-care duties.

In response to this clear need, AlayaCare and Redmap teamed up to develop an integrated accounts payable solution, specifically designed to support home care providers by automating reconciliation of vendor invoices to visits. Redmap Accounts Payable Automation can scan vendor invoices to extract the information (even if hand-written) and reconcile it to the booking event in AlayaCare. Plus, Redmap will check whether the vendor is registered for GST, ensure the invoice isn’t a duplicate, and verify the bank details against the system to minimise the risk of fraud.

This automated solution alleviates the administrative burden on care managers and your accounts department by reducing the process from invoice receipt to filing from seven steps down to one.

The governance and compliance benefits

Automating your accounts payable process has additional governance and compliance benefits. How long does it take your team to check the vendor’s bank details against the system, verify the dollar value against the event booking, confirm whether the vendor is registered for GST, confirm the invoice isn’t a duplicate, and manually enter the invoice into the system?

When you automate the process, not only are these steps completed instantly and automatically, but the team has visibility into committed spend against funding claims every step of the way. Eliminating the untracked invoices on people’s desks and within individual email accounts gives unprecedented insight into business cashflow. Redmap’s AP Automation also enables easy PTRS reporting with a feature that checks and tracks the invoice email receipt date, payment date and customer terms.

Supporting your team

A 2023 Aged Care Workforce Report from CompliSpace recently highlighted that “Almost a third of workers plan to quit within the next three years. Around half plan to quit within the next five. The top reasons for leaving are stress, excessive overtime/expectations and too much paperwork.”

It is imperative that the sector take steps to reduce this burden, and Accounts Payable Automation is one step organisations can take towards significant efficiency gains, leaving more time and resources to focus on providing better care to older Australians.

Image credit: Wackerhausen

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