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My Major Is Business Management, I Love Business

In: Business and Management

Submitted By nuofan21
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T1 Consultants

The Case of Community
Health Initiatives

MBA #511 (Stark)
Spring 2011
Team #1

Prepared by:
Jim Arthur
Bob Bordine
Wanyun Zhong (Emily)
Lu Tang
Jason Blevins

Respectfully Submitted: October, 2011

A Plan for Stephanie & CHI

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Plan summary…………………………………………………………………………3
Budgeting Process…………………………………………………………………….4
Dash Board……………………………………………………………………………5
Non-Profit Ratio Measurements’/Standards………………………………………..9
Professional Development..................................................................................….....12
14 Rules for Managing the Board…………………………………………………..13
Closing Statement……………………………………………………………………16
Appendix……………………………………………………………………………..17
Supplemental Dash Board calculations…..………………………attached via Excel

Plan Summary

Community Health Initiatives (CHI) is a nonprofit whose mission is to provide education and support to chronically ill individuals and their families who reside in the surrounding metropolitan area. Stephanie has recently been hired as the director of finance of CHI and faces many challenges as the organization has doubled in size over the past year. The goal for both CHI and Stephanie is to develop a plan which Stephanie can follow over the next 3 months as she develops accounting processes that will provide the CHI leadership (executive director and board of directors) with the right type of information designed to be useful for decision support, planning, and control. In short, T1 Consultants will provide the following recommendations to both CHI and Stephanie to follow which will lead to success. This will include: budgeting processes for incoming and outgoing funds, benching marking goals for growth for CHI, suggestions for managing relationships with the board & recommendations on how Stephanie can continue to develop herself professionally while facing new challenges at CHI.

Thank you,
T1 Consultants

Budgeting Process

The budget process is the method an organization goes about building its budget. A good budgeting process engages those who are responsible for working on the budget and implementing the organization’s objectives in creating the budget. The annual budgeting process should be documented, with tasks, responsibility assignments and deadlines clearly stated. And also, fixed costs are identified and related to reliable revenue.
Steps for developing budgeting process for CHI:
1. The first step should be “writing it down”. Putting the process into writing makes a checklist to make sure that you can monitor the process. When written down, it helps the management team to measure the degree of advancement.
2. The second step is confirming who and when. Besides the executive director and program director, make sure other departmental staff members who have responsibility for adhering to budgets should play a role in creating budgets. It is better to be exclusively managed by a specially-assigned staff. Normally, it would be more efficient for staffs to create early drafts of budgets, and set up timeline list.
3. The third step is establishing timeline. CHI has grown by leaps and bounds over the past year, so if they want to grow constantly, it is better to having the budget approval by board at least two months before the new fiscal year. The earlier, the better, integrate the annual budget process into a time during the year, so grants have time to focus on budgets.
4. Synchronous budget line and accounting line. In this step, Stephanie needs to ensure that operating budget should match the accounting information, which also helps Stephanie to prepare effective finance information. Especially for expense, a mismatch can result in budget overages, and cause extra work for administrative staff or key director.
5. Developing worksheets. Using the detailed budget worksheets to prompt deeper thinking about budget components and to help ensure nothing is forgotten. The worksheet should consist three parts. A detailed personnel worksheet lists each paid position with salary. A detailed non-personnel expense worksheet provides the various organizational business expenses. Other detailed worksheets for capital purchases ensures where the money goes.
6. Facilitate “what if” scenarios. Everything would happen. The budgeting team needs to make sure preparing the solution of “what if” scenarios. A detailed worksheet might include variable factors, allowing staff to think about “what if” scenarios by changing different variables to see the result impact on the budget.
7. Adopting policies. All staffs are required to know that your organization’s approach and expectations sets the tone not only for the process of creating the budget, but also for implementing it.

Dash Board

The Board of Directors for Community Health Initiative (CHI) has sent a very clear initiative to Stephanie to get started. They need clear and concise reports to have the ability to steer the future of the organization.

When looking at the dashboard, it will be important to look at the cumulative organization as well as the individual programs within the organization. The dashboard will be split up accordingly.

As Stephanie looks into building this dashboard for her monthly report to the Board of Directors she needs to have an understanding of what she should be looking at in order to build an effective report. The Steven Group out of St. Paul, MN came up with a list of Seven Characteristics of Financially Healthy Nonprofits that could help to steer this process.

1. The financially healthy organization has sufficient income to ensure stable programming.

2. The financially healthy nonprofit has an internal source of cash or ready access to cash in times of shortfalls.

3. Financially healthy nonprofits engage in income-based, rather than budget based spending. Income based: A) Begins with realistic income projections; B) Determines realistic costs of next years’ service delivery through analysis of last year’s costs; consideration of current market conditions; and functional cost allocation.

4. At the end of each year, the financially healthy organization retains of positive cash fund balance. (surplus)

5. In years where deficit does occur, the financially healthy organization has accumulated surpluses sufficient to cover the current year’s deficit.

6. The financially healthy organization has established (or has plans to establish) an operating reserve to finance growth and cash shortfalls.

7. The board and the management of financially healthy nonprofits hold themselves responsible for the financial stability of the organization.

(National Endowment of the Arts (www.nea.gov/resources/Lessons/STEVENS.html))

With that being said I think there are a few reports that will be essential on a monthly basis to include in the dashboard.

Budget is the first report that will need to be shown in the dashboard. The Board will want to review budgeted versus actual for both revenues and expenses. Any unusual variance each month can be discussed during the board meeting. Watching over the variances will allow the Board and Management to not get bogged down in specific numbers but instead in any variances that will need reviewed.

Cash flow is vital to any organization. An organization needs to know what they have on hand as well as an idea what the need will be in the coming months. Anticipating cash flows in the coming months will allow management and the Board to plan for any surplus or deficit in the coming months. Referencing the above list, cash flow is listed in one form or another in 6 out of the 7 phrases.

The third piece of the dashboard will be to include financial ratios that will track progress, and also allow Management and the Board to compare various periods of time as well as benchmarking data (see benchmarking section) to compare against industry norms ratios. Defensive Interval (DI) is an important ratio to look at. It shows how many months the organization could survive with no additional funds being received. The formula is (Cash + Marketable Securities + Receivables)/Average Monthly Expenses). Other ratios to include are the obvious ones current, days cash on hand, debt ratio, and accounts payable aging. The key to ratio analysis is to not look at each individual number in isolation. Ratios create a picture of what is going on currently, historically, and comparatively and must be looked at in the manner.

The last piece in the dashboard will be the non-financial indicators. As was said earlier, the Board of Directors has given a very specific set of directives to Stephanie as she begins her new role. Many of them were financial and covered by the above reports. Many of them though are non-financial and will need monitoring as well. Going down through the non-financial metrics:

A. Increase the participation in all programs

a. Metric: Overall Participation (volume)

B. Develop and strengthen strategic partnerships

a. Metrics: Strategic partner satisfaction

C. Increase staff resources and employee development programs

a. Metrics: Employee training hours; employee satisfaction

D. Strengthen volunteer base

a. Metric: Volunteer satisfaction; total volunteers; total volunteer hours

E. Increase resources available for programs

a. Grant renewal rate

Many of these metrics will be easy to monitor in sheer tracking. The satisfaction numbers will be a little more difficult to track and may require additional expense to track. Developing an internal survey and conducting will minimize this cost but may skew the numbers. It will be important to look over the next several months at a variety of options and vendors to get these surveys up and running.

In addition to each of these that the board is looking for, it will be important for Stephanie to work with each department’s manager or coordinator to work on additional metrics to run their programs from both a financial and non-financial standpoint.

Over the first 4-5 months on the job, this dashboard will be a work in process. Stephanie will need to work with Board members to alter and refine this living document moving forward. Communication will be the key and reviewing progress with both the Board and the management team of CHI.

Non-Profit Ratio Measurements’/Standards

The information the board has been provided with historically is important from a financial reporting standpoint but not useful in helping the board and executive committee make day to day decisions. The GAAP financial statements do not provide the directors and executives with enough information to know where CHI stands in terms of achieving their strategic goals and in relation to other non-profit organizations. It is common for boards to receive financial information in a format different from the audited statements. Some of the most useful information can come in the form of ratios. The ratios, which can be derived from the financial information, can be prepared on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis, used to evaluate performance in terms of benchmarks and goals set by the board, and are used to evaluate performance at a point in time or over a period to identify trends. Below are a few ratios commonly used by non-profits that may be helpful to CHI.[1]

|Ratio |Type of Ratio|Use for Ratio |
|Reliance on Source of Income |Income |Provides awareness of risk if a major source of income is reduced or stopped. |
|Largest type of income/Total income | |Can be used within groups of income as well, such as special events, |
| | |fundraising, grants. |
|Reliance on Gov. Funding |Income |Similar to the ratio above provides the board with information on risk related |
|Total gov. grants/Total income | |to high concentrations in gov. funding where there is little flexibility with |
| | |costs and allocation of funding |
|Self-sufficiency ratio |Income |Allows the BOD to see the proportion of their operating expenses that can be |
|Total earned income/Total Operating Expense | |covered by earned income as opposed to income generated through grants and |
| | |donations |
|Functional Cost Allocation |Expense |This ratio is frequently used by donor s and nonprofit watchdogs, and charity |
|Total fundraising, G&A expense/ Total expense | |rating agencies so the Board should be aware of it and any changes that are |
| | |occurring in this area. |
|Fundraising Efficiency |Expense |The average dollar amount of contributions raised from each dollar spent on |
|Contributed income/ Fundraising expense | |fundraising. Can help determine where fundraising efforts are best spent. |
|Cost per unit of Service |Expense |Evaluates financial efficiency and identifies changes in cost over time. For |
|Program Expense/Unit of Service | |CHI a unit of service may be number of participants in the program |
|CUNA (profitability) |Mgt. |Ratio represents the percentage of income available to build reserves and |
|Change in unrestricted net assets/Total | |invest in infrastructure. |
|unrestricted income | | |

It is very clear that the management at CHI needs to develop a better understanding of their expenses. The current financial reporting does not provide expenses by their functional areas. It would be useful for the Board to have the expenses categorized by fundraising, program, management, and general expenses. This is how expenses are broken out on the 990 filed with the IRS. The 990 is a public document and can be used by the government, individual donors, and charity rating organizations to analyze a company. Therefore it would be useful for CHI to have a better understanding of these expenses and what drives them. CHI can use the ratios above and the 990’s of similar non- profits to benchmark against them. This can be a helpful tool in determining where the organization excels compared to other organizations and where there is room for improvement. For the purposes of grant reporting it will also be necessary to allocate the expenses to the 4 specific programs.

One board member expressed interest in what the charity monitoring organizations look at when they rate a charity. This is important as large donors and grant makers will review this information when making a donation or renewing grants. As mentioned above charity monitoring organizations use the 990 exclusively to rate non-profits. Different companies use different methods and benchmarks to complete their ratings but there seems to be some measurements that are commonly looked at by these agencies. According to www.charitynavigator.org, they assign ratings based on financial efficiency and financial capacity. Some examples of data looked at to assign ratings are: program expenses as a percent of total functional expense, admin expenses as a percent of total functional expense, fundraising expense as a percent of total functional expense, fundraising efficiency (how much it costs to raise $1), primary revenue growth, program expense growth, and working capital ratio (how long a charity can sustain itself without incoming revenue). All of the financial measurements are converted into a score, keeping in mind that different charities have different missions and consequently different spending requirements. Because of this charity navigator has developed a system of grouping charities into general categories and developing benchmarks which equate into a score for each of the measurements listed above. This is useful information for the board to know and a lot of the ratios listed above fall in line with what the monitoring agencies use as benchmarks.

Professional Development

In Stephanie’s first three months on the job, she should focus on doing what the board of directors has asked for. First of all, Stephanie has to collect a variety of information each month to effectively make decisions (see dashboard section) and to feel that the board of directors are fulfilling their fiduciary responsibility even though the audit report seems to be the same for the past five months. Also to make sure she submits information timely every month so management can make short term decisions. She needs to report accurate and precise information to the Board of directors; they should include the request from Broad and potential metrics for strategic goals so the year-end report doesn’t catch the board off guard. This adjustment period could take at least a few months but it should be started as soon as possible. Second, Stephanie has to figure out what kinds of risks become more essential now that are growing -- both internal and external risk. She needs to be able to project forward and to measure the success of each of the program. She has to report to the Board of directors every month to ensure the Board has the most up to date information on the different programs, so they can judge how or if the programs are successful. Third, Stephanie has better to adopt the scorecard that can help the Board directors keep an eye on measures they feel are important. Plus, in case that there are no such strategic leaders who don’t really understand how to use it, Stephanie should establish some training systems on it to understand how it can help them with decision making that links to their strategy. This can make sure everyone is on the same page on what everyone feels is important and what needs to improved.

With learning how to develop a new accounting system and to offer directors timely and useful information and also assist them with decision makings, Stephanie should arm herself with both theoretical knowledge and practical methodology to confront these job challenges. For Stephanie, the most critical thing is to get out of the auditor mind-set quicker and head into the role of director of finance. Specifically, different types of financial documentations are required by both directors and grantors not only for short-run but also for long-term sustainability on decision making, management, grant administration and grant renewal. Unlike an auditor, Stephanie should broaden her perspective since she is an internal Director of Finance. Theoretically, besides having CPA, she needs to start the CMA certification process when she gets chance. Simultaneously, she would better join in the local IMA where she might be able to get opportunities to network with other accounting professionals, from whom she can get much empirical knowledge. And also, she might get chance to discuss some relevant working challenges, from which she can use the peer reviewed methodology to her daily working. Last but not least, an MBA degree could also help her in the future, it may enable her to get promotions much quicker, and she would learn how to manage different aspects of the company. Eventually, she might even get promoted to be the CEO. All of the above are some suggestions aiming to help Stephanie get into the right role and ultimately beneficial to CHI’s development and consistent with CHI’s growth.

14 Rules for Managing the Board

T1 Consultants - 14 Rules for Managing a Board of Directors

Managing your board is really code for “How to be more successful as a CEO.” Why the advice? For many new Directors of Finance “managing” a board is a new experience. It is very different from their previous experience of “having a boss,” and often the source of unnecessary anxiety and distraction

1.) Stick to the basics - The best way to manage your board is to do a great job managing your company finances. Never forget, the financial success of the company is the most important goal and the one that the board cares about the most. Be in control of all things financial no matter the issue.

2.) Build a great board - Populate the board with people who you believe can really help you. Look for shared interests and philosophies, but embrace differences as well. Know your weaknesses and select board members who will help guide you in those areas. When you raise money, the board member who comes with the money is as important as the money. People want to assist and be a part of something great like CHI, so educate them on the financials and why things happen.

3.) Communicate - Formally, informally, collectively, and individually, communication is essential. Surprises are frequently fatal so avoid them with communication. When communication wanes, the board sees a red flag. Meet with your board often, we suggest a minimum monthly and more often if possible. But communication is the key. Keep all members informed and educated. And if need be, ask them to assist when you are facing a difficult task!

4.) Encourage independent director relationships - Don’t be a filter between your staff and your board. Open access to your staff will help the board assess the health of the company from different perspectives. Learnings gleaned from this access to staff can inform important decisions. It also a demonstration of your confidence as well as a way for your staff members understanding their own importance.

5.) Get and keep your hands dirty - If you tell your board you have lost a deal, make sure you have been there. If you have won a deal, make sure your fingerprints are on it. You need to be intricately involved in your company.

6.) Be resourceful - Use the resources of your directors’ ecosystems (e.g. recruiting, customer rolodex, PR, training, banking, etc.). This is one of the great benefits, beyond capital, that a non-profit firm brings to an company.

7.) Make BOD meetings matter - During board meetings, be in control. Have an agenda. Use time efficiently. Remember what you said last time and demonstrate progression. Know where the meat is and get to it fast. Be direct. Limit finesse. Don’t let the directors find the rocks; always be a step ahead.

8.) Never position the board versus the company- If it’s you or the company against the board, rest assured; the board will always win. Never put yourself or the company in this position.

9.) Push Back - Sometimes directors have stupid ideas and give bad advice. Be open to different perspectives, but have the guts to push back, and do so, when it makes sense.

10.) Build a “safe” relationship with at least one director - Trusted alliances are crucial. Ensure you have at least one unwavering relationship with at least one director with whom you can confide during the most difficult decisions. Who is on your side?

11.) Have a plan and measure against it - Have a plan, outline goals, demonstrate how you’ll measure performance, and do it. People have memories, so execute, measure and demonstrate performance on a regular basis.

12.) When failure happens, declare it quickly – non -profits are in the business of accepting risk and they understand the inherent downsides to risk. If a challenge appears declare it quickly, design an action plan and execute to avoid failure.

13.) Be passionate - Most likely, you’re running a non –profit because you’re passionate about the technology, the team, and/or the market problem to be solved, etc. Have a genuine commitment to your work, and show the board the fire in your belly.
14) Remember rules #1 and #2

Bottom line . . . the team you build and how you choose to manage that team are the most critical elements of success. You will best manage your board by carefully selecting board members with whom you believe will help you achieve the success the success that you and your company are destined for.

Closing Statement

In closing, CHI and Stephanie do face challenges over the next three months. With CHI doubling in size over the past year, it is apparent that new policies and procedures are required to meet strategic goals as set forth by the Board of Directors. T1 is confident that by following the recommendations pertained within said plan; both Stephanie and CHI will be successful in the future.

Thank you,

T1 Consultants

Appendix
CHI Mission and Programs

• Mission of Organization: CHI provides education and support for chronically ill individuals and their families who reside in the local metropolitan area. CHI uses its resources to implement four primary programs. Each is described below.

I. Relief—Travel and Housing Grant Program
A program that provides emergency financial support grants for constituents. Grants are awarded to individuals and their families if they need temporary housing while receiving medical care in the metropolitan area or if they need to travel out of the area to receive specialized care. The program also provides assistance with travel expenses incurred to bring family members together in times of crisis or medical emergency. Social workers and professionals from a local travel agency provide the volunteer base for this program.
Total annual resources allocated to program (under new grant): $850,000.
In-kind resources: $0 (not applicable at this stage of program).

II. Moving from Dependency to Independency
A program designed to help those living with chronic illness find solutions to become more independent in their daily lives. The educational program is delivered one-on-one to individuals or families or through seminars and workshops. The volunteer base used for this program includes physicians, nurses, psychologists, as well as those individuals who have achieved success in dealing with their own chronic illness. Organizations that serve specific diseases are also involved with implementation and serve as strategic partners. These partners include those serving individuals with illnesses such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, cancer, Crohn’s disease, lupus, etc.
Total annual resources allocated to program (under new grant): $1,775,000.
In-kind resources: $500,000 (physicians’, nurses’, and psychologists’ time all based on an hourly rate).

III. Community Connections
This program assists in the development of social and support contacts for CHI constituents.
It brings families and patients together and provides a mechanism whereby they can learn about other community-based resources. This program is part of a national program that is linked to improved health outcomes and lower risk for patients who participate. Social workers and community health specialists provide the volunteer base for this program.
Total annual resources allocated to program (under new grant): $500,000.
In-kind resources: $0 (not applicable at this stage of program).

IV. Adjusting the Workplace
A new program designed to educate employers of chronically ill individuals who are employed full-time. The program deals mainly with companies that have 500 or more employees. Social workers, human resource professionals, psychologists, and patient advocacy organizations are all involved with implementation of this program.
Total annual resources allocated to program (under new grant): $300,000.
In-kind resources: $0 (not applicable at this stage of program).
[pic]
-----------------------
[1] Information adapted from www.nonprofitsassistancefund.org…...

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