Q: How can I develop a more sharpened financial focus on my campus, which has multiple living arrangements?
A: Great question. The senior living business is becoming increasingly complex. The continuum of products and services is growing. There is a pressing need to optimize the financial viability of each individual product or level of care on your campus.
Consolidated financials provide the big picture/summary approach, but to determine the true financial sensitivity of your organization, you must develop individual cost/profit centers within your continuum. Simply combining three or four businesses within a community into one overall consolidated income statement of revenues and expenses is not the best practice for the future. Just using consolidated financials can frequently mask unacceptable subpar performance of one cost center while penalizing the overall operation. Each individual major product and service offered should meet reasonable industry financial benchmarks of revenues, expenses including an overhead allocation, net operating income, profit margins and cash flow.
Each cost/profit center should have initial stand-alone income statements before being merged into consolidated financial statements.
Jim Moore runs a national senior housing and healthcare consulting firm based in Fort Worth, TX. He has written several books about assisted living and senior housing, including Assisted -Living Strategies for Changing Markets.