For the 43,000 people in the ACT looking after a family member or friend with a chronic condition, a disability, a mental illness or who is ageing, reliable information about services to support their caring role is vital. Since 1992, Carers ACT has been delivering information and referrals to family carers on aged and community care, as well as providing specialised carer support services, such as respite, counselling and advocacy in the Australian Capital Territory.
The 75 employees of this not-for-profit organisation deliver more than 20 programs funded by both the ACT and federal governments. Both the ACT and federal governments require reports of a different nature and at different times, to ensure that allocated program funds are properly spent and meet program service delivery outcomes. Complex quarterly reports are also required by Carers ACT’s board of directors, to ensure accountability.
Carers ACT was battling with too many duplicated tasks, as well as service and reporting difficulties. They used MYOB for finance, plus seven Access databases with separate CRM and service management support. These fragmented systems couldn’t provide the consolidated view of carers’ needs that is essential to support a case for funding. Multiple data entry consumed too much staff time, and the reporting process was inconsistent and inflexible, with doubts about the integrity of data.
“If the client told us they didn’t want a particular service anymore and we didn’t enter the information in the right database, they’d have to tell their situation or needs to Carers ACT staff again. This was frustrating for them and a waste of Carers ACT resources.
Who cared enough to offer a solution?
“From the integrity perspective, Carers ACT desired to make sure that the reports reflected real life, because they had to be entered into two different databases – service delivery and accounting.”
Carers ACT’s shopping list for a new system included a integral database encompassing CRM, HR and Finance, the capacity to accommodate changes in the requirements of funding bodies, integration with other communication, authorisation, eServices and security technologies. They were also required to report electronically into the central database of the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.
Carers ACT looked into several software packages to try to find the right solution. The shortlist of contenders included MYOB Greentree, Oracle, Care Manager (from Database Consultants) and IMS. But Star Business Solutions sealed the deal by offering all the required functionality at an affordable cost.
Delivering the full care package
“Everyone across the organisation is using MYOB Greentree, and each function of MYOB Greentree can be used for different programs and also on different levels,” the Manager says. “Having everything in the one system gives us the whole history of the client, and the staff can then assess what best suits their needs."
“F.R.E.E. (MYOB Greentree’s Financial Reporting Engine in Excel) is really good for us, because each program has its own budget related to its funding source.” F.R.E.E. allows them to view how they’ve spent their funds; and they have live data so they don’t exceed their budgets.
The Manager says that since Star Business Solutions installed MYOB Greentree, Carers ACT has the capacity to capture data about its existing services, as well as expand its activities, for example: improved ability to communicate with clients by email, SMS and social media. It is also better equipped to handle any changes in government funding requirements. “As a result, Carers ACT is in a strong position to demonstrate our ability to meet program delivery and reporting requirements and to secure future funding, as well as making sure we’re delivering services effectively to our clients now and in the future.”