In 2015-16 we worked with finance leads in organisations to identify and solve the problems faced in changing finance and related systems.

Finance leads identified the following challenges:

  • Keeping the supported person informed about how much of their budget they are spending and how that is meeting their outcomes.
  • Making sure that credit control processes for supported people are appropriate. By developing an ethical policy on charging services users and dealing with non-payments.
  • Costing support against an outcomes based individual service fund, instead of an hourly basis.
  • Working out if disaggregation of support is necessary (or possible) e.g. a drop- in service may need some level of core funding and a shared flat will have some level of shared costs.
  • Managing the administration costs of Option 2 (and associated costs and processes for subcontracting.)
  • Dealing with variation in funding approaches and hourly rates across Scotland. This is particularly challenging for larger providers.
  • Budget forecasting when there is an unknown and variable number of individual budget holders purchasing your support

The majority of providers who have made substantial finance changes said they had to make revisions to their system as they went along taking a practical, iterative approach to change. Having a clear focus on the purpose of the change (increasing accountability to the supported person) is also helpful so that teams know why change is happening.