Posts Tagged ‘financial’

Software glitch causes problem with Massena Memorial Hospital financial records

May 20th, 2014

A software glitch may be the culprit behind some of Massena Memorial Hospital’s recent reports of financial losses, according to CEO Charles F. Fahd II.

He told his board of managers Monday that they’ve been experiencing glitches with the LSS software that’s owned and operated by Meditech, a Massachusetts vendor of health care information systems. Because of those glitches, an April financial report was not available Monday for the board’s review and approval.

Finance Committee Chairman Gary Borgosz said his group wished to meet May 15, but did not because certain key individuals could not make it. The committee questions the financial report’s accuracy.

“There was a concern about a glitch potentially in the system which may have created some kind of strange numbers off the report,” Mr. Borgosz said. “We decided to hold off on reviewing the report until we gave Jim (Smith, chief financial officer) and his organization the opportunity to further understand just what took place.” Given these concerns, Mr. Borgosz said they decided not to approve the report but rather present it publicly at Monday’s meeting.

Mr. Fahd said the hospital has encountered problems with the system recently. “We’ve been experiencing over the last couple of months some significant issues with our LSS software system that was recently installed in a number of our physician offices,” he said.

Mr. Fahd is concerned that the correct financial data was not being transferred from physician offices to the hospital’s accounting department.

“We have an excellent handle on the number of patients that are being seen across the street and in a number of our clinics,” Mr. Fahd said. “The problem is getting the financial piece of that across the street. The problem literally is getting it from there to here. We seem to be dropping charges. We are not capturing the amount of revenue we should be capturing from the office business or particular businesses or practices,” he said.

“As a result of that, as Gary suggested, our financial reports are not out; they’re not correct,” Mr. Fahd said. “There’s no reason to provide you with incorrect financial data for the month. When we get that data, we will provide it, first to the Finance Committee as appropriate. Once they review it and approve it we will send it out to the board and everyone else who normally gets a copy of the financial report.”

Mr. Fahd said the hospital contacted Meditech to come in and look at the system and make necessary changes to address the problem.

“Our director of patient accounts and director of accounting did work all weekend to try to come up with a solution to find out what exactly is going on,” he said. “I’m confident that what they are working on is something sound, and we’ll be able to work off that.”

Mr. Fahd said the computer problem might have affected financial figures that had been reviewed and approved by the board. “There’s a possibility it could go back into February,” he said. “We have seen a decrease in revenues that we did not anticipate. Every month when you look at the number of visits, especially outpatient visits, that we believe are at or above budget, the income from those never appears to be what we believe it should be. We will go back as far as we need to go back,” he said.

“I do apologize for this,” the CEO said. “I’m the captain of the ship, so I take responsibility and I apologize.”


Why Pandora ripped out its old financial planning software

April 23rd, 2014

When Pandora’s VP of Financial Planning and Analysis Jared Waterman came on board at the company in June 2010, his predecessor had chosen the company planning software and Waterman wasn’t pleased. One of his first actions in his role at Pandora was to look for a replacement.

“When I started we had already signed a contract with Adaptive Planning. My predecessor had] implemented it and it was not great and after a year we ripped them out in favor of Anaplan,” Waterman told me.

He said there were problems from the get-go, but they tried to work with Adaptive to get it right. Finally, it came to a head when Adaptive Planning representatives came to Waterman and asked, “We think we have the model [right], but the balance sheet doesn’t work. Is this a problem?”

Waterman’s reply? Let’s just say it’s not safe for work.

It didn’t help that Pandora was about to go public and was under pressure to get its financial information exactly right. He added, that to be fair, Adaptive Planning was geared toward smaller customers and they just couldn’t handle the needs of an organization like Pandora.

During that year, Waterman found Anaplan at a trade show and liked what the company had to say. By June 2011, almost exactly a year after he started, Waterman ended the relationship with Adaptive Planning and signed on with Anaplan.

He said going to the cloud for this type of service was a no-brainer because on-premises solutions required engineers and IT assistance and he didn’t want to deal with that level of complexity. That meant the on-premises vendors like IBM/Cognos didn’t have a chance. Waterman explained he had used TM1 at a previous job and found Anaplan much easier to use, and the fact it required so much less care and feeding as a cloud service only added to its appeal.

What’s more, he found Anaplan was an easy transition for users who are already accustomed to Excel.

Waterman explained that companies typically start by using Excel for this type of job, but as a company grows Excel becomes too unwieldy to handle financial planning tasks in a big team and companies typically turn to planning software. In fact, financial planning employees are so comfortable with Excel that it’s not unusual for them to push back against using planning software, but Waterman was pleasantly surprised to find that even his most ardent Excel advocates happily moved onto Anaplan and even started to do more than he had expected early on.

“With Anaplan I was surprised, we put the basics in Anaplan, and the team without me pushing them, started putting more and more data of what we do into Anaplan,” he told CITEworld. “I thought I would have to push them to use it rather than Excel, but they actively jumped on board with it.”

Waterman has liked that while his core team can use Anaplan on a more advanced level, it’s still accessible for occasional users too. He has a team of a dozen users who get into it on a daily basis, but there are groups like human resources who use it on an occasional basis to look at information such as planned hires organized by manager, so they can help the managers start planning for their new employees.

Waterman says Pandora really hit the ground running with Anaplan, partly because of its superior customer service and training. In contrast to their old vendor who offered someone with little experience in training, the new one understood training to the extent he offered a history of planning software since 1990, a depth of understanding that impressed Waterman and his team — and the training team has been there to help smooth the transition to the new tool.

Waterman actually sounds a little giddy when he talks about Anaplan. “This solution solves the problem so completely that I wish there were other solutions out there that solve other people’s problems as much as Anaplan has solved mine.”


3 Financial Software Names Showing Relative Strength

December 27th, 2013

Software firms are in business to help firms operate more efficiently. The software sector is a big one, though, filled with different sub-groups. Some software makers are showing strength. Others are not.

In IBD’s database, the computer software sector is composed of 10 sub-groups. Enterprise and medical software makers have led the market over the past six months, but gaming and desktop groups have lagged.

IBD’s Computer Software-Financial group houses just 13 stocks. Ten of them have Composite Ratings of 90 or higher. Three months ago, the group ranked 91st out of 197 groups ranked by IBD based on six-month price performance. As of Thursday’s IBD, the group had risen to 37th.

One of the leaders in the group is Pegasystems (PEGA). The company makes business process management software for the financial services industry. It’s been consolidating gains tightly for nearly four weeks, holding above its 10-week moving average. Pegasystems is thinly traded, but mutual fund ownership has been accelerating in recent quarters.

ACI Worldwide (ACIW) is another top-rated name in the group. Its software facilitates electronic payments worldwide. In its latest reported quarter, earnings jumped 79% from a year ago to 52 cents a share. Sales rose 38% to $213.9 million. In 2014, full-year profit is expected to soar 50% to $3.05 a share.

Advent Software (ADVS), meanwhile, is trading tightly and holding near highs as it works on a flat base with a buy point of 35.93.

SS&C Technologies (SSNC) is also a highly rated name in the group. After a couple of flat-base breakouts, the stock continues to hold above its 10-week moving average, 2% off an all-time high.


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