Focus on Finance
Posted on: January 29, 2021
Clarifying Financial Information
Jenn Leumer, our Director of Finance, and the other members of our finance team have been instrumental in guiding us through one of the most challenging financial years in the agency’s history. Their goal of making financial information easier to access throughout our organization was prescient before COVID, but it’s been huge for us over the last few months. “We’re determining new ways to present financial information and hopefully have it make more sense,” said Jenn.
Both staff and our Board appreciate the finance team’s new format for reports. They now include charts, colors, and other ways that make the information easier to comprehend. “Finances are difficult to understand even for a person with financial training,” Jenn said. “Anything that you can do to simplify or visualize information usually helps to improve understanding.”
Overall, Jenn describes the finance team as “tenacious and collaborative” since they never give up. “We’re all working together toward one goal,” she said. The department seeks to keep communication open with residents, too.
COVID’s Effect on Our Finances
COVID struck in a year that initially looked very promising for Caz Recovery. At the start of 2020, we were forecasting our best numbers yet thanks to improved revenue collection across the agency, especially in our Rehabilitation programs. “We were predicting an incredible year,” said Jenn. Instead, unfortunately, the year turned out to be incredibly strenuous. “Had we not been so well-positioned before COVID, it would’ve been really difficult to survive,” Jenn explained.
In her typical humorous fashion, Jenn said that 2020 was only “a little stressful.” We took internal measures to ensure the survival of the agency, and her team’s monitoring of our finances played a large role. “We tried to not have the programs be affected as much as possible,” she explained. Their goal was to keep the programs running so that we could get through our day-to-day operations.
Thanks to Jenn’s proactive work, Caz Recovery was able to access different federal relief programs like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Provider Relief Funds from the CARES Act. Jenn said that PPP funding was “very useful” since it gave us cash at the time to operate when things were at their most challenging. “It was really helpful,” said Jenn.
Turning Toward What’s Next
Now that we’re hopefully through the worst of it, Jenn’s focus is turning towards what’s next. She and her team want to bring their attention back to the reports they generate, as Jenn says there’s “so much more to do.” Currently, much of the reporting is done manually. The team is hoping to spend the next few months automating features so that the reports can be generated more quickly.
The agency is also in the process of holding conversations with advocacy organizations and state partners to figure out plans to ensure the long-term survival of our programs and the field. Jenn’s analyses and reviews have been instrumental in this process. “Were working on getting back to a better standing,” she said. While we’re not completely out of the woods yet, we’re in great hands thanks to the expertise of Jenn and her team.
Other Recent Posts
Your donation can save a life!
In the grip of the opioid epidemic, you can make a difference. Any amount helps.