Strategies to Manage Community Expenses

By Kadine Mitchell, MHSA, LNHA, CDAL

ceed its revenue targets, keeping expenses in line and resulting in an amazing record of profi ts. This may hold true for many of us. For others, we may have experienced at one point or another, not having the picture painted above; we have experienced reve- nue shortfalls leading us to rely on expense management more heavily as a means to reduce loss. I began my career in very challenged


communities. From such experiences I have been able to grow and learn, forging a strength in expense control. Here are a few strategies I rely on from day to day: Lead with transparency. Many directors are not specially trained in the world of

n an ideal operating world, revenue shortfalls would not exist. Year after year, a community would meet or ex-

accounting and fi nancials. We don’t need everyone to have the aptitude of a strong executive director, but basic fi nancial liter- acy is a must. The level of detail provided to your leadership team may vary based on the department and/or individual professional background. Drill down. I’m sure we all check and

double check our own personal fi nances. The same should apply in your professional setting. Personally, no dollar amount is too small for me to question. Knowing where the dollars are going will help you to under- stand your business that much more. Proper accounting. It’s important to limit accruals and ensure timely accounts payable. Being able to account for expenses in the same operating month allows you to have a clearer picture of your fi nancial standing

month to month. Also, vendors are customers and timely payment is a form of good cus- tomer service. Be flexible, be fluid.

Being extremely rigid while trying to navi- gate variable expenses will add undue stress. Your direction may differ from week to week depending upon changes in the community. The key takeaway is to never compromise

Kadine Mitchell MHSA, LNHA, CDAL Executive Director Brightview South River Brightview Senior Living

quality of care as a result of trying to control the dollars. This may cost more in the long run in the areas of reputation, turnover, and resident satisfaction.

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