Availity Financial Implementation
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Brady Munn and Melissa Doot
Availity, L.L.C. was founded in 2001 and based out of Jacksonville, FL with approximately 1,000 employees. Their business provides real-time information on the insurance benefits for patients as well as the ability for healthcare providers to submit and monitor claims. (More details on Availity’s story can be found on the website www.availity.com/History)
“So are we live yet? The fact that go-live seemed like a ‘non-event’ is a testament to the work done by the Kog team”
Johan Flostrand, CPA
Assistant Corporate Controller – Availity LLC
Availity chose to partner with Kognitiv to implement Workday Financials for many reasons. Kognitiv has gained Availity’s trust by providing experienced consultants who think outside the box and provide honest feedback and guidance.
Existing Relationship – Availity has been supported by Kognitiv for almost four years in HCM, Payroll, and Expenses. In 2018, Availity partnered with Kognitiv to implement Workday Expenses, based on quality of work and established trust from the support in the other areas of Workday. The success of the Expenses implementation led Availity to partner again with Kognitiv on the Financials platform. Kognitiv’s track record of quick response times carried over from Post Production support to the Financials implementation. This kept the momentum of the project going and alleviated having to revisit items.
Beyond Lift & Shift – Through collaboration with the client we took the time to understand the processes,reporting – AND operational needs, to best re-design the new and enhanced processes to maximize the utilityand functionality of the new tool.
Automating Manual Processes – The Availity team came to the table with a challenge regarding contractor time accrual already used in time tracking with Workday. Building the monthly accrual entry required Excel manipulation and was prone to data entry error. Kognitiv designed a new report and process which pulled information already stored in Workday to automate the generation of a journal entry, eliminating error proliferation, as well as 3 hours’ work to create and post the entry each time. Other automation also included various allocations, including monthly benefits allocations and allocations needed for P&L classification which were previously all done manually.
Experienced Consultants – How are Kognitiv consultants able to think outside the box and be able to look around corners on the impact of design decisions? The consultants not only have years of experience implementing Workday Financials but have many times sat in the chairs of our clients. With former controllers and accountants among the consultant group at Kognitiv, Availity did not have to explain the concepts of debits and credits. Kognitiv consultants understand the pain and frustration of using outdated systems, which may not provide the detail of data needed in one place, and quite often require hours of Excel manipulation. For example, historically Availity’s customer transactions were brought over from a separate billing system in ‘batches’ – resulting in aggregated data making it difficult to perform detailed revenue analyses. With the assistance of Kognitiv’s integration team we were able to build a scheduled integration that brings invoice level detail from the billing tool into Workday. This makes for a ‘one-stop-shop’ with Workday containing all the relevant data to perform detailed revenue analyses. A less-than-optimal data structure can result in adding days to the monthly close effort for companies. Kognitiv’s experience, and focus on this structure, allowed Availity to see around some corners, and fix what could have been reporting issues early
Reporting first approach – If reporting is the ultimate deliverable of a Financial ERP, why not start architecture there? ERP implementations seem to have one thing in common regardless of which system is being implemented: report development is saved for last, and often falls victim to scope creep of other core implementation efforts, or of budget and personnel pressures. This gravity that seems to pull reporting to a ‘Phase 2’ effort can lead to issues down the road. The design of the FDM is done first based on reporting requirements from ALL Workday financial areas, not just financial accounting and FP&A teams. Once you have gone live and discovered a data point is missing from the FDM design, it is very difficult and cumbersome to add it in especially to historical data. In the case of Availity, Kognitiv took the opposite approach: talk about reporting needs first, and use those needs to drive key FDM decisions early in the architecture, and to accelerate data conversion efforts.
Data Conversion Tools – Speaking of data conversion, this is always an area of any financial system implementation which uses endless hours of consultants’ time. It can be a very manual process, even when the Chart of Accounts structure is unchanged. But especially when changing FDM structure in implementation, the layers of complexity grow: one must map the original system general ledger to Workday’s slimmed-down ledger account structures, augmented with worktags are used with a smaller population of ledger accounts instead of variations of data points strung together to create a general ledger account number to accommodate reporting. Imagine being able to generate, remap, and then regenerate data conversion in detail for multiple years in a matter of minutes! Kognitiv has automation that accelerates legacy data translation and loading into Workday. For the Availity project, the addition of a worktag to ledger history was discovered as a late requirement, after much data conversion had already been done. With Kognitiv’s conversion tool, the additional worktag was easily added to 5 years of general ledger data and re-posted to the tenant in a matter of hours.
Account Posting Rule Automation – During any Workday implementation there are several updates to the account posting rules which must be reloaded into another tenant for the next round of testing. Availity’s existing account posting rules for Payroll and Expenses were leveraged as a starting point to easily build the new posting rules with the streamlined new chart of accounts in Workday. With automation, Kognitiv was able to manipulate the account posting rules and move from tenant to tenant swiftly with ease and, most importantly, accuracy. These changes would be very tedious to accomplish in the user interface with manual data entry.
With Availity using Workday for HCM, Payroll, and Expenses, the decision to implement Workday Financials was another significant investment into the Workday platform. Choosing to partner with Kognitiv again to implement Workday Financials was a success. Not only is financial data flowing to the general ledger, but Availity is satisfying reporting requirements beyond a basic income statement and balance sheet, right out of the gate. The configuration decisions assisted by experienced Kognitiv consultants allows Availity to utilize Workday to the fullest potential and render the most return on their investment. Kognitiv’s automation tools significantly increased the ability to focus less time on conversion and configuration and more on reporting and increasing business process efficiencies. Kognitiv looks forward to a continued relationship with Availity, providing support and expertise to leverage Workday to achieve Availity’s operational and reporting goals.