Project accountant, Finance
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As a project accountant I support project work at the hospital.
There are any number of projects I work on, which range from a couple of hundred thousand dollars to sometimes up to $10 million.
My job involves a lot of report writing, I write business cases and occasionally review projects after they’ve been completed.
I look at what we said we’d do and how much it would cost us versus what we actually did and how much it actually cost.
I review all the original documentation, interview people involved in the project and then document my findings in the report.
I get to work with a huge number of staff from all over the hospital, from security managers to radiographers.
I don’t have a direct phone line. I only have a mobile phone because I am always on the go.
I see my role as supporting doctors and nurses, the clinicians, to get what they need. It’s about making the way they work a little easier.
NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) wanted to buy new transport incubators for transporting very sick babies around our region and up to Starship Hospital (in Auckland). I met with people at the unit about and I wrote up a case for them to put forward for funding.
Some projects are multi-million dollar deals. The laboratory is one of my big projects at the moment. I was involved in the business case and I’m the project accountant for it. We have invested a lot of money in information systems in the last five years.
" I’m also involved in a number of peripheral projects relating to our big campus redevelopment... "
I’m also involved in a number of peripheral projects relating to our big campus redevelopment.
The total campus redevelopment is approximately $430 million, but some of the buildings being replaced are 50 years old. Both the new acute wards and Emergency Department and the Meade Clinical Centre are part of that redevelopment.
The way healthcare is delivered has changed in the past few decades meaning those older buildings do not work so well. Now we need, for example, bigger beds and bigger wheelchairs because people are larger, so we need wider door frames in the buildings.
The organisation’s direction is set by the Board, executive and senior staff with input from the Ministry of Health.
Everything needs to be approved and signed off by the relevant managers.
To relocate the Renal Service, well, that went to the Board.
We are relocating our entire renal in-centre facility to the old Lions’ Cancer Lodge site. Previously patients who came up for dialysis were often on a wait list for treatment as we physically didn’t have the space for them. These are some of our sickest patients and the new facility will double the number of people they can treat onsite.
When we put the case together we had to consider how much it will cost us to treat this many more people per year and to what needs to be done at the facility to make it fit for purpose. We had to balance outcomes versus the money.
It’s costing $7.5 million but I’m glad we got the outcome we did.
What I do is really different to staff accountants; I don’t have a month’s end.
I’m a dedicated resource, whereas our management accountants deal with our businesses, such as women’s, mental health or cardiology; and our financial accountants make sure the hospital bills get paid.
To be good at this job I think you need to have the ability to look outside the box and question things.
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