Benchmarking survey time

An annual survey measuring the financial and operational health and well being of aged services in Australia is seeking submissions.

Above: Health Shonhan, Director and Head of the Bentleys National Health and Aged Care Unit 

The accountancy firm, Bentleys is once again seeking submissions for its annual aged care survey measuring financial and operational wellbeing in the aged services sector

The 2012 Bentleys Aged Care Survey marks the 18th year for the business benchmarking tool that seeks to inform industry stakeholders – including private and not-for-profit providers, financial institutions, government and others – about the key national issues and opportunities facing the sector. 

According to Bentleys director Heath Shonhan, participating in the survey is free for aged care providers and the results will inform their thinking and help position them for the new Australian Government funding regime.

“Analysis of provider data also offers invaluable insight into performance across the industry to better inform the sector and its funders, contributing to current discussions around concepts of efficiency, rates of return on operations and equity, and potentially impacting future funding models,” said Mr Shonhan. 

According to Bentleys, the 2009 survey found the average return on assets for residential aged care providers was 1.99 per cent compared to 2.95 per cent in 2006, with net profit margins more than halving in that same period. 

By 2011, the survey revealed that while government subsidies had increased by six per cent since 2009, costs over the same period increased by six per cent for care components like nursing and chemist supplies, eight per cent across services like cleaning and catering and 17 per cent for accommodation costs like energy and rates. 

Bentleys said the 2011 financial and operational data also indicated that to compensate for additional costs, providers were increasingly focused on opening up new revenue streams, increasing efficiencies and repairing balance sheets.

Two phases 

Mr Shonan said the survey has two phases, the first being the ‘balance sheet health check’.

 “It simply requires providers to submit their 2011-12 general purpose financial reports (GPFR) by 30 November 2012,” said Mr Shonhan.

He said it was very straightforward for providers to extract this information from their audited financial statements. Alternatively Bentleys can source the information direct from the provider’s auditor on their behalf.

“Based on this data, participants will receive, free of charge, a top-line assessment of their financial health compared to others by the end of the year.” 

The second phase – the benchmarking survey – requires providers to input profit and loss and other operational data before 17 December 2012.

“From this information, Bentleys will provide a benchmarking report in early 2013 which measures the provider’s financial performance and provides assistance with resource planning,” said Mr Shonhan. 

“Providers can choose to participate in just one or both phases of the survey, however full survey participants benefit from more precise analysis of their individual results and are provided with a more comprehensive electronic data package at no cost.

Mr Shonhan said the objective was to create a data source that informs the industry and gives providers the tools to improve the long term financial sustainability of their service.

All data entry can be completed online via a secure website –

Those seeking to register or seeking more information can visit; call 07- 3222 9777; or email

Industry observers, suppliers and other stakeholders can keep up to date with the survey as it progresses by joining the mailing list at

Tags: 2012-bentleys-aged-care-survey, bentleys, bentleys-aged-care-survey, heath-shonhan,

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