SupportAbility Roadmap

In the interests of providing greater transparency regarding planned enhancements and new features, details of the current SupportAbility Roadmap are updated here for the benefit of our subscriber base.  

The roadmap lists the key changes we plan to make to SupportAbility over the next 12 months. It is not designed to be a complete or final list. Instead, it is focussed on providing information regarding upcoming changes that will affect the way our subscribers use the product for the purpose of forward-planning. 

For further details on the process that SupportAbility utilises to determine this roadmap, please view our knowledge base article  The Roadmap Process at SupportAbility


6 Month Roadmap

Activity Schedule Report rebuild

The Activity Schedule Report is being rebuilt from the group up and split into three separate reports that represents its current three parts components:
  • Schedule Report for Activities
  • Schedule Report for Clients in Activities
  • Schedule Report for Staff in Activities

Splitting this report into ints components allows us to deliver a much more tailored experience depending on whether users are searching for Activities, Client participation in Activities or Staff working in Activities.

The purpose of reworking the Schedule Report is to:

  • Improve user interface and experience
  • Improve report filtering options
  • Improve navigation through the use of paginated results
  • Improve performance

Archiving Activities and Client Funding Records for FY2016

Since the release of SupportAbility version 6.0, we have a policy of archiving old Client Funding and Activity records to simplify the SupportAbility code base and improve performance.  With the FY2019 financial year having just closed, we will soon be archiving any Direct and Plan Managed Client Funding records as well as Activity records predating July 2017.  Additionally, archived Client Funding records will no longer contain budget information and simply display a summary of expenditure. 

Client Service Participation Report

Currently, SupportAbility's Client Search provides the ability to search and report on a list of Clients by the Services that they currently, or have historically, participated in.  

We will be extending this functionality to provide a new Client Service Participation Report, separate to the Client Search, that focuses specifically on searching the Client Service Participation information as listed in the Client Details tab: 

The following Client Service Participation information will be included in the report results:

  • Client Name
  • Site Name
  • Service name
  • Client's Primary Service (Yes or No)
  • Status
  • Start Date
  • End Date
  • Key Support Worker
Moving expenditure to a new NDIS Direct Client Funding record following an NDIS Plan review

We have been receiving consistent feedback that NDIS Service Providers are often not notified of a Client's new NDIS Plan until some weeks after it has been established. Providers have continued to deliver Services and link the expenditure to the funding associated with the original Plan. Whilst a new NDIS Direct Client Funding Record can be set up in SupportAbility, there is currently no way in SupportAbility, to move the expenditure in Signed Off Activities from the original Client Funding record, across to the one representing the agreement in place to deliver supports relative to the Client's newly established Plan.

This has the effect of:

  • inaccurate utilisation statistics for both the original and new NDIS Direct Client Funding record.
  • inaccurate NDIS Statements for both the original and new NDIS Direct Client Funding record.
  • making it impossible to set the end date for the original NDIS Direct Client Funding record to the end date of the original Plan because it is linked to Signed Off Activities after this date.

To resolve this, we will be providing a facility to Trigger a Plan review on an existing NDIS Direct Client Funding record, which will:

  1. Request that the user to enter the date range for the new NDIS Plan resulting in the creation a new NDIS Direct Client Funding record.
  2. Set the End Date the current NDIS Direct Client Funding to the day before the Start Date of the new Plan.
  3. Replicate all supports from the original NDIS Direct Client Funding record to the new one, complete with all settings such as budgets and custom pricing.
  4. Change the Funding Source from the original to the new NDIS Direct Client Funding for that client in any Activities that commenced within the Start and End date of the new NDIS Direct Client Funding record.  This will have the effect of moving the expenditure (NDIS Support Allocations in Activities) to the correct NDIS Direct Client Funding record for the purposes of correctly calculating utilisation on both Client Funding Records.

Please be aware however that the budgets will need to be adjusted on both the original and the new NDIS Direct Client Funding records will need to be adjusted to account for the original budgets being terminated on the original plan and new budgets being provisioned on the new plan.

Including Claim Types on Internal Invoice Batch Exports

Whilst v6.8 introduces Claim Type and Cancellation Reason for the MYOB, Xero and Zed Axis Internal Invoice exports, we will be undertaking an audit of all additional finance system Internal Invoice Batch exports and determine the best way to include the Claim Type and Cancellation Reason where applicable. This is important to ensure that when invoices are published from the finance system that they include this information. This is especially important when providing invoices to self-managed and plan managed clients who need to claim these supports in the manner they were invoiced.  

Improved Password Security

We have a number of enhancements planned around password and account security, including:

  • Password strength policy enforcement: the ability to choose the minimum requirements for passwords on staff accounts. For example, system administrators may choose to mandate that all Staff passwords include uppercase and lowercase characters as well as a number, and be a minimum of 8 characters in length. Once a password strength policy has been enabled and configured, the next time Staff log in to SupportAbility, they will be asked to create a new password if their current password does not meet the minimum requirements of the password strength policy set by the organisation.
  • Staff Account invitations: currently when new user accounts are created for Staff, they are required to set the Staff member's initial password and then communicate that password to the Staff member in some fashion when they are ready for that individual to log in and commence using SupportAbility. SupportAbility will simply send the Staff member an email with a link when the Staff Account invitation is initiated, that when opened will allow the Staff member to set their own initial password that meets the password strength policy configured by the organisation.
  • Reset password on next login: a facility will be provided to force staff to reset their password when they next log in to SupportAbility.

Importing Bulk Payment file to facilitate claim retries or adjustments

When the myplace provider portal rejects a specific claim line in a Bulk Payment Request that relates to a Client's participation in an Activity, this is currently not able to be amended in SupportAbility. This is issue is compounded in group service situations where amendments are not possible once the group Activity has been Signed Off, and the Sign Off cannot be removed when Invoice Batches, and/or Staff Timesheet Batches have been generated.  Furthermore, even if the affected Invoice is removed from the Batch for the Client in question, the Activity Sign Off cannot be removed if other Clients in the Activity have been Invoiced. This causes a serious issue and results in inaccurate data due to this not being possible to rectify in SupportAbility at present.  

In response, we are investigating a range of options that would allow Providers to import the Bulk Payment file which is the results file provided by the myplace provider portal after submitting a Bulk Payment Request.  The Bulk Payment file identifies which claim lines in the Bulk Payment Request were processed successfully and which items failed due to errors.  By importing the Bulk Payment file into SupportAbility, we can allow providers to either:

  • Retry the Payment Request: The retry method would be used for errors that can be fixed in the myplace provider portal such as in cases where providers forgot to establish a service booking.  In such a case, the provider could establish the Service Booking to fix the issue and then retry the failed claim.
  • Adjust the Payment Request: This facility would allow the user to remove the original failed NDIS Support Allocation for the Client's participation in the Activity and essentially re-allocate the correct supports, in the correct quantities, at the correct prices before including these adjustments in the next Bulk Payment Request.  We are yet to finalise the approval process for adjusted Payment Requests but will provide further details once known.

Structurally speaking, we need to make some big important changes to the Bulk Payment Request workflow in SupportAbility to make this happen.  To this effect, Agency managed supports will now use the following finance processing workflow: 

  1. Activity is Signed Off
  2. Bulk Payment Request is generated: this will include all unclaimed supports, for which the NDIA is configured as the FPM in the NDIS Direct Client Funding records.  Once the Bulk Payment Request file is uploaded to the myplace provider portal, the Bulk Payment file provided as a result from this process can be uploaded back into SupportAbility so that the failed items can be retried or adjusted accordingly.
  3. Accounts Receivable Invoices the NDIA are generated: these invoices, designed to be exported to the finance system will only include Payment Request items processed in Step 2, that did not fail.

12 Month Roadmap

Activity Documents

A Documents tab will be added to the Activity record, whereby an Activity Document Type may be selected, and the relevant Document upload specific to that Activity e.g. a photograph, or Risk Assessment for example. Additional criteria will be added to the Document Search to allow Activity Documents to be located filtered by the relevant search criteria. 

Removal of Award Categorisation Functionality

All  Award Categorisation functionality will be removed from the SupportAbility product in the very near future. We recommend that providers utilising this current functionality,  firstly understand its flaws and limitations, and secondly start planning and making alternative arrangements to utilise other tools for the purposes of processing Time Sheets in alignment with awards.

There are several payroll solutions in the marketplace which provide comprehensive and specialist award interpretation and payroll functionality, over and above anything SupportAbility could ever hope to offer. Disability services require sophisticated payroll functionality to manage their compliance obligations under the SCHADS award and SupportAbility is not the right product to deliver that functionality. 

Before Award Categorisation is removed from SupportAbility, we will be adding functionality to allow providers to configure attributes related to Staff Time Sheets (e.g. Sleepover, On-call, Breaks, etc.). This information can then be included in Time Sheet Batch exports for various Payroll systems where applicable to ensure Award Interpretation can be performed as accurately as possible. 

In the same way that SupportAbility sends invoice data to the organisation's finance system to manage the responsibilities around invoice distribution and accounts receivable, SupportAbility will only export pure Staff time and attendance data for payroll systems to perform award interpretation and generate payroll.

To clarify our reasoning for this, we will begin by providing an overview on the history of this feature. Not long after the SupportAbility Activities module was released back in March 2015, we were asked by a Victorian based provider to develop a simplified version of Award Interpretation for timesheet data against the SCHADS award. Initially, this most basic level of level interpretation, which we labeled 'Award Categorisation', was designed to meet the award interpretation needs of this singular provider who only operated in standard business hours and did not have requirements around managing allowances, shift loadings and penalties under the award.

As our subscriber base grew, we realised that other providers across the country shared this requirement, and so we released the Award Categorisation functionality as standard functionality. However, since then we have become aware of issues with the way in which SupportAbility's Award Categorisation functionality categorises time according to the SCHADS award. We undertook an extensive research project and engaged consultants to help us understand the complexities and intricacies of the SCHADS award and the scope of work required to fix the issues. 

The result of this research project highlighted that the problem was infinitely more complex than SupportAbility's Award Categorisation was ever designed to solve. What was originally designed to act as a quick solution for providers, was going to take our Engineering team over 6 months to bring into compliance with the award. Furthermore, award interpretation and payroll generation is primarily the role of the Payroll system, not SupportAbility which is a first and foremost a Client Management System.

We are notifying providers well in advance to allow them to find, review, pilot and implement alternative solutions to solve these issues and their requirements.

On hold

Client Portal

We regret to announce that the SupportAbility Client Portal project has been put on hold whilst we address the most critical issues raised by our subscriber base, some of which are listed above.  The requirements for a Client Portal have fundamentally changed since we commenced this project, as the National Disability Insurance Scheme has evolved since 2013.  

Another primary factor is the delivery platform, we believe a mobile application would be a better choice for participants and families than a web application. Given that SupportAbility does not currently have any mobile application developers in our Engineering team, we will be reviewing all options regarding this on the best way to proceed and will provide further details regarding the progress of this in due course. 

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