Adding an NDIS Direct Client Funding record
This article provides a comprehensive overview of each of the steps involved in configuring NDIS Direct Client Funding records.
Audience: Finance Team, and anyone tasked with creating or updating NDIS Direct Client Funding records
Your organisation must be ready to generate & process Invoices and NDIS Bulk Payment Requests using SupportAbility
We recommend that NDIS Direct Client Funding records are not entered until your organisation is ready to begin using SupportAbility to generate & process Invoices and NDIS Bulk Payment Requests. Therefore we recommend your organisation is ready to do so, prior to obtaining balances from the myplace provider portal and creating NDIS Direct Client Funding records.
Configuration must be completed
Each of the Finance & NDIS | Preparation configuration requirements must be completed.
Staff tasked with adding Client Funding must:
- have access to the Client record and the 'View Financial Information' Staff Account Privilege,
- ideally, have access to the myplace provider portal to check funding balances where required and are also tasked with entering service bookings,
- understand the options for Setting the Financial Plan Manager (FPM) by watching the linked video,
- know how to Create an NDIS Financial Plan Management (FPM) Contact if required by watching the linked video for any Client's who have their NDIS Funding managed by a registered Plan Manager,
- ensure the Client billing contact is up-to-date for any Client's who are Self-managing all or part of their NDIS Funding or have a Plan Nominee managing this for them, and
- understand how NDIS Price Guides are managed in SupportAbility.
The following list summarises the content within this article. Click on the links below to take you to the relevant sections:
- An overview of the NDIS Direct Client Funding record
- Adding NDIS Direct Client Funding records
- Print options
- Important considerations once the funding is in use
- Utilisation tab
- Price Guide Transition tab
- Display Client Funding notes in the NDIS Support Allocations window
An overview of the NDIS Direct Client Funding record
When a Client is paying for Services your organisation provides using NDIS funding, the Client's NDIS funding must be added to the Funding tab on the Client's record. This is referred to in SupportAbility as their NDIS Direct Client Funding record.
We encourage Providers to think of the NDIS Direct Client Funding record in SupportAbility as the place to 'set up' the Supports which are valid for each Client based on the agreement you have in place for the Services you are set to deliver and charge. This funding information is required so that SupportAbility understands the relevant NDIS Support Categories and/or specific NDIS Support Items that can be allocated in Activities.
NDIS Direct Client Funding records need to be set up to reflect either:
- the Standard Service Booking/s your organisation has entered (for Client's who have Agency managed funding), or
- the Schedule of Supports your organisation is set to deliver as outlined in the Service Agreement in place with the Client (for Client's who have a Plan Manager managing their funding or are Self Managing their funding).
The NDIS Direct Client Funding record is also where any Support Items requiring a specific set custom price or quote can be added, the Financial Plan Manager responsible to paying the Client's Invoices related to this funding may be configured, notes related to the Client's funding may be entered and Supports may be configured as unavailable as required. These features will be reviewed in this article as well as the training video referenced below.
For a comprehensive overview of this record we recommend watching the NDIS Direct Client Funding video in the Funding section of the Learning Centre:
This video steps through examples of creating and configuring NDIS Direct Client Funding records in SupportAbility.
Adding NDIS Direct Client Funding records
When a Client is funded under the NDIS, their funding must first be added to the Client's Funding tab (visible only to users with the 'View Financial Information' Staff Account privilege):
When adding a new Funding record, NDIS must be selected as the Funding Type, along with the applicable State or Territory of the Client's plan.
Selecting the State the Client has received their plan in is important as not only does it determine the NDIS Pricing SupportAbility will use for this funding record, but also the corresponding Provider Registration number to use when NDIS Bulk Payment Requests are generated for this Client as per this configuration in System Preferences.
This option defaults to the State as per the Client's Street Address added into the Client Details tab.
The Start and End Dates that this funding can be used between must be entered. This essentially becomes the validity period in which the NDIS Funding can be used.
Select Add and the funding record will be displayed.
Client Funding Details tab
The Client Funding Details tab is where the Client's available funding is configured, and budgets are defined.
Client Funding Settings
The Client Funding Settings section of the record contains information regarding the:
- the Name of the funding record,
- the Funding Type,
- the State,
- the Initial Price Guide i.e. the valid Price Guide,
- N.B. a Client's NDIS Funding record cannot be backdated to a period prior to the Initial Price Guide in use once NDIS Supports have been added
- the Funding Period i.e. funding validity period,
- Total Budget i.e. a sum of all NDIS Support Budgets entered,
- Default Financial Plan Manager (FPM) i.e. the party responsible for paying the invoice
- Client Funding Tags,
- ability to link in 3 Client Documents which have already been uploaded to the Client's Documents tab, and
- a Notes field.
The Name of the funding record defaults to the 'Funding Type + Validity Period (From Date - To Date)'. If you wish to name this something other than the default, simply click in the Name field and type in the desired name for the funding plan. Anything entered here will override the default:
We recommend updating the Name of the Funding record in edge cases only, where a Client may require more than one NDIS Funding record e.g. to manage Therapeutic supports for different types of therapy or to align with each Service Booking in the case where multiple Service Bookings are required. In these cases, a different Name for the Funding will assist Staff tasked with updating the Funding Source in either the Activities they participate in.
Default Financial Plan Manager (FPM)
When referring to the NDIS Financial Plan Manager (FPM) in SupportAbility, this essentially means the party responsible for paying the Invoice for the services your organisation delivers when the Client is paying using their NDIS funding.
Under NDIS, there are four possible scenarios when setting the Financial Plan Manager:
1. All or part of the plan is managed by the NDIA
The Services delivered by your organisation are issued to the NDIA by way of a Bulk Payment Request generated and downloaded from SupportAbility and submitted manually via upload to the myplace provider portal.
2. The Client is Self Managing all or part of their plan
The Services delivered by your organisation are invoiced to the Client or their billing contact who must pay your organisation, then claim back by way of a Payment Request via the myplace provider portal.
3. The Client's funding is being managed by a Plan Manager
The Services delivered by your organisation are invoiced to the Client's Plan Manager who must pay your organisation, then claim back by way of a Payment Request via the myplace provider portal.
4. A combination of all of these three options
Different Financial Plan Managers may be required for the various Support Categories or Support Items in the Client’s NDIS Funding record.
Default - NDIA Managed
By default, the Financial Plan Manager (FPM) is set to the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). This is appropriate when an organisation is providing Direct Services, and then invoicing the Agency directly for this by way of a Bulk Payment Request (BPR).
Changing the Default Financial Plan Manager
The 'Default Financial Plan Manager' can be changed for those Clients whose funding is self-managed or plan-managed by selecting the 'Change' button:
This will open the 'Change Financial Plan Manager' modal where the Client or their nominee will be displayed, along with the NDIA, and a list of Financial Plan Managers, nested under the heading 'Plan Management Contacts' and sorted alphabetically:
For those Providers with a large number of FPMs a quick and easy way to locate the relevant FPM is simply to enter part of the name in the search field which will display the relevant options that match this criterion:
As mentioned, a Client may choose to self-manage all or part of their plan. If this is the case, the FPM can be set to the Client. This means the Client is essentially the debtor, and the Invoices for the support provided will be issued to them or their nominated billing contact. The Client will be responsible for paying the Invoice and submitting a payment request to the Agency via the MyPlace Provider Portal. Please see the Client Billing Contact article linked below for more information.
Some Clients may have an NDIS Financial Plan Manager (FPM) managing their NDIS Funding. When this is the case, the Plan Manager is responsible for creating the Plan Managed Service Booking.
In order for the Plan Manager to be set as the FPM in the Client's Funding Plan correctly, the FPM organisation must first be created as an NDIS Financial Plan Management Contact in SupportAbility, and the 'NDIS Financial Plan Management' checkbox selected:
The Creating an NDIS Financial Plan Management (FPM) Contact video is also designed to help, which steps through creating a Plan Management contact record.
Once created, this organisation can then be set as the FPM within the Client's NDIS funding record:
Once this is set, Invoices for the Services delivered when this Funding record is set in the Activities the Client participates in will be generated for the Plan Manager. Please review the Creating an NDIS Financial Plan Management (FPM) Contact article linked below for more information regarding this, as an alternative to the previously linked video.
Please note, the FPM can also be customised for each Flexible Budget or Support Item as required:
N.B. If a Plan Management organisation has requested that Invoices are issued to the Client first, SupportAbility has no mechanism to manage this, other than the workaround of creating the Client as a separate FPM Contact which is not ideal. This is due to the Plan Management organisation being the true debtor that is responsible for paying the invoice. The Client details are included in the Invoice data generated from SupportAbility, however, and many providers choose to send the Client Funding Statement to the Client in lieu of the Invoice as this contains all of this information as well as a summary of the Client's Budget.
NDIS Supports are required so that SupportAbility understands which Supports are valid for this Client. Supports can be configured at either the:
- Flexible Budget (Support Category) level when flexibility is required, and/or at the
- Support Item level when only specific Supports are valid, or when a Support Item requires a fixed custom price.
A Budget may also be added to NDIS Supports for the purpose of tracking Utilisation & Expenditure.
The purpose of Budgets
Configuring Budgets within NDIS Direct Client Funding records defines how the total financial value of the Services your organisation is scheduled to deliver should be apportioned, reserved, managed and tracked.
Adding Budgets in Direct NDIS Client Funding records provides three key outcomes:
- Allows NDIS Support Allocations in Activities
Configuring a Budget allows the related NDIS Supports to be allocated for the Client within Activities when the associated Client Funding record is selected as the Client's Funding Source. The NDIS Supports Allocated for a Client within an Activity represent the Client's expenditure against the Client Funding record which is included in Invoices and Bulk Payment Requests.
- Defining a Budget Value
Defining a Budget Value indicates the amount of money that has been designated specifically for the related NDIS Supports. Budget Values are defined purely for the purposes of tracking utilisation. A $0 Budget may be entered, as this may be required when the exact Budget value is unknown, or if a provider does not wish to track funding utilisation.
- Tracking Utilisation
Once a Budget is configured and a Budget Value is defined, the related NDIS Supports allocated for the Client within Activities will be identified as Expenditure against the Budget. Tracking Utilisation is the process of analysing the Client's Expenditure for a given Budget over time to identify trends and issues. This provides the opportunity to detect issues as early as possible such as over-spending that may cause the Client to exhaust their Budget, long before the funding period ends.
NDIS Direct Client Funding records allow Support Item and Flexible Budgets to coexist within a single NDIS Support Category. This configuration strategy can be employed to designate funds for specific NDIS Support Items, whilst also leaving a portion of funding available for the Client to spend more broadly and flexibly across the Support Category.
The example provided above shows two Budgets defined for Category 0004: Assistance with Social & Community Participation.
- A Support Item Budget for the support 04_107_0136_6_1 with a Budget Value of $18,042.12. This denotes that $18,042.12 has been designated exclusively for the allocation of this Support Item within Activities over the funding period. Every time this Support Item is allocated in Activities, its expenditure value will be tracked directly against this Support Item Budget when tracking Utilisation.
- A Flexible Budget with a Budget Value of $3,000.00. This denotes that $3,000 has been designated for the allocation of all other Category 0004 Supports (with the exclusion of 04_107_0136_6_1, which has its own Support Item Budget defined). Every time that a Category 0004 Support Item is allocated in Activities (with the exclusion of 04_107_0136_6_1), its expenditure value will be tracked directly against this Flexible Budget when tracking Utilisation.
This configuration identifies the Total Category 0004 Budget as $21,042.12 which includes both the Support Item Budget and the Flexible Budget.
Flexible Category Budgets
Defining a Budget at the Support Category level is done via adding a Flexible Budget, which:
- Allows any NDIS Support Items in the same Support Category as the Flexible Budget to be validated for allocation within Activities
- Designates the amount of money defined by the Budget Value, exclusively for the Support Category
- Tracks Utilisation by comparing the Flexible Budget Value against expenditure for this Support Category (excluding any Support Items which have their own Budget defined separately)
Setting up Client Funding at the Flexible Category Budget level gives Staff greater flexibility when allocating Support Items. Please note that with this flexibility, comes a greater responsibility of the Staff tasked with performing the Activity Sign Off. Staff must ensure that the correct Support Items have been allocated, appropriate to the Client and the Service delivered.
It is important to explain that if the Support Category added to the Funding record contains items that a Quote is required for i.e. are listed with Quote = Y in the NDIS Support Catalogue, Staff with the 'View Financial Information' privilege can customise the price of any Supports belonging to this Category when allocated in Activities.
Adding a Flexible Budget
To add a Flexible Budget, select the '+ Add Flexible Budget' icon in the NDIS Supports section:
Select the relevant NDIS Support Category:
The Financial Plan Manager (FPM) follows what has been set in the Client Funding Settings, however, if Invoices must be directed to a different party for this Category specifically, this can be customised as required.
N.B. This is only required if a different FPM is required for this Support Category, other than the FPM as set in the Client Funding Settings.
A Budget value may also be entered to track Utilisation & Expenditure against:
Once selected, the Flexible Budget will appear as follows:
NDIS Support Item Budgets
Defining a Budget at the Support Item level:
- Allows that specific Support Item to be allocated within Activities
- Designates the amount of money defined by the Budget Value, exclusively for the Support Item
- Tracks Utilisation by comparing the Support Item Budget Value against expenditure for this Support Item
The ability to add NDIS Support Items in addition to, or in lieu of, Flexible Budgets is applicable:
- if there are Stated supports that your organisation will be delivering,
- when the price of a Support Item requires customisation due to it:
- being quotable and a fixed price is required,
- having no price control and a fixed price is required,
- your organisation wishes to charge at a price other than the price control maximum; OR
- if your organisation is ONLY delivering specific Support Items and Staff do not require the flexibility to allocate Support Items from a Category level.
Adding an NDIS Support Item
To add a Flexible Budget, select the '+ Add Flexible Budget' icon in the NDIS Supports section:
Next, search for the required support item. This is a lookup field, simply start typing the name of the support item or the code that you are looking for e.g: support coordination, or 0007:
Select the relevant Support Item and the information from the NDIS Price Guide will be displayed:
The Financial Plan Manager (FPM) follows what has been set in the Funding section, however, if Invoices must be directed to a different party for this Support Item specifically, it can be customised as required by selecting the contextual menu icon and selecting 'Customise FPM'.
N.B. This is only required if a different FPM is required for this Support Item, other than the Default FPM configured in the Client Funding Settings.
Where an Item has a Price Control, this will be displayed in the Price field with the Price Limit listed next to it. The Price displayed here is the Price as per the Initial Price Guide in use at the start of the Client's Funding Period.
Providers have the ability to customise the Price if it is required, in cases where the Support Item:
- is set to Quotable (and requires a custom price),
- has no Price Limit (and therefore also requires a custom price), or
- your organisation wishes to charge at a price other than the Price Limit maximum.
Please review the Customising NDIS Support Items article linked below for more information regarding this and the available functionality here.
However, when charging at the Price Limit, a Price does not need to be entered in order to use this value. This should only be amended if your organisation wishes to charge at a Price other than the Price Limit.
It is important to note that SupportAbility uses the Price Guide Transition feature to determine which Price Guide is in use in the Activities the Client participates in, so whilst Prices from a previous Price Guide may be displayed here, provided the Price Guide Transition setting is set to 'As soon as available', SupportAbility will reference and use the new Price Guide in the Activities the Client participates in.
When a Budget is required for a Support Item, there are two methods available, 'Enter Budget' where a total numeric value maybe be entered, or 'Calculate Budget' where the Total Budget Value can be calculated.
When Calculate Budget is selected, the Total Value may be calculated based on the Price of the support, which if it has a price limit will already available or, the price entered, against the Quantity and frequency of this Support, for the Funding Period.
Select Add and this will be added to the Funding record:
N.B. You may wish to use the 'Enter Budget' method and calculate the total Budget manually in the case where the Initial Price Guide is in use and the Price has changed since the Funding Period Start date to ensure accuracy.
Adding Support Items from a previous Price Guide period
A feature is available from SupportAbility v6.21 (18th of August, 2020) for all NDIS Direct Client Funding records that commence on or after the 1st of July, 2020, to specify if Support Items from the previous Price Guide period are required to be added to the Funding record:
For comprehensive details regarding this, please review the 'Supports from the previous Price Guide setting' section of the Price Guide Transition article linked below for reference.
Making Supports unavailable for Allocation
A setting is available in the contextual menu whereby NDIS Supports (Flexible Budgets and Support Items) can be made 'unavailable':
Activating this setting means that the chosen Support will no longer be available to select from for the Client in their NDIS Support Allocations in Activities. This may be helpful to use if the participants funds have been exhausted.
If you no longer want Staff to be able to allocate this Support, you can choose to make this support unavailable, by selecting 'Make unavailable' from the contextual menu.
If this Support has been allocated in Activities which have not yet been Signed Off, a validation warning appears to inform Staff of this:
A link is included to these Activities and once selected, navigates to a list of these Activities as this may require review:
Once Confirm is selected, the allocations of this Support will be removed from all Activities which have not had the Activity Sign Off performed yet. N.B. If a Client Support Log has been completed and this Support was included, the allocations are locked and these will only be removed if the Client Support Log is deleted.
Once a Support has been made 'Unavailable' an information message will appear in the Client Funding Details tab of the Funding record:
It will now be unavailable for selection in the NDIS Support Allocations lookup:
If you wish to reinstate this support, this may be made available again from the contextual menu as required:
Client Funding Print
Once NDIS Supports have been set up in the Client Funding Details tab, a summary of this information may be printed by selecting the print icon:
Any notes and warnings are not populated in this print:
Client Funding Statement
A Client Funding Statement is also available for printing from the Client's Funding record:
This may be generated for a certain period as required e.g. one month. Once generated, the NDIS Statement appears including a Summary of each Budget as outlined above, as well as the Previous Expenditure (prior to the reporting period), Expenditure (for the reporting period) and Remaining Balance. The Details section below itemises all expenditure of the Client's NDIS Supports in Signed Off Activities:
This may also be exported as required. This Statement is printable from the other tabs in the Client's record, visible only to Staff with the 'View Financial Information' privilege.
Important considerations once the Funding is in use
Once the funding is in use, there are some areas that may be changed within the Funding record if required, but there are others that may not be.
SupportAbility will allow you to adjust the Funding Period, so long as the only Activities attached to the Client Funding record that fall outside that date, are not Signed Off. Validation Warnings will appear to alert you to this:
If the Funding Period change is confirmed in a case such as this e.g. the End Date was updated, when the Funding is attached to Activities outside of this period, SupportAbility will make every effort to locate another NDIS Direct Client Funding record for that Client that is valid for the From Date of each Activity, and revalidate the each of the NDIS Support Allocations. If another NDIS Direct Client Funding record cannot be found, SupportAbility will switch the Funding Source for that Client, in those Activities which have not yet been Signed Off, outside the Funding Period to Billable.
The Utilisation tab is where the Allocations & Expenditure of this Funding are viewed:
The Supports listed in the Budget Utilisation section of the Utilisation tab are based on how the Budgets for NDIS Supports have been set up in the Client Funding Details tab:
Please review the NDIS Direct Client Funding Utilisation article (linked below) for more comprehensive information regarding this tab.
Price Guide Transition tab
The Price Guide Transition tab is displayed in the Client's NDIS Direct Funding record when it spans a period of two or more NDIS Price Guides:
A summary table is displayed in this tab which lists each of the Price Guides in effect during the Client Funding validity period, and the date each was in effect from and to.
Based on how the NDIS Price Guide Transition default setting has been configured, transitioning to a new NDIS Price Guide will either be set to 'As soon as available' i.e. July 1st, or 'Never' in the 'Transition Type' column.
Providers can decide when a Client's NDIS Support Allocations in the Activities they participate in should transition to using the new Price Guide by selecting 'Edit':
The 'Edit Price Guide Transition' window will display, allowing the Price Guide Transition to be customised to either:
- 'As soon as available'
- a 'Specific date', OR
N.B. When a Price Guide Transition is customised, SupportAbility checks any Activities with NDIS Support Allocations, which have not yet had the Activity Sign Off performed to ensure the correct Price Guide is applied.
For more information regarding these settings, please review the Price Guide Transition article linked below.
Why aren't the Client Funding Details updated when a new Price Guide is in use?
When a Client's Price Guide Transition is set to 'As soon as available':
This means the latest Price Guide is used in SupportAbility for the Client's NDIS Support Allocations e.g. the 2019/20 Price Guide:
However, the Client Funding Details continue to reflect the Initial Price Guide in use:
For example, the Support Item 01_011_0107_1_1 exists on the Client's Funding and this has a Price Limit of $48.14 which was the Price from the 2018/19 NDIS Price Guide:
Whereas in the NDIS Support Allocations, the updated TTP version of this Support is in use, as this has been configured for our organisation and the Client is set to using the new Price Guide:
Please see the Price Guide Transition article linked below for more information regarding this.
If Supports from the new Price Guide need to be invoiced and/or claimed, these may be added to the Client's Funding as required e.g:
Alternatively, the Flexible Category Budget for the Category must be available in the Client's Funding in order for this Support to be available in the NDIS Support Allocations in the Activity.
Display Client Funding notes in the NDIS Support Allocations window of the Activity
Are displayed against the relevant Supports in the NDIS Support Allocations window of the Activity record:
This setting is off by default and does require configuration before notes will be displayed in the NDIS Support Allocations window.
Allocating NDIS Support Items
Once the NDIS Direct Client Funding record has been added, this can be updated in the Client's Funding Source within an Activity and NDIS Support Items may be Allocated:
Please review the Allocating NDIS Support Items in Activities article linked below for detailed information regarding this process.