NDIS Financial Plan Management (FPM) FAQ
This FAQ article is designed to assist providers delivering Plan Management under NDIS, with answers to frequently asked questions.
We have left the Financial Plan Manager (FPM) in the client's NDIS funding set as the NDIA, is this correct?
This certainly is an option, however, the Plan Manager for most of the NDIS Support Categories and NDIS Support Items being delivered is your organisation. We cannot offer formal advice on the compliance requirements around this (your organisation may wish to seek this out independently), however, the only area of the plan where the NDIA truly is the FPM, is for 0014: Improved Life Choices, as the Agency are paying your organisation directly for the fees associated with providing Plan Management.
If an organisation were to set themselves up as the FPM, this means that there is a bit of extra work involved though as once the services have been delivered and the activities signed off, you'd need to:
- generate the invoice batch (accounts receivable) including invoices issued from your organisation to your organisation
- import these invoices into your finance system as accounts receivable and process them
- re-enter the invoices issued from your organisation to your organisation, as external invoices received into the client's NDIS FPM tab in SupportAbility
- enter these invoices into your finance system as accounts payable and process them
We have some providers utilising the Plan Management functionality in SupportAbility leaving the NDIA set as the FPM and some setting it to be their organisation (except for category 14). It really is up to your organisation to decide on which approach to take.
We recommend reviewing the Terms of Business in the Provider Toolkit, as it fairly explicit around the requirements for Conflict of Interest that your organisation may need to consider regarding this.
Now that we have set client's funding up in SupportAbility and have the related NDIS Service Providers added in Contacts, I have added invoices in the client's NDIS FPM tab. I have added one invoice but when I go to generate an invoice batch it's not showing up there?
Considering these external invoices received have been added to the client's NDIS FPM tab, they do not need to be generated as they already exist, and therefore will not appear in the Generate Invoice Batch report.
The point of adding external invoices received from NDIS Services Providers into SupportAbility, is for them to be available for inclusion in the NDIS Bulk Payment Request. These invoices must be Signed Off and then batched, prior to being available for inclusion in the Bulk Payment Request file. This batching process converts the selected invoices into a bulk payment request file format that can be downloaded from SupportAbility for upload into the MyPlace Provider Portal.
Does our organisation need to make the Service Booking in our portal?
For more information regarding Plan Managed Service bookings, we recommend reviewing Service Bookings of the Provider Toolkit as we cannot advise further about the process regarding Service Bookings.
When I download the NDIS Bulk Payment Request do I upload the file to the client's portal for payment or ours?
Once external invoices are entered into the client's NDIS FPM tab, they can be included in the NDIS Bulk Payment Request, which generates a Bulk Payment Request file. The NDIS Bulk Payment Request can include internal (direct services, NDIA managed) and external (invoices entered into the NDIS FPM tab), based on the invoices you include and converts them into a bulk payment request file.
Therefore when you log into the MyPlace Provider Portal you will need to submit a Bulk Payment Request. The NDIA's Step By Step Guide to Processing Bulk Payment Requests via the Provider Portal may further assist here.
When our organisation wants to charge our financial monthly payment, do I create an activity like we would for any other service we provide?
Yes, exactly. We recommend creating Client only activities for this purpose and allocating the relevant support item. These activities can be replicated in a monthly recurrence pattern for efficiency and like all other activities, must be Signed Off before they can be invoiced.
These activities would be considered 'internal' as the Agency are paying your organisation directly for these.
Our organisation delivers Direct Support, Support Coordination and Plan Management, exporting invoices, processing them in our finance system and re-entering them as external invoices received is a lot of data entry. Can this be automated in SupportAbility for efficiency?
When an organisation delivers Direct Support, Plan Management and Support Coordination, they are effectively operating as three separate businesses and need to ensure their policies and practices not only reflect this but demonstrate compliance in light of the conflict of interest.
In relation to Plan Management, there is a lot to consider regarding your organisations preferred process of receiving, processing, inputting and exporting invoice data.
Whilst we do plan on adding enhancements to the Plan Management functionality within SupportAbility (see below), where an organisation operates in this manner and is choosing to follow the process of setting themselves as the FPM; the invoices for any Direct Support provided (this includes for Support Coordination) must be generated from your organisation to your organisation, processed in your finance system and then re-entered as an external invoice received in the client's NDIS FPM tab in order to demonstrate the separation between Direct Support and Plan Management.
Unfortunately there is no getting around this with additional systemic features when an organisation is operating in this way.
How can we reimburse a Client for invoices they have paid?
SupportAbility is designed so that External Invoices can be entered from Service Providers whom invoices for services have been received from.
There is no facility for Client reimbursement where they have paid the invoice to the Service Provider directly, other than the workaround of setting the Client up as a NDIS Service Provider Contact. This is something we recommend applying caution to however, as the invoice has not truly been issued from the Client and evidence should always be included in the Client NDIS Service Provider Contact record due to the reason the Client has been granted funding for Plan Management is based on the premise they do not have the capacity to Self Manage these funds.
When will the Plan Management functionality be expanded upon?
The following enhancements related to Plan Management have been scheduled into our future roadmap:
- NDIS Client Funding rebuild
Our primary goal with this rebuild, is to improve the usability of NDIS Funding and provide a better overview of client funding budgets, expenditure, balances and utilisation for both direct service providers and financial plan management organisations.
For service providers who only deliver direct support to participants, there will only be one NDIS Funding Type i.e. Direct and the introduction of the two types of NDIS funding will not be necessarily overt. The two NDIS Funding Types are being introduced to specifically more clearly identify and allow providers who offer both of these services to better manage their client NDIS Funding plans.
- Direct Funding: used by NDIS service providers to manage NDIS funding, budgets and claims for supports delivered directly to the client (eg. via Activities). These funding plans will align with the Schedule of Supports as outlined in the Service Agreement your organisation has with the participant.
- Plan Managed Funding: used by NDIS Financial Plan Management organisations, to manage the client funding plans they are responsible for managing, process provider invoices, and claim plan management fees.
- NDIS Funding Analytics for Financial Plan Managers
SupportAbility was originally designed to manage Client NDIS funding for service providers delivering direct services. As the NDIS ecosystem grows, SupportAbility has evolved to support the growing number of Financial Plan Managers (FPMs) under the Scheme. Our plan is to extend the existing FPM functionality to provide more detailed expenditure analytics for external expenditure (for services delivered by external service providers) as well as internal expenditure for services delivered directly to the client.
Please refer to the SupportAbility Roadmap article for more information regarding this, noting that all items in our roadmap are subject to change.
Any other questions?
Please send any additional question to us via your organisations two appointed Authorised Representatives to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will endeavour to answer any questions regarding Plan Management using SupportAbility and publish them here.