Finance & NDIS | Preparation

The purpose of this stage of your implementation is to step your organisation through the preparation required to pilot the end-to-end Finance & NDIS workflow, specifically for providers of Direct Services, along with considerations when formulating your pilot plan. 

Those Staff who would generally be involved during various stages of this pilot are, Finance Team, Operations Management, General Managers/Department Head for each of the Services your organisation delivers, and Team Leaders, or as determined by your organisation during the Finance & NDIS | Preparation stage.

Prerequisites

Before getting underway with this preparation, we recommend the following has been completed: 

  • The Foundations phase of your organisation's implementation
  • Finance & NDIS | Planning - where your organisation's business needs and required outputs for Finance & NDIS integration have been determined, in order to get the most efficiencies and value from SupportAbility
  • Review of the Finance & NDIS | Workflow - to understand each of the steps involved ahead of preparing for your organisation's pilot of this

IMPORTANT - Upcoming enhancements to Bulk Payment Requests in the upgrade to SupportAbility v6.16 are expected, please review the following article for more information: Enhancements to Direct Bulk Payment Requests (BPRs).


Summary of steps

NDIS Funding is the default Funding Type in SupportAbility and has, for the most part, been configured for your organisation. There are, however, some things that must be configured in order to utilise this inbuilt functionality which has been outlined in this article.

Click on the links below to take you to the relevant sections within this article:

N.B. As you work your way through each of the steps below, for more comprehensive or related information, please refer to the learning material which has been linked for your reference, in the 'Related Articles' section at the end of this article.   


NDIS Provider Registration Number

Providers will need to set their NDIS Provider Registration Number/s in the Settings tab in System Preferences. This populates in the NDIS Bulk Payment Request file generated from SupportAbility. 

If your organisation operates in one State or Territory, enter your organisation's NDIS provider registration number in the relevant field e.g: 

National Provider Registration Number

If your organisation has a National provider registration number and wishes to generate Bulk Payment Requests across all of the States and/or Territories you operate in, this can be entered in the National field e.g: 

If your organisation wishes to continue to have the option to generate bulk payment requests for selected States and/or Territories your organisation operates in, along with nationally, simply enter this number in each of these fields e.g: 

If your organisation   only wishes to have the option to generate bulk payment requests for selected States and/or Territories, simply enter this number in each of these fields e.g:

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Client Funding Over/Under Spend Warning Thresholds

The Budget Utilisation tab in SupportAbility provides an indication that the Client is underspending or overspending against their NDIS Support Budgets or Expenditure target.  

Significant variance from the Support Budget or Expenditure target are highlighted. Whereas minor deviations may be regarded as normal and not highlighted: 

Client Funding Underspend and Overspend Warning Threshold settings, are available for configuration from the default (5% over budget, 10% under budget) to ensure these are set at your organisation's desired warning tolerance levels.

These settings can be found in System Preferences::System Settings:

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Cancellation and "no show" management

The reduced price percentage your organisation wishes to charge for NDIS Support Allocations that have a can be configured in the case where a cancellation or "no show" occurs. This is set to 90% by default.

The 2018/19 NDIS Price Guide introduced the concept of Claim Types which was designed to provide the Agency with more detailed information around service cancellations and "no shows". In the 2018/19 NDIS Price Guide the Cancellation Claim Type was limited to Supports in Category 1, 4 and 15. 

The 2019/20 NDIS Support Catalogue now identifies individually for each Support, if the Claim Type of Cancellation can be used and claimed. 

This percentage calculation is applied to the price of NDIS Support Allocations that allow for the Cancellation Claim Type in the 2019/20 NDIS Support Catalogue, for Clients in Activities after July 1st, 2019 in situations where:

  • the Client is marked as Absent, 
  • the Client is set to be charged (No Charge is not selected), 
  • the Activity Sign Off has not been performed, and 
  • no Client Support Log exists.

N.B. For any Activities pre-July 1st 2019, the 2018/19 NDIS Price Guide cancellation rules still apply. 

Reduced price percentage for cancellations setting

A setting is available in  System Preferences::Settings::NDIS to edit the reduced price percentage for cancellations where required, in the 'Cancellation and "no show" management' section: 

If your organisation wishes to edit the percentage for cancellations, select the 'Edit' button. The following ' Edit Reduced Price Percentage' window will appear: 

Enter the 'New reduced price percentage for cancellations'. A percentage of between 0 and 100 may be added, up to 2 decimal places. Once entered, select Save: 

Confirmation of this change is required: 

Configuring this to 100% will have the effect of  not reducing the agreed price of the relevant claimed Support/s in the event of a Cancellation in SupportAbility. Please be aware that whilst the NDIA will pay Cancellation claims at 90% of the agreed claim value, the utilisation in SupportAbility will incorporate the full claim value i.e. will reflect 100% and not 90%.

We have been in conversation with providers since this guidance was released in July 2019. At this stage, all evidence shows that the NDIA is paying the full amount for any Cancelled Supports which SupportAbility has automatically reduced to 90%.

We understand that this evidence contradicts the guidance provided in the current NDIS Price Guide. We are waiting for the NDIA to either, change the way that Cancelled claims are processed, or amend this in the upcoming Price Guide.

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Decide if Client Funding notes should be displayed in the NDIS Support Allocations window

A feature is available where any notes saved in the Client Funding record: 

Are displayed against the relevant Supports in the NDIS Support Allocations window of the Activity record: 

When 'Show Client Funding Notes when Allocating Supports' is configured in the NDIS section of the Funding tab of System Preferences: 

This setting is off by default. 

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Activate the Services that can be paid for using NDIS Funding

The Services your organisation delivers that Clients can pay to participate in using NDIS funding, must be activated in   System Preferences::Funding: 

Review the ' Usable by Services' section and select each Service that Clients can pay for using their NDIS Funding: 

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Temporary Transformation Payment (TTP) Setting

A setting is available in the Funding tab of System Preferences, whereby providers may activate TTP price limits globally, essentially declaring that your organisation is planning to be TTP compliant by December 31st, 2019 and wishes to use TTP pricing from July 1st, 2019 onwards.

To Activate TTP Pricing, select the 'Change' button and the following window will appear explaining what this setting does and that it may take up to 15 minutes to apply, therefore, it is recommended to configure this after hours when other Staff are not using SupportAbility: 

Once 'Activate TTP Pricing' is selected, you will be asked to confirm this selection: 

Once Activated, it will appear as such in the configuration settings: 

For more information regarding this, please review the 'What happens when the TTP setting is activated' section of the Temporary Transformation Payment (TTP) article linked below. 

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Debtors

Debtor Contact records must be created and configured in SupportAbility to ensure that when the Client's NDIS Direct Funding record is created, the Financial Plan Manager can be set accordingly to the party responsible for paying the Invoices for the NDIS Support Allocations in the Activities the Client participates in. 


NDIA

The 'debtor' Contact record for the NDIA has already been created and is included in each SupportAbility installation by default: 

Furthermore, the NDIA is set as the Financial Plan Manager in each NDIS Direct Client Funding record by default: 

This is required for all Agency-managed funding. If your organisation wishes to import invoices for the NDIA, the NDIA will need to be created in your finance system as a debtor. N.B. Most providers choose not to do this, however. Please review the Finance Integration Strategy article linked below for more information about the options available for managing invoices for the NDIA. 

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Contact records for Plan Managers your organisation needs to invoice must be created

In cases where a Client has a Plan Manager, this organisation must be created as a Contact record in SupportAbility:

In order for it to be available for selection when changing the Financial Plan Manager setting in the Client's NDIS Funding record: 

For further information regarding how to create NDIS Financial Plan Management Contact records, please review either the:  

  • Creating and allocating a Financial Plan Management (FPM) Contact record article (linked below), or
  • the Creating an NDIS Financial Plan Management (FPM) Contact video accessible via this link, or from the NDIS Direct Client Funding section of the Funding tab in the Learning Centre: 

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The Client's Billing Contact must be configured for Clients (or a Nominee) who are Self-managing all or part of their funds

In cases where a Client is Self Managing their NDIS funding, it is important to ensure the Billing Contact is set up correctly in the Client Contacts tab. 

'Billing Client Directly' is the default selection: 

However, if there is another person responsible for receiving and paying their NDIS Invoices such as their Plan Nominee, this individual can be added as a Contact by selecting '+ Add a new contact' and then set as the Billing Contact:

Once this has been saved, when changing the Financial Plan Manager in the Client's NDIS Funding, the Billing Contact will be displayed in brackets next to the Client name when the Client has been selected as the Financial Plan Manager:

Please review the Client Billing Contact article for more information. 

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The Debtor ID field must be configured in the relevant records (optional for all, required for MYOB)

Each Client, Client Contact and Contact record in SupportAbility includes a field called the 'Debtor ID': 

This field is for providers who use a Finance system, such as MYOB, Tencia, SAP B1 and Sage Evolution, which require SupportAbility to include the Debtor ID (sometimes called a ‘Card ID’) in the Invoice Batch Export. This is required in order for Invoices to be attached to their respective Debtor record in the Finance system.

When an organisation uses one of these Finance systems, the Card ID or unique identifier must be entered into this field, for any entities set as the Financial Plan Manager and that Invoices will be issued to i.e. the Client, Client Contact (nominee), and/or Contact (Plan Managers) records. 

In addition, if your organisation wishes to import Invoices generated for the NDIA for Clients who have NDIA-managed Funding into your Finance system, the NDIA will need to be created in your organisation's finance system as a debtor. For more information regarding the options available to manage Invoices for the NDIA, please see the Finance Integration Strategy article linked below. 

Once this information has been entered, there is a report which may be helpful called the 'Export Debtor Data Report' in the Client Reports section of the Reports menu: 

To generate this report, Staff require the 'View Financial Information' Staff Account Privileges, along with access to all Client records via the 'Team Leader for ALL Services' privilege or the 'Edit ALL Client records' privilege. 

This report can be used to download a list of all active Client, Client Contacts and Contact records (which are set to being a Financial Plan Manager). 

General details such as Name, Address, and Contact Details are included in this export, as well as the SupportAbility ID of each record, and the Debtor ID which has been entered. If the Debtor ID is empty in this export, then this has not been entered correctly. However, it is important to keep in mind that the Debtor ID is only required for any entities your organisation is generating Invoices for. 

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Client Funding General Ledger (GL) Codes

Client Funding General Ledger Codes must be configured for each of the Sites, Services and Funding Types your organisation will be generating Invoice Batch exports for and importing into your Finance system for formatting, distribution and managing accounts receivable. This is required so that your Finance system knows where to attribute the revenue. 

Client Funding General Ledger Codes are entered in each Site record, in the GL tab: 

Client Funding GL Codes can be configured based on a unique combination of: 

  • Site
  • Service and/or 
  • Funding Type.

The Configuring General Ledger Codes for Internal [Direct] Invoices article linked below, provides further instruction regarding how this is configured.

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Invoice Number Formatting (optional for all, MYOB required) 

When Invoice Batches are generated, SupportAbility creates an Invoice Number for each Invoice. The default Invoice Number Format is a prefix of INV, has six padded zeros and has a suffix of SA i.e. INV0000001SA. 

An organisation may choose how the Invoice Numbers SupportAbility creates are formatted, and in the case where an organisation uses MYOB, this is required, as the default structure exceeds MYOB's limit of 8 characters. 

The Invoice Number Formatting article goes through this in detail and may be worth a quick review to help decide how your organisation would like this configured. Most providers choose something simple like a preface of S and 6 padded zero's e.g. S0000001. Let us know what your organisation decides upon via your Authorised Representatives, as our Customer Success team need to configure this for you. 

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Invoice Terms in Days (Xero, or Zed Axis only)

In the Xero and Zed Axis Invoice Batch exports, the Invoice Due Date is calculated as the Invoice Date i.e. the date the Invoice Batch is generated, plus the number of days specified in the 'Invoice Terms in Days' field in System Preferences::Invoicing:

The default Invoice Terms in Days is set to 30 however, this can be customised as required. 

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Client's NDIS Number

The Client's NDIS Number must be entered into SupportAbility for all Clients paying for Services using NDIS Funding as this identifier is included in the Bulk Payment Request file export generated from SupportAbility. 

This number is added in the Client Details section on the Client Details tab: 

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Client Support Log (optional)

If your organisation wishes to use the Client Support Log feature, whereby Clients may confirm receipt of the NDIS Support Items allocated in the Direct Services delivered via Activities, and in particular the Client Support Log via Digital Signature, there is some additional configuration required to set this up. 

For more information regarding this feature, please review the What is the Client Support Log? video by selecting this link, or via the Features section of the Learning Centre.

Alternatively, related articles regarding this can be found at the bottom of this page. 

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Pilot plan

We recommend considering how your organisation plans to integrate SupportAbility with your current processes, who will be responsible for each of the steps in this workflow, along with how each step will be completed: 

  • Creating/updating NDIS Direct Client Funding records
  • Allocating NDIS Supports in Activities
  • Client Support Logs (optional)
  • Quality Checks to ensure NDIS Support Allocations are correct before the Activity Sign Off is performed
  • Generating Invoice Batches and exporting these to your Finance System
  • Generating the NDIS Bulk Payment Request file for upload to the myplace provider portal

Scope

Next, it is important to establish the parameters of the pilot trial. Your organisation may choose to conduct the pilot with a single Client for a specific invoicing period e.g. a fortnight. Alternatively, your organisation may wish to conduct a larger pilot with the Clients who participate in a selected type of Service for a specific period e.g. Community Access participants for a week. 

Either way, we recommend that the defined period aligns with your organisation's invoicing cycles.

We suggest having a discussion internally to map out your pilot plan further and inform those who work with the Client/s you will be commencing with of your organisation's requirements and exceptions during this process. 

Activities

N.B. Activities are a requirement of the pilot process. If your organisation has not yet commenced the Activities phase of your implementation, those involved will benefit from familiarising themselves with the Activities Workflow video.  

This will help step them through creating an Activity, allocating NDIS Supports and also performing the Activity Sign Off which is required prior to generating Invoice Batches, Timesheet Batches and NDIS Bulk Payment Requests. 

Staff training

Decide how the relevant Staff will be trained in each of the required processes. 

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Benefits of conducting a Pilot

The process of conducting a pilot is designed to emphasise the level of change, and the subsequent considerations involved, when transitioning these processes to SupportAbility.  

Conducting a pilot is recommended to highlight:  

  • any areas which may have been missed in order to generate your organisation's required outputs,
  • any adjustments that need to be made to the outputs your organisation requires,
  • any internal policies and procedures requiring review,
  • who will be responsible for completing each of step of the workflow,
  • the level of training required for each type of Service or any specific individuals, and
  • that flexibility is required when setting goals. 

The pilot will also assist your organisation in deciding when to transition these processes from  outside of SupportAbility; to using SupportAbility in the final Integration phase of your implementation. This process is imperative in preparation for an organisation-wide rollout, to ensure the successful implementation of this workflow. 

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Payroll

Providers who have determined Time Sheet batches will be required for Payroll in the Finance & NDIS | Planning phase are recommended to complete Finance & NDIS | Payroll Preparation also, an article of the same name can be found linked below.  

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