NDIS Direct Client Funding Utilisation

Tracking Utilisation of NDIS Direct Client Funding is the process of analysing the Client's NDIS Support Allocations in Activities (Planned, Claiming and Used), against their NDIS Support Budgets over the duration of the Funding Period. The Utilisation functionality provided is from the perspective of how far into the Funding Period it is to date, and thus, ideally how much should be allocated by this point in time based on an even spending pattern.

Analysing Budget Utilisation allows providers to better understand a Client's use of their NDIS Supports and associated spending patterns. This may help to identify trends as well as any issues that may arise, which could potentially result in a Client exhausting their Support Budgets or underutilising their funding significantly before the end of the Funding Period. 

NDIS Direct Client Funding Budgets should ideally be configured to align with the Standard Service Booking and/or Service Agreements your organisation has in place for each Client, therefore Utilisation will be tracked based on how these Budgets have been defined. 

This article discusses the Utilisation information available in the 'Utilisation' tab of the NDIS Direct Client Funding record and how this may be analysed.

Privileges: In order to access the Client's NDIS Direct Funding record, including the Utilisation tab, access to the relevant Client records is required, as well as the 'View Financial Information' privilege. 

Audience: Authorised Representatives, Finance Team, and anyone tasked with creating or updating NDIS Direct Client Funding records


Summary

The following list summarises the content within this article. Click on the links below to take you to the relevant sections:


Configuring Client Funding Over/Under Spend Warning Thresholds

The Budget Utilisation tools in SupportAbility provide a status check of Funding Utilisation as at the current date against a given Funding Budget by highlighting instances of overspend or underspend. 

To facilitate this, SupportAbility provides 'Client Funding Utilisation To Date Overspend Warning' and 'Client Funding Utilisation To Date Underspend Warning' threshold settings, that may be configured from the default to your organisation's desired warning tolerance levels as required: 

Please refer to the 'Client Funding Over/Under Spend Warning Thresholds' section of the Finance & NDIS | Preparation article for further details regarding how to configure this.

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Utilisation

The Utilisation tab in the NDIS Direct Client Funding record provides a number of different tools and ways to analyse Utilisation information, each of which is discussed in detail below.
To access the Utilisation information for a given Client, navigate to their NDIS Direct Client Funding record and select the Utilisation tab:

This tab contains a number of different Budget Utilisation tools, and is comprised of four key sections: 
  • Overall Utilisation Summary
  • Utilisation Summary To Date
  • Budget Utilisation
  • Utilisation by Month

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Overall Utilisation Summary

The purpose of this section is to provide a holistic summary of the total Overall Funding Utilisation. The 'Total Budget', 'Allocated' (comprised of all NDIS Support Allocations) and the 'Remaining' are summarised in dollar value and percentage form:

  • Total Budget - the Total Budget of the NDIS Direct Client Funding i.e. the sum of all Flexible Budgets and Support Item Budgets.
  • Allocated - the total value of all NDIS Support Allocations i.e. the sum of all Planned, Claiming and Used 
    • Planned - the total value of all NDIS Support Allocations that have not yet had the Activity Sign Off performed. This usually represents services yet to be delivered or those that are yet to be finalised. 
    • Claiming - the total value of all NDIA Managed NDIS Support Allocations that have had the Activity Sign Off performed and are awaiting inclusion in a Direct BPR, or have been included in this process but are not yet Accepted. 
    • Used - the total value of all Self and Plan Managed NDIS Support Allocations that have had the Activity Sign Off performed, and NDIA Managed NDIS Support Allocations that are Accepted. 
  • Remaining - the remaining value of the Total Budget minus Allocated.

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Utilisation Summary To Date

A holistic Utilisation Summary is provided from the perspective of how far into the Funding Period it is to date, and thus, ideally how much should be allocated by this point in time based on an even spending pattern.

For example, when looking at the following information, we can see as at the 'Current Date' it is 30.33% of the way through the Funding Period. This utilisation tool assumes that approximately 30.33% of the Client's Funding should therefore be Allocated and calculates the 'Target Allocated' value (i.e. the expected value of all Supports Allocated in Activities that commenced on or before today) as 30.33% of the Total Budget. 

The 'Actual Allocated' value (i.e. of all Supports Allocated in Activities that commenced on or before today) is compared against the 'Target Allocated' value to determine how much the Client's 'Actual Allocated' to date deviates from the 'Target Allocated' which is indicated in the 'Variance from Target' section. In the below example, we can see that there is only a slight variance of +3.27% from the target:

It is important to note that this Utilisation analysis:

  • Does not differentiate between Planned, Claiming and Used expenditure, and treats all Allocations up to today's date as equal, regardless of the Activity Sign Off status. 
    • N.B. The only exception to this rule is any Allocations which have been processed as a Cancellation. The value of Cancelled Allocations is not included in these figures. Please see the BPR Rejection Action - Cancel article linked below for reference for more information.
  • Relies on the base assumption that the Client will utilise these funds at a consistent rate throughout the Funding Period, which may not always be the case. However, the Variance from Target indicators can help to perform a periodic status check regarding the Client's Funding Utilisation in order to identify over or under-spending patterns as early as possible and make the appropriate interventions as required.

Threshold Warnings

  • Underspend: If the 'Variance from Target' % is less than the 'Underspend Warning' % threshold (configured in System Preferences, 10% by default), these values are displayed in amber to indicate an underspend warning
    • For example, the Actual Allocations associated with this Funding record are 17.41% under target at 92.02% into the Funding Period, therefore, the Variance from Target is highlighted in amber (as this is above the configured 10% Underspend Warning % threshold):
  • Overspend: If the 'Variance from Target' % is greater than the 'Overspend Warning' % threshold (configured in System Preferences, 5% by default), these values are displayed in red to indicate an overspend warning
    • For example, the Actual Allocations associated with this Funding record are 7.62% over the target at 31.15% into the Funding Period, therefore, the Variance from Target is highlighted in red (as this is above the configured 5% Overspend Warning % threshold):

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Budget Utilisation - Overall Utilisation

The Overall Utilisation component of the Budget Utilisation section is similar to the holistic summary at the top of the record in that a summary of all Allocations across the Funding Period is provided, however, in this section the Overall Utilisation is listed for each NDIS Support Budget. 

The NDIS Support 'Budget' value is displayed, as well a breakdown of the 'Total Allocated' by its respective Utilisation status i.e. 'Planned', 'Claiming' & 'Used', along with the 'Remaining' balance of each Budget (determined by calculating the Budget value minus the Total Allocated) in both 'Remaining $' value and 'Remaining %': 

Please see the Overall Utilisation Summary section above for a definition of each Utilisation status. 

N.B. The above screenshot is different to the original example, as the 'Remaining' column was replaced with two columns of 'Remaining $' and 'Remaining %' in the upgrade to SupportAbility v7.9 (May, 2021).

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Budget Utilisation - Utilisation To Date

The Utilisation To Date component of the Budget Utilisation section is similar to the holistic Utilisation To Date information at the top of the record and is designed to give an indication of the Utilisation status of the funding as of the current date for each NDIS Support Budget. 

The 'Target Allocated' value (i.e. the expected value of all Supports Allocated in Activities that commenced on or before today, e.g. $765.03 for Cat 0004), the 'Actual Allocated' value is also displayed here (i.e. of all Supports Allocated in Activities that commenced on or before today, e.g. $868.60). The 'Variance $' (e.g. +$103.57) and 'Variance %' (e.g. +$13.54%) is calculated based on how far the Actual Allocated value is from the Target Allocated: 

In the above example for the Flexible Budget for Category 0004, we can see that there is a 13.54% overspend variance from the target. This indicates that if the Allocations continue to be Utilised at this rate consistently over the Funding Period, the Client will run out of funds for this NDIS Support Budget before the Funding End Date. 

The Utilisation To Date information is designed to provide a snapshot in time regarding how the Client's Funding is tracking. This is most beneficial in the early to mid-stages of the Funding Period to monitor spending patterns and intervene where required. However, the closer it gets to the Funding End Date, the more relevant the Overall Utilisation becomes with the Remaining column displaying the balance left. 

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Utilisation by Month

Provides a breakdown of the holistic Utilisation by Month based on the Funding Period Start Date, presenting an overview of how the Client's spending is progressing over time and how it varies from month-to-month. 

The 'Budget Guideline' is determined similar to the Target Allocated (as outlined above). It is calculated based on the Total Days in the month to provide an indication of how much funding should ideally be allocated in the month based on an even spending pattern. The value of the Actual Allocations for the month are listed next to this in their respective Utilisation status of 'Planned', 'Claiming' and 'Used' which shows how much funding has actually been Allocated. The 'Variance $' and the 'Variance %' is calculated based on how far the value of the Actual Allocations (Planned, Claiming and Used) value is from the Target Allocated (Budget Guideline).

The data presented here depends on how far into the Funding Period it is. In the above example, the Current Date is the 27th of November, 2020 and the Funding Start Date is the 7th of August, 2020, so we are only three months in, hence limited data into the new year as Activities have not been created for this period as yet. 

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Utilisation by Month Graph

The Utilisation by Month graph presents the Utilisation by Month data in a visual and interactive format to help identify issues and trends more clearly.  This graph is designed to give a visual representation of the Utilisation by Month data and to assist in improved communication of expenditure patterns to Clients, Nominees and families:

Interactive Graph Actions
  • Hover to show detail - hovering over individual points on the graph will show the Budget Guideline, Planned, Claiming and Used for the selected month.
     

    Hovering over a particular Utilisation status e.g. Used will hide the others from view: 

  • Show/Hide Elements - The Planned, Claiming, Used and Budget Guideline elements of the graph can be hidden or shown by clicking on their respective labels within the graph legend

  • Download - The graph can be downloaded in various formats such as PNG, JPEG, PDF or SVG, using the contextual menu in the top right corner of the graph:

    Once downloaded, the graph can be included in emails or word document reports for example, and is a great way to communicate Client Funding Utilisation with Client's, Nominees and Plan Managers as required.

  •  Zoom: To focus on a particular area, click and drag the mouse across a section of the graph to zoom into that section:

    Select the 'Reset zoom' button to revert the graph to its original state. 

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