Reconciling Invoices for the NDIA
The introduction of SupportAbility v6.16 on March 19th, 2020 changed the way in which the Claim Reference, included in the Direct Bulk Payment Request (BPR), is formatted for each NDIS Support Allocation now that BPRs are created prior to Direct Invoice Batches for the NDIA.
Due to this, we have been receiving many support queries asking how providers can reconcile the Invoices in their finance systems against the remittance advice (or Recipient Created Tax Invoice) received from the NDIA now that this Claim Reference has changed.
In the next phase of this development project, phase three, we will be providing a facility whereby providers can import the Bulk Payment File (BPF, accessible approximately 10 minutes after submission of the BPR from the 'View Payment Request' section of the portal), into SupportAbility which will be used to match this BPR claim data against the BPR results data included in the BPF. This will give each Allocation a Status of either Accepted or Rejected. Rejected claims will include the error message displayed in the BPF, and then an action can be selected to process these rejected Allocation claims i.e. Cancel or Retry.
Only Accepted Allocations (as identified in the BPF) will be available to include in a Direct Invoice Batch for the NDIA. These Allocations will match exactly what is paid by the Agency and thus the singular Invoice imported into your organisation's finance system is designed to match the single Recipient Created Tax Invoice (RCTI) created and paid by the NDIA. This ensures the data is perfectly aligned between all systems and eliminates the need for cross-referencing, corrections & adjustment of Invoices in your finance system now that there is only one that matches the RCTI in relation to the Accepted Allocations included in the BPR.
We recognise that phase three is not yet available in SupportAbility, and whilst v6.16 was a step toward this, it has resulted in adding a significant amount of time to the reconciliation process for finance teams. We also appreciate that the timing of this has been far from ideal with this coinciding with the rapidly-evolving COVID-19 pandemic. We understand it is of more importance than ever before that your organisation's cashflow processes are uninterrupted and we can only apologise sincerely that these changes have resulted in such an impact as well as reassure you we are doing everything that we can to expedite the delivery of SupportAbility v7.
This article serves to outline why the Claim Reference has changed and the tools available to assist providers with reconciliation during this transition period i.e. from v6.16 to v7.
Audience: Authorised Representatives, Finance Team
The following list summarises the content within this article. Click on the links below to take you to the relevant sections:
- Why has the Claim Reference changed?
- How does our organisation complete finance reconciliation between now and v7?
- We are here to support you
- When is the upgrade to SupportAbility v7 expected?
Why has the Claim Reference changed?
Each BPR includes a column for the 'Claim Reference'. The Claim Reference is designed to provide each Payment Request Item with a unique identifier. This unique identifier can then be used to cross-reference an individual Payment Request Item across multiple systems.
The NDIA's guidance regarding entering the Claim Reference in the BPR is as follows:
Enter your organisation’s invoice or reference number. It must be no more than 50 characters and contain letters, numbers and spaces only. (Provider portal system messages and error codes self-help guide)
It is important to note that the purpose of the Claim Reference is to act as a unique identifier. Whilst the NDIA use an Invoice number in this field as an example, the use of a unique identifier is the only requirement.
Now that BPRs are generated before Direct Invoices, the format of the Claim Reference needed to change as Invoice Number is not known when this is generated. The following format is now used by SupportAbility to generate the Claim Reference:
D-<BPR ID>-<AllocationID>e.g. D-12-2225, where 'D' stands for Direct, BPR ID represents the 12th BPR your organisation has generated, '2225' is the unique Allocation ID
From the upgrade to v7, it is recommended to import the Bulk Payment File (BPF) into SupportAbility, following the BPR being submitted to the myplace provider portal. Once this has been imported, SupportAbility will use this to automatically set the Claim Status for each Allocation to Accepted or Rejected, and only Accepted (successfully claimed) Allocations will be available for inclusion in a Direct Invoice Batch.
How does our organisation complete finance reconciliation between now and v7?
The tools available to assist with reconciliation in your finance system between the upgrade to v6.16 to v7 have been outlined here. Considering providers use a variety of different finance systems and employ processes for reconciliation that differ greatly, the following suggestions are simply that; suggestions.
Claim Reference is displayed in the 'Edit BPR'
Since the upgrade to SupportAbility v6.16.4 Claim Reference is now included in the 'Support Item' column of the Edit BPR screen, once the BPR has been generated:
Allocations may be filtered by Claim Reference
The Filter Allocations bar may be used to narrow down the Allocations to this specifically, which may assist in cases where there are a high number of Allocations included in the BPR:
Once Direct Invoices have been generated, the 'Invoice Link' column includes a link to the Invoice Preview and the Invoice Batch this Invoice is included in.
Claim Reference has been included in Invoice data
The Claim Reference number attributed to each NDIS Support Allocation included in the Direct Bulk Payment Request (BPR) is now included in the 'Description' column of the MYOB, Xero and Zed Axis Direct Invoice Batch exports for the NDIA e.g:
The Zed Axis Direct Invoice Batch export also includes a new 'Claim Reference' column:
Detailed BPR Report
A 'Detailed BPR Report' including a full list of all of the Allocation information displayed on the screen, as well as the Invoice Number and Invoice Number Item aka 'Old Claim Reference' is now available from the Actions menu in the Edit BPR screen:
This export provides a mapping of each Allocation with all of the associated data including Claim Reference and once an Invoice Batch has been generated, the Invoice Item Reference, Invoice Number and Invoice Batch it is associated with. This is designed to assist providers to locate the required Invoices in their finance system for reconciliation by the inclusion of the following data:
- Client Name
- Client ID
- NDIS Number
- Activity From Date
- Activity From Time
- Activity End Date
- Activity End Time
- Activity Name
- Activity ID
- Support Item Reference Number
- Support Item Name
- Support Category Number
- Support Category Name
- Unit of Measure
- Claim Type
- Cancellation Reason
- Value Inc. GST
- BPR ID
- Claim Reference
- Invoice Item Reference
- Invoice Number
- Invoice Batch
So for example, if our organisation downloads the remittance advice (in the form of a Recipient Created Tax Invoice) received from the NDIA, this export can be used to match the new Claim Reference Number e.g. D-8-2983 in the 'ProvClaimRef' column (as per the above screenshot). We can see that D-8-2983 is been included in INV000107SA and we can use this to locate the Invoice in our finance system for reconciliation.
We are here to support you
If the suggestions outlined in this article simply do not work for your organisation, we would appreciate the opportunity to understand more about your organisation's processes so that we may review this and attempt to support you with this.
Our Customer Success team are here to assist and we do request that your organisation makes contact with us via your Authorised Representatives so that we may arrange a time to discuss this further promptly with the relevant stakeholders so that we may do our best to assist.
When is the upgrade to SupportAbility v7 expected?
As mentioned, we are doing everything in our power to expedite the release of SupportAbility v7 to alleviate the inefficiencies in reconciliation that the release of v6.16 has introduced and will be keeping the Enhancements to Direct Bulk Payment Requests (BPRs) article updated with our release plan. This article has been linked below for reference.