It’s no secret that there have been many painful adjustments for clients and disability service providers alike in the roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme since it began in July 2016. On paper it sounds great – put the control of the money spend back into the hands of the people that are receiving the services. However, in practice, that simple shift, has created an ongoing nightmare for DSP’s and required a major overhaul in how they run their business.
With the increased reporting requirements from NDIA resulting in higher administration time and costs, combined with many wrinkles needing ironing with a backlog in NDIS approving client funding applications, to accepting and processing DSP invoice payments, it could quite quickly become a recipe for disaster for some.
As all business owners know, cashflow is king. Any delays in cash coming into your business, can create a flow on effect in not being able to pay staff, insurances, overheads, suppliers etc on time, which can quite quickly turn into make or break for your DSP.
So how do you ensure that NDIA’s increase in red tape and reporting requirements doesn’t cripple your DSP’s cashflow? Here are some of our tips:
1. Make sure you run a lean business:
Be proactive in reviewing and updating your systems and processes to ensure your business is operating at maximum productivity and efficiency. With labour costs making up a large portion of a business’ expenses, getting the most out of the time you are paying your staff for is paramount to keeping these costs under control. Can you streamline your current reporting systems with dedicated software to increase data entry and reconciliation efficiency, and reduce manual-entry errors? Probably. Software providers will work with you to audit your current systems, recommend software solutions, and then demonstrate the payback time for your investment in these solutions so that you know where you stand and the impact this upgrade will have on your business. We highly recommend you look into this sooner, rather than later.
2. Make sure your expense claims are as accurate as possible:
Cost overruns from processing inaccurate expense claims for things such as mileage can really add up over the year. We worked with a medium-sized DSP who it turns out was paying out in excess of 20% (or $34,000 per annum!) over what they needed to for mileage claims, simply because they didn’t have the record-keeping tools to accurately record and report the actual usage. With many DSP’s reliance on transporting clients or carers to and from service locations, it’s imperative that you have sound processes in place for recording and reporting the business mileage so that you’re not caught in the trap of overpaying at the expense of your profits. Look into log-book apps, or GPS tracking in your business vehicles. Software that automatically captures usage data will help to reduce your administration time and enable you to increase your reporting accuracy.
3. Speak to the NDIA in their language:
The quickest way to get your invoices paid by NDIA is to make sure they are presented in the way the NDIA want to receive them, with all of the information they want to see. Tailoring your system to speak NDIA’s language, ensuring everything you include on your invoices is 100% accurate will reduce the risk of your invoice being delayed due to rejection from NDIA’s system for non-compliance.
4. Invest time and money into your client-facing activities:
NDIA’s switching from a service-centric model to a client-centric model has placed a huge importance on DSP’s ensuring they deliver superior quality services to remain competitive in their regions. With clients having the power to choose where they spend their money, it is more important than ever to invest time and money into your client-facing activities. This is everything from how your staff answer the phone, to the types, durations, times and locations of services delivered. Stand back and review your business from the outside through your client’s eyes – are you greeted warmly by helpful and knowledgeable staff? Is it easy to enquire about and sign up for your services? Are your staff reliable in starting their services on time, every time?
Investing time and money into these client-facing activities, will help give you the edge over your competitors and encourage clients to select your DSP over others, which will increase your revenue, which is great for cashflow!
If you’d like any assistance on finding a software solution to help streamline your business, feel free to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.