We are frequently asked our opinion on what is the best NDIS software – and it’s no wonder as the crowded NDIS software market continues to grow. We are aware of over 60 software packages targeting NDIS businesses from large, established players to new movers and shakers.
So what is the best NDIS software for your business?
To identify the best software, we need to analyse the features and functionality of a software package against your organisation’s specific requirements and budget. There are many different types of businesses operating in the NDIS sector such as allied health professionals, support providers, disability housing providers, support coordinators and plan managers. The requirements of a software package, and the budget available to implement it, can vary significantly between these different types of organisations.
Your software requirements
Let’s firstly look at requirements and the key things to consider:
Clients – The core functionality of any NDIS system is client management – the ability to capture valuable information about your clients such as their basic contact information, support requirements, goals, likes and preferences, and their funding information.
Staff – You might need to capture basic information about your staff, including their skills, capabilities, certifications, qualifications and availability. Some businesses may also need advanced functionality like matching appropriate staff to client needs.
Services – Your organisation may need to capture notes regarding the client support provided, whether that be simple notes or the ability to customise templates for detailed professional services.
Financial – Your organisation may require functionality for invoicing and funding claims – a software package might be required to produce and send invoices directly or may need to integrate with an accounting system like Xero or MYOB.
Accessibility – You should also consider how your staff interact with the software – is the user interface intuitive and logical, and do they need a mobile app when they’re working with clients in the community? It’s also important to consider if clients or their carers require access to software for information like rosters, funding, or to create, cancel or reschedule appointments.
Integration – From a productivity perspective it’s important to think about the other systems within your organisation and how the NDIS software will interface with tools like Microsoft/Google, accounting systems, HR/payroll systems, and other productivity tools. New technology should enable your business to eliminate pain points, streamline administration and operate more efficiently. It should also meet the current needs of your business as well as providing flexibility as the business continues to grow.
Now let’s look at the second critical factor – cost.
Most software providers charge an upfront one-off cost for implementation, configuration, customisations, integrations, and training – this is to provide you with support to get the system configured to your specific needs and have you up and running as soon as possible. It is highly recommended to invest in a good implementation of a new system to ensure that it is set up right from the start – if your software provider doesn’t offer this service, you might use a team member with this skillset, or you can engage an external resource, like TechAbility, to manage your implementation.
Most systems are subscription based and will either allow you to pay month-to-month or will have a minimum contract term (usually 12 months). The pricing models for subscription-based software are typically per-user (team member) or per-client, although there are some other models such as splitting pricing for admins (more expensive) versus team members (cheaper), or per-shift models, and there are even some unlimited user models.
Software costs vs Administration costs
Understandably, many business owners tend to choose tools that they are already familiar with and that are low-cost. These systems are often not sustainable as a business grows. We see many businesses hiring additional administration staff to manage rudimentary processes and clunky systems that aren’t integrated. In our experience, the cost of hiring administration staff can actually be double the cost of purchasing and implementing a more effective software system!
So how do I choose the right NDIS software for my business?
If you made it to the end of this article, you’ll see there is a lot to consider when answering the question – what is the best NDIS software. The first critical step is having a thorough understanding of your business requirements and your budget.
In our next blog we’ll discuss how to choose the right NDIS software for your business and you’ll learn about how our NDIS Software Finder can help you to define your requirements and provides you with access to our independent, in-depth research into over 60 NDIS systems. Drop us an email or call us to discuss your software needs and let us help you to find the best software for your business.