What sorts of sustainable business practices should disability services provider adopt?

Gathering business intelligence

Managers of sustainable business know their organisation inside and out. Managers who do not have all of the data which sheds light on the operational and financial position of their organisation cannot make informed decisions. They cannot put their skills, expertise and energies to use. We can help you to devise some practical mechanisms that ensure that information flows to managers efficiently and accurately.


Budgeting helps organisations to identify and manage their revenue and expenditure. It gives managers an idea of what money is likely to come, and what money is likely to go out. The better that your organisation is at accurately projecting cash flow, the better it will be achieving its strategic purposes in a sustainable way. We can guide you through budgeting best practice and help you identify the best way to go about budgeting in your organisation.

Short term cash flow management

The shift to client directed funding has made short term cash flows far less certain than they used to be. Disability services providers need to adapt to the new environment by adopting strategies that can help them continue their good work in times when money is tight. There are a number of practical tools which organisations to adopt to relieve pressure over the short term. We can give them to you.

Dealing with creditors and debtors

Sustainable business practices are not only about money. They are about people too. An uncooperative debtor can deny the organisation funds which it needs to pay for its short term liabilities. An angry and demanding creditor can take money from an organisation before they are able to pay it. Organisations who are able to manage their relationships with creditors and debtors effectively are able to use the relationships to their advantage. We can let you know how to do just that.

How do organisations benefit from sustainable business practices?

Sustainable business practices give organisations a competitive edge

Not for profit disability services providers are required to compete between each other for clients more than they ever have in the past. The organisations which understand their financial and operational position, have accurately projected their revenue and expenditure, and are able to manage their business relationships will be the most competitive. They will provide better services to clients, and go further to achieve their charitable objectives.

Sustainable business practices facilitate successful payment claims

Every week, well over 1,000 payment claims submitted by disability services organisations are rejected by the National Disability Insurance Agency on the basis that the amount claimed exceeds the relevant item price of the service booking or exceeds the remaining available amount in the service booking. This issue arises when organisations are not able to project the cost of rendering a particular service accurately. Sustainable business practices make organisations much better at making accurate projections.

How do managers benefit from sustainable business practices?

Sustainable business practices allow managers to use their skills

Skilled managers are the most valuable asset of a disability services provider. They have the expertise and dedication that era needed to keep an organisation thriving. By adopting sustainable business practices, an organisation equips its managers with the data they need to do their job. Sustainable business practices identify blind spots and shine a light on problematic practices. This helps them to put their skills to work and become flexible and adaptable to a changing environment.

Sustainable business practices help managers to avoid personal liability

Directors of many disability services organisations have a duty to ensure that their organisation does not continue to trade while insolvent. They are required to keep abreast of the financial position of the organisation and to understand its implications for any decisions that they make. Directors who fail to do these things can be subject to serious penalties. In extreme cases, they can lose their homes and be banned from managing companies in the future. Sustainable business practices can give directors the tools that they need to discharge these duties.

Why adopt sustainable business practices now?

The rules of the game have changed

The shift to client directed funding has changed the way in which disability services providers are paid for the services they render to clients. This is creating new cost pressures. Sustainable business practices help organisations to align themselves with the new funding model to ensure that they are well placed to exploit the opportunities it has to offer. Getting on the front foot early will give your organisation a competitive edge.

New competitors are entering the market

The introduction of client directed funding in the United Kingdom saw a number of for profit disability services providers enter the market. These providers were backed by people with extensive experience in running competitive and sustainable businesses in a competitive environment. They have been able to develop a significant market share. Not for profit disability services providers have suffered as a result. Many have not survived. Some have merged. Others have simply failed to adjust to the new environment. Sustainable business practices ensure that your organisation is flexible enough to deal with the new environment and able to keep doing what it does best.

If you’re a disability services provider manager and are ready to move forward with developing your sustainable business practices, give us a call to discuss how we can help you start.

John Morrissey

T: +61 2 9331 0266
E: john.morrissey@jfmlaw.com.au

John Morrissey has been a practising Sydney solicitor for 30 years, and for the past 20 a sole practitioner and the principal at JFMLAW.

His main focus employment law, advising small to medium-sized firms and their employees of their rights and obligations.

For many years he was a lecturer at UTS to students obtaining Masters in Human Resources Management with a focus on performance management and creating a culture of delivery in workplaces. John has acted for a significant number of employers, not only in developing a performance based culture in the workplace but also solving particular problems that arise relating to unfair dismissal, contract disputes, improper use of intellectual property or other property as well as enforcements of restraints of trade.

John is very happy to speak to any employer who has an issue on a free of charge basis by a phone call. Please feel free to ring John at anytime up to 6pm most days.
John Morrissey