OmniStar will soon extend existing finance features which will enhance the way our clients capture and approve financial reports. Our grant giving clients expressed their challenges when it came to this type of reporting as some use third-party systems or Microsoft Excel to manage and report on the money they had distributed. This is a tedious, cumbersome and error prone process. As a result, our team collaborated with our clients to enhance our Acquittals feature, eliminating the need for third-party or external systems and guaranteeing that all required information is easily accessible in a single location.
As part of the grant lifecycle and monitoring process, grant receiving organisations are often required to submit acquittals to grant giving organisations in order to report their financial income and expenditure. Our Acquittals feature provides a platform for organisations to submit financial reports directly through the OmniStar system where it can be reviewed and approved by grant administrators and managers.
Included as a part of this feature is an Acquittal schedule that can be configured, allowing each report to be tailored to meet the grant’s specific frequency and reporting requirements. Configuration options include the reporting period (calendar or financial year), the frequency of the reports (annual, bi-annual, quarterly, etc), and which expenditure categories are included. This function is vital as it ensures that our Acquittal feature is configurable and customisable to meet the needs of our clients with no code changes. Once the reporting schedule for each grant has been established, the system will generate Acquittals for each grant respectively and notify the organisation when a report is due.
The Acquittal data is submitted using a pre-configured template that contains logic that automatically calculates aggregated income totals. This is important as it minimises the risk of user error and alleviates the workload for the reporting organisations, grant administrators and managers. This also provides organisations with the option to migrate financial data from external sources directly into the template, and bulk submission of reports. Grant giving organisations can create rules that analyse data input which displays errors when the template information is entered incorrectly. This ensures that the reporting is consistent, and they are established with the correct information, whilst ultimately saving the trouble of following up and resubmitting documents.
Once a financial report has been submitted the data is available to review directly through the Internal Portal, where it can be easily compared with previous report data. The Internal Portal provides other valuable insights such as payment history and other milestone reports which can be utilised to make comparisons. This means that the assessing officer does not require a third-party or external software to access the information required to accept or reject a report. All expenditure data reports that have been accumulated over the grant’s lifetime of the grant can be viewed on one screen at the same time.
Assessing officers can assign a decision on each report with the click of a button and a comment function is linked to each financial report to capture any important notes related to the financial report/acquittal. Details of each submission, review and the decision process for each report is fully tracked and stored in OmniStar which can be easily audited. The system will also send automated email reminders and correspondence to organisations who use our prepopulated templates, which can be easily edited by an internal user to include customised content.
Having access to all the reports on a single screen allows our clients to quickly locate the specific data required by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO). During the planning and development stages of the Acquittals feature, we prioritised ensuring that our clients could comply with the ANAO’s requirements in a timely and efficient manner. As a result, we are providing an integrated, straight forward, and agile process which reduces the administrative burden that our clients face when completing audits.
Our OmniStar team are doing a brilliant job working with our clients to create industry leading functionality, such as this Acquittals feature which we are excited to have in our platform. The feature is scheduled to be available in the next version of OmniStar in Q3 2023. If you would like to learn more about this feature and how it could benefit your organisation, please get in touch with our Sales and Client Executive colleague, Benjamin Sutton at 0491 600 305 or firstname.lastname@example.org.