Anyone else having huge problems tracking which employers they owe incentives to? It started off ok, but is getting more and more complicated each month. Several months, we’ve had less money that expected, and how do we know which employers not to pay? Until now, we’ve been able to eventually work it out by comparing every Apps Monthly Payment report so far (to check for variance), and checking which are appearing on the Data Match report (which stops incentive payment).
Colleges being what they are, things are never simple. We have students who were eligible one month, suddenly drop off (correctly, and for various reasons). We had had one record keyed on incredibly late, who was eligible for the incentive the month before they went in the ILR, whose payment came through the month after we expected it.
I believe we’ve been promised a report like we had for AGE, that explicitly tells you who each payment is for (and payments that have been clawed back). This has now become critically urgent, as we’re really struggling to meet our obligation of paying employers within 30 days, because we don’t know who the money was for!
I’m going to contact the ESFA, but I’d appreciate any support if others are also having this issue.February 20, 2018 at 10:41 am #237352
I share your pain. Its something that we raised at the Technical User Group, and they have taken it on board, and I believe there are improvements to the reporting proposed for R08, but as I’m not the ESFA, don’t hold me to that!
Depending on the MI System you have, you could ask them for how they can implement ways to reconcile the official reports back so you know which ones the payments relate to. I am finding this helpful.
paul.February 20, 2018 at 10:58 am #237356
Same issue here, While awaiting the promised report I have just been using a user defined field in oour MIS system to flag what month the payment was made. Using the monthly payment report to filter for the £500 in each month accordingly.
We also have noticed a few months were we were missing payments from the ESFA but the learner is showing on the MPR and have took the stance they will have to reconcile any missing payments at year end or in future months
ThanksFebruary 20, 2018 at 11:17 am #237368
Thanks both, and particularly Paul for raising this as the Technical User Group!
My Finance colleague who deals with this is very technically capable, and has made a spreadsheet that reconciles everything (when you input all previous reports), including non-payment due to data locks.
It doesn’t help that we’ve had some really odd situations causing discrepancies,but that’s always going to happen. I need to know who the payments are for, and who the claw backs are for too.February 20, 2018 at 12:41 pm #237398
Can I ask how are you passing the payment onto your employers? do your finance teams issue payment, do you have to raise a purchase order? or a cheque?
Just wondered how you were paying employers.
JoFebruary 21, 2018 at 3:20 pm #237707
Our Finance team manage it, and I think we transfer the money. I know that they are always chasing up bank details, and can’t pay until they have them.February 21, 2018 at 3:27 pm #237709
We pay by BACS to our employers just to give us another audit trail.
Our MIS keeps track of dates incentives due/rec’d and paid on to employer.
I agree that it is a total shambles from the SFA side not showing clawbacks etc. and am hoping for a report similar to AGE to be produced for incentives. Fingers crossed!February 21, 2018 at 3:29 pm #237711
Thanks for that we are the training provider and we have also as employers now got our own apprentices starting that are 16-18 so do we pay ourselves the incentive payment?February 21, 2018 at 3:50 pm #237717
We pay ourselves.
We chose to set up a new bank account for incentives. The SFA remittance for employer incentives is transferred to this acc as a bulk when received. We then pay the respective employers (including ourselves) by bacs from this account.February 22, 2018 at 9:27 am #237845
Great, thank you all!
JoFebruary 22, 2018 at 12:10 pm #237892
Just received this reply from the ESFA;
I understand your frustration with reconciling payments received against amounts indicated on the Apps Monthly Payment Report. In order to correctly identify learners who are eligible and received payment, we urge providers to return accurate and timely learner data for which earnings on the Apps Monthly Payment Report will match the payments made on the remittance for a particular month. If learners fail validation or are not returned in the ILR, clawbacks will be made.
Please ensure all learner data is updated and returned in the month of learning thus preventing any clawbacks.
Of course we make every effort to get the data right. It’s just not that simple in real life. There are so many legitimate reasons we can end up with clawback. Why is it always providers’ fault when we’re not provided with adequate resources? 🙁February 26, 2018 at 10:01 am #238839
I agree with you Ruth.
So if you return accurate and timely data then understanding the reports will be easy? I don’t think so! Granted it may be a bit better, but the system has become sooo complex.
If you put a Learner on quite correctly at the beginning and then something changes and has to be updated, so you return accurate and timely data with that change, then the funding consequences and where they are hidden is not self-evident (IMHO).February 26, 2018 at 7:05 pm #238950
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