So I have been slacking a bit in my Certified Trainer duties due to the release of the new Batman movie (which I haven’t seen yet..BOO) and a visit from Michelle Saunders, my new Therap neighbor. I think I can be forgiven once you hear this! So, I sent an email to Allison asking the collective to think about how they deal with handling consumer’s banking. A few folks got back to me with their way of dealing with it and they were VERY interesting and helpful.
Armed with this knowledge, I sat down with our Residential Program Directors, the front office people, and the Director of Program Operations and we began discussing how we can utilize Therap’s Finance module to our benefit. We have been using it for over a year to log the spending of 31 individuals in our two ICF/DD sites and the staff love it! Scanning in reciepts has really streamlined our spending account bookkeeping. The desire of the Directors to be able to monitor the accounts was a necessity, and the way we were handling the spending accounts currently was the perfect go to solution that they wanted to see. That being said, my mind went directly to how can we have one centrallized person be the agency banker without having to go to the bank and use Therap as the intermediary banking information source.
After meeting with two banks and beating up their legal departments with a barage of silly questions, we have finally found a way we can do this. The agency will be opening two accounts on behalf of each person we serve residentally. The first account will be labeled the “main” account where all direct deposits will go, such as paychecks, SSI, etc.. The second will be the “spending” account with a debit card attached. Money from the main accont will be transferred to the spending account using the bank’s online portal. Just the right amount of funds will be placed into the spending account, reducing the temptation to overextend the spending limit. Weekely, the centralized banker will collect the receipts, transfer excess cash back into the main account, and input the transactions into Therap. Only people with Finance module access can see it….and with that, it looks like I fulfilled all the criteria that the Directors asked. (Let’s hope my thoretical scenario actually works once we get it going…..I’m in the process of helping with this now.)
I’ll keep you all posted as this unfolds….If I got it right, maybe I can do a session at a conference on this some day…:)
PS- Don’t send me any spoilers for the Batman movie!! :p