After over a year developing the new and improved version of Client Voices, it seems appropriate to reflect on the entire Client Voices journey which surprisingly spans over 15 years.
CV on CD
In the early 2000s, The New Zealand Federation of Family Budgeting Services (NZFFBS) commissioned an individual developer to create a client management system. This was the first conception of Client Voices.
Two likely reasons for this development are:
- The NZFFBS was looking to standardise budgeting practice within their membership
- Make it easier for NZFFBS members to provide accurate Annual Statistical Returns (an membership requirement).
- Record information the NZFFBS deemed important (Debt information, community education, training etc.)
Because the NZFFBS membership included a variety of different organisations, some with their own Client Management Systems, use of Client Voices was always optional. In 2007, the number of services using Client Voices was 25.
This early version of Client Voices was burnt to CDs and distributed to services using the software. Each time an update was developed, new CDs were distributed for services to install the updated version.
Problems arose when services didn’t run the updates, and an array of versions were active at any one time. Because of this, the NZFFBS determined to develop an online version which would always be up-to-date.
Client Voices Online
The NZFFBS put out a tender for a developer to build an online version of Client Voices in 2009. From that tender process, PocketSmith was selected.
Records show the project was funded by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs and Westpac Bank.
In 2009, Pocketsmith was a new start-up with two developers and their own personal budgeting product called Pocketsmith. What they saw in Client Voices was an opportunity to do a public service and develop an application to support people in financial hardship.
The development was completed and rolled out to budgeting services in 2010.
Development did continue on an ad hoc basis as needs arose from 2010 to 2018. The NZFFBS was allocated 8 hours of development time each month.
Since 2010 Pocketsmith have grown from a staff of two to 15 as their core product has become more popular.