Running a veterinary clinic or hospital requires a lot of time and attention to detail. Whether working with customers and their valued furry family members or doing the work behind the scenes to keep the business functioning, you need to make choices that bring positive results to your bottom line. If you think you’d eventually like to grow or expand your clinic or hospital; you’ll want your business running at its best. Let’s look at some of the best practices that can enhance your accounting and financial management.
When you established your veterinary clinic or hospital, you documented rules around:
In other words, you established internal controls for your business. But having documented processes and procedures just to avoid risk is not a goal unto themselves. The real goal: optimize the operational efficiency and effectiveness of the business aspects of your practice while continuing to provide a high level of care.
Now may be a good time to assess your existing internal controls to identify opportunities for improvement. In other words, do your own version of an audit to determine where things can be tightened up. This can be especially useful if you are planning to grow or expand your business. You’ll want to have your documentation updated prior to meeting with potential partners or your lender. You’ll need to determine what will support your clinic/hospital today – and tomorrow:
Look to your CPA or tax specialist for help in this process. They can provide insights gleaned from their training and years of experience working with other veterinary practices like yours.
You probably spent a lot of time – and money – establishing your veterinary practice management system. Most provide support for some or all of these functions:
Many also integrate with other software for lab records, pet insurance processing, and dedicated accounting systems. But software can outlive its usefulness or put you at risk if not maintained properly. You’ll want to assess your current system for both risks and benefits to your financial management goals:
There are a variety of practice management systems that integrate with cloud-based accounting packages like Quickbooks. If your current software is not meeting your accounting needs but is otherwise a good fit for your clinic/hospital, this could be a great way to address the gap.
We are wrapping up with the place to start: taking into account your overall organizational goals and objectives, and evaluating how your business practices are supporting them:
If it delivers positive results or is required by law, you’ll probably need to keep doing it – but you may want to assess how you are doing it to make it more efficient or effective (or both).
If you are doing something just because it’s a habit, it may be time to reassess to determine if it adds value or saves you time. If it does neither, should you be doing it? Something to assess as you work through improving your business practices to potentially grow and enhance your bottom line.