Judging the Right Level of Accounting Support for Your Medical Practice
Many doctors, dentists, and other healthcare providers struggle to keep up with the challenges of running their practice. Accounting and bookkeeping tasks are crucial to helping medical offices operate more smoothly. Thus, whether you leave bookkeeping and accounting to outside providers or hire in-house expertise, you want to increase operating efficiency, improve cost containment strategies, and maximize the collection of receivables.
When assessing your practices accounting practices, ask yourself two important questions:
- Do you understand and have the skills and knowledge to make advantageous decisions related to the increasingly complex situations in which you find yourself?
- Should you oversee office managers more closely, sign your own checks, and scrutinize accounts, or should you hire a professional to evaluate your practice and prepare a comprehensive financial assessment?
As with any small business, how you handle your accounting practices is an important factor in the success of your practice, which may not be able to afford a full-time, qualified financial administrator. Finding qualified accounting assistance, therefore, should be a priority for any medical office, and you can use a number of available options.
- Part-Time Accountant: Your medical office may benefit from employing a part-time accountant, who works on your premises and becomes completely familiar with the operations of the business and the accounting challenges. If the accounting workload is light enough to deal with in a day or two per week, consider employing an accountant to work a set number of hours or shifts each month to attend to these tasks.
- Accounting Firm: Some medium-sized accounting firms, such as Dannible & McKee, offer accounting services for medical offices. These companies become your practice’s “accounting department,” and provide the level of services you choose. These may include billing, payables, receivables, bank reconciliations and general ledger entries. Alternatively, if you have junior administrative staff to take care of the basics, the accounting firm may only provide oversight, cash flow statements, monthly financial reports and year-end closing of the books.
- Experienced Tax Consultant: Preparing your annual tax returns is specialized work, and a medical office can benefit from the use of an experienced tax consultant to prepare tax returns that optimize your tax liability. Medical offices, especially those serving low-income patients, may be able to deduct a variety of business expenses, which will benefit the profitability of your practice.
Before you dive too deeply into the world of accounting, contact a financial expert like Dannible & McKee. We understand that each medical practice has its own unique needs and challenges, and we can help guide you in determining the solution that is best for your practice.