Accountants that specialise in Medical Practitioners, are they really necessary?

By Kym Nitschke

A little over a year ago, one of my good friends, who happens to be one of Adelaide’s leading surgeons, came to me complaining that his books were overdue, and that his administration were having a hard time keeping up with all of the bookkeeping and financial commitments involved with running his practice. He had said that he had bills that should’ve been overdue by now, that hadn’t even been sent out to his clients. I almost spat out my coffee. It was at this point in the conversation that I stopped him and said, you have got to get smarter about managing your billing and finances.

I understand that patient care is the most important part of any medical practice, however I do believe that in order to provide the best service; all areas of a practice must be running smoothly. We stepped in, and in the past year we have optimised and automated all of his books, handled his tax and finances. It has had a hugely positive impact on the way that his practice runs. It worked for him, but is it necessary for everyone?

 

With this in mind, it begs the question to all medical practitioners. Do you need a specialist accountant in order to get the most out of your practice? We’ll let you decide. Here are some services that a specialist medical accountants offer that aren’t offered by regular accountants.

 

Deductions:

Medical practitioners are naturally susceptible to high tax requirements, and by employing a specialist accountant who knows the specific deductions that you can claim, you can drastically reduce the amount that you owe come tax time. Regular accountants may know some of these, but understandably their knowledge is far less than someone who specialises in this field. Read more about some of the deductions you can claim that most people overlook:

 

Billing and Cash Flow Efficiency

Like my surgeon friend, a lot of practices struggle with efficiently billing and managing cash flow. These two go hand in hand and with the right systems in place, this is made easy by accountants who know what they are doing.

 

Industry standard comparisons:

By comparing your practice performance to industry leaders both locally and nationally, a specialist accountant is able to understand better the areas that are in need of improvement.

 

Medicare:

Specialist medical accountants should be up to date with the latest changes to medicare, with specific focus on how this will impact your finances. It is far less likely that regular accountants are going to be following these trends.

 

GST:

Medical practitioners face unique GST complications that others do not. It is important to employ the right people who understand how this affects your practice.

 

Dedicated Staff:

Specialist medical accountants have dedicated staff who work solely on medical practices, whereas regular accountants are far less likely to have people who are constantly serving doctors. Having specialised staff at your service means that there is always a team of experts who is up to date with all of your accounts, and the industry that you work in that you can depend on.

 

Network of Medical Specialists:

Any good medical specialist accountant will have a valuable network of medical industry specialist professionals at their fingertips such as financial planners, credit & insurance advisors and solicitors to name a few. Having this backing behind your practice means that you never have to look far for specialised service.

 

Business Planning for your Practice:

More often than not, accountants who specialise in medical accountants will have business advisory strategies that are specific to the medical industry. By implementing something such as a step by step 5 year plan for your practice as soon as possible, you can optimise your practice in all areas. These include such as patient care, financial management, staff management and more. Regular accountants will rarely offer this holistic approach to servicing medical practitioners.

 

To find out more about how Nitschke Nancarrow’s specialist medical accountants can help you as a health care professional, contact us today.

Read on: 5 Common Financial Mistakes Doctors Make and How to Fix Them

Top 10 missed Tax Deductions for Doctors in Australia