When you’re a relatively new OD, starting a new practice from scratch or even purchasing an existing one can be quite overwhelming! Not only must you focus on diagnosing and treating your patients, but also keep up with the latest eye healthcare information, manage your insurance contracts, and oversee your staff. With so many balls to juggle, your accounting and finance operations may fall by the wayside – a path with disastrous results!

When it comes to your new OD practice, here’s a prescription for success! Take these 3 actions to start off on the right path:

Hire an expert to handle areas outside your core competencies: You went to school to become an OD and not an accountant, right? Don’t underestimate the amount of time it will take to get your accounting and financial operations in order and the value of doing it right the first time. Just as ODs prescribe corrective lenses to their patients, an experienced accounting firm can advise you on proven, cost-effective ways to manage your practice’s financial operations. You’ll free up your time to focus on growing your practice and caring for your patients and avoid costly mistakes that occur when you’re spread too thin across too many responsibilities. For more info, check out my article, http://fluorescene.odcommunity.com/avoiding-financial-blind-spots-through-second-set-experienced-eyes/ on why a second set of experienced eyes avoids financial blind spots.

Establish a solid accounting system: Just like choosing the right practice management system, setting up the right accounting system will avoid costly issues in the long run. If you hire an accounting expert as I recommend above, he/she should be able to address this, but if you decide to implement this on your own make sure your accounting system:

  • Seamlessly integrates with your online banking and bill payment functions. This minimizes your need for tedious data entry and reduces errors.
  • Provides you with real-time access to key financial information so that you don’t have to guess at where you stand in terms of income and expenses levels and cash flow activity.
  • Generates user-friendly financial reports to help you make informed financial decisions (e.g., setting prices/rates to manage profitability) and aids in preparing your tax filings.
  • Is scalable so that grows when your practice grows.

Is proven to be stable, reliable and secure. I recommend QuickBooks Online, http://consultancellc.com/technology-partners/quickbooks/ for my clients since this cloud-based solution addresses all of the above requirements.

Review your fees and pricing strategy: As part of your overall business plan, you’ll want to implement a sound pricing strategy for your various optical services and product sales. This includes setting competitive prices, maximizing insurance reimbursement rates and managing the cost of equipment, inventory of frames, staffing as well as operating costs. It’s important to forecast your break-even points and to track and monitor your profit margins so that you can fine-tune your strategy as needed. An experienced accountant can provide significant help in this regard.

While there will be other financial responsibilities to address as you manage your OD practice, these three key actions are a great prescription to get you started on the right path for success!

Need Help?

If you have questions and/or would like to pursue other actionable steps to start your OD practice on the right path to success, please reach out to me, I’ll be happy to talk with you. Orin Schepps, Founder and CEO @consultanceaccounting http://www.consultancellc.com