Cloud based accounting - The next level for Medical Practitioners

By Vicki Macdermid - November 14, 2016

Over the last five years, we have facilitated the adoption of cloud based accounting software for many of our medical clients. This series of articles is designed to provide guidance to take your medical practice to the next level.

This second article of the series will assist you to better understand which accounting software package is best for your medical practice, by firstly describing the basic bookkeeping functionality and then applying that to what your medical practice will use. 

In our last article, we introduced the concept of cloud based accounting software having the ability to access real-time financial data, accessible anywhere, anytime, and on any device.  The first step is to ensure the IT platform in your medical practice is adequate to support a client based accounting software program.  Once this has been determined, we can progress to the next step – understanding basic bookkeeping functionality.

We appreciate that medical practices operate their own practice management software – cloud based accounting software is not replacing the practice management software, but rather working alongside the program.  The key to increased efficiency in running your medical practice is having the knowledge and awareness of using the basic bookkeeping functions available to you.

Invoices and receipts

To obtain optimal efficiency, your practice management software should have the ability to automatically upload invoices and receipts to the accounting software.  This way, both your day-to-day practice requirements are being managed by one program that works with the other that manages your finances.

Bank reconciliations

Bank reconciliations should be as easy as confirming a match is correct and clicking “OK.”  With the current functionality of daily bank and credit card transactions being automatically imported into the accounting software, it should be easily matched after set up of the recurring transaction option.  Your effort would be simply allocating those one-off transactions as they occur.

Expense payments

Expense payments is another area where accounting software can reduce time on business administration by bundling multiple bills into one payment transaction. You can further reduce data entry by setting up bills that repeat each month, each quarter or any period you choose.  Many products also have the ability to assist you in managing your cash flow by allowing you to see when bills are due for payment and show tracking of where your business income is going!

Payroll

And let’s not forget paying staff. Payroll functionality can manage the payroll tasks and also automatically update the accounting software.  Payroll functions can include tracking working hours and approving leave with controlled security access for employees.  You can give power to your people by giving them self-service access from any device to view their payslips and apply for leave. Superannuation calculation, payments and reporting should be as easy as clicking a button, once correctly set up.

Cloud based accounting provides the opportunity for medical practitioners to reduce business administration, but first there must be an understanding of the functions, how they operate and how they can be incorporated into your practice.  

Over the years we have supported and assisted many medical practitioners in understanding and using these functions in their medical practice. Working closely with our medicos, we have been able to assist them in using the reporting functions that ultimately provide tools to understand how efficiently their medical practice is operating.

The next article in this series will provide some guidance on the type of reporting requirements your medical practice can utilise to achieve optimal results. 

Vicki Macdermid is a Private Clients Partner at Pitcher Partners Melbourne.


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