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What makes a good accountant for medical practices?

The field of accountancy is a vast and varied one, encompassing many different types of accountants. Each type needs to work hard to tailor their services to meet the specific needs of their clients.

This is certainly true of those who work with clients who run medical practices. These are specialist businesses.

They need all of the usual accountancy services and more besides. The doctors and medical staff who run them rely heavily on their accountant to help them to stay in business and prosper.

The ability to keep pace with change

Most medical practices are in a constant state of flux. Regulations are always changing and the services patients need never stop evolving. It is important for medical accountants to recognise this fact and respond effectively to each change.

For example, when funding criteria changes, practices need to be able to quickly understand the likely impact this will have on their profitability. To be able to do this, they rely on their accountants to create accurate profit and loss reports. A good medical accountant will ensure a practice knows which services make them a profit and which create losses.

Payroll and HMRC taxes

The majority of GP surgeries, clinics and dentists employ several people. Therefore, they usually want their accountancy team to take care of payroll tasks.

Usually, they are also responsible for filling out and submitting the business’ annual tax return. As well as filing the necessary VAT declarations. They also need to play their part in handling any VAT or HMRC audits or inquiries.

The ability to handle complex funding and accounting processes

Often, medical practices also have to produce accounting reports for their clients, for example, the NHS. Failure to keep the relevant records and present them in the format that is required can lead to the practice losing work. As a result, this is an important additional role that a medical accountant must be capable of carrying out.

Targeted personal finance advice

When it comes to their personal finances, most physicians turn to their practice accountant for guidance. They expect them to be able to help them fill out their personal tax returns and understand the tax-friendly pension plans that are available to those who work in the medical field.

Help practice managers to identify cost savings

Providing medical services is expensive. Often, practices buy or lease costly equipment. They have to regularly retrain staff and also need to find the funds to pay for liabilities like public liability insurance.

Generally speaking, a clinic’s overheads are going to be higher than they would be for another similarly sized business. Therefore, for any medical practice identifying and delivering cost savings is vital. It is the only way they can successfully compete for business and meet the expectations of their clients and patients.

A full understanding of how the practice is run

A medical practice accountant will have an in-depth understanding of the business. They will use this knowledge to provide the practice with detailed reports that identify each and every cost. Without this accurate, specialised information, it is impossible for the business to identify all of its costs and see where it can save money.

Posted by Peter
October 5, 2018

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