Not all accounting systems are equal, especially in our current environment where different technologies can either work together or fight each other. A good accounting system is critical in helping you run your office efficiently. It's also essential for patient insurance processing and managing your financials. An accounting system should be selected based on your needs and should be specific to running a professional practice.
by Mike Whitmer in Money Management on Thursday, November 7, 2019
Basic System Features
Whatever accounting system you choose, you’ll need certain common components that are considered table stakes.
- Accounts receivable
- Accounts payable
- Order entry
- Cost accounting
- Monthly reporting
- Inventory control
- Fixed assets
Ideally, your system will also manage additional information unique to providing health care services to individuals with insurance coverage. In a perfect world your accounting system should tie into the patient record system to prepare bills, based on the services rendered, and post them to the patient accounting record. It should also accommodate claims processing so claims filed and paid electronically are easy to track and post to the patient's account.
Other Things to Consider
Before you begin looking at different systems, talk to your accountant about what you'll really need. And also talk with other health care professionals who have successfully used accounting systems in a similar way. Speak with doctors and staff about which accounting systems they use and get their suggestions.
One of the most important things to look for in an accounting system is compatibility with other systems and software in the practice. This will be key to running your business office efficiently.
Another important feature is the ability to produce financial statements easily. For example, if you are going to the bank for a loan, can you prepare a current set of financial statements for the practice? Even better, can you provide a projection of how the practice will do for the remainder of the fiscal year based on the year-to-date results?
Choosing the Best System for Your Office
In addition to talking with other professionals in your area, contact your state chiropractic association for possible recommendations. Many times an association will endorse a vendor, which means the organization has done the required due diligence and is comfortable in the quality of the product and vendor behind it.
Before purchasing, weigh the pros and cons and get advice from members of your practice support team, such as your accountant, on what features you really need and what makes the most sense for your practice situation. Online research and talking to other D.C.s may provide some valuable input about other important considerations.