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Accounting for Veterinary Surgeons
Running a veterinary clinic is very demanding and stressful given you often have to work with traumatised pets and their distraught owners. Here at More Than Numbers we work with a range of veterinary clinics from general practices to specialised equine and dairy clinics. Some of our vets specialise in surgical services while other practices have a more retail flavour with extensive stock of pet accessories.
To be successful as a vet you need a passion for animals and a friendly, helpful demeanour. Pet owners will seek your counsel on everything from dog walking services to pet feeding options, day care and pet sitting. As such, you need to manage animals, people, staff, cashflow, inventory and stock of drugs and consumables. Having an accountant who understands your veterinary clinic, the various industry benchmarks and practice valuation methods can give you a serious competitive advantage.
Apart from providing assistance with the usual compliance issues of GST, BAS, PAYG and superannuation, we’ll advise you on the most
appropriate tax structure for your business and offer strategies to protect your assets and create wealth. We understand the importance of
the right software to manage your bookkeeping, payroll and invoicing and we will take into account your
business needs (bookkeeping, payroll, invoicing etc.) and level of accounting skill when recommending the most appropriate software program.
Where required we will train you or your staff to use the software because we find many veterinary surgeons make the mistake of buying
sophisticated ‘double entry’ accounting programs that are beyond their business needs and level of accounting skill. This often
leads to ‘computerised shoebox’ records and unnecessary accounting costs.
Our services to veterinary surgeons are both broad and deep. We use benchmarks to compare your performance against industry averages to assess what is working in the business and what areas need working on. Over the years we have helped clients obtain funding for their commercial property, new equipment and motor vehicles (chattel mortgage, lease etc.) and have prepared numerous business plans and cash flows to help clients buy into a veterinary clinic.
As a veterinary professional we recognise you want to grow your profits and your wealth which explains why a number of our veterinary surgeons have a self managed superannuation fund built into their business structure. If you want to know more about starting a SMSF download our e-booklet, Thinking of Starting a SMSF?
STARTING YOUR VETERINARY PRACTICE
We are recognised as business start-up specialists and if you are looking to start or buy a veterinary clinic there are numerous issues to consider. There is site selection, tax registrations, insurances, the commercial lease, the clinic fit out, council regulations and of course finance. We can assist you in all of these areas plus provide advice on HR matters, payroll and the preparation of a business plan. On an operational level, we understand what is required for a successful opening and we can even assist you in executing the successful launch of the business.
Over the past two decades our team of accountants have helped dozens of entrepreneurs get their business off to a flying start. We offer you experience, technical tax knowledge and most importantly, an intimate understanding of veterinary clinics.
Starting a business is a bit like building a house and you need solid foundations. In a business sense these include the right taxation
structure, accounting software, insurances, a marketing plan, website and social media channels. Your choice of business
is critical and there are a number of different options including a company, sole trader, partnership or trust. When selecting a business
structure, asset protection is a key consideration as well as your family situation, forecast level of profit and your future plans to admit
new business partners and your eligibility for discount capital gains tax concessions.
Your choice of accounting software is another brick in your business foundations. The wrong choice can create big headaches and poor financial records are one of the biggest causes of business failure in this country. Up to date, accurate financial records let you make informed business decisions and you should match your business needs with your level of accounting skill when selecting a software program. Too many business owners use sophisticated double entry accounting programs and produce nothing but 'computerised shoebox' records. As such, one of our priorities is to help you cut the cost of compliance which in some cases includes training you to use the software. We support a range of software packages but do have a strong preference for cloud based solutions like Xero.
To build a house you also need the right tools and when 'constructing' your business we have developed a number of tools including a
start-up expense checklist broken down into various categories including:
- leasehold improvements
- clinic fit out expenses
- information technology costs
- marketing and signage
- computers, Software and IT
- trading stock and consumables
These figures then slot neatly into a cash flow budget template that let us produce a forecast of your first year's trading results. If you need a vehicle in your business we can assist you with finance by chattel mortgage or lease through one of our affiliate partners. Not only that, you can access fleet pricing on your new car, ute or light commercial van that could save you thousands of dollars.
Through our affiliate partners we can also help you source funds to finance your business purchase, clinic fit out, equipment, franchise fee, motor vehicle or van. Pricing is absolutely vital to the success of your business and we can help you do some price modelling so you know your break even point and understand the financial implications of price increases by your suppliers. We also use benchmarks to compare your business performance against your industry peers so you know what is working in your business, what's not working and what needs working on.
MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS
For small business owners, your marketing can be the difference between gloom, doom and boom. While most vets rely on their reputation and referrals to grow their business you need to shift your marketing focus online. Increasingly local searches like ‘Vet Central Coast’ are driving traffic to your website and often your website is the first touch point with a potential new customer. As you know, you only get one chance to make a good first impression and your website is your silent sales person working 24/7 to promote your business.
One of our biggest points of difference compared to other accounting firms is our marketing expertise. We can assist you with your branding (business name, logo and slogan), your corporate brochure and help you harness the power of social media to win more referrals. Over the past few years we have worked with dozens of clients to help them create affordable, quality lead generation websites that are responsive to smart phones and tablets. We can provide advice and guidance with your website content including video production and if your website lacks calls to action or lead magnets we'll help you build them. In addition, we'll introduce you to strategies like re-marketing and search engine optimization to drive more traffic to your website. If you aren’t using some of these marketing techniques your veterinary practice probably won't reach its full profit potential.
The marketing process begins with your branding and we have worked through the process with dozens of clients over the years and using some
online resources we can help you build a modern brand that resonates with your target market. We can even help you develop your stationery
at a fraction of the cost of engaging a graphic artist or marketing consultant.
Our role includes helping you understand the Four Ways to Grow A Business and in the process, identify the key profit drivers in your business. We can talk you through various profit improvement strategies and even quantify the profit improvement potential in your business. Our role is to make sure you don't leave any profit on the table.
The team of veterinary specialists at More Than Numbers offer veterinary surgeons a range of accounting, taxation and business coaching services including:
- Start-Up Business Advice for Vets
- Advice and Establishment of Your Business Structure
- Advice & Assistance with the Purchase or Sale of your Veterinary Clinic
- Spreadsheets and Tools including a Start Up Expense Checklist and Pricing Calculator
- Tax & Business Registrations including your ABN, TFN, GST, WorkCover etc.
- Preparation of a Business Plan, Cash Flow Forecasts and Profit Projections
- Accounting Software Selection and Training – Bookkeeping, Invoicing, Payroll etc.
- Preparation of Finance Applications for Banking Institutions
- Site Location and Advice Regarding your Commercial Lease
- Preparation and Analysis of Financial Statements
- Bookkeeping and Payroll Services
- Tax Planning Strategies
- Industry Benchmarking and KPI Management
- Marketing Advice including branding, brochures, website and social media strategies
- Advice and Assistance with the Development, Content and Website Search Engine Optimisation
- Wealth Creation Strategies, SMSF’s, Financial Planning & Retirement Planning Services
- Vehicle & Equipment Finance (Equipment and Clinic Fit Out)
- Monitoring Labour Costs & Advice regarding Employee Relations and Workplace Laws
- Advice regarding Claiming Motor Vehicle Costs
- Business & Risk Insurances
- Business Succession Planning
We strive to give our veterinary surgeon clients the same level of care that you give your pet patients and their owners. Vets have become a niche industry within our accounting practice and if you’re looking to get the right advice when starting, buying or developing your veterinary clinic, call us today on (02) 4389 7500.
If you're a committed and ambitious vet looking to accelerate your business success we invite you to book a FREE, one hour introductory consultation to discuss your business. You'll get practical business, tax, marketing and financial advice designed to help you build your business and grow your wealth. To book a time, contact us today or complete your details in the box at the top of this page. We look forward to helping you build a more profitable, valuable and saleable veterinary practice.