Accounting for Medical Practitioners
Over the past decade, Paul Dobson and his team of accountants at SBG Accountants & Business Advisors have mentored dozens of medical practitioners through the various stages of their business life cycle – from start up right through to sale of their medical clinic.
Our clients include a number of health care professionals including general practitioners, physiotherapists, dentists, osteopaths, optometrists as well as specialists and surgeons. We recognise the fact that running a medical clinic is very demanding and dealing with public health issues can be very stressful. 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 medical practice and a number of our doctors and dentists operate through a service trust arrangement.
As a medical professional we recognise you want to grow your profits and your wealth which explains why a number of our GP’s, specialists, physiotherapists and dentists have a self managed superannuation fund (SMSF) built into their tax structure. If you want to know more about starting a SMSF download our e-booklet, Thinking of Starting a SMSF from the resources section of our website.
STARTING A MEDICAL CLINIC
Having mentored hundreds of clients through the start-up phase of their business, we have earned a reputation as business start-up specialists. If you are looking to start a medical clinic or buy into an existing practice, there are numerous issues to consider. These might include your business structure, tax registrations, insurances, software and of course, finance. As business advisors we can assist you in all of these areas plus provide advice on HR matters, payroll and the preparation of a business plan.
Over the past two decades our team of accountants have helped dozens of medical professionals get their business off to a flying start. We offer you experience, technical tax knowledge and most importantly, an intimate understanding of the medical professions.
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 and marketing. Your choice of business structure is critical and there are a number of different options such as sole trader, partnership, company and trust. When it comes to selecting the most appropriate tax structure for your business we always recommend you ‘start with the end in mind because Australian tax laws are complex and changing your business structure at some point in the future can trigger a capital gains tax event that could prove costly. Whenever we provide advice on business structures we always take into account issues like:
- Minimisation of Income Tax
- Maximize Asset Protection
- Allow for the admission of New Business Partners or Investors
- Comply with all Legal Requirements in your Industry
- Consider Future entitlement to Discount Capital Gains Tax Concessions
- Risk Profile of Your Industry (and trades are high
As a consequence, we often find the business structure is a compromise based on the relative importance of each of these issues.
Your choice of accounting software is another brick in your business foundations and up to date, accurate financial records let you to make informed business decisions. The wrong choice of software can be catastrophic and you need to match your business needs with your level of accounting skill otherwise you could end up producing ‘computerised shoebox’ records. This can cause frustration and extra fees which conflicts with our mission of helping you slash the cost of bookkeeping and compliance. Here at SBG Accountants, we want to be your accountant and business advisor, not an expensive bookkeeper. You’ll find we support a range of software options but do have a 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
broken down into various categories including:
- medical equipment
- professional advice and software
- information technology costs
- marketing and signage
- vehicle costs
This checklist will help you identify all your potential establishment costs and these figures then filter through to our cash flow budget template and allow us to produce a projected profit and loss statement for your first year of trading. These reports can also tuck neatly into our business plan template that is designed to help you secure funding from external sources like a bank.
Our business start-up checklist is another useful tool and through our affiliate partners we can also assist with vehicle finance (chattel mortgage, CHP or lease) and get you fleet pricing on your new car, ute or light commercial van that could save you thousands of dollars. Through another affiliate partner we can also help you source funds to finance your business purchase or medical equipment.
If you're starting a medical practice you don't need to reinvent the wheel as we have all the tools and resources to help you get off to a
flying start. We view the tax return as the start of the client process not the end and we can also do some financial modelling to quantify
your likely financial outcomes.
MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS
For small business owners, your marketing can be the difference between gloom, doom and boom.
Most medical practitioners rely on their reputation and referrals to grow their business. While these ingredients remain important, you need to shift your marketing focus online. Increasingly local searches like ‘Dentist South Melbourne’ 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 'online shopfront' and 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.
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.
The team of medical specialists at SBG Accountants offer GP’s, physiotherapists, osteopaths, dentists, optometrists and surgeons a range of accounting, taxation and business coaching services including:
- Start-Up Business Advice
- Advice and Establishment of Your Business Structure
- Advice & Assistance with the Purchase or Sale of your Medical Practice
- 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
- Income Tax Returns and Tax Planning Strategies
- Industry Benchmarking and KPI Management
- Marketing Advice including branding, brochures, website and social media strategies
- Wealth Creation Strategies, SMSF’s and Financial Planning Services
- Vehicle & Equipment Finance (Treatment Tables, Medical 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 are so much more than just tax Accountants. We are business advisors and profit builders who service the needs of a number of physiotherapists, doctors, dentists, osteopaths, pharmacists and doctors. We offer you strategies to grow your business, your profits and your wealth. Over the past decade medical practitioners have become a real niche within our accounting practice and if you’re looking to get the right advice when starting, buying or developing your medical practice or clinic, contact us today on (03) 9629 6744.
We invite you to book a FREE, one hour introductory consultation to discuss your business needs. You can expect practical business, tax, marketing and financial advice that could have a significant impact on your bottom line. To book a time, call us today on (03) 9629 6744 or complete your details in the box at the top of this page. Let's get to work ON your business so it is more profitable, valuable and saleable.