As we close the books on yet another year, now is a great time to start looking toward and planning for an even more profitable future. It’s also a time to secure your management info, wrap up any pending projects, update your fees and budgets and run those all-important year-end reports. As you work to tie up all those loose ends, here’s a quick checklist that will keep you organized and help you stay on task so you can end 2019 on a high note.
- Run your third quarter profit and loss statement and schedule a meeting with your accountant to review your numbers.
- Check with your accountant or tax professional to see what other data you’ll need to start gathering, such as proof of expenditures for tax write-offs.
- Start planning for any upcoming holiday closures. Most clients understand and expect veterinary practices to be closed on Christmas day and New Year’s, but if you’re planning on giving your team a little bit of extra time off, make sure you communicate this to your clients.
- If you’re a practice that sends out holiday cards or gifts, be sure to pay attention to delivery cutoffs. Be aware that you may need to pay extra for last-minute shipping if you want everything to arrive before the holiday.
- Start working on your budget for the upcoming year.
- Make sure any practice management software you have implemented is properly backed up and prepped for year-end processing that will need to take place on December 31st.
- If your practice does not utilize weekly or monthly cycle counts, start preparing for your end of year physical inventory count.
- If you are considering a fee schedule increase for the coming year, now’s the time to start getting everything ready (i.e. updating your systems to reflect the new rates, notifying / reminding clients, etc.).
- Review employee records to make sure everything is accurate and up-to-date. Have your team members signed for the receipt of their employee manual? Do they plan on making any changes to their payroll deductions? Have there been any changes to their personal information? Have your employees completed all necessary and mandatory training?
- Review your expenditures, like supplier contracts, utilities bills and insurance policies to see if there are any areas where additional savings could be captured. Ask for updated, competitive quotes and feel free to shop around for better rates elsewhere if necessary.
Now’s also a great time to revisit and possibly resurrect any projects that were put on the back burner in 2019. A new year is a fresh start and the perfect opportunity to breathe new life into ideas that you haven’t been able to capitalize on yet. If necessary, assign these projects or break them down into smaller milestones and divvy them out to specific team members so they’ll know what’s expected of them in the coming year.
End of year is also the perfect time to review all of the achievements your team and practice have accomplished over the past 12 months. Take some time to share these victories with your employees and recognize those who played a part in this year’s success.
And lastly, December is an important time in practice management because it’s the time you should be setting specific goals. Use this as an opportunity to identify ways everyone on the team can improve client service and patient care in the upcoming year and beyond. And don’t just do this by yourself. Ask the entire staff for their input. You’d be surprised at how much you’ll be able to innovate and accomplish when you put your heads together as a team.