23 Dec 3 Pieces of Advice for New Physician Owners (From an Accountant!)
We asked Laura Goodman, CPA, CHBC what three pieces of advice she would give to a new physician-owner of a practice about managing their business. Here are her thoughts…
Advice for new physician owners:
1. Outsource your practice’s billing.
Laura suggests you consider outsourcing your billing when you start a new practice. There are so very many moving parts to managing the business of a practice. This piece is critical to the success of your practice. You can’t afford to do your billing in house at this stage because you can quickly get under water if your billing staff isn’t up to par. You need to have collections starting as soon as possible because you have to pay salaries and overhead from the first day of practice. You can’t risk a delay due to incompetent billers or glitches within your billing system. Trusting a third party expert with this piece is a smart way to go early on.
2. Don’t have dreams of grandiose settings.
Laura has often seen practices that started out too big too fast. In the early stages of their business they haven’t established a patient base that justifies the high rent and expansive square footage. You’ll want to establish an office that fulfills your business needs, but the smartest doctors have the smallest offices. If you plan to grow, adding physicians and patients to your practice, consider this in your decision making, but don’t establish a sizable, well-appointed office that you can’t fill with patients.
3. Establish your triad of advisers.
Owning your business does not mean that you must achieve all of the answers on your own. In the planning stages, before you establish your practice, identify your banker, your accountant, and your lawyer. Good advice from each of these professionals should be of great assistance in the planning stages, and throughout the life of your business, and these relationships are most successful when the professionals work together as your team. Consider forming relationships with professionals who have specific medical practice experience, as they will have particular understanding of the nuances of your business.
Laura Goodman, CPA, CHBC is a Partner at FGMK, LLC and has provided accounting, tax and financial management services to closely held healthcare and real estate businesses for more than 25 years. Her expertise includes tax structuring and transaction planning, strategic business consulting, financial statement reviews, and complications, operation reviews and personal tax planning. She regularly handles consulting engagements for medical practice management, practices sales and mergers and start-up medical practices. She also analyzes cost segregations and forecasts for clients entering into new construction projects and those embarking on new business ventures.