We know a lot about dental and veterinary practices. Our main focus is to ensure the profitability of growing veterinary and dental practices. We also help with the implementation of best practices right across the business. And if you’re just starting out or acquiring a practice, we really can help you make it the best start possible.

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16 Jul

A Silver Lining To Your Cloud

Posted by Mark McGaunn on Wednesday, July 16, 2014

This week, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella sent an email to his employees signaling changes in the company and describing its mission as the “productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first world.”  

He goes on to say, “We will reinvent productivity to empower every person and every organization on the planet to do more and achieve more.”

This email has inspired dozens of articles analyzing the business mogul’s deeper meanings, dissecting his words line by line.  Many responses have focused on Nadella’s plans for increased productivity which is of particular interest to me. 

As a CPA for niche markets including veterinary medicine, I work with dozens of businesses, start-ups, and newly acquired operations to ensure companies are operating at peak productivity.  To satisfy my customers’ needs, it is essential that I keep their bookkeeping, offices, and practices running smoothly so they can focus on their patients.  One way to do this is to stay informed about trends in the industry including the pending cloud conversion of all veterinary practice management software.

IBM Blogger and Account Chief Technologist Gery Menegaz recently noted in a blog page by IBM employees, among his top five predictions for cloud are an increased growth in the market, and increased innovation. 

He states, “Gartner expects (cloud) adoption to hit $250 billion by 2017.”

What does all of this mean for veterinary practices?    You might want to consider adopting a cloud based software system sooner rather than later.

Electronic medical record keeping is infiltrating hospitals and medical practices across the country.  Data released in May from the National Center for Health Statistics says one in four doctors used electronic record keeping for all of their work in 2012, up from just 4 percent in 2007.  Medical students should also take note.  A study by the University of Southern Florida claims, “Healthcare professionals with the skills and knowledge necessary to develop, implement, and manage IT software and applications in a medical environment are already in high demand, and the field is expected to grow.”   

Not only does this dictate a need for IT competency by medical and veterinary students, it speaks to the future of office management and the essentialism of adopting a technologically versatile software system to keep the business running and competitive.

The good news?  It will make life easier for your customers and staff.  The even better news?  We can install an excellent cloud based program for you, or convert your existing software. 

At McGaunn and Schwadron, we’re one of the very few US CPA’s who specialize in working with a cloud based accounting software called Xero, which produces beautiful reports and fast bank reconciliation. Xero enables your accounting data to be stored securely in the Cloud and accessible in real-time by you and us, from anywhere, anytime.  We have already converted some of our current clients to Xero and they are enthusiastic about the results. 

We would love to speak to you about Xero and encourage all of our current and future clients to consider adding this software to your business strategy.   We think Nadella would agree.

For more information please visit our webpage dedicated to Xero http://www.mcgaunnschwadron.com/service/xero-conversion-setup.  We also offer a 30 day trial, free.

 Mark J. McGaunn, CPA/PFS, CFP® leads the veterinary/dental/financial planning divisions at McGaunn & Schwadron, CPA’s, LLC and can be reached via mark@mcgaunnschwadron.com or (781) 489-6651.

08 Jul

Gums and Roses – How Music Can Improve the Patient Experience

Posted by Mark McGaunn on Tuesday, July 08, 2014

dental practice musicThe dentist office – or any physician’s office – can conjure extreme anxiety in patients.  Thirteen to twenty-four percent of people around the world experience it one time or another according to Anna MacDonald, Harvard Health Blog contributor. 

So how do you control the fear?  Well, according to experts, music is one of the easiest ways to calm a patient’s nerves in the waiting room or the dental chair.  A website dedicated to dental phobia called DentalFearCentral.org says music therapy has been mentioned in dental manuals starting in 1995.  Kayla C. Daly, MA, MT-BC, LMHC of Music Therapy Services of Worcester, talks about the physical effects of soothing tunes:

Recent research through evidence based methods like neural imaging, MRI's, blood pressure, respiratory and heart rate monitors, are able to show the calming effects that music has on a patient.  We tend to see a decrease in blood pressure, muscle tension, and heart rate in a matter of minutes.  However the significance of the style of music and whether or not it is familiar or unfamiliar to the patient make outcomes challenging to standardize due to the subjectivity (preferences) of the methods (music listening).

While each individual’s musical tastes are as individual as their dental records, experts recommend easy-listening genres that are enjoyed across a span of demographics and less polarizing than hard rock or pop music.  Music from the Beatles, for example, is well-known and enjoyed by many generations.

 Dentists can choose to filter music through their offices from a radio, personal CD list, iPod, or paid music services.  We just recommend turning the volume low in case one of these songs “sneaks” into the playlist:

1)  Everybody Hurts R.E.M

2)  I’ll Be Your Dentist Little Shop of Horrors

3)  Do You Really Want To Hurt Me Culture Club

4)  (Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth Metallica

5)  Ice Ice Baby Vanilla Ice

 Don’t forget, music is great, but laughter is the best medicine!

06 Jun

Remember George Carlin's classic comedy skit about the seven words you cannot say on the airwaves? I used to listen to the controversial Carlin when my parents weren’t home, and as a teenager was thrilled that somebody recorded a comedian actually saying the forbidden words. But a client said something to me last week that made me realize that in the veterinary industry an eighth word has been added to the list: profit.

I had driven north from my Boston office to meet with the client. One of the 40-year-old co-owners of the mixed animal practice walked into his manager’s office during a lull in the action and engaged in a philosophical discussion with me over the eighth word, profit. He said that somewhere along the line he had accepted the fact that profit was not a requirement in the veterinary medicine. Thankfully, his wife and co-owner had pointed out that without a profit, and one that was growing year after year, the expansion that had just been financed couldn’t be paid for. She was happy that her husband had finally listened to her (and me) after 3 ½ years, even though they had been discussing the same topic since opening their practice.

This was the first time I had ever heard somebody say firsthand what I had heard about many times second or third hand. I thought it was unique to veterinary medicine, and was surprised to discover the same sentiment elsewhere, even in rock & roll.

I was listening to Sirius XM in my car during tax season and heard Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley from the band KISS fielding questions in a town hall format before their Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction. One subscriber asked whether they were embarrassed by the mass marketing of thousands of KISS retail products: lunchboxes, dolls, etc. Gene is a particularly shameless self-promoter. He answered the question by saying that artists, and anybody that has a business, should not be ashamed to make a profit. In our 24/7 news world, you may not know that it took a band 10 years of playing bars and college festivals to secure a recording contract from a major label. Gene said that in the music business, professional sports, and other industries with potentially ephemeral life spans, you have to (a) generate profits to recoup all the expenditures and low-earning years during your rise to fame and (b) generate profits to compensate for a shortened high-earning career. I agree.

In the case of veterinary medicine, the long climb starts with college, then continues with veterinary school, internships, and low-earnings years. Veterinarians can take 10 years or more (probably more) to turn a profit. Sounds like a band playing the Sunset Strip night after night for a decade before finally scoring a record deal. You have to seize the opportunity as if it may be your last performance.

People who say that profit isn't an important part of a veterinarian practice forget that the vet is probably still paying off $162,000 in student loans many years after graduating. Shouldn’t the doctor be able to pay his daily living expenses and undergraduate student loans from his regular salary? Shouldn't she be able to use the profits from owning a veterinary practice to pay off vet school loans? Is it greedy to aim for additional profit for taking a chance on a risky endeavor (as every entrepreneurial venture has some potential for implosion)? We place companies like Beats by Dre, Starbucks, Apple, and Zappos on a pedestal and celebrate their financial and marketing achievements, their maniacal following, and their profits. Why can’t we celebrate the profits of a veterinary practice owner for providing a very valuable service?

Mark J. McGaunn, CPA/PFS, CFP® leads the veterinary/dental/financial planning divisions at McGaunn & Schwadron, CPA’s, LLC and can be reached via mark@mcgaunnschwadron.com or (781) 489-6651.

 

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