APL Accounting News December 2015

A single consistent business reporting platform for the entire industry – it makes total sense! So APL Accountants has secured exclusive distribution in Australia.

From the day we signed on our first client at APL Accountants, we knew that one of the greatest challenges in the industry was going to be the creation of consistent KPI’s and business performance reports.

As you have probably already realised, reporting in the various practice management systems is very inaccurate and this can lead to poor business decisions and poor implementation of business strategies, both of which carry expensive hidden costs.


APL Accountants has now secured the exclusive distribution agreement for this platform in Australia. Many of you have already been briefly introduced to the beta version of this product over the last few months (which was just the tip of the iceberg), but now the system is going to be released into full production.

After working for 2 years with accomplished software producer Bee Village, APL has now secured an exclusive distribution agreement for Australia. We hope that all our clients will benefit from the big discounts that we will give you for the product because it’s going to make the tracking of your business performance absolutely awesome!

What’s more, the system will be supported by our friendly APL team, so you will be able to call us for help in setting up the system.

To show you the absolute power of this system, let’s look at an example. Paolo, our ‘in house’ geek accountant who has been working very closely with the development of the software took the report builder for a test drive to see if it could resolve one of the most common inaccuracies in the business reporting world.

Below is an example of the chart he built in about 45 minutes (if you can’t see it, simply click on this link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-IqCw_AddQ8cXg0cmhjS0NuWTg/view?usp=sharing )

The first problem in the industry is with one of the most important KPI’s – ‘active clients’. The ‘active client’ is poorly defined and needs to be driven by both a time period and a behaviour. The chart above shows the active client trend in a test clinic over a period of 12 months.

With regards to time period: What time period has to lapse before a client becomes inactive? Some practice management systems use 12 months, others 18 months. The period per se is irrelevant, but if you want to compare your business’s active clients to that of a colleague, then it is essential that you compare results from the same period. Having multiple businesses using the SmartVetApp will assure that the reports are built in the same way. We have used a 12 month period (any client not visiting for 12 months is inactive). Incidentally, if you ask your software provider what period they use for their reports, most of them won’t even know!

With regards client to behaviour: What behaviour makes a client ‘active’. This area gets EXTREMELY murky and unpredictable in all practice management systems. In most systems, any activity on the client record will re-activate them. For example if you type in the clinical notes ‘Client has moved away’, the entry into the history field will make the system assume the client is re-activated. This is obviously wrong. Likewise, if a client returns a product for a refund, they are reactivated. We believe that the only behaviour that should tag a client as re-activated or current is if they have spent some money. We were happy to see that in the SmartVetApp this criteria could be established, and also surprised to see that when compared to the reports from the practice management systems, this caused a difference of over 10% in active client numbers.

Paolo was able to build a report (green line on the chart) showing a slowly declining number of active clients in the test clinic. Paolo wanted the visual chart be accompanied by a table with the data, and this was easily achieved (as can be seen on the screenshot).

Then we decided to put the second and even more complex reporting issue to the test. The problem of full time equivalents! As you all know, the only way you can compare 2 clinics in a metric like active client numbers is to bring it back down to full time equivalents – this is the only way you are able to compare results with a colleague who is unlikely to have a clinic that is exactly the same size as yours.

Because SmaartVetApp in this test practice was also pulling information from Xero, we were able to produce the second series of data (the brown line) – and very valuable data it is indeed! This line showed the ‘active clients per full time vet’. Wow! Suddenly one of the most challenging problems of reporting in the veterinary industry could be resolved in 45 minutes. And the same result could be achieved regardless of whether the practice is on RxWorks, Vetlink, Openvpms, Vision, Cornerstone or BeeFree.

The last piece of the puzzle was that Paolo would like to notify both himself (as the business advisor) and the business owner of this trend in active clients AND also make sure that the same updated report gets emailed to both parties at the end of every month. He could easily achieve this by setting the SmartVetApp notifications to email this report at the end of every month to both parties.

We are sure that you will agree that this is ground breaking progress for the veterinary business industry and are extremely happy to announce that all our clients will have access to this system at a reduced rate.  There is still a bit of work to be done in connecting to a few more practice management systems, but we already cover almost all of the APL client base (BeeFree, OpenVPMS, RxWorks, VetlinkSQL, Vision, Cornerstone).

With regards to accounting software SmartVetApp is only in full production with Xero (Quickbooks and MYOB Online are in a test phase). Most veterinary practices use Xero, and we would advise switching to Xero in preference to any other product because of its ease of use, however, users of Quickbooks (note not Reckon) and MYOB Online are welcome to contact us as we will be releasing the capability for these systems very soon.


Free Webinar worth attending

Many of you already know Gary Turnbull and Paul Ainsworth, but for those of you who don’t:
Gary is an ASAVA accredited practice owner and speaks regularly on the topic of dentistry and leadership. Paul is former CEO of Australia’s fastest growing company (#1 BRW Fast 100) – they are now co-principals of the Lincoln Institute. There will likely be some worthwhile pearls of wisdom at this webinar particularly in the areas of leadership and delegation, two areas that are becoming increasingly important in running a successful business.

WHEN – Thursday 10 December 2015 at 8pm AEDT

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE – 60 minutes (plus Q&A)

WHERE – Online… from the comfort of your home or office – you just need a computer

WHAT IS THE COST – This Webinar is free (for the first 50 to register so be quick).

Click here to register:


Gary will be revealing his story – how a chance introduction resulted in profound changes to his approach to his team – leading to two years of continuous break-through results and ultimately leaving him with the freedom to live his life as he chooses – knowing he has retained 100% ownership of the nest egg in which he has invested so much time and energy.

The Introduction of new pack members – don’t forget to train and set expectations.

Zack is a dog who is a couch potato and has an unusual life experience. His owners who were once exciting vets have now become boring accountants. They used to bring him into the exciting vet practice every day, now they bring him into a boring accounting office every day. This gives him a unique dog’s eye view on both professions.

Pictured above preparing for his Xmas job role by sleeping in an elf suit!

Aaaah, the idea of having a larger pack makes me happy! After all, I am a hunting breed and we usually like to go around in large groups, it’s so much more fun. Strangely enough, I often hear the humans at APL discussing issues where colleagues have found it difficult to introduce new pack members in their business.

I guess for me it’s never been that difficult because I have always (along with the rest of my pack), worked very hard at introducing members that are a good cultural fit and get along well. After all, what’s the point in having someone new if they are uncomfortable with existing pack members or if they make existing members uncomfortable.

Yes, cultural fit is very important. An example of my puppyhood springs to mind! At that time, our glorious pack leader sat and waited when being offered a treat and I remember asking ‘why do you do that?’ The response was ‘because it’s polite to the person feeding you, and being respectful and polite is the way we do things around here.’ From then on, I simply did the same because being in a polite pack just made sense and if you behaved otherwise, you were politely told that it was wrong. So the culture continues that nobody in our pack snatches and grabs at titbits. Needless to say everyone is so much happier as a result.

It has happened on occasion where newcomers have tested this concept and felt it was their right to push others away from the food bowl, but they haven’t lasted and soon move on to another pack – that’s the power of culture, an almost effortless system that selects for the correct fit if the existing members feel strongly enough about it.

With that thought, I will now go and pee on the grass, then politely sit and receive my ‘good boy’ reward for a job well done.

To make sure our whole pack get some R&R our offices will be closed from 18 December to 4 January!

Please Note: Many of the comments in this publication are general in nature and anyone intending to apply the information to practical circumstances should seek professional advice to independently verify their interpretation and the information’s applicability to their particular circumstances. In particular, please note that ‘Zack’ is a dog and does not have opposable thumbs so has to type with his nose.