APL Accounting News September 2019


Keeping your team onboard

A number of you will have attended one of our workshops already with only one more to go in Melbourne. You should be focusing on your first strategy. Remember that you probably need to do something a bit different to get and keep your team onboard for the quarter, which is why we suggested using B1G1 – www.b1g1.com 

By using small charitable giving and linking it to your key strategy for the quarter it keeps the strategy in focus and remains on everyone’s mind for the quarter. It also differentiates your business to your clients. B1G1 makes this easy to do as you can set up your giving related to your strategy, have a ‘giving story’ you can add to newsletters and your website, tracks your giving (which also means tracking your strategy) and has some great add ons like a counting widget to put on your website.

Remember to let us know if you’re joining B1G1 as APL Accountants has started a ‘hive’ for all the veterinary businesses in Australia. As part of our hive you have a forum to communicate with other similar veterinary business owners that are linking their strategies directly to giving. Here you can discuss your implementations and other burning topics. We will also run web events for hive members to discuss their strategic implementation. Email us at admin@aplaccountants.com.au if you want further information.

Wages are increasing!

Having just completed this year’s round of annual reports we have now looked at the KPI’s for 2019. One of the most obvious changes is the increase in wages as a percent of turnover which for the first time ever has exceeded 40% (exclusive of superannuation payments).

This single metric has been steadily increasing over the last 3 years so the trend can no longer be ignored.

The wages increase is also accompanied with a drop in production pet veterinary unit – revenue generated by the average veterinary unit has dropped slightly.

We are pretty sure that this is not a problem exclusive to the veterinary industry – it seems quite obvious how many commercial properties are standing empty and how other small businesses are working shorter hours (or any extended hours are being performed by the business owner instead of salaried employees).

In the veterinary context, particularly for the independently owned practice, it’s not all doom and gloom because the average profitability of veterinary practices has not changed. It seems that most practices have been able to save money in other areas. It also means that it is exponentially harder for large corporates to operate in Australia where we feel wages alone without superannuation are higher than any other country where we have collected data. Add superannuation to the mix and you can see how tight the ship has to be run to maintain profitability.

Dog Tales!

We are slowly recovering from an overdose of poor staff engagement! Mom and dad have been travelling for client workshops and had some nights away from home. They know better than to leave us on our own all night – we have to have dinner, snuggles on the couch, toilet time, snuggles on the bed, breakfast, toilet time……so they paid our usual pet sitting company to have somebody stay over with from 6pm to 7am. Yes, a pet sitting company they have used for 8 years that has a policy of having the house occupied all night and sleeping on the bed with the dogs and dinner and breakfast for the dogs.

A newly employed pet sitter was going to look after us. She came for a visit a few days before and we decided she looked right for the job. She said and did all the right things so we didn’t complain, she seemed nice enough, did we get it wrong!

On the required date, she arrived, gave us dinner and took us for toilet time. 

However at 11pm she walked out in her party clothes and never returned. We cried a lot, barked a bit and crossed our legs thinking she would return, but we never saw her again. We were very lucky that she locked us in the office when she left us. Nurten and Joy on the bookkeeping team arrived for work in the morning, let us out, fed us and apologised on her behalf otherwise we would have been left locked up and hungry for 20 hours.

Suddenly we realised why everyone at work goes on about ‘staff engagement’ – clearly she was disengaged. She lied about her performance but the security cameras caught her out! We hope you are having better luck with your team, but remember things aren’t always what they seem!

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 informations applicability to their particular circumstances. In particular, please note that the APL dogs who often prepare this newsletter do not have opposable thumbs so have to type with their noses.