Would you perform a dental procedure in your sterile operating theatre?
We have noticed that a lot of practices are asking us and their software providers if they can integrate their practice management software with their accounting software. In fact this ‘feature’ is constantly being promoted by many software companies.
Whilst on the surface this may look like a good idea, we can assure you that currently this is more trouble than it’s worth – let’s explain why:
Your practice management system is a very busy piece of software and amongst doing a lot of other things, it acts as a cash register – the place where all payments are collected. As you know, it is not uncommon for frequent errors to be made when collecting payments and processing refunds, partly because the reception desk is a busy place and also because junior staff members are often expected to collect payments.
Allowing this process to directly impact your accounting software is a huge mistake because errors made in the busiest and most interrupted part of the practice can have a huge impact on the tax you pay for that month or quarter and the accuracy of your books – imagine paying an extra $5000 in GST for example simply because someone got something wrong at the cash register? Or even worse, having a ‘test’ record in your practice management system with invoices of $60,000 which if got pushed through to your accounts would result in $20,000 extra tax!
In veterinary terms, treat your accounting software like the operating theatre and your cash register (practice management system) like the prep room. Both are equally as important but the prep room is a multi tasking, busy area where lots of messy work needs to get done. The operating theatre needs to be quarantined from the prep room because the work there needs to be clean and accurate. You may get away with doing a dental procedure in the operating theatre, but you can also end up with a serious post operative complication in the next patient that would leave you wondering why you took the risk in the first place.
This is the reason why large retail chains like woolworths still cash up from their cash registers and then manage their accounting systems with bulk entries. Isolating the area where lots of mistakes can be made from the area where accuracy is imperative.