Category Archives: Newsletter

APL Accountants Latest News December 2019

APL Accountants Latest News December 2019


Most Vet Practices are not using email securely

Email has been around for a very long time, and how it gets used has changed significantly. The correct practices for email use today are vastly different from what would have been appropriate 10 years ago. However, most practices have not kept up to date, and we are still very surprised to find the following problems when we communicate with our clients:

  1. Your team still use private addresses
    This is probably the most common offence. Your team should all have their own email address set with the domain of your business. For example, if your website is at xyzvets.com then all your team should have their own @xyzvets email address.
    It is still very common for us to find that practice employees are using a ‘hotmail’ or ‘gmail’ email address for work communications
    Why is this so important?
    Firstly, all work communications are property of the veterinary practice. Imagine a legal dispute over an email communication that was sent to a private email address. What happens if that person no longer works for you?

  2. Your team all use a single shared email address
    Whilst this in itself is commonly done in a lot of businesses and does have some uses, it does not preclude each team member having their own email address as well. The communal email address should only be used for communications from your website and general enquiries, nothing else. If anything more was done with a communal email communication, then it would once again be impossible to establish which employee sent a communication that caused some problems.
    Why else is this so important? It’s a matter of security. You may or may not have noticed that a lot of cloud software systems such as facebook, mailchimp, trello, slack etc require an email address to log in and perform password recovery or password change. Essentially anyone who has access to that email address can recover and change the password. So imagine you have 10 employees and one of them leaves. If all 10 of these employees used this single email address to do jobs like log into your mailchimp system, or posting on your facebook business page, then you would have to remember to change the password on all these systems as soon as each employee left. Not doing so would mean the exiting employee would still have access to your data and the ability to change the password and lock the remaining  team out.
    What’s more, if for example the access is to the facebook business page, a malicious employee could post profanities on your facebook site and there would be no way of tracing back who did it –  yes, this has happened more than once.
    If on the other hand each employee had their own email @xyzvets.com, then simply disabling that email address would prevent malicious access and changing passwords that could lock the rest of your team out.
    You would still have to remove their access from the various sites like Facebook, however any malicious posts would clearly be tagged with the offenders name.

  3. Your practice still uses a generic email address:
    Although most practices how have a meaningful email address that is the same as their domain name. Probably about 20-30% do not. So if you still use xyzvets@hotmail.com, then you are long overdue a change.
    To get a professional email address is very easy these days. Personally we love Google Mail’s corporate offerings which allow you to link your website domain to your email and also manage email addresses for all your team. It’s very affordable and has a host of tools that are easy to use for security, backups and managing multiple email addresses.



           Christmas Closure

Our office will be closed over Christmas:

Business Advisory closed 20 December – 2 January, 8 – 14 January

Tax closed 20 December – 6 January

Bookkeeping closed 25 December – 6 January

Happy holidays!

Dog Tales!

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I’m feeling pretty smart today! I overheard a conversation in the office and even me the lowly sausage can dispense some knowledge here after more than 3 years pretending to sleep in the corner but actually being super alert.

The question was – does it matter if the buying group I am part of is owned by a competitor (eg. a corporate) as the only thing they will know is what I buy from the wholesaler? My floppy ears pricked up and I thought I bet it does matter as this is what I would know about your business after 3 years hanging around this office:

  • You do approximately x number of vaccinations
  • You have approximately y number of active clients
  • Your turnover is approximately z
  • Your clients buy a lot or a little of their preventatives and food from you

Then I stopped thinking about all the things I would know about your business and instead thought hmm I would like to open a clinic in that area, or I already have a clinic in that area and this is what special offers I will advertise to attract your clients.

Then I thought, why would any business owner want to give all this potential information to their competitor?

Tired out I went for a power nap in the sun…..

APL Accountants November 2019 News

APL ACCOUNTANTS LATEST NEWS


Do you know which of your vets brings the business profit up and which ones bring it down?

Register for our web event on a new way of reporting on individual veterinarian unitshttps://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_7WrURkctT7Cc9P4DeG-l4Q 

20 November

Let’s face it, if you have more than one veterinarian working then chances are one runs their work/day at a higher profit than the other, but until now, this has been impossible to measure accurately. 

You currently know how your business performs as a whole, but it’s made up of different vets and some will be bringing the business profit up (those that run at a higher profit than the business as a whole) and some will be bringing the business profit down – but by how much?! Each vet is actually a smaller business unit within the larger one. Now you can report financially on each of these small units to identify strengths, weaknesses and exactly how much profit each one is contributing.

Do you really want to ignore that vet that runs ‘their unit’ at a LOSS whilst you have others running at 20% profit? And yes, this is actually happening in a lot of veterinary clinics. If only you knew who they were and where they needed help. 

If you would like to find out more about ‘vet business unit’ reporting then register here for our live web event 20 November https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_7WrURkctT7Cc9P4DeG-l4Q

Joined B1G1 yet? Add ‘purpose’ to your business.


We will be running our first Veterinary hive web event for all veterinary B1G1 members on 13 November midday Qld time. If you have signed up to B1G1 and haven’t become part of our hive yet, please let us know so that we can add you to our list of invitees. If you are already part of our hive then look out for the link to register for this free event.

If you are interested in joining B1G1 then you can do so here https://b1g1.com/connect/APLACCTS If you sign up via this link then we know to automatically add you to our hive where we will set up a chat group and run regular web events to assist with implementation, share ideas on using giving to motivate your team and engage your clients.

Dog Tales!

Hackers are like dogs with a bone! Watch out for this text message.

I can’t believe how persistent hackers are! Just like me when I have a squeaky toy in my mouth, I won’t stop until I get all the squeakers. A hacker is similar to me and they will just stick to the task at hand as long as they get the occasional squeaky reward.

Last week we received a text message on one of the APL mobile phones:

“Westpac Alert – we have detected a potential issue and blocked your internet banking. Visit https://westpac.com.au.defaultxx-device.services to confirm your device”

Note that I have changed the address above slightly to prevent any of you accidentally placing your paws on it (I just added ‘xx’ after the word ‘default’). But if you were to go to that site, you would be asked to enter your username and password for your bank account. And that’s the squeaky toy that the hacker is looking for.

So some quick lessons in what to look for:

  • Firstly this is a text message not an email which indicates a higher level of sophistication, but the same hack can be achieved with both emails and text messages. Just because it came by text does not mean that it is safe
  • Then there is the sophistication of the actual address. Just because the address contains the words westpac.com.au does not make it safe! A legitimate domain name ENDS with the company name, in this case the company name is in the beginning. The true domain here is “defaultxx-device.services” – and a name like this can belong to anyone. So don’t just look for words in the link that make you recognise your bank name. And also note that this hacker can do the same for every bank in Australia.
  • Lastly, NEVER assume that your bank will send you a text or email that asks you for a username and password. They very rarely do this, usually they use 2 factor authentication which asks for a revolving PIN number or code. If you are in doubt, call your bank but never enter a username and password via a link in an email or text message.

So don’t let the hackers get the squeakers out of the toys, that’s a job for me!

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.

APL Accounting News October 2019

APL ACCOUNTANTS LATEST NEWS


A new service that will revolutionise the way you manage your practice!

Every vet working for you is essentially a micro business within your organisation – maybe we should be reporting on each one as a stand alone business.

As you may know, we meet up with many of our clients very regularly (every month or every quarter for most of you) to discuss your past few months business performance, look at whether you are successfully implementing strategies and project your next few months. 

However we have noticed that there is an essential ingredient missing – you see, most of our meetings eventually come down to the question of whether certain team members in multi-vet practices are struggling to succeed and apply the strategies, principles and vision of the business owner.

So for a long time we have envisioned the possibility of producing a completely objective financial report (essentially a profit and loss statement) for each individual vet working for you instead of just a single report for the entire business. This would make it possible to see whether certain individuals are actually losing money for the business whilst others are generating a profit. We call this ‘Business Unit Reporting’ – breaking down the business into units of production which then allows us to identify the problems in specific units. 

This is nothing new in the world of management accounting as most businesses can be broken down into a consistent unit of production, but until now nobody has been able to apply this successfully to the veterinary industry where a ‘business unit’ is a veterinary surgeon assisted by a component of support, reception and administrative staff.

Because we have the ability to get daily information from your practice management and bookkeeping systems (using Profitdiagnostix), we can now apply a consistent formula across all employed veterinarians and produce a profit and loss statement for each veterinarian. What’s more, we can do this for you without you having to complete any arduous questionnaires.

The results are astounding! We can see that many multi-vet practices have some ‘business units’ that are losing money whilst others in the same practice are generating health profits! And now we can pro-actively help these ‘business units’ do better – not only does this new reporting method show the financial aspects, it also shows all the key services that a veterinary surgeon performs and helps identify where the problem actually is:

Maybe it’s a billing problem, or a problem with service promotion, or a problem with consulting room technique? 

Once the problem is known and there is complete objectivity on the financial implications, you will be able to apply very specific training to the correct individuals who need it.

Business Unit Reporting is a new service that we will preview to many of our clients over the next quarter. If you meet with us quarterly, part of your next quarterly meeting will be a free taste of what this has to offer and then you can decide if you want to add this service to your current package.

For those of you who do not meet with us on a regular basis, if this is of interest to you please contact us now. It will revolutionise how you run your business.

Contact us now: admin@aplaccountants for your expression of interest.

Missed our B1G1 webevent?


Don’t worry, we have a recording here for you https://vimeo.com/360730758/3694e766a9

Listen in if you’re keen to make an impact on the world, engage your team and differentiate your business to clients. All B1G1 members that are part of the veterinary industry also get free membership to the APL hive, where we share ideas on implementation and team engagement using B1G1. All hive members also get a 50% discount for 12 months on veterinary business university https://vetbusinessuniversity.com/

Listen to the recording and then request a joining form by emailing admin@aplaccountants.com.au

Dog Tales!

Another year gone so time for our annual dental. We decided it’s better to go in together to keep each other safe and warm, and I just love tucking my butt right up against my bestie. Mom said I had to have dental xrays due to my poor mouth conformation and past history, but fortunately Dr Sam said Chica would have them too – standard procedure even for Grade 1. Look what they found!

A retained baby premolar which needed to be removed. Thanks Dr Sam for looking after my friend, my mouth was perfect just needed a clean (that makes a change!) So for those of you that don’t bother to xray the grade 1 dentals – please do, my bestie is happy she had a good work up and best care so please make sure you look after all our friends as well as what we get looked after as we rely on you to tell our parents what to do.

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.

APL Accounting News September 2019

APL ACCOUNTANTS LATEST NEWS


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.

APL Accounting News August 2019

APL ACCOUNTANTS LATEST NEWS

PreWorkshop Webevent

Remember to register for our web event  here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_xmh2JvuHT0eHvVbIorJ2lw

This is for all of you attending an annual workshop this year that has not attended at least two workshops before. In this web event we will explain your annual reports and it is essential to understand these before attending a workshop! If you can’t make the event live then register so you receive a recording.

Date Wed 21 August

Time Midday Qld 

Registration – https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_xmh2JvuHT0eHvVbIorJ2lw

Your Price list vs ‘True Pricing’

Traditionally, veterinary prices have been benchmarked by looking at a list of individual fees and deciding whether they are high or low compared to national averages

For example you could look at your consult fee and if it’s $5 below the national average then you could assume that increasing it by $5 will improve the financial performance of your business without the risk of customers feeling that you are overcharging.

The same concept can, and has been applied to numerous fees in the veterinary industry through a number of surveys that are conducted periodically. This has been done for fees for vaccinations, repeat consultations, radiography services, dentistry and many other common services in the industry, and at APL Accountants we maintain a list of such fees every year.

However it has been very apparent that for a lot of our customers, looking at a fee on it’s own is not enough. Taking the example of the consultation fee – in many cases a practice will increase their consultation fee but see no tangible improvement in business profitability. At APL Accountants, this year we are ready to address this issue, and we call it ‘True Pricing’. This is a concept that when combined with the traditional benchmarking of single fees will help practices identify significant revenue loss.

So how does ‘True Pricing’ work and what does it mean?

In terms of meaning, simple logic dictates that a single price on a list is irrelevant when compared to the total invoice value consisting of many items that is charged and paid for when a customer leaves the building.

The concept is simple, let’s look at the consultation fee again and not look only at the consultation fee, but what else has been done during the consultation. If we are able to look at the total invoice value of every invoice where a primary consultation was performed (rather than just a single item), then we would have a better idea whether or not the practice is promoting additional wellness products and  preventatives during their consultations. So this would include the consultation price plus preventatives, blood tests, cytology samples and any other diagnostics.

Not surprisingly, a practice with a consultation fee that is below average but that has a higher promotion of diagnostics can easily have the total invoice value higher than a practice that has a higher consultation fee but poor diagnostic service promotion. In this case we would say that the ‘True Price’ of a consultation is higher where more service promotion is consistently applied.

Likewise a practice with very high fees on their price list but a severe missed billing problem will also have a lower total invoice value – a lower ‘True Price’.

So this year, thanks to Profitdiagnostix, we are able to perform this analysis precisely on all our customers AND also have benchmark values for total invoice values as well as single fees.

What’s more, in the future we will likely be performing this analysis on each vet in the practice! Inconsistent billing is a very common problem even within practices where there can be a huge variance between clinicians in their ‘True Pricing’, and it is an issue that costs the industry millions of dollars in lost revenue every year.

In summary, one of the things to look forward to in ‘True Pricing’ is that we will be reporting on:

Primary Consultation fee price, Primary consultation total invoice value and then comparing both of these to a national average.

The same analysis is also currently being applied to:

Repeat consultations, vaccinations, radiography procedures, desexings, dentistry.

As we speak, this analysis is identifying lost revenue in a large number of practices so it will be one of the key topics of discussion at our annual workshops.

Practices that are already clients of APL Accountants and have Profitdiagnsotix will get this for free, but if you are not a customer, you can attend our workshops for a fee:

  • Sydney 27 August
  • Brisbane 6 September – This event will be streamed LIVE for remote practices if you don’t want to travel
  • Melbourne 29 October

If you are interested, reply to this email.

We look forward to seeing you there

Dog Tales!

We have a new friend in the office. A big welcome to Bill Eastgate who has joined us in the office to help with Profitdiagnostix.

Bill who has managed a veterinary practice for a number of years has joined the dogs in the office and has a very similar job description to us doggies: 

  • We crunch doggie treats while Bill crunches numbers in Profitdiagnostix.
  • We come running to customers, tails wagging when they offer us a treat, and Bill runs to web meetings with customers when they offer him a Profitdiagnostix problem to solve.
  • We go to doggie school twice a week to learn tricks, Bill has been going to ‘Vet Business University’ and learnt all the APL Accountants tricks of the trade.

Note also that Vet Business University is available at a very reasonable price for all vets to learn the ‘tricks of the trade’ – go and have a look at www.vetbusinessuniversity.com

I think us doggies (particularly Strudel the sausage dog) are going to enjoy having Bill around.

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.

APL Accounting News July 2019

July 2019 www.aplaccountants.com.au

End of Year Payment Summaries

We are sending this newsletter out just before the end of June, because we want to make sure you have got your payroll organised!!

If you haven’t yet registered for single touch payroll do it right now – before you carry on reading this. If you are on xero here is how – https://central.xero.com/s/article/Set-up-Single-Touch-Payroll-STP

If you are on Single Touch Payroll then you no longer need to go through the laborious and tedious process of payroll summaries for your staff. Simply finalise your data in payroll before 31 July 2019. Their information will be available to them in myGov. https://central.xero.com/s/article/Finalise-Single-Touch-Payroll-data

Whilst we are thinking about payroll remember that the award will increase from 1 July 2019 – make sure you update the hourly rate for any employees that this affects.

Worried about the safety of YOUR data in YOUR practice management system?

You know how much we worry about your data and making sure that you own it and bigger companies don’t steal your information and use it! In order to assist independent veterinary clinics so that you know that you own your data and you don’t have an unforeseen event like what happened in the USA –  https://news.vin.com/VINNews.aspx?articleId=51953 we have approached a legal firm in Australia who has drafted up simple terms and conditions that you should ask your software provider to sign. The legal firm kindly donated half the money from our invoice to plant trees in Borneo for Orang Utans through our favourite charity B1G1 (yes there are some nice lawyers out there!)

If any of you (and that should be all of you) want to make sure that you own your data and not some big company then feel free to email us (admin@aplaccountants.com.au) and ask for a copy of the terms and conditions that you should insist on your software provider signing.

Don’t be embarrassed to protect your business and don’t bury your head in the sand like an ostrich and wait until it’s too late.

Annual Client Workshop

Have you booked a date yet? If not book soon as spaces are limited at some venues:

  • Sydney 27 August
  • Brisbane 6 September – This event will be streamed LIVE for remote practices if you don’t want to travel
  • Melbourne 29 October

These workshops are open to non-APL clients for a fee and free to existing APL clients. Email admin@aplaccountants.com.au if you are interested in attending.

Details of the workshop are at http://www.myvetexpert.com/

Annual Benchmark Checklist

Complete your checklist after 30 June 2019 and send it back to admin@aplaccountants.com.au 

We can’t compile your annual report until we have your checklist, download it here:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/iiovy06e04y03gw/2019%20Benchmarks-%20Year%20End%20Questionnaire%20%281%29.docx?dl=0

How did you do on vaccinations?

We know we have missed the last couple of days of the month in our anxiety to get the payroll information to you, but we will add a little on to our donation to compensate. You hopefully remember we were monitoring your vaccinations over May and June. This is how you did:

May 14,258
June 13,042

Thanks to you doing all your vaccinations we will be donating for over 27,000 days of vaccination protection against Rabies for dogs in Nepal.

Dog Tales!

They’ve packed their bags and left us. Where’s the chicken they promised to leave in the fridge for lunch time training? We were sorry to see Venessa and Debbie leave this month, not only will we miss Daisy and Stella but Venessa was the best at sneaking us some food at the lunch table and Debbie often used to give mom and dad some chicken so we could show off our tricks and dancing over lunch. Paws crossed their replacements will spoil us and hope they do a good job of spoiling you too!

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.

APL Accounting News June 2019

 

Need to call us?

We would like to make it as easy as possible for you to get hold of us, without waiting to be put through to somebody or leaving messages to be called back. As you can imagine, it gets very difficult to make contact once you go into consultations or operating theatre. You can book us directly on the same day at a time you know that you will be available and so will we. So we are saying ‘no’ to the inefficiency of phone tag and ‘yes’ to direct bookings for phone calls where we will call you at your chosen time.


This way we are completely focused on you and your call.

For clients that need to speak directly to Anne or Paolo then just book a 10 minute call on our calendly link, that way we don’t play phone tag.

For Anne:  https://calendly.com/anne-apl

For Paolo: https://calendly.com/paolo-lencioni

For Bookkeeping and Payroll queries: https://calendly.com/bookkeeping-payroll

For Profitdiagnostix queries: https://calendly.com/profit-diagnostix

You will also find these links on our website under Contact Us

 

APL Web Masterclass

Our final web masterclass for the 2019 Financial year is on 19 June. Here we will have Chris Harris discuss some common queries client ask us regarding paying their team and making sure they are within the rules of FairWork. They will also be answering any of your questions so make sure you sign up here https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Ub1k6ewyRH2-Ri65u05wwQ

 

Improving Vaccinations – how are you doing?

Just a reminder that May and June are vaccination focus months for us. For every vaccination you do we will be donating through B1G1 for dogs in Nepal to be vaccinated against rabies, so get your vaccination numbers up! Check for those patients that have lapsed, make sure reminder systems are working and check the histories of every patient you see for current vaccination status. Most importantly remind your team!

 

End of year payment summaries

You will need to issue end of year payment summaries to all of your employees before 14 July 2019.  If you are on Single Touch Payroll you will not have to issue payment summaries as such, however you will still need to close off your payroll and file electronically with the ATO.

If you use Xero, see https://central.xero.com/s/article/Finalise-Single-Touch-Payroll-data for instructions on how to finalise the payroll for end of year.

Employees will need a MyGov account to access their payroll information if their employer is using Single Touch Payroll.

Superannuation contribution reminder

Final call for any salary sacrificed super top ups! Remember the cap this year is $25,000 including super guarantee so check with your superfund what they have recorded as your current contributions for 2019. This top up needs to be done no later than 20 June to ensure the money makes it into the fund on time. Also remember to get your staff superannuation paid around 20 June for it to be a deduction in the current financial year.

Dog Tales!

I am very proud to be able to run my courses and get over all the hurdles I face! It didn’t happen without consistent training, repetition and some failures. Does your business also face some hurdles where a bit of training and repetition could help? If so, check out https://vetbusinessuniversity.com/ Here you’ll find my persistent trainer, along with other determined trainers, have put together some really useful educational material to help train you and your team to get over your business hurdles. If they can train me, a naughty sausage, to run clear rounds on an agility course imagine what they can do for smart veterinarians like you!

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.

APL Accounting News May 2019

May

The dates for our client workshops are as follows:

Tuesday 27 August –  Sydney
Friday 6 September –  Brisbane plus web streaming for this event if you prefer not to travel.
Tuesday 29 October – Melbourne

Book a date with us, some venues have limited spaces!

ATO Natural Disaster Relief

If you were affected by the North Queensland flooding in January and February 2019, you may be eligible for a payment and lodgement extension to 31 May 2019 with the ATO.

For full details and the postcodes affected vist the ATO here.

APL Web Masterclass

Just another reminder we have a web masterclass planned each month focusing on a different strategy to improve your best practice performance, staff engagement, and your clients overall experience. Each month our masterclass will focus on one thing and we will be recording your results using Profitdiagnostix to see how well you perform.

We will be selecting a charity through B1G1 and making a donation to the chosen charity for the month based on your performance.

15 May Improving vaccination numbers

Repeat Consultations – how did you do?

For all the repeat consultations performed in April we will be giving orphaned children in Thailand access to educational books.

And according to Profitdiagnostix, our wonderful veterinary family has performed 6,102 repeat consults for the month of April – so that will be 6,102 days of access to educational books – well done.

Of course, in case you did not remember, or even worse if you did not attend our wonderful web event with TEDX speaker Paul Dunn, each attendee raised money for 100 meal deliveries to school children in India – and there were 300 attendees, so that makes 30,000 meals delivered.

Paul, a global business advisor spoke about ‘customer experience’ and connecting to customers in the context of a Veterinary business.

If you could not make it, watch the web event here:https://vimeo.com/330943393/1dee07b15b . Or even get your team to watch it, Paul is a fun guy to listen to.

And of course Paul would love to see some vet clinics join the hundreds of other businesses using B1G1 (https://www.b1g1.com/businessforgood/new-sign-up/) to connect to their customers using the power of giving. Let’s face it, if we can do it as boring accountants, then so can you as a funky vet practice.

Superannuation Contributions

As 30 June is steadily approaching you may want to check out your superanuation contributions so that you can make the most of any tax deductions.  The concessional contributions cap for any age remains at $25,000 this year, so if you have thought about topping up your super now is a good time to do it.

Please keep in mind that the contributions you paid last year in June 2018 may have taken until July 2018 to hit your account so you may want to order a statement from your super fund to make sure you include those contributions in any calculations for your 2019 financial year.

If you are unable to top your super up this year, the ATO has introduced carry-forward concessional contributions from 1 July 2018.  This means if you were only able to put $20,000 into your super for 2019 financial year, then you will have an extra $5,000 that you are able to top up with in 2020 financial year (on top of the $25,000 cap for 2020) if you choose to.

The first year you can use this will be the 2019-2020 financial year but only if you have a superannuation balances of less than $500,000. Unused amounts are available for a maximum of five years, and will expire after this. For more information click here.

The Vetprac workshop for buyers and sellers – Brisbane dates

If you are wanting to buy or sell a veterinary business in the next 12 months this workshop is for you!

Exit Strategies 24 May https://www.vetprac.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Exit-Strategy_2019.pdf

How to buy 25 May https://www.vetprac.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Buyers-Seminar_2019.pdf

If any of you are attending we’ll see you there!

Dog Tales 

After having a ring for Chica for over a year before he prophosed – Studel has finally wed the girl of his dreamphs. Their vowphs were exchanged in a phmall beachside town in a quiet intimate ceremony. Chica has promised to love and cherish him, his over bite, missing tooth, inability to prononce an ‘s’ and all the other quirks that come with a sausage dog. She snagged a good one … (See what I did there?)

Our Profit Diagnostix wizard/bookkeeper Deb also got married recently.  Congratulations to her and her new husband!

APL Accounting News April 2019

April

Reminders

The dates for our client workshops have been released 

Tues 27 August –  Sydney
Fri 6 September –  Brisbane plus web streaming for this event if you prefer not to travel.
Tues 29 October – Melbourne

Book a date with us and mark one of these off on the calendar as more details will follow soon!

APL Web Masterclass

Just another reminder we have a web masterclass planned each month focusing on a different strategy to improve your best practice performance, staff engagement, and your clients overall experience. Each month our masterclass will focus on one thing and we will be recording your results using Profitdiagnostix to see how well you perform.

We will be selecting a charity through B1G1 and making a donation to the chosen charity for the month based on your performance.

Mark these dates in your calendars as they are events not to be missed! 

  • 17 April – Improving the client experience with a 4 times TEDx speaker
  • 15 May Improving your number of vaccinations

Consultation results for March

March was all about  consultations and was complimented with a great web event on consultations. We also wanted something special to happen when your practice performed consultations – and so for every 250 consultations performed by our wonderful client base, a rescued animal in Nepal also received a consultation and some much needed medical help. All this thanks to b1g1.com which allows us to combine a ‘giving experience’ with your business performance.

By the end of March, 150 animals in Nepal were given access to much needed medical care – so well done.

In April we will be focusing on Repeat consultations, and this was preceeded by our web even just a few days ago on Repeat consultations.

As repeat consultations are all about client education on the value of ongoing monitoring, we thought it fit to tie the experience in to something educational. So let your team know that in April, every repeat consultation they perform will go towards giving access to educational books to orphaned children in Thailand. We are hoping that our wonderful customer base will perform more than 6000 repeat consultations in April.

ATO paper Activity Statements

The ATO had previously granted some clients a temporary exemption from lodging their monthly activity statements electronically.  The exemption was given to allow these clients to transition to lodging online.

This exemption is no longer in place and activity statements will need to be lodged electronically once an activity statement is lodged electronically through the following:

– online services for agents

– practitioner lodgement service (PLS)

– portals

– Standard Business Reporting (SBR) enabled software

– when a client links their myGov account to the ATO

For more information click here.

Single Touch Payroll (STP)

If you employ 20 or more employees you should already be using STP as this was introduced by the ATO from 1 July 2018.  If you employ 19 or less employees you will need to begin using STP from 1 July 2019 if you haven’t already. 

Top Tip:  If you start using STP before 30 June 2019 you will not have to prepare payment summaries for your employees for this year.

If you use Xero you would have noticed a big white box in your payroll screen. Seriously, you can’t miss it!  To get things moving with STP click “Get started” then follow the on screen instructions.  Connection will require a call to the ATO however this is fast and painless (like ripping off a bandaid!). Make sure to have an ATO document ID within reach – usually a document number on a BAS or IAS is enough. This is to prove you belong to the entity and will also hinder random strangers setting up the STP for you.

In your Xero payroll code setups you will need to make sure your codes (which will be most codes) are ticked to be reportable at W1 on the IAS and/or BAS form.

Once you are connected to ATO, checked your codes, you are ready to lodge your payroll electronically and say goodbye to end of year payment summaries – and who doesn’t want to do that!?

Employees will be able to log in to their myGov app and see year to date tax and super information. When the employee’s income statement (previously payment summary) is tax ready, they will receive an inbox notification on their myGov app.

For employers more information can be found by visiting the ATO.

For employees more information can be found by clicking here.

Dog Tales 

Well, this newsletter has proven to be drier and more bland than store brand kibble.  Next month it needs to be livened up!  To make the APL tails wag in this office please send us some theme ideas for the newsletter.  It would make it more exciting for us to write, and no doubt more exciting for you to read.

Some of our personal favourites were Halloween, The Ekka, Boy Bands, Bon Jovi and most recently Queen.  Some of these themes and absolutely pawfect puns have been so stealth we didn’t even realise we had thrown them in until after we published!  True literary masterpieces.

Treats all round!

Strudel, Chica, Stella & Daisy.

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.

APL Accounting News March 2019

March

New equipment write off amount for small businesses

For once something in your favour! All small businesses (turnover less than $10 million) can now write off new equipment costing up to $25,000 (up from $20,000). This is until 30 June 2020. Remember this means that the full amount is a deductible expense (reducing profit and therefore your tax) rather than the depreciation amount of the item (which is only a small amount each year).

Who owns the data in my practice management system

You would be surprised to know that there are no laws in place to deal with the issue of data ownership! Intuitively one would think that if you have a list of customers, their contact details, some clinical notes and a whole lot of billing history, that the ownership of that information would rest with the business that deals with the customers.

Unfortunately this may not always be the case, and software providers sometimes feel that they have the right to either ‘lock’ practices out of their data OR even use the data for their own marketing purposes – yes their own purposes.
If you don’t believe us read this article published by Vin News, you may have thought we were overthinking things last year when we kept on at you about your data, well in fact it seems in many cases it’s not your data

https://news.vin.com/VINNews.aspx?articleId=51953

The question is, what should you do about it?

Personally, we feel that the veterinary industry has to get on top of this problem quickly. I would approach my software company (or new software company) and see whether their terms and conditions contain clauses that:

1. disallow them from using your data to directly approach customers (pet owners) for any reason whatsoever without your consent each time.
2. disallow them from selling your data or giving your data to any other parties where a conflict of interest may arise eg. provide your pet food sales data to a pet store to identify areas where there are high pet food sales through vets. If any market research is to be performed, you need to give your consent.
3. allow you unrestricted access to all your financial, customer, patient and reminder data – so that they cannot ‘lock you out’ of using this data the way you want to, to improve your business.

Move away from providers that are not proactive about your data – there has never been a better time to change software with so many new and modern systems available.

Don’t let your data get turned in to ‘doggy-doo’

There has been a huge amount of movement in the last few months with practices changing software.
Like it or not, in the modern business environment, you have to embrace progress, and at APL we are all about helping you do this and encourage practices to move to newer systems.

We would however like to issue a very strong warning about how your data gets transferred from your old practice management system to your new one!
We have had some clients in the last few months that have been caught out by very poor data migrations so we think that you need to be aware of the process and impact that this can have on your business.

Generally, your new software provider will do a ‘test’ data conversion and get you to review and approve it –  it is YOUR responsibility to do this properly.
In practices where this has gone wrong, the business owners have simply not given the converted data an adequate review because they probably did not know what to look for. Simply looking at your customer list and a few consults is NOT enough!

Here is what needs to be assessed and what goes wrong if it is done incorrectly:
1. All your customers, their contact details and patients need to be there – and they usually are because this is the most simple part of a data conversion.
2. All your clinical notes need to be present with the correct dates – this is obviously important because you need this to apply consistent care to patients. Again, this is normally transferred correctly.
3. People that owe you money (debtors) – many data transfers spend a lot of time getting this correct, to the point that they are prepared to ignore other more important issues in the data transfer.  Business owners also put a lot of emphasis on this, but the truth is, for a normal small animal practice, the number of debtors is reasonably low and in many cases it is easy enough to manually transfer debtors into the new system as this can be done in a couple of hours.

Unfortunately, this is as far as most practices check their data, but its not enough.

4. All your invoices have to be present with the correct date. This is not only a legal requirement, it is also essential because without this you will be unable to monitor historic trends for your business. Imagine not knowing for 2 years after changing software whether your practice is invoicing more or less than last year, or whether your customers are spending more or less.
5. All your invoice items (the various products and services on each invoice) have to be present and tagged with the correct staff member and date. Without this you will lose the ability for 2 years to accurately monitor staff members performance eg. is Dr Dolittle’s average invoice value more or less this year vs last year. How many consults has Dr Dolittle been doing over the last 12 months vs Dr Who.
6. The total of all your invoice items over the year should roughly be the same as the total sales in your accounting software – this is a legal requirement should the tax office decide to audit your invoices.
7. Are all your vaccination reminders and triggers for these reminders present (sending and setting)? As soon as you start using the new system, you will need to be SENDING out reminders to patients who have had certain services such as vaccinations about 1 year ago – have these been transferred to the new system. Also, as soon as you invoice a vaccination in the new system does it SET a reminder sometime in the future correctly? A poorly run reminder system costs a practice $60,000 per vet per year – make sure that this is correct.

A few other things that you should expect:
A lot of business owners complain that “the data transfer did not transfer all my documents and templates”. The reality here is that older systems handle this sort of data very differently to newer ones and in many cases it is impossible to transfer this data across automatically – it has to be done manually. So prepare yourself for this as it varies between the software companies whether they do it or they expect you to do it.
What about things like digital xrays and laboratory reports? Again the way this is stored in different systems is highly variable and in some cases very difficult to transfer automatically. Sometimes the only solution is to keep these on the old system as a reference and look them up in the old system if needed. If this is important to you remember to ask the new software provider whether they can do it.

So where have we seen things go wrong?
Most of the data transfers we see will corrupt every single invoice and invoice item in terms of dollar value and date – this is the most common issue.
Second of all, most data transfers will not get all the reminders and all the triggers to set future reminders correct. Consider now if both of these scenarios are present – all historic vaccination dates are incorrect and you have no future reminders set – you can no longer even look back at a patient history to see when they had a vaccination and correct this manually. Say goodbye to $60,000 for each vet you have!
Finally, these incorrect data transfers leave the practice flying in the dark. Your most important KPI – how many active clients you have, relies on a 2 YEAR average of invoices and invoice dates. This means your most important KPI will be inaccurate for 2 years! The same applies for average client spend per year.
Other metrics such as average invoice value, revenue for each vet, how many consultations/vaccinations/ repeat consults you did in summer last year vs this year will also be incorrect.

So what should you do if you intend changing to a more modern system?
Simply, you need to assess your test data migration properly based on the above points. If you sign off on a bad data transfer, it’s your own fault, don’t blame the software company.
If you get stuck, contact APL Accountants and we will help you and advise you.

You made something special happen in January and February! 

January and February were all about being observant and looking carefully at those Xrays. And our enthusiastic APL clients took 1600 radiographs in January and about 1300 in February – 2900 in total were the number of patients radiographed.

And with each patient being radiographed, something special happened ti a child in Africa – they got a dose of vitamins, including vitamin A, which will help their eyesight. They may never have to look at a radiograph, but at least now they can continue to read and learn.

Thanks to our partners B1G1.com for making this type of global impact possible by using their apps.

Here are the results for radiography volume in the profession over a year – beats us why it fluctuates so much!

Dog Tales – too many bits and bytes

Really?! The whole newsletter had a technology focus!

We dogs don’t really care much about tech. It’s not our fault, our noses are wet so when we type with them, the keyboard goes snotty and breaks after just one day’s use. So to us, anything about computers and tech is meaningless ‘bits and bytes’. But we do understand the concept of ‘ownership’, each of us owns a number of human slaves for example. So the concept of data ownership is something we can relate to and feel fiercly protective about.

Don’t let the PIRATES out there steal what is rightfully yours!
If they try, let us know and we might byte their bits – that’s the sort of tech we can relate to!

Daisy below showing that she is serious about byting some bits

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.

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