By Margery Weinstein
Review of Optometric Business
Dec. 8, 2021
Financial management was not what you went to school for, so if it’s not where you most excel as a practice owner, that’s understandable. A new service from IDOC, Books & Benchmarks, is changing how doctors approach this challenging aspect of practice management, offering resources that simplify the financial bookkeeping process. Such help makes keeping on top of finances, so you can build a more profitable practice, much easier.
An Answer for Practice Owners Struggling to Keep Up with Bookkeeping
Launched in October 2021, IDOC Books & Benchmarks offers three key areas of bookkeeping help, according to IDOC Practice Financial Consultant Nathan Hayes and IDOC Financial Services Manager Hayley Stewart.
Monthly bookkeeping: IDOC will both categorize a practice’s transactions in QuickBooks and reconcile all banking and credit card statements.
Payroll support: Your practice will continue to run payroll on your normal schedule, but IDOC Books & Benchmarks provides back-end support, such as adding and dropping employees, ensuring contributions and deductions for benefits are correct, and supporting any related challenges that arise.
Benchmarks: IDOC will use the financial and payroll data from participating practices to report back profitability, cash flow and productivity benchmarks to show practices both how they are changing over time and how they compare to other practices using the service.
IDOC Books & Benchmarks is a fee-based service available to all independent optometric practices.
The service retails for $550 per month, with an IDOC-member discounted price of $450 per month for a single location, and a $500 setup fee to migrate the practice’s current financials to the IDOC Books & Benchmarks platform and chart of accounts. There are additional fees for multi-location practices. Non-members would pay retail price.
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Get Your Time Back–and Use it to Better Serve Patients & Become More Profitable
“Owners will first of all gain time, especially if they or their manager are doing the books—time they can spend on higher-level tasks,” says Stewart. “And because we’re not just focused on preparing tax returns, IDOC Books & Benchmarks’ practice financial statements are designed to help owners understand the key expense areas of their practice; not just their net income.”
In addition, Hayes notes, the information provided by IDOC Books and Benchmarks will increase your chances of making smart business decisions. “Our focus on cash management simplifies managing your practice’s finances. Productivity benchmarks help owners make better decisions about what to invest in: more staff, doctors or space. And our charts help owners easily visualize their practices’ changes over time and how they compare to other independent practices,” Hayes points out.
Greater Accuracy & Efficiency in Bookkeeping = Greater Profitability
More time, not just for himself, but for his staff, is just what Tyson Allard, OD, had in mind when he decided to start using IDOC Books & Benchmarks a little over two months ago. “I wanted to free up our chief financial officer’s time on day-to-day bookkeeping and allow her to help with the big-picture accounting and be able to keep an eye on financial safeguards to protect our practice,” he says. “It has freed up our CFO time by at least 30 percent and has allowed her to find some mistakes within our process. We have been able to spend more time on tracking cash deposits. We have found staff errors, and correcting those errors has allowed us to be more profitable.”
Dr. Allard, whose practice, True Vision Optometric Group, has three locations in Oklahoma, says IDOC Books & Benchmarks enables him to keep better tabs on cash flow, so he knows exactly how much money is coming into and going out of the practice, and what each transaction relates to. His financial transactions are laid out in a way that makes it easy to quickly see the daily state of the practice’s financial health. “IDOC Books and Benchmarks allows us to focus on the financials that are important to us, and allows us to better monitor spending/deposits,” he says.
Echoing Hayes and Stewart, Dr. Allard says Books & Benchmarks gives him the financial insights he needs to make the best choices in what, and how much, to invest in for the practice. “It allows our books to be up to date, so we can make accurate decisions because we have accurate financial data.”
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The information that IDOC Books & Benchmarks helps a practice owner organize, and makes easily accessible, gives independent practices a huge boost. “It helps tremendously! It allows the OD to be independent, and to not have to rely on doing this themselves,” says Dr. Allard. “In private practice, being able to be efficient with staff time, and your own, makes you more profitable.”