Click image for larger version  Name:	Nick Park 1.jpg Views:	1 Size:	290.5 KB ID:	41292

The last few years working with the St. Francis group to help make veterinary practices like mine more successful have kept me out-and-about. It'’s been great and I’ve loved it but like most vets I also have a veterinary business to look after and a family that it supports. And just as I’'ve loved what we’'ve done together with St. Francis I also have a passion for my own practices which, as is often the case, operate out of more than one centre.

In any veterinary business you need to stay in touch and keep your eye on the ball because if you don'’t client and patient care can slide just that little bit that makes a difference between underperformance and a rate of growth you can feel happy with. Often it’'s not that dramatic it’'s just that the practice won’t be doing as well as it could. You will certainly be able to see some of the good bits and yet you also know you’re losing money somewhere but pulled in ten different directions you just don’t have the time to pinpoint exactly where that is. So it might be one centre that needs a tweak or perhaps one activity that needs a closer look and in order not to say the wrong thing to your staff and send them off on tangents a clear picture of what’s going on at any time is a huge help.

In my case as I was off pursuing my passion for developing something that benefits lots of practices including mine, the performance of one of my practices was sliding and I spotted it after I could have done something about it. But one of those happy coincidences that occurs when better technology meets people who want to be of service to you has very recently been a revelation for me. I’'m happy with the services I get from my current accountants in terms of VAT, payroll and the statutory accounts but having asked them to help give me a better picture of how my business was doing I found that they couldn’'t provide me with the service I needed to help me improve the performance of my business. The experience of having one of my practices underperform prompted me to look elsewhere and after some searching I found somebody who could provide me with the services I needed: Max Accountants

So in order to be able to see my business as it really is I have introduced management accounts using web-enabled Xero accounting software driven by a business that can help me use the product. It’'s not just the ‘web-enabled’ bit which I confess I don’t understand completely and don'’t need to because I know my data are kept securely. It’'s the fact that everything is fully customisable so rather than a generic set of accounts reflecting the historical performance of my business I now receive bespoke reports tailored to me in real time so that I can keep my foot on the accelerator pedal rather than just see the consequences of things I should have done ages ago but didn'’t get around to.

I don'’t actually have to change my current accountant to work with it, this system can still feed in to the statutory accounts as normal. There are also a range of addon benefits that have made my life simpler and of which is that these services have automated my bookkeeping freeing up my bookkeeper to do something else more productive.

So believe it or not the picture above is of me working with a good control not just of my dog but now of my business. Wherever I am whether it’s connected via wifi or 4G I can see what’'s going on and address problems in the practice ensuring I’'m always there in spirit even if my body is somewhere else. I love my business just as I love my dog and being able to see a clear picture of how it’s performing really helps me.

Lots of other vets are having their eyes opened to this technology and based on my recent experiences I believe that real time management accounts is something every practice could benefit from. It allows you to keep your eye on the ball and address problems before they arise rather than after the horse has bolted.

If you want to improve your practice performance please feel free to contact me via this blog (comment below) or email me at I’'m happy to share my experiences with you in the hope that you can avoid the situation I recently found myself in.

Yes, my practices are now thriving… :-)