Help your team learn to love the ledger

March 5, 2018
Brian Conrad, CVPM
Brian Conrad, CVPM

Brian Conrad, CVPM, has been the practice manager for Meadow Hills Veterinary Center in Kennewick, Wash., since 1999. During his tenure at Meadow Hills, the clinic has been named Veterinary Economics Hospital of the Year in 2001 and the 2004 Mid-Columbia Small Business of the Year. Conrad is a frequent lecturer for the Fetch dvm360 conferences and a contributor to Veterinary Economics and Firstline magazines. He was recently appointed to the board of directors for the Veterinary Hospital Management Association.

With a better understanding of how their day-to-day activities contribute to the bottom line, your veterinary team can become your best ally in improving practice finances.

Though it would be dreamy to focus strictly on caring for patients, the framework of the business at large requires that everyone in the practice understand those nagging numbers that management sometimes likes to share.

Fetch dvm360 conference speaker Brian Conrad, CVPM, believes it's essential for team members to understand the financial side of things, though they may need some convincing to be of the same opinion.

"Ultimately, what we did is, we had the staff all take a step back and understand that at the end of the day, we're a small business," he says. "And to be a small business, we have to be a profitable business and a financially viable business." Everyone on the team contributes to that reality every day, he adds.

?More words about numbers

?Brian Conrad really means it: Show them

the numbers!

?Open your books to create a stronger

veterinary team.

?Take one small step toward Open

Book Management.

Does this mean that receptionists and technicians need to appreciate the nuances of a pro forma adjustment to historical financials? Uhhh … probably not. But Conrad thinks every employee should at least be aware of the three biggest expense categories in a veterinary practice: staffing, goods and facilities. Once everyone understands these concepts, Conrad says you can start having conversations about specific expenses and how to be more efficient (and perhaps even remove some expenses altogether).

In addition to being able to consciously contribute to the well-being of the business, Conrad says financially informed and empowered employees can also feel more secure about the current state and future direction of the practice.

Watch the video for more ledger-loving advice from Brian Conrad:

You. Can. Do. This!

At Fetch dvm360 conference, we're the support system you need. With every conference this year, we intend to nurture your mind (meaning quality CE for days) while also encouraging you to take stock of your physical and emotional health. Register now.