Why dont you talk to your accountant?

December 3, 2019
Elise M. Lacher, CPA

Elise M. Lacher, CPA, is co-founder of Strategic Veterinary Consulting in Seminole, Florida.

The days of set it and forget it when it comes to monitoring your veterinary hospitals finances are done. You cant fly blind as an ownerso start asking questions of the financial advisors at your disposal.

Aleksey 159/stock.adobe.comIf you own a veterinary hospital, you're a business owner. And as a business owner, one of your responsibilities is to know how financially healthy that business is. But how do you determine that?

Well, how do you figure out how healthy your patients are when they come in? You run diagnostics-and that's what financial statements are to your business. When I ask veterinary practice owners about their financial statements, many tell me they look at them just once a year at tax time. Or they receive financial statements from their bookkeeper or accountant every month or quarter, but they don't read them because the accountant doesn't talk to them or they don't understand or “it's all about numbers and I don't like numbers.”

How can you change this for yourself? Become financially literate. You don't need to become a CPA. Just find an accountant who likes to talk, and then ask questions. And make sure that your financial advisor can speak to you without using accounting jargon.

In the meantime, why not get a copy of Financial Intelligence: A Manager's Guide to Knowing What the Numbers Really Mean by Karen Berman and Joe Knight? You don't need to read it cover to cover. The book is about understanding what the numbers are telling you.

Elise Lacher, CPA, is co-founder of Strategic Veterinary Consulting in Seminole, Florida.