I constantly see physician practices (especially the smaller ones) continually running behind on their monthly bookkeeping and practice management system close out. I wonder sometimes if physicians really care about getting timely financial information.
I believe it is super important to have the records up to date and the inability to produce any type of reports is an alert that records are not being properly maintained. Accounting records that are not up to date could be a signal of other issues within the medical practice. This could indicate the tardy deposit of funds, payment of bills, or simply not knowing the check book balance. In today’s digital universe, bank account statements can be viewed online and reconciled long before statements are received in the mail. Bank accounts that are not reconciled promptly are danger signals that should not be ignored. The reconciliations and procedures should be reviewed periodically by management.
The lack of timely numbers thwarts any type of financal and practice management analysis. The best information weeks late cannot provide effective help to management or the people charged with overseeing an organization’s operations. Irrespective of when financial data is provided, a routine of periodic reviews or internal audits of the information should be established. Finally, KPIs are another tool frequently used by management that provide benchmarks of activity and can cause immediate reaction to unusual activity or deviations from what is expected.
Always remember the old saying: "You can't manage what you don't measure!"