When the year is winding down, but business is still booming, your holiday wish is likely that you could find time to review and analyze your year-end reports. Successfully closing out your reports is the best way to ensure a smooth transition from the current year to the next.
Here’s a simple action plan for using your year-end reports to learn from the past and prepare for the future of your veterinary practice.
#1: Create, run, and download using automated reports
Report generation should no longer mean paper spreadsheets, sharpened pencils, and manual data entry. Automated reporting with cloud-based veterinary software allows you to select and create a variety of reports and filter the results by time frame to create a micro and macro view. Shepherd Veterinary Software provides numerous reporting options to ensure you have as much information as possible to run and grow your practice, including:
- Annual financial reports — Everything you need to measure expenses, income, and revenue.
- Practice management reports — Use clinician production reports and summary reports to get a high-level breakdown of key categories.
- Medication reports — Manage, monitor, and review your practice’s controlled drug usage and track inventory sales and use of any medication or product.
- Client and patient reports — Review active and inactive accounts for clients, new patients, and problems or diagnoses.
#2: Get a jump on tax season
It’s never too early to think about tax season. Gathering and organizing the appropriate documentation now will help you avoid a future rush and may reduce the risk of costly errors or omissions that could result in significant fines.
If you’re unsure how to organize and review your veterinary practice’s books, contact your business accountant or hire a tax preparation specialist to walk you through the process and ensure you have everything in place.
#3: Reflect on year-end goals and benchmarks
Use the information in your year-end reports to measure whether your practice achieved this year’s revenue goals. If you’re not quite there yet, a cloud-based software such as Shepherd will allow you to view month-to-month revenue and the previous year’s trends so you can see if you’re on track to hit your target by December 31. Then, you can make changes that will help push your team over the finish line - or set more conservative goals for next year.
#4: Take stock—conduct a manual inventory count
There’s never a convenient time to perform a physical inventory count. Still, if you dedicate a few evenings or a weekend to this tedious task, your practice will start the new year off right with a current, accurate inventory. Compare your manual counts to your software numbers and adjust as necessary. Reprint updated reports as needed to include with your end-of-year documentation. Use the final reports to measure product use, profit and loss, and to set next year’s budget.
#5: Strategize for a successful new year
After you’ve completed your year-end reporting and closed out the calendar year, define your business goals and plans for the next 12 months using key performance indicators. Use your year-end reports to set your operating budget, determine a profit goal, and inform other big decisions, such as:
- Practice growth — Create a timeline to reach practice goals, such as launching new services, purchasing new equipment, hiring a new associate, and clinic expansion or renovation.
- Marketing — Use data gleaned from new client acquisition reports and other performance stats, along with media metrics (e.g., website traffic, email open rates), to see whether current marketing campaigns and tools are effective. If you’re not seeing a return on investment or reaching your target audience, consider working with a marketing specialist who can help with time-consuming tasks such as your practice website and social media channels. Or, you could appoint a current team member to manage social media. Other marketing and advertising avenues, such as television, community events, and sponsorships, could also work well for many practices.
- Staffing — You may not need a report to point out that your current team could use an extra hand. However, automated reports can help you determine if your budget has room for a few new technicians, assistants, or client service representatives. In addition to hiring new team members, consider other ways to support and retain your current team (e.g., funding continuing education or mentorship, better benefits, and technology that streamlines your team’s workflow and enhances productivity).
Finally, after you’ve analyzed, strategized, and optimized for the year ahead, don’t forget to acknowledge the achievements of the last 12 months! Remember to celebrate not only the big strides and financial growth but also the small changes—such as a more cohesive team, perseverance during a difficult challenge, or successfully transitioning to a cloud-based veterinary practice management software.