December 2019

Three Important End Of Year Suggestions!

With gala celebrations and everyone in a festive mood, it must be the end of the year! 2019 is coming to a close but before we bring on 2020 (can you believe it?), there are still a few things for us to consider for 2019.

#1 GATHER THE LOGINS, PASSWORDS AND SECURITY QUESTIONS/ANSWERS.   Let’s say you are an Office Manager and you have an accident that leaves you incapacitated. Where does your doctor find all the logins and passwords for all the websites and software? It is no longer “are there passwords?” I am amazed at every turn, something else that requires a secure password. And, using the same password is not only NOT recommended but extremely dangerous, especially in regards to the practice.The practice is a business.
Create a list of all the practice’s business financial information, which is then secured, somehow, somewhere:
·      Practice software and accounting software: Admin logins and passwords
·      Bank websites: logins, passwords, security questions/answers
·      CareCredit or Lending Club or other: logins, passwords, security questions/answers
·      Merchant Card Provider: logins and passwords
·      Practice Credit Cards: logins and passwords.
And to be clear, the admin login and password is information that only the Doctor Owner should know. Everyone who has access to the software should have their own login and password, not the Doctor Owner’s password, (this includes the CPA for QuickBooks).

What about a password vault to secure the passwords but still have them all in one place in case of an emergency? Online programs Keeper, Myki, Bitwarden, Password Boss, LastPass, Dashlane, Yubico YubiKey 5, Google Titan are just a few options of password management programs to consider. Do your homework: what is the best way to secure the practice’s passwords? BUT whatever you do, a sticky note on the front desk is NOT an option!    

#2 DOWNLOAD DIGITAL COPIES OF FINANCIAL INFORMATION. Not all financial institutions are created equally. Sometimes the practice’s bank does not have bank statements online or if they have them, there is not an indefinite history kept online.

If the practice has changed banks, credit cards, practice software, patient payment plan providers or merchant card providers in the past three years, note the prior organizations as well. When merchant card providers are changed, for instance, there is no longer access to any prior reports.

Create a folder on the Computer’s hard drive , not on the computer desktop, called: Financial Information. Include this folder in the backup procedure. In the folder, create separate folders: Bank, Credit Card, Merchant Card Service, Patient Payment Plans (CareCredit), etc. 
You can also create a Paid Invoices folder, then create monthly folders (January, February, March, etc.) to store the paid invoices in the month they were paid, not sent. Make sure the month the invoice/statement is saved as is the corresponding month of the payment date.

Download the following digital reports, by month for 2019, and store in the Financial Information folder: 
1. Bank statements.  Most banks have online access to bank statements at this time but not all banks keep bank statements online indefinitely. Download the statement and save it as “0119” for January 2019’s bank statement. If there are multiple business accounts, save it as “9876 0119” to designate the last four of the account number then the month and year. Or create a separate folder for each bank account.
2. Credit Card statements. The same as the banks, except there may be a variety of practice credit cards. Be sure to create a folder for each credit card entity in the Financial Information folder.
3. Merchant Card statements. Statements can sometimes be downloaded from their website but what I have found more informative is downloading the individual patient charges in a format that can be then converted to an Excel spreadsheet. The detail most often does not download the credit card numbers or names but will show dates, individual charges and refunds. The beauty is in the detail but, of course, that only works if you use Microsoft Excel. Otherwise, scan the statements from the provider.
Because of the vast number of daily charges, most merchant card companies limit the months of transactions that can be download so it is important to download to keep the financial history.
4. Patient Payment Plans. CareCredit only keeps up to 15 months of detail information online. Download a monthly funding report, which displays the patient’s sales amount, the discount fee and the net funding. Lending Club provides this information online as well but not all patient payment plan providers provide this important information to the practices online.

#3 END OF YEAR DEPOSITS. If a patient payment is entered into the practice management software before January 1, then that deposit needs to be in the bank prior to January 1. The only exception is credit card transactions, which there are typically few at the end of the year due to practices being closed for the holidays.  

If the practice’s CPA has requested the deposits be “held” to the new year, all “held” payments cannot be entered into the practice software until the year they will be deposited. Holding deposits seems antiquated since the advent of practice software tracking payments. However, an exception would be a low expense, high income year. So, if that is the case:
1. Enter patient payments as they are given to the practice, that day.
2. Deposit those patient payments prior to the end of the year, so that all patient payments will be entered and deposited the year they were received.
3. “Hold” insurance check payments only, per the CPA. Enter these payments January 2 and deposit them accordingly. 
But, again, only “hold” if the CPA is guiding the practice to do this. If the CPA has not given direction to “hold” deposits, make sure that all the payments that are entered into the practice software are then deposited into the bank. Period.

Likewise, if an EFT Insurance deposit has been deposited into the bank prior to the end of the year, make every effort to enter that deposit in the practice software before January 1. 
I do not recommend “backdating” in the practice software to the date of deposit. If backdating is done after January 1 to account for an EFT Insurance deposit made prior to the end of the year, enter a note in the payment as to the date of deposit. But, again, this is not something I recommend.

There is more detailed information about what to do at the end of the year in my book Money In, Money Out available on Amazon. AND, purchasing a book gives the reader online access to the many checklists available for downloading. Still need the book?

If you have received this email and it is not your job responsibility for the above tasks, then please feel free to forward this email to whose task it is or should be.

"Three Important Beginning of Year Considerations" are coming soon to your January Inbox. 

Have you already read Money In, Money Out?

More than ever, readers depend on reviews prior to purchasing. Help others know this book should be used in their practice by writing your review.

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The Importance of Windows 7 End of Life
and QuickBooks

January 14, 2020 is quickly approaching. That is the date that Microsoft will no longer provide security updates to Windows 7, putting your office and personal computers at risk unless you have upgraded to Windows 10. All programs on those computers still running Windows 7 will be at risk, including laptops assessing practice computers remotely.

Windows 10 had some issues when it first arrived on the scene. However, I have been using it now this year and have experienced no issues. In most cases, new computers are not needed for the upgrade. Once you have upgraded to Windows 10, QuickBooks data will continue to be safeguarded.

Keep silent, you Mac users!
That Big Red Kettle

One college Christmas break many years ago, I rang a bell for the Salvation Army kettle in North Dallas. It still seems like yesterday. Unfortunately, the weather those weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas were “typical Texas” – 80 degrees one day, 20 degrees the next. One of those bell ringing days was a bitter snowy […]

Presentations for Conferences or Study Clubs

 Making plans for 2020 CE?
Here are the first few months of Susan's major conventions. Won't be able to attend one of these?
Contact your CE provider about having Susan speak at your next meeting. She has some availability remaining for 2020 and is already booking for 2021.

The Other Half of the Practice Software Equation: QuickBooks Pro
(3 hour workshop or presentation)
Let the expert in financial organization teach your members the most effective means of using QuickBooks in their practice. A few simple changes can save hours trying to reconcile to their practice management software. Participants walk away with a new understanding of how their practice can become more efficient.
Friday, March 20th The Hinman Meeting
Saturday, March 21 The Hinman Meeting
Saturday, May 16 CDA Presents in Anaheim

(2-3 hour presentation)
Regardless of the software used in a practice, there are systems and procedures that should be implemented to keep the financial information organized. From end of day, employee incentives, choosing a CPA, checklist and tools, this robust course covers the business flow of a practice. Based on the 2019 book Money In, Money Out by Susan.
Thursday, February 20th Chicago Midwinter
Friday, March 20th The Hinman Meeting
Saturday, May 16 CDA Presents in Anaheim

(2 hour presentation)
What exactly is ethics? Is there a difference between business ethics and personal ethics? Susan's sense of humor and real life stories, drives home the point that ethics really is simply a choice...your choice...and your choice makes a difference.
Friday, February 21st Chicago Midwinter
Thursday, March 19th The Hinman Meeting

(2-3 hour presentation)
Doctors and spouses only hear from Leona, in unique audio letters to Avarice, how to embezzle her practice in 7 easy steps. Her words will cause you to think and wonder if you have everything in place to protect your practice. This presentation received amazing success and raving reviews.
Thursday, February 20th Chicago Midwinter

There is so much valuable content to share .
Let us know who to contact for your conference or Study Club.


Thanksgiving this year was one with a very full heart of gratitude.
I am beyond blessed to work in an industry with such amazing people: doctors, team members, fellow speakers, fellow consultants, et al.
When I listen to some who do not enjoy their job, it reminds me of how amazing it is that I get to do the work that I do. I love helping others figure out the business flow of their practice. I love being the voice of calm, digging deep into an embezzlement. I love speaking truth to an audience with responsive ears. I love all the notes, emails and words of encouragement from their grateful hearts. This Thanksgiving, I was truly grateful.
Still am. Thank you!
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