Are you providing your clients with a seamless and client-friendly payment experience? Do you have clearly defined payment policies for both your staff and clients? Regularly gathering feedback and monitoring payment processes can help to eliminate any obstacles your staff may face in processing client payments. This is vital in keeping accurate records in your PIMS (Practice Management Software) and accounting software.
Having a robust financial management system in place ensures that revenue is collected efficiently, payments are processed accurately, and timely, and financial records are maintained responsibly. Give your team the necessary tools to make managing accounts receivable a smooth process:
- Reliable software, both PIMS and accounting, and payment processing systems that help to
streamline the process.
Utilize payment processing integrations with your PIMS.
- User-friendly interface.
- Keep a cash drawer log with detailed reconciliations.
- Regular reconciliation process, and immediately research discrepancies.
- Separate clients’ daily deposits from any other deposits, such as reimbursement checks.
- Extensive training to address inquiries and resolve client payment-related issues.
Although it is ideal to collect a client’s payment at the time of service, we all know there are several circumstances where this is not an option. When dealing with open AR, there are several ways to assist in keeping clean and organized records and collecting payments in a timely manner!
- Clearly state payment terms and policies, including accepted payment methods, late fees, and any discounts. Don’t leave room for guessing or assumptions!
- Have a structured process for setting up, tracking payments, sending reminders, and handling defaults for all the payment options you offer.
- Charge interest on invoices over 30 days. Check the regulations for your state for the maximum amount you can legally charge, then charge it.
- Make collection calls and utilize outside collection agencies when necessary. Be persistent in contacting clients who are slow to pay. If the calls aren’t effective, send a letter asking for payment in writing. After 60 days, the chances of you collecting the payment in-house diminish significantly. This is when involving a collection agency becomes optimal.
- Remember, you are not a bank, you are a veterinary practice and the costs associated with the services and products received by the client have already been paid out of your pocket. It is only fair that you collect payment to cover those costs.
While the methods of collecting and recording payments may seem like a no-brainer, not doing it efficiently can negatively affect your bookkeeping records if errors are made. By providing your staff with the proper processes and procedures, as well as clearly communicating payment expectations to your clients, you will be setting your practice up for success!