Optometric Management Tip # 444   -   Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Have you met with your CPA lately?

I ask the rhetorical question in the title knowing full well that many eye care practitioners (ECPs) don't use the services of a CPA at all or use one very sparingly.� In this age of QuickBooks and other accounting software programs, many ECPs do most of their accounting on their own.� I think accounting software is great, but it should be used in conjunction with, not in place of, professional accounting services.

The value of a CPA
Many ECPs think they are saving expenses by not working with an accountant, but the way I see it, they are holding their practice back from the important benefits of a necessary business advisor.� An office manager or other trusted employee can certainly perform many routine bookkeeping tasks on a daily basis, but a CPA offers a much higher level of service.� I find the professional fees charged by accounting firms to be quite reasonable for the services provided.

Smart CPA firms will work with you to set up QuickBooks or other software programs and work with the reports it provides.� The accounting firm will also work with the production reports from your practice management software.� The CPA should charge different fee rates for different categories of work; some services like payroll checks and checkbook reconciliation are surprisingly affordable.

Consider these CPA services

How to find a good CPA
If you don't have a good relationship with a CPA, the best way to find one is by referral from someone you trust.� Ask an optometric colleague, other business associates, a banker or an attorney.� Most CPAs will be happy to schedule a courtesy meeting to see if you hit it off well and to discuss accounting fees.� Find someone you like working with and let him or her help you build your practice.

Best wishes for continued success,

Neil B. Gailmard, OD, MBA, FAAO
Chief Optometric Editor, Optometric Management