Accounting in Healthcare - Key Points to Consider

26th February 2016

 

Accounting in the healthcare industry can be quite overwhelming at times for both the practice manager and the partners.

Here are some useful points to be considered and some potential cost saving notes.

Have you thought about cash flow forecasting?

Does your practice sometimes struggle to meet its creditor payments when they fall due? 

Are you often delaying partner drawings to keep cash reserves at a reasonable level? 

It is important to keep on top of future cash inflows and outflows and tailoring a cash flow forecast to meet your practice needs could be essential to avoiding cash flow issues. 

Remember cash flow forecasts should be updated on a regular basis and compared to actual cash flows in former periods. 

Record keeping – a nightmare for practice managers? 

Are you a practice manager struggling to understand some irregular receipts from the NHS or the local council? 

It can often be difficult to match bank receipts to income claims as we often see very little reference on the bank statements. However, the NHS has been getting better at recording all statements of receipts on the Open Exeter website. The reporting improvements made to this website have provided GP practices with a little extra guidance as to what the NHS receipts relate to. 

Local councils, however, can still cause issues when they make changes to a claim that has been made. 

Enhanced service claims – what can the practice claim? 

With so many different enhanced services that can be provided and claimed in general practice, it can often be difficult to know what to claim for and how that service will benefit the practice. 

Also, with many enhanced services now being incorporated into the global sum contract what other services can GP practices offer to increase its enhanced service income and benefit its patient list. 

Are you up to date with the current enhanced service. 

Is your practice ready to publish its GP’s net earnings?

Guidance tells us that from April 2015 practices must be publishing on their websites by 31 March 2016 the mean net earnings of the partners, salaried GPs and any locum who has worked in the practice for over six months. 

This includes: 

**income from NHS England, CCGs and local authorities for the provision of GP services that relate to the contract or which have been nationally determined 

**all earnings to be reported are pre-tax, National Insurance and employee pension contributions

**for contractors the figures are net of practice expenses incurred 

This does not include:

**income and costs related to premises 

Are you claiming the correct personal expenses against your practice income? 

Some expenses paid privately can be claimed as personal expenses against practice profits attributable to individual GP’s. 

Are you aware of the personal expenses you can claim? 

Most GP’s know they can claim other professional subscriptions and training courses that are not paid by the practice, but did you also know you can claim: 

**A percentage of mobile phone, telephone and internet costs

**A business use percentage of your home computer equipment or office equipment costs

**A business use percentage of motor vehicle expenses including servicing and repairs, insurance etc. 

Superannuation estimates – have you calculated these accurately?

Have you considered all aspects of the next 12 months i.e. do you intend taking a sabbatical and want to understand the impact on your pensionable earnings? 

Did you know you can make changes to your estimates part way through the year? 

These changes can occur at any time through the year and will take immediate effect on the next GMS statement.  

A change could be necessary if your patient list size has changed and you anticipate an increase or decrease in your global sum. To avoid a large superannuation payment being due when your superannuation certificate is completed after the year end, you can change your superannuation estimate when the financial impact is known so the change in contributions is spread over several months rather than one lump sum.

Carina Ngwira | Brighton Accountant | Plus Accounting

For more information, please call Carina Ngwira, from our Healthcare Team on 01273 701200 or carinan@plusaccounting.co.uk  

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