Running a practice is busy and demanding. If you want to reduce the time you or your practice manager is spending on basic administration, business apps can transform your life. Research has found that businesses that use apps grow their profitability 30% faster than those that do not.
There are lots of apps that tackle different tasks but the key is to have them integrated so they all talk to each other within your accounting system.
Some of the most useful apps are:
- Receiptbank allows you to capture, store and keep track of your business receipts, bills, invoices and bank statements. One quick photo and the app scans, analyses, and organises the data for you. The advantages include:
- Saves time by reducing the data entry side of record keeping.
- Makes creation of expense reports and processing reimbursement claims easier.
- By using Receiptbank, there is no need to keep a filing cabinet, shelf full of lever arch files (or shoebox) with invoices and receipts, as data is stored safely in the cloud for a minimum of seven years.
- KeyPay is rostering and payroll software with features that include Employee Self Service, allowing:
- Employees to manage their own information such as leave requests, timesheets, personal details, expenses from their own device.
- The practice to manage timesheets, leave requests, pay slips and more, on the go – even with the mobile app.
- A clock in/out function
- Single Touch Payroll (STP) Reporting to the ATO with every pay run.
- Automated updates to wages rates when the award is updated by Fair Work Australia.
- Rostering with templates, roster generator and recurring rosters.
- Easy superannuation payments with inbuilt clearing house.
- Deputy is also a rostering and timesheet app which operates differently to KeyPay in that the payroll is actually run in Xero. Features include:
- Creating rosters and managing shifts.
- A clock in/out function.
- Employees can keep track of their shifts and apply for leave from their own device.
- Announcements and messages can be shared with everyone in the News Feed.
- Automated Award integration.
- Sharesight – for sharemarket and managed fund investors. This is an investment portfolio tracker which tracks dividends and helps you understand how your investments are performing with daily price and currency updates. Access can be given to your accountant at tax time to view reports on taxable income, franking credits, realized/unrealized capital gains, interest payments and more. Documents can be filed in Sharesight.
All these apps are designed to be integrated into online cloud-based accounting application such as Xero, MYOB, Quickbooks and others.
Xero is an online ‘cloud based’ accounting software which has various tools that can be useful for healthcare businesses:
- Xero Dashboard: This allows you to see your key information at a glance with all your bank account and credit card information in one place. The Account Watchlist keeps an eye on your spending and liabilities, as well as the money coming in.
- Mobile App: The Xero Accounting app helps you stay connected to your business while you are on the go.
- Accounts Payable: by integrating with Receiptbank, a picture of the invoice/statement is attached to each transaction, and bills can be paid securely in batches rather than one-by-one.
- Remittances and Invoices: can be customized to produce recipient created tax invoices (RCTIs) for professionals on the facility and services engagement.
- Payroll: Xero includes a simple payroll system which enables you to pay staff, and send pay slips with full compliance. There is also employee access where staff can view pay slips, and apply for leave.
- Adding an app such as Keypay or Deputy allows you to do much more.
- Reporting: There are numerous reports available in Xero for financial, tax, sales, purchases and payroll. Some of these reports can be customized to suit your business, and can be exported to PDF or Excel to share with stakeholders.
There is no need to implement all apps together initially. Start with one or two apps and build up as you see the need, or as good apps become available. The secret to apps integrating smoothly is in the setup. If you are tech-savvy you will be able to do it yourself or your bookkeeper could do it for you.
Once the apps are integrated, the operations should be seamless and quick, reducing duplication and minimizing human error. Strong apps become even stronger when operating together.
When choosing the right apps for you, consider the following:
1. Does it target the pain points in running your business?
2. Does it work on the devices you use?
3. Does it integrate with your other technology?
4. What is the support like?
5. Is there a free trial to test usability?
With the right systems in place, you can decide which tasks can be delegated or run from outside the clinic premises. You can have your business running more efficiently, saving you time so that you can focus more on your patients and still keep an eye on your business health.
More importantly, you have the foundations that enable you to increase your profitability and grow your business without increasing the administrative workload.
About the authors
Joanne Crumpton, Director, ECJ Online
Aine O’Malley, Manager, ECJ Online
This article is designed to provide generic information only and should not be viewed as a recommendation to act or financial advice. Individuals should seek advice from a qualified adviser to ensure their actions are commensurate with their financial needs and requirements. Whilst every effort has been undertaken to ensure accuracy of information at the time of publication, the information contained within the article may have changed prior to and subsequent to the article’s publication.
This article first appeared in The News Bulletin, published in August 2020 by the Australian Dental Association