As you may be aware, bookkeeping for a Veterinary Practice is somewhat different to bookkeeping for say a retail business. A retail type business will simply record money in and money out on one system. The Veterinary Practice on the other hand will need to record animal histories, together with the work done and monies taken in respect of that work, on a Veterinary specialist system. You would not want to duplicate that data on to bookkeeping software. The cost of having to implement two systems can be particularly daunting for the smaller practices and they often cannot afford (or need) to employee a full time bookkeeper. In addition the specialist accountants in this area can often charge significant amounts if you provided them with messy books.
The main reason for this is because vets use separate veterinary systems to record the sales (known as booked turnover), together with notes regarding the animal’s health and to record the monies taken. If we were to post every transaction into a bookkeeping system such as Sage, we would be there forever and cost our client’s a fortune. A non-specialist bookkeeper could do this.
The more time effective way is to use the reports from the vet system and post them onto sage, while at the same time ensuring that the debtors ledger and bank still reconcile.
With any business it can be a question of terminology. Would a non-specialist bookkeeper know that VDS is insurance for example or that Idexx can both internal and external lab? You do not want to spend the time showing the bookkeeper where to post the invoices, although this can be said of any business.
Sarah has worked with the veterinary industry since joining Hazlewoods in 1998. This was shortly after Hazlewoods set up their veterinary specialist department, which has grown into one of the most renowned veterinary specialist accountants in the country. During her time with Hazlewoods Sarah helped to write the Sage protocols that are now routinely used by Hazlewoods Veterinary Clients.
Of course, a love of animals also helps!