Disclaimer: This blog article was written by an AdvancedMD partner. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of AdvancedMD.
How much time do you think your staff spends paying bills, managing receipts and taking care of other financial busy work? These activities are necessary—vital, even—and every practice must address them, but how much time do they really take?
The average practice loses an employee for almost one month every year to managing bills and receipts, according to the Nitra Business Survey.
Three out of four doctors (76%) say their practice loses at least three hours a week to paying bills and managing receipts and expenses. That adds up to more than 150 hours each year, or more than 19 work days for a staffer working a standard eight-hour day.
That’s just the minimum. In fact, many practices lose far more time. About 40% of doctors said their practice loses six hours or more a week. That adds up to more than 300 hours a year—about 39 full work days.
Benchmark Your Practice
The Nitra survey, conducted late last year, asked 50 dermatologists, ophthalmologists and plastic surgeons about how their practices handle purchases and expenses. The result is benchmarking data in an area that is not often explored: business practices and time management.
The survey offered a variety of data points that doctors can use to measure how their practice compares. For example:
- Procurement. 70% of doctors said getting the best price was the primary concern when it comes to procurement, followed by 46% who cited complexities with inventory management or restocking. Only 24% said product quality was a problem and just 8% reported problems with a platform or vendor.
- Spending. 56% said they pay at least half of their expenses using a credit card, compared to 24% that use an electronic bill paying system and 12% who use checks to pay bills.
- Financial Needs. 54% cited startup or relocation capital as the most common financial need. Fifty percent said it is the ability to finance large purchases, such as equipment; 40% said they need money for daily expenses or cash flow; and 26% say they need money for payroll.
Solving the Time Problem
One major time drain identified in the survey was reconciling credit card spending with accounting platforms. Almost two thirds (62%) said they are losing at least 3 hours a week to this type of work and a quarter (26%) said they are losing more than six hours a week.
One way to combat that loss is to choose a more capable business card—a card built for medical practices. These cards are often equipped with a feature set that can address common problems in private practice. For example:
- Automatic Reconciliation. Cards that offer an automatic reconciliation feature, allowing your office to email or text receipts to your card provider and have them automatically categorize and match them to credit card expenses, can prevent a great deal of time-consuming manual work.
- Virtual Cards. Virtual cards can be established for every vendor, making it easy to track spending and identify overcharges. They also make it simple to shut down payments in the event of a problem, without disrupting your entire system.
- Dynamic Limits. The ability to set limits on all cards can be a major step toward financial control. Virtual cards with customizable limits make it easy to give cards to employees and streamline procurement.
- Automatic Alerts. Cards that can send text alerts when money leaves an account make it easier to keep an eye on transactions, without spending a lot of time.
Most medical practices review contracts with suppliers, vendors and services at least once a year, and that review should extend to your business card, too. If you have not reviewed your card recently, you may be missing out on time-saving features. Indeed, the survey showed that 92% of doctors are willing to switch credit card providers if the right incentives are offered (only 8% said they won’t switch)—and the incentives they want may surprise you.
Perhaps predictably, 76% said they want higher rewards. But almost the same percentage, 74%, said they would switch providers for features that save administrative time. Almost two thirds (62%) say the opportunity to use a card built specifically for doctors would make them more likely to switch. For doctors who want to minimize time spent on administration, evaluating your business card may be the right place to start.
To learn what the Nitra Visa Business Card can do for your practice, tour our services or call (845) 443-7752 to consult with a specialist about your needs.