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Keeping good financial records

Is your current accounting platform fit for purpose?

It is surprising that in this digital age, there are still practices that keep paper records of their finances. As well as taking up valuable office space, this can make it difficult to complete financial admin tasks like filling in forms and passing information to your accountant or between appropriate members of staff. 

Keeping up-to-date digital records of the practice finances makes it easier for practice managers and partners to be able to see how their practice is performing financially on a regular basis, by providing clear and uncomplicated data. You also need to ensure you are prepared for 'making tax digital!'.

As a practice manager, you should take the time to appraise your systems, processes and resources to determine what is right for your practice. We're aware many 'inherit' systems but are they fit for purpose? have you had adequate training and is the input providing quality data? It's important to take an objective view and we'd recommend you liaise with your specialist medical accountant for guidance and feedback.  Swift production of the GP Practice accounts can be vastly improved if you work with your accountant and understand how to post/record data efficiently.

Ultimately, the decision on how best to organise the practice’s finances will rest with the practice manager and it’s important to consider all the pros and cons of your digital finance software before you commit to a subscription or change platforms.  It doesn't have to be an expensive, time-consuming process, a transition can be easily manged and supported.  The platform you select just needs to be aligned to your needs.

Aside from the initial cost of the systems, you will also need to look at who currently manages the practice finances (if it isn’t the practice manager) and whether they would be confident and capable of utilising the functionality of the system - do they need training?

We have no preference or alliance regarding the systems our clients utilise, it just needs to be fit for purpose. For example; we'd question anyone using Sage who isn't financially trained.  In the last few years since IRIS lost it's unique selling point, many have transitioned to cloud-based accounting system Xero.  Xero is low cost yet offers great functionality; everything in one place, live bank feeds, bespoke reporting, collaboration in 'real-time' to name a few.

All of our specialist medical accountants are now accredited with Xero to provide relevant training and support. If you want to review your practice accounting platform then reach out and speak to our specialists for a demo.

Russell Marley FCCA

Russell Marley FCCA

Supervisor - Accounts

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  • BW Medical Accountants have a good working knowledge of General Practice and are keenly aware of the challenges Practices face within the changing environment of the NHS.  We have been very impressed by the way BW Medical continue to deliver the range of services they provide from Accounts to Tax and NHS Pension advice. 

    We have found Practice consultation and engagement from BW Medical specifically helpful to shape the future of the Practice.

    GP Partner
    GP Practice, Newcastle
  • We had no hesitation in moving to BW Medical Accountants.  For any business your accountant is integral, and for us one of the most important factors to this relationship is to have a personal and trusting approach, which BW have undoubtedly achieved. 

    The service we receive and the interest they show in our practice assures us that they have a genuine interest in us and commitment to us.  More importantly they are always helpful and polite to answer even the dumbest of questions!  They give us confidence and reassurance knowing that they are always very up-to-date with all the numerous changes within general practice and we would have no hesitation in recommending them to other practices seeking a professional and personal accountancy service.

    Jackie Rotherham, Practice Manager
    The James Street Family Practice, Lincolnshire
  • We changed to BW Medical Accountants and I would say we have just had the most transparent and understandable end of year meeting and the best planning advice I have ever had in 16 years of practice.

    GP Partner

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