I am happy. After almost 10 years I am writing on topic which I studied for 10/15 years i.e. finance but this I will be doing for doctors in whose domain I had worked for last 15 years. So, I thought it will be win-win for both of us.
In last fifteen years of working with doctors, I have observed that most doctors complete their medical training without sufficient knowledge of business and finance. This leads to inefficient financial decisions, avoidable losses, and unnecessary anxiety. With very few exceptions doctors, generally dislike finance (although, they like to collect notes; but who doesn’t?), numbers, data collection and law. We faced lot of resistance when we made our doctors fill cash sheets, stock sheets and stuff like that. Although, we tried to educate them about the importance of these things, doctors were not ready to accept it. Over the years, as I dealt with doctors outside our organization, I observed similar pattern. As a qualified chartered accountant, I know value, importance of these things so I decided to start writing about it, create awareness about it.
So please let me have your views on need for such writing, is it relevant, issues to be covered in it etc.
I will try to deal with various issues related to business, personal finance in these write ups. One thing, I will like to reiterate that in today’s world no one can live without acquiring basic knowledge of business and finance. So, if we can’t make dushmani (enimity) , let us make dosti (friendship) with these topics. Because, I had seen that problem is not they don’t know, problem is that they don’t want to know. Unless, you are ready to accept, no amount of given knowledge can help. So first let us accept that we need to have little bit of basic knowledge about business and finance.
The Income tax act requires that every professional earning gross receipt of Rs 1,50,000/- should maintain certain books. Before moving further, I will like to make one thing very clear. I am complete follower of law and therefore a nalayak CA for many. There have been so many instances where I felt, am I fool to follow all laws. Many times, I saw blatant non- compliance of taxes getting unpunished. But then certain things you can’t accept and leave peaceful life. I follow all the compliances and sleep well at night. So, my writing will be based on following all the laws. I accept tax management but not tax avoidance. Those, who are interested to follow other way, are entitled to follow their own way, but that is not what I will prescribe. So, many times you will find what I am suggesting is foolish and not required. But over the years I have seen that this is far less stressful and healthy way of living. Let us come back to book maintenance. Irrespective of law requirement, I view it as very important tool in our practice. This requires you to maintain basic data of your patient, medicines given, cash collected, bills for expenses made etc. Again, you will raise eyebrows with thought of requirement to keep diary for maintaining records.
You will say, what a waste of time, money in maintaining such record. However once you read following example you will understand value of data. In a famous deal ‘Facebook’ acquired ‘Whatsapp’ for US $ 20 billion, Whatsapp did not have any revenue model, what they really acquired were mainly 400 million active users. Essentially, facebook paid approx. Approx 50$ for each active user. Now make your calculations. It is approx. Rs 3000/- per user. I don’t mean that you can sell your data, but understand the importance of data. In today’s world data is king. By maintaining your data of patients, you will accumulate huge data over period of time which is not measurable. How we miss this, there is an example in my own house. One day, we were just trying to collect data of patients of my wife, who is in practice for more than 20 years. Although, she maintains diary from first day, since it was not preserved properly, can you imagine how many patient’s data we could retrieve? It was just around 700/ 800. That must be fraction of what she must have examined.
In these days customer data is like gold. You can make out various intelligent reports like number of patients each month, day. Male/ female or city or part of city from where you get patients, are they Maharashtrian or cosmopolitan. This list can go on and on. You can plan your marketing strategy on this basis. ‘Know your customer’ is the starting point of any marketing strategy. You will say why a doctor needs marketing strategy but in this world each person needs to have marketing strategy. Even an infant has strategy to get his/her food, i.e. by crying. So, there is no problem (pap) in having marketing strategy. More about marketing later.
Information about cash collected gives clear indication about monthly collection, and also information about bills of expenses is also crucial. Total collection is important but more important is what is left after spending for expenses. It is very important to collect data but more important is to analyse data.
Thus, maintaining data is of utmost important. How to do it is each individuals choice. It may range from small diary to sophisticated software systems. I hope you have got fair idea of importance of maintaining and analysing data. So have you got your diary or called your consultant or I.T. friend?
In case you have any doubts, need any clarification, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
About Author: Mr Atul Bhide is a Chartered & Cost Accountant by education. He is one of the founders of Vaidya Sane Ayurved Laboratories that runs chain of Madhavbaug Ayurvedic Cardiac Care Clinics. Currently he is director of Dynamic Remdies, an entity engaged into manufacture, sale of ayurvedic medicines. He is passionate about meditation, lifestyle modification and investments. He is also Certified Wellness Coach and Master Spirit Life Coach.
OTHER INTERESTING ARTICLES: