How healthy is your practice
1 October 2013 | Minutes to read: 3

How healthy is your practice

By William Buck

Any time is a good time to review your practice’s performance and make adjustments to your strategic plan for the year ahead. The best place to start is by performing a practice health check. You can do this by taking advantage of our William Buck Health Hour.

The William Buck Health Hour is a process we use to assess how your practice performs across key fundamentals and provide a diagnostic analysis. Our structured framework is built around a comprehensive understanding of the specific issues and traits that are common within the medical profession and our tailored service to better meet your needs.

This health check involves a consultative approach to review the key performance elements of your practice and provide you with the best information possible to help you make better choices for the future of your practice and it all happens in just one hour.

We conduct an informal one hour meeting with you and your practice manager. During this meeting we ask specific questions about your practice, both where you are now and where you would like to be in the future.  We then collate these results and you will receive a report highlighting areas for opportunities and areas for improvement.

The key components of the practice health check are business overview, business fundamentals, financial management, funding, people, regulatory and Doctor’s personal wealth management.

Business Overview

The first port of call for your health check is an overview of your practice. This gives us a better insight into how you and your business operate and which areas need attention. We take a look at:

  • Background and history,
  • Specific industry and competitors,
  • Challenges and issues you face.

Business Fundamentals

Having an appropriate structure in place for your practice is important as it determines the regulations that apply and the taxation treatment. The most common structures are sole trader, company, unit/hybrid trusts and service businesses.

We also review your business model and key drivers, such as how you set the percentages for your practitioners and whether or not you set Key Performance Indicators to reward individuals who perform better. Setting non-financial KPIs such as patient satisfaction can also have a profound effect on how your practice performs.

Your business plan is a crucial step in ensuring your practice is headed where you want it to go. Writing out a business plan can seem like a daunting, time-consuming task, but we break it down into simple steps that make it easy to write and visibly achievable.

We will also ask about your long term goals for you and your business and whether or not you have a succession or an exit plan in place. Even if you’re not thinking about selling, determining whether your practice has a value and ensuring the business is ready for sale can make everything a lot easier when the time comes to move on.

Financial Management

Management reporting is vital to ensuring your practice is running efficiently. Your business is important and the people and systems you trust to run it are vital to the success of your practice. Your accounting software, the people responsible for processing your practices’ financial information, the frequency in which you receive and review reports, the information the reports contain and comparing the results to your budget and benchmarks is all examined closely to give you an accurate report on the state of your practice.


We’ll take a close look at your funding to find out what type of finance your business has in place, who your current financier is; we’ll even ask you if you’re happy with them. The security of your funding is also reviewed to ensure it is up to date and effective.


The people who are involved with your practice you can make all the difference to your business being healthy or unhealthy.

We look at the people critical to the ongoing success of your practice and the incentives you have in place to attract and retain key people. Having a marketing plan for your business is also a good practice to adopt to ensure your business is performing to the best of its ability.


We’ll ensure your taxation and corporate governance is all up to date and address any tax issues or concerns you may have.

We also review the application of payroll tax, superannuation and work cover to the practice to ensure you’re meeting all the legal requirements and guarding yourself against legal ramifications.

Doctor’s Personal Wealth Management

Personal finance plans are important within any practice and your doctors should have their own in place.

Having your assets held in a structure that ensure they are protected from the risks of operating the practice as well as having suitable insurances in place can minimise your risks.

The benefit of the William Buck Health Hour varies from practice to practice, depending on your particular needs. In our experience a session will provide you with interesting, independent and easy to understand observations about your practice, provide valuable insights into areas of opportunity and areas that require attention and provide you with confirmation of your practice’s existing strengths.

If your practice isn’t performing the way you would like then perhaps its due for a Financial Health Check. Taking the time to run your practice through its paces now will ensure it delivers you the results you expect well into the future.

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