What is a new and effective way to reduce accounts receivable? What old methods still work well? (Sponsored by Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health)
My practice issues credit for all first-time and out-of-town clients. Team members sit down once a month to call clients with outstanding balances over 90 days, and we won't provide further service until the old balance is paid in full. Having a laptop with up-to-date billing information is invaluable to our on-call practitioners that handle weekend emergencies. When all is said and done, the traditional method of collecting payment at the time of service is your best bet in reducing your accounts receivable.Scott Strosnider, DVM
Lebanon Equine Clinic
Stop it before it starts
The key to reducing accounts receivable is to stop adding to it. Reduce billing by collecting at the time of service. If a client is absent, hold the trainer accountable unless you have a valid credit card on file for the client.
If you have to collect, don't hesitate—just pick up the phone. If a call from your receptionist doesn't get a result, have the veterinarian who provided the service make the call. If owners have forgotten or become lax with payment, this is a good way to get their attention. If no payment is received, discontinue service. Remember the 80/20 rule—80 percent of your income is generated by 20 percent of your clients.
Vikki Trupin, DVM
Reward good behavior
The best way to reduce accounts receivable is to try to eliminate them all together. We offer a discount on services that are paid for at the time of service. With the economy the way it is, our clients are usually happy to get the savings and are anxious to pay up front. We also offer a less substantial discount for people who are only buying medications. This has increased drug sales and allowed us to receive more rebates.
Valerie Smith, DVM