Managing patient care, operational efficiency, paperwork and client payments is a tall order. Add in multiple locations, and things get really interesting. Veterinary practitioners, office managers, receptionists and doctors all deal with this chaos somehow, but luckily, there are ways to manage multi-location veterinary hospitals and clinics with far more ease.
With an old-school terminal, transactions are only recorded on individual paper receipt slips and on daily batch receipts that can only be printed once. If you have various departments and locations to manage, the paper-pushing shuffle can get tedious and cumbersome. The more paper you have to manage, the harder it is to find a receipt or patient record when you need it most.
The digital age is here, and with it comes Virtual Terminals, which offer helpful capabilities to multi-location veterinary practices. We’ll cover three effective ways to better track your sales, reconcile your accounts and manage your staff when running a large vet practice.
Reporting can be a real challenge for larger vet practices. With payments occurring in different departments and locations, keeping track of location-specific sales totals, aggregate sales totals and comparisons over time requires a lot of manual upkeep and is susceptible to human error.
With a Virtual Terminal that pairs with your credit card reader and records your transaction data, you can obtain auto-generated reports that showcase location-specific sales, aggregate sales, month-over-month comparisons, year-over-year comparisons and custom data points. This means less time keeping tabs in Excel and more accurate results to look into seasonality, your practice’s health over time and trends.
Additionally, with sales records logged digitally in real time, you can keep an eye on your practice from any Wi-Fi enabled device, which is convenient when you want to access it at your headquarters or when you’re away from your practice.
Larger veterinary practices may have to employ full-time bookkeepers dedicated to reconciling bank accounts. It can be confusing and time-consuming to discern why a batch slip doesn’t match a deposit. And with paper batch reports, a lost slip can mean discrepancies that cannot be accounted for.
To prevent this, Virtual Terminals can log your batches and deposits digitally for long-term access. Ones like PayJunction’s uniquely offer detailed deposit reports that note the reason for discrepancies: Amex fees, merchant processing fees, chargebacks and more. This makes it easy to do the math and confidently close out the day, all while saving time and potentially money in overtime pay.
With these powerful reporting and management capabilities, it’s important to be able to regulate access to the right staff members. Not only does this keep sensitive information on a need-to-know basis, but it also helps your team complete tasks correctly. If you’re thinking of obtaining a Virtual Terminal for your veterinary practice, look for one with user access controls.
This feature will enable you to restrict access to staff based on location to reduce data entry errors and keep your reporting clean. With activity tracked in the Virtual Terminal, you’ll be able to see who ran each transaction and resolve issues faster and with better accountability. You can grant admin visibility to team members as you see fit, and adjust permissions on the fly as you promote your staff or if you need a receptionist or office manager to cover another location.
Additionally, there are numerous veterinary software to consider that are designed specifically to help you effectively manage your practice.
What issues does your multi-location animal hospital face? What tools would help your team be more efficient and better manage payments? We’d love to hear from you!
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in June 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness and accuracy.