From handling payments to running payroll, a medical office administrator is often responsible for a variety of different tasks that are vital to the running of a medical practice.
Of course, with so many responsibilities to juggle, medical office administrators regularly spend time trying to figure out how to simplify or automate some of their tasks. After all, accomplishing this would free them up to tackle their other daily duties, or even work on a large project that they have been putting off for a while.
For many medical office administrators, Intuit’s QuickBooks has proven to be the application to help them do bookkeeping for the medical practice. There are a number of helpful ways that it can help medical office administrators do their job, including payroll, customer billing, vendor payment, year-end tax filing, revenue cycle management and cash flow management.
What is QuickBooks?
QuickBooks is accounting software that helps small business accountants and bookkeepers manage accounting and some human resources responsibilities. QuickBooks helps medical office administrators manage bills, track bill status, record payments, and create checks for vendors and employees. QuickBooks helps medical practices track employee deductible miles.
With the help of QuickBooks, a medical office administrator can keep the medical practice running and making a profit. It helps track income and expenses while importing transactions from the medical practice’s bank, credit cards, and online financial tools.
QuickBooks allows medical office administrators invoice patients and send payment reminders. It helps medical practices stay compliant with contractors, managing 1099s. QuickBooks will distribute paychecks and automatically deduct taxes as needed. It also allows medical practices to clock employee time and manage billable hours. Finally, QuickBooks helps file and pay federal and state payroll taxes.
In many medical offices, employee time tracking and payroll can be something of a mess. It is often comprised of handwritten time sheets, complex spreadsheets, or outdated payroll software that is quite prone to error.
Though it is certainly possible to handle payroll with systems such as these, it can make the process unnecessarily time consuming. In some cases, what should be a short, 30-minute task will end up taking half a day.
Luckily, QuickBooks can make payroll a much simpler and more streamlined process for medical office administrators. QuickBooks can handle everything including time tracking, tax withholding, and automatic entering of payroll expenses into the system.
By centralizing every aspect of the payroll process to one application, it also becomes much easier for the medical office administrator to manage any errors or issues that may arise.
One of the most important parts of a medical office administrator’s job is billing the patients who come through the medical practice. After all, if the business cannot collect payment from its patients, it won’t be able to keep its doors open for very long.
However, despite its importance, customer billing can often be disorganized and inefficient. Some medical offices still write and track invoices by hand, while others accept payment only by cash or check. These systems make it unnecessarily difficult for patients to pay their bills and may even result in some services not being charged.
With customer billing playing such an important role in the ongoing success of a medical practice, it is vital that it be handled in a thorough and professional manner. Fortunately, QuickBooks accounting software is filled with features that make this process easy.
Once the patient makes a payment, the system can then email customers their receipts and record the payments directly into the accounting ledger. By making the billing process as easy as possible for all parties, medical offices can greatly reduce the time that medical office administrators spend on the phone or writing letters to obtain payment from patients.
A medical office, just like almost every business, works with a number of different vendors and suppliers in order to provide its patients with the service that they need.
Of course, should the medical practice wish to continue doing business with these vendors, it is important to pay them in full and on time. This responsibility usually falls to the medical office administrator.
Without a well-oiled accounts payable system in place, it can sometimes be tricky to stay on top of the bills. Emailed invoices can be mistakenly deleted, while mailed invoices often disappear into a large stack of papers on a medical office administrator’s desk. The result is unpaid bills and unhappy vendors.
A company that makes good use of QuickBooks accounting software can make the vendor payment process much easier to manage. Invoices can be immediately added to the system either electronically or by scanning. Users can then add a due date to the invoice to ensure that everything is paid on time.
Year-End Tax Filings
From the smallest family clinics to the largest hospitals, every medical center has to file taxes at the end of the fiscal year. Much of the responsibility for this task may fall to the in-house medical office administrator. Of course, the difficulty of the job will depend almost entirely on how organized the practice has been throughout the year.
In a disorganized office, medical office administrators are likely to find themselves rummaging through old boxes for receipts and searching through dusty filing cabinets for last year’s reports and documentation. This can make an already tricky job even more difficult.
On the other hand, a more organized medical practice is likely to make use of a helpful accounting program such as QuickBooks. This program allows the medical practice to enter and record receipts throughout the year. In fact, more recent editions of Intuit’s QuickBooks even allow users to simply take a picture of a receipt and have it stored and added to the ledger automatically.
Of course, by centralizing all accounting information in this way, a medical center will be able to refer easily back to reports from a previous period whenever needed.
Revenue Cycle Management
In the healthcare industry, there is a financial process that helps manage the administrative and clinical functions of managing patients. This process is called revenue cycle management. The cycle begins when a patient sets an appointment to see a healthcare provider. The medical office administrator will perform a wide variety of tasks including insurance eligibility verification and creating a patient account. Then the healthcare services offered to patients are billed to the insurance provider and collected by the medical office administrator. The goal of revenue cycle management is to help a healthcare facility collected the entire amount for services as quickly as possible. QuickBooks facilitates this long-term process quicker and without too much back and forth.
Cash Flow Management
Too often, medical practices make their major purchasing decisions purely by looking at how much money they currently have in their bank account. While the state of the bank account can certainly provide owners and employees with valuable financial information, it does not tell the whole story.
For example, a medical office administrator might see $25,000 sitting in the business bank account and decide that there is enough cash on hand to purchase $15,000 worth of new computers for the office. At face value, this would certainly seem to be an accurate conclusion.
However, what the bank account balance did not say is that the medical practice has a $12,000 vendor bill that is due to be paid next week. As such, if the medical practice moved forward with the computer purchase, the medical practice would likely find itself dealing with cash flow issues in the very near future.
Instead of relying solely on the bank account to make decisions such as this, medical office administrators would be well advised to make use of accounting software such as QuickBooks to aid them in their decision making.
A medical office administrator can easily access cash flow reports in this system that will accurately reflect how much money the business can safely spend without running into any problems. By investing in QuickBooks, as well as medical office administrator training, a medical practice can avoid running into cash flow issues in the future.
A medical office administrator is responsible for some of the most important aspects of running a medical practice. Without the proper assistance, these tasks can often be quite tricky to stay on top of.
However, by utilizing the power of Intuit’s QuickBooks software, the work of medical office administrators can become a lot easier and more efficient, freeing them up to tackle the company’s more important projects.
Want to learn more about how a medical office administrator can use QuickBooks? Ready for an exciting new career in the health care field?
The Medical Office Administration program prepares students with the skills and training necessary to provide excellent administrative support while working and playing a key role in running an efficient, productive office in a variety of medical and business environments.
Through a blend of classroom instruction and practical hands-on training, Medical Office Administration students receive an in-depth education in computer data entry of patient information and patient files, filing systems and records, insurance claim filing, and billing and coding.
Contact us today to find out more about how to become a medical office specialist on Long Island.