While we can all agree the two professions are very different, there are many similarities found in doctors and accountants. Accountants and doctors share similar goals, with the ultimate goal to provide excellent specialist services to meet the client or patient’s immediate and long-term needs.

We discuss ways to check whether your accountant is able to meet your specialised needs as a medical professional.

1. Does your advisor look at the big picture?

Just as you would spend time identifying the underlying causes or potential future areas of concern in your patients’ health, your accountant should always be conscious of the big picture of your financial health.

A good accountant will ask:

  • Where do you want to be in five or ten years’ time?
  • Do you know if you are maximising your cashflow?
  • How long has it been since you reviewed your lending?
  • How are you positioned for an exit strategy and retirement?

2. Is your accountant on call?

Doctors often work long hours to meet their patients’ needs. Similarly, accountants should put their clients first and understand the unique pressures and requirements of running a practice or business.

Does your accountant:

  • Make themselves available after hours?
  • Take your calls and responds in a timely manner?
  • Call you to check in?

3. Can your advisor connect you to the right professionals?

As a doctor it is important to know who’s who in the medical community. It is the same for accountants. After all, every business owner needs an accountant, banker, lawyer, financial planner, insurance planner and the list goes on.

Working with an accountant who has great relationships with other professionals servicing medicos could be advantageous.

Does your accountant:

  • Have a relationship with your financial planner and banker?
  • Speak independently to your professional advisors?
  • Discuss your strategy or business direction with your other advisors?

4. Is your accountant qualified and credentialed?

After finishing a university degree, doctors must continue to keep up with developments within the industry. Similarly, accountants can undertake further post-university education to become a Chartered Accountant.

Is your accountant:

  • A qualified Chartered Accountant?
  • A specialist in working with medical practitioners?
  • Actively involved in the medical community through education, news articles and presentations?

While accountants are unlikely to have to make life and death decisions they, like doctors, operate in complex areas in advisory roles.

Ultimately, a great accountant will help you look after your business so you can do what you do best, look after your patients.

Angela Stavropoulos and Kristy Baxter co-head the Pilot Partner’s Medical Services division and can be contacted on (07) 3023 1300 with any questions in relation to your accounting needs.