How to Build Your Finance Team

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Steps to bring reporting in house

By Janet Carbary

You’ve arrived — you’ve started your own practice, you’ve hired employees, and you’re helping your clients’ health improve. What you need now is a finance team to help manage your practice.

You most likely have been doing some of the accounting work yourself using QuickBooks or another software program, and you probably have an accountant who assists you with filing your taxes and maybe manages your payroll for you. But you have determined that your practice is now large enough that it makes sense to bring that work in-house.

Where do you start? You may want to begin by bringing in a finance person to take over both what you have been doing and what the accountant had been doing for you. But you need to ensure the person you hire has the skills and qualifications needed for the position. It’s also important, however, to bear in mind what you aren’t looking for.

It is important to write a detailed job description of what the position will entail. There are many online sites where you can review job description examples or templates. Once you have attracted some potential candidates to the position, you might consider asking your accountant to help with the interview process to verify their skills. Bear in mind that it’s important to look for someone who will fit in your organization culture and who you can trust. Be sure to interview more than one person; this will help give perspective on each candidate and will allow you a better chance of finding the person who is best suited for the job. Once you have made your selection, you are on your way to bring financial reporting in house. As you grow, you may find the need to hire additional reinforcements through a Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

Whether you will in fact need to take this step or not depends on the complexity of your organization’s business model. Once you’ve decided to hire for this position, you will need to know what to look for — this will require a different skill set than your general finance professional.

When you have determined it is time, you can again consult online sources as you develop your job description (see Peter Decoteau’s article “Successful Employee Recruitment”). Then you need to post the position on industry sites and ask your personal and professional contacts if they can recommend anyone. Health care is a bit different than other industries, especially in understanding the revenue side of the business, so you will likely want to focus your search on candidates who have industry experience. Begin interviewing by looking for someone who will work well with your team. The CFO will be the right hand to the president or CEO and can bring clarity to the numbers when making a tough decision for the business.

Whatever decision you make regarding the financial management of your business, don’t procrastinate. Building your accounting and finance team, culminating in the hire of a CFO, can make all the difference in growing your business to the next level and help you fulfill your dreams. Happy hiring! 

laptop in the foreground with employees speaking behind it laptop in the foreground with employees speaking behind it
laptop in the foreground with employees speaking behind it laptop in the foreground with employees speaking behind it

Janet Carbary

Janet Carbary is the CFO for Integrated Rehabilitation Group in Mill Creek, WA. She can be reached at jaent.carbary@irgpt.com.

Copyright © 2018, Private Practice Section of the American Physical Therapy Association. All Rights Reserved.

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