Our last blog post listed the roles of an external Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Chief Financial Officers can give you insights on if your practice is profitable, how it can become profitable, whether or not you are overstaffed, whether or not you need to be open more days, whether you need to be seeing more patients, and so much more.

Chief Financial Officers will prepare management reports; advise on costing levels for staff, supplies, admin, and more; Advise on Equipment Purchases; Run a monthly, quarterly, or annual management meeting; advise on a strategy for the business; and act as a trusted advisor. In our poll two weeks ago, we asked ‘Does Your Practice Use an External CFO?’. Fifty percent of respondents said ‘Yes’ and 50% said ‘No’. Doctors who want to run their practice as a successful business have CFOs on their team. 

This blog will be focusing on the roles of someone who is not necessarily an employee but an important member of the practice family, the doctor’s spouse or trusted long term partner. Although a spouse is someone you implicitly trust, we recommend that their participation in the business be discrete so that employees are not aware of the extent of their involvement. Most employees have the opinion that if the spouse is involved with the business, it creates unnecessary stress and bias when it comes to all situations especially financial ones. We want to stress, the spouse should be knowledgeable enough about the business to carry on in the event of serious injury or death to the provider and we will deal with this topic in a later blog. Listed below are recommendations that will allow for the owner’s spouse to be discretely involved while still keeping things professional and productive.
Roles of a Doctors Spouse or Trusted Long Term Partner:
Be Supportive of Doctor
  • Never say anything negative about doctor around their staff.
  • In particular talk positively about the doctors training and skill at all times.
  • ​Be understanding and optimistic when it comes to problems at work.
Treat Staff with Respect
  • Never gossip about staff in public.
  • Go the extra mile to remember birthdays and holidays for staff. (Simple kind gestures that go a long way.)
  • Be nice to entire staff outside of the office.
  • Find something to compliment them on when you see them.
Let Someone Else Manage Practice Finances.
  • From our experience, a spouse doing accounting or payroll can be a recipe for disaster.
  • Employees may find it distracting to have two bosses.
  • ​If a spouse wants to manage spend, a good way to be involved would be to pay the practice bills and this can be done outside the office.
Be Involved in Community Outreach & Doctor Referral Marketing
  • Lead community outreach by coordinating with schools or other organizations.
  • Lead doctor based marketing because a referring doctor will not decline a meeting from the doctors spouse or trusted long term partner.
Stay Away From Office Politics
  • The staff will respond better if you stay neutral and you will learn more facts this way.
  • Treat ever member of staff equally during business hours.
  • Be positive.
Prepare for the Unexpected
  • Know enough about the business to take over if something unfortunate occurs.
  • Make sure there is an exit strategy to sell out to a partner or associate with a defined price, etc.
Keeping home and work completely separate is very important for doctors and dentists. Allowing the doctors spouse minimal control of the business is a good way to accomplish this. Following these recommendations as the spouse or significant other will make life easier for everyone involved in or employed by the business. Employees will be happier and respond to criticism better knowing that there isn’t any bias present related to nepotism.
The reason we are publishing these articles is so that your office can increase its success. We appreciate your feedback on how we can help you more and love it when you pass these articles along to other practice owners and office managers. If you have not signed up for our blog, please do, so you can continue to receive these important insights and participate in our weekly polls. Doctors CFO has a CFO Management tool to help you track your KPIs. You might also be interested in our New Patient Tracking Solution and a Salary Planning Solution, to see these and other products please go to please go to https://www.drcfo.com/shop.
Developing a management report is not easy and Doctors CFO currently has a robust model for most practice types that is customized for our monthly and bi-monthly clients. If you have questions on how this model applies to your practice or you are interested in applying the Doctors CFO model in your practice, via one of our annual, bi-monthly or monthly assessments, please reach out to us. Doctors CFO provides financial analysis and valuations for doctors and dentists in the United States. We also offer programs for new patient marketing, revenue and collection management, medical practice consultant, dental consultant, and practice analysis.
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