Tighten your belt on veterinary staff costs

Tighten your belt on veterinary staff costs

Jul 01, 2013
By dvm360.com staff

How much of our gross revenue should we be spending on staff support? During slow periods we can run efficiently on 28 percent, but during snowbird season we run at 32 percent.

Non-doctor staff costs typically range from 18 percent to 22 percent of gross revenue, says Dr. Karen Felsted, CPA, MS, CVPM, president of Felsted Veterinary Consultants in Dallas, Texas.

"This percentage is for W2 compensation and does not include benefits or payroll taxes," says Dr. Felsted. "If the 28 percent to 32 percent for your practice is just for W2 compensation, it would be worth digging into this to understand why. Most practices could run more efficiently and the additional staff costs can chip away at profitability."

If your doctor is extremely productive, then the extra staff may be what makes this productivity possible, but it would be important to look at the impact on profits, Dr. Felsted says.

"Overtime is another area to explore as are the salaries paid to the individuals. Many one-doctor practices don't have a full-time practice manager—the doctor does much of that work," Dr. Felsted says.

In the end, there may be things you want to change and things you don't, but it's important to understand the impact on the bottom line and the future value of the practice as you make those decisions, Dr. Felsted says.

Hot topics on dvm360

Follow dvm360 on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest

For quick updates and to touch base with the editors of dvm360, Veterinary Economics, Veterinary Medicine, and Firstline, and check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Sell veterinary clients on your service

But you don't have to have butler-style service to win new clients and keep existing clients happy.

Why veterinarians should be more like a Louisiana shoeshiner

If my veterinary clients feel half as good as I did after visiting the 'Michael Jordan of shoeshines,' I'll be thrilled.

Texts from your veterinary clinic cat

If your clinic cat had a cell phone and opposable thumbs, what would he or she text you?

Learning goodbye: Veterinarians fill a void by focusing on end of life care

Veterinarians dedicating their careers to hospice and euthansia medicine may be pioneering the profession's next specialty—at clients' request.