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  • Writer's pictureTrey Whitt

Effective Analysis of Your Practice Financials – Think Big, Then Small

A typical profit and loss statement may contain thirty or more different expenses categories, making it easy to get lost in the minutia when searching for the things that matter most to your financial success. In a previous post, I mentioned revenue as being the more important number on your P & L. While this is true, you must also pay careful attention to how you spend that revenue in order to maximize profits.

Getting out of the Weeds

Instead of culling thirty expense accounts for the items that matter, consider stratifying your expense accounts into broader categories and comparing your performance in those categories to industry standards or internal benchmarks. Here is how that looks:

If you determine net income ought to be $200,000 instead of $140,000, administrative expenses are probably not where you need to focus, at least not initially. Why? You only spend 6% of your revenue in this category. Even if you drop that down to 5%, that is only a $20,000 savings. And you will likely have to plunge into multiple sub-categories of expense to make that happen, a very inefficient and unsatisfying use of your time.

In this example, you are probably better off taking a closer look at your staff and clinical expenses. These are the areas where you spend the most money.

Short- vs. Long-Term Expense Planning

Stratifying your expenses also illustrates which expense categories are controllable in the short term versus those that will require a longer-term approach. For example, if you determine that you would like to cut $30,000 from your employee benefits package, you may be able to do that fairly quickly with a careful analysis of what those benefits are, how valuable they are to your employees and which ones you can purchase more efficiently.

On the other hand, if you are trapped in a bad lease that runs another three years, you are likely stuck with those rents for a while. Nonetheless, having a financial statement that draws you eye to that expense will help you plan for a better outcome in your next lease negotiation.


Moving from where you are to where you want to be financially requires you to focus on the big expenses first. One key is formatting your profit and loss statement to draw your attention to those items.

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