October 2012

Your Staff May be Stealing: 4 Stop-Gap Embezzlement Procedures Chiropractors Must Do.

Embezzlement, my office, my staff, my CA? Never!

Ha! Think again.

Embezzlement is a common financial disruption to chiropractic offices. Even worse, many DCs don’t know its happening, won’t accept that it’s happening, or don’t wake up to it until it becomes a catastrophe.

I talk with chiropractors all over the country through my ChirotoChiro.com chiropractor’s counseling service, and employee theft is a common dilemma that can devastate a practice, especially in this current economy. The loss of the money is only part of the problem. The real cost comes in the lost trust, division, suspicion, and in-the-toilet morale that permeates the practice.

Thankfully, I have some advice that can make embezzlement near impossible. And if you have a recent theft, if you act fast, a solution that worked well for me.

The following is an excerpt from my book Reclaim the Joy of Practice: An Advanced Guide for Advancing Doctors:

“Theft is a real threat in every doctor’s practice. Horror stories abound with doctors that lost thousands to embezzlement. Don’t expect to ever get much returned once it’s stolen even if the thief is caught and ordered to pay restitution. Instead, be pre-emptive by having tight monitoring of collections and continual cross-checking. It’s crucial to both discourage theft and catch it before it gets too far out of hand. Make one person responsible for financial transactions in your office, expecting reports of daily tabulations, and hold them accountable. Insist that all bank deposits match printouts from computers or cash registers. Observe at random all the financial matters, and let your staff see that you are watching. Never lose control of the business checkbook. You should personally sign all checks for payroll and other expenses whenever possible. If you trust someone else to sign the checks for you, then at least demand a printout each week showing what checks are being written, to whom, and for what amount.

In my career I experienced one minor episode of embezzlement. Here’s how it went. On three sequential deposits, my office manager noticed that $10.00 was missing from each weekly till. After she reported it to me, I immediately called the police and reported it. The officer said it was wise that I called because that’s typically how the problem begins – in small amounts as someone is testing the system to see if anyone will notice a deficit. He told me to suspect every employee, even the office manager, and that employees often steal as a pair or more. We then set a time for him to appear at the office, unannounced, with his uniform on, pretending to investigate and making sure all the staff noticed. We then met privately and drafted a letter to each staff member:

‘Dear Employee,

Recently some money has turned up missing as a result of theft. We have strong reason to suspect who it is and we are investigating further before leveling charges. This problem can be rectified if the stolen money is returned immediately. You can do it anonymously by placing it in an envelope and leaving it on my desk. Please don’t jeopardize your future with a foolish action.’

A day later the money appeared. The officer said the fast action, as we performed it was crucial. I’ve never had another theft since.

What’s the patient partnering angle here? It’s that patients deserve that we take responsibility to protect ourselves from embezzlement, not only because it’s a horrible distraction for us to deal with, but because it also puts some doctors out of business.”

I love CAs and other office staff. I’ve always said that in front of every successful DC there is one or more dedicated support staff. Take pre-emptive measures now for the benefit of your practice.

Please like and share this article to help spread the word.

Practice on!

Dr Tom Potisk

PS Be sure and get my free practicing boosting reports on the right sidebar of this website.

PPS Be sure and “LIKE” my Facebook fan page DownToEarthDoctor .

Categories: Embezzlement/employee theft

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Are you a “likeable” chiropractor?

The consensus of experts is that “likeability” is an extremely important component of one’s success. This applies not only to political candidates but also Doctors of Chiropractic and their chiropractic practices.

The Washington Post and Fox news recently ran news reports about the likeability of the presidential candidates. NPR even featured an hour long radio broadcast named “The Presidential Race: Does Likeability Matter?

Are you likeable, Mr. or Ms. Chiropractor?

As I consult with and counsel DCs across the nation, I’ve become very aware of the significance of this personal quality.

You might already have guessed that one’s likeability by the public is very much related to one’s like or unlike of self. Sometimes it’s conscious and sometimes it’s subconscious.  This is often not easy to determine.  So, I developed a simple and free self-rating test that I call the Chiropractor’s Success Test.

This comprehensive series of questions is a great self-evaluation tool. DCs have been emailing me their scores, and I’m compiling them for rating one’s self against one’s peers.  The average score is highly surprising and I’ll be happy to share it with you, but I require you to provide your score (kept confidential of course) so that I can continue to increase the sample size and compile a more accurate average.

So, can one improve their likeability? I’m happy to answer with a resounding “YES”, and even more delighted that I’ve seen practices zoom and sore as a result.

How can you improve? I’ve developed a unique process. Here again I’ve made it as easy as possible, providing 3 simple and inexpensive solutions. I call it An Adjustment for a Chiropractor’s Head.

If you’re like most DCs you’ve been battling to build, grow, or perhaps even just maintain your practice. Don’t spend another moment, a dollar, or an ounce of energy on it without becoming more likeable. It’s a winning and proven strategy.

Please like and share this article to help spread the word.

Practice on!

Dr Tom Potisk

PS Be sure and get my free practicing boosting reports on the right sidebar of this website.

PPS Be sure and “LIKE” my Facebook fan page DownToEarthDoctor .

Categories: business management, identity, new patients, practice management

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