Do you need an ehr and quickbooks?
Updated: Jun 19
I get this question a lot, “Do I also need my EHR if I have Quickbooks?” The answer is yes, as good as both of these software are, they cannot replace each other in the everyday functions of a private practice.
How Are They Different?
I’m sure you’re wondering what each one does and why they are so important? In the simplest terms, Quickbooks is your accounting software that takes all of the transactions you’ve made over the year and organizes them into a helpful picture of your practice’s health and performance, usually utilizing the cash method of accounting. This means we recognize your income and expenses as they are incurred, and not accrued. As accountants, we can learn so much about a company and how it’s performing by compiling and analyzing the different reports that the accounting software can generate. As I’m sure you’ve experienced, there’s much more that goes into accounting than you may have first realized, and your accounting software is a great place to start to get your practice up and running in a sustainable way.
An EHR is integral in providing software to help with payment processing and billing for insurance practices. It can also house your schedule, telehealth platform, and is HIPAA compliant for sensitive client information. While it does these things extremely well, it leaves no room for your other expenses and sources of income, and is unable to tell you what your net profit and loss is overall for the year in preparation for your tax return.
Can They Work Together?
In order to have the information you need to operate your practice effectively, you need both of these software to work together. While there’s currently no option to have them sync automatically together, you can use both to your benefit. First, you can link your bank accounts to Quickbooks and have all of your bank transactions come into bank feeds for review. This information is integral for building your practice financial reports. These numbers are your actual - what has actually come in and gone out from the practice from private pay, billing, and overhead/payroll activities.
Your billing and often credit card processor is housed in the EHR. It’s important to have all the rates and patient information entered correctly into the EHR so the billing can take place and you can utilize it like a customer relationship management system in a sense. Many people ask if they can do their billing through Quickbooks, and it is not recommended since Quickbooks itself is not HIPAA compliant to house sensitive patient information.
You can also keep track of the total income in Quickbooks and compare that to your total income in your EHR. Many times this can signal issues with outstanding billing balances or patient balance aging issues. Either way, it gives you two things to compare to make sure they’re relatively close each month.
There’s a lot to keep in mind as you try to navigate through the many billing and accounting software options that are available. Knowing how to set up both appropriately is key to managing your finances well and making sure you are maintaining the flow of income to the practice. If you would like to see how we can help you build a sustainable practice, schedule a free consultation and learn more about our ongoing services!
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This article is designed to provide information only and should not be considered legal or tax advice.