AISMA in the news

AISMA members regularly write in the specialist GP and practice management publications, offering expert advice to doctors on the key issues of the day.

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AISMA appoints new chairman

May 26, 2010

Members of the Association of Independent Specialist Medical Accountants (AISMA) have appointed Bob Senior as their new chairman. He takes over from David Clough who stepped down at this month’s AISMA annual conference after leading the Association for eight years. Mr Senior, who is Director, Medical Services at accountants RSM Tenon, is a highly respected practitioner in the field of specialist medical accountancy. AISMA’s new Vice Chairman is Deborah Wood, head of Healthcare Services at accountants Moore and Smalley.

AISMA, a national network of accountancy firms providing expert advice to medical practices, sessional GPs and hospital doctors, currently has 77 members. Mr Senior comments: “My aim is to help AISMA members drive home the message that GP practices need to improve efficiency if they are to sustain profits in these difficult economic times. Despite government pledges to maintain frontline services, doctors will inevitably feel the pinch as health service cuts begin to bite. Combined with the tax changes that lie ahead doctors are going to be affected, some quite dramatically.”

Under Mr Senior’s leadership, AISMA will continue to work with the BMA to influence policy. He says: “We will play our role in making the government aware of how proposed cuts will translate into reductions in service.”

Doctors wishing to contact their local AISMA member for accountancy advice can find details by clicking here.

AISMA members raise £13,000 for Medecins Sans Frontieres

May 19, 2010

Members of the Association of Independent Specialist Medical Accountants (AISMA) have raised over £13,000 for independent humanitarian medical aid organisation Médecins Sans Frontières. The AISMA Big 15 fundraising challenge celebrates the Association’s 15th anniversary and marks 15 years of high quality, specialist accounting services for the medical profession. Sponsored events organised by AISMA accountants throughout the UK have included walking 15 miles, climbing the 15 Peaks, cycling 150 miles, shedding 15lbs, together with dress down days, cake sales and quiz nights.

At AISMA’s annual conference, held at Eastwood Hall, Nottingham, on Thursday 13th May, Sam Knight, Digital Fundraising Officer, Médecins Sans Frontières joined AISMA accountants to cheer on committee members Luke Bennett and Andrew Johnson as they undertook a gruelling 15km indoor running and rowing challenge. Later Mr Knight spoke to the conference delegates about the work carried out by Médecins Sans Frontières in Amman, Jordan where surgeons provide complex reconstructive surgery for Iraqi children suffering devastating injuries from the continuing violence across the border.

Head of Fundraising at Médecins Sans Frontières, James Kliffen, says: ‘MSF is a charity close to the hearts of many doctors. We are delighted that AISMA has decided to raise funds for the charity which will go directly to our Amman surgical project.’

AISMA hopes to raise a total of £15,000 for Médecins Sans Frontières. Doctors wishing to donate can visit

AISMA committee members Andrew Johnson (left) and Luke Bennett (centre) are joined by Sam Knight, Digital Fundraising Officer, Médecins Sans Frontières (right).

Why use a specialist medical accountant?

April 29, 2010

A firm specialising in medical accounts will:

Prepare accounts in a standard format ensuring that income and expenses are not netted off. If expenses are set against the income source rather than being shown separately, the true expense of running the practice will be understated. If these accounts are then used by the Review Board this will reduce the pay award.

Compare your practice knowledgeably with other practices, both locally and at a national level.

Be aware of what the accounts should look like and which expenses claims can be made to minimise Revenue enquiries.

Understand what claims should be made and what income is expected and notify you if there are unexpected or missing figures.

Keep abreast of material changes in NHS funding and warn you in advance of how these might affect your practice.

Have systems to ensure an agreed timetable with you to turnaround the accounts (and if charging on a time basis, not charge you for general learning time) whilst waiting long enough to finalise accounts to ensure all income is correctly included.

Understand the complications of VAT and dispensing practices.

Have at least one other person fully up to date with medical accounts so you are not dependant on a single point of contact.

Help you to prepare meaningful budgets and make calculations for available drawings.

Be able to help out on a temporary basis with the finance side of the practice if there is a gap between practice managers.

Errors frequently made by non-specialist accountants include:

Netting off income and expenses.

Miscalculating debtors (amounts due for work done but not received), resulting in the risk of Revenue enquiries and income being allocated to the wrong partners (if there is a partner change from year to year). This also runs the risk of moving income into a higher tax bracket.

Incorrect tax treatment of pension contributions paid or due to be paid, resulting in the wrong tax relief being applied.

Incorrect completion of pension certificates, resulting in adverse affect on final pension payments.

Allocating profits incorrectly, particularly regarding employer pension contributions, this can affect the balances due to or from partners. This often causes problems where one partner has left the NHS pension scheme.

Miscalculating National Insurance contributions where there is a mix of self-employment and employment.

Including income to which PAYE has been applied in the accounts, resulting in the income being taxed twice.

Failing to show capital accounts and current accounts separately so that property ownership is confused.

Neglecting to pre-share items of income that the partners draw as a prior share of profits (so partners’ current accounts become incorrect).

Not understanding pension rules for locums – and incorporating their business without considering the cost of pension lost.

Specialist medical accountants will also be able to provide access to other experts specialising in the medical profession, such as solicitors, valuers and advisers on VAT, capital allowances and independent financial planning, either in-house or through their own network of professional contacts.

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February 9, 2010

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February 9, 2010

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