SUPPORTING STRATEGIES HELPED A RENOWNED PLASTIC SURGEON SAVE TIME, STAY ON SCHEDULE AND ADAPT HER PRACTICE TO THE RAPIDLY CHANGING DEMANDS OF THE DIGITAL WORLD
With her compassion and surgical artistry, Beverly M. Shafer MD, FACS (Fellow, American College of Surgeons) found her services increasingly in demand. That led to increased demands on her time. Supporting Strategies provided this dedicated plastic surgeon with the operational support that she needed.
After graduating in 1983 from the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, where she received the Faculty Award for Excellence, Dr. Shafer established herself as one of the top plastic surgeons on the North Shore of Massachusetts. Her practice grew in kind. In fact, between 2005 and 2018, she experienced a threefold increase in revenue.
Changing with the Times
Throughout her career, Shafer has demonstrated a knack for adapting to changing circumstances. She grew up in Santa Fe’s artistic community and later incorporated her studies of visual arts into her work in reconstructive and plastic surgery, which requires an aesthetic touch along with deft surgical skills.
She made similar adjustments on the business side of her practice. “Bookkeeping in the medical world has changed radically because of electronic funds transfers from the insurance companies directly into our banks,” Shafer says. “Making sure that every patient’s payments and reimbursements are accounted for and credited to their accounts has become a much more complex process.”
Previously, a multitasking staff member handled basic in-house bookkeeping, while Shafer used a Certified Public Accountant for tax filings and quarterly reports. But the combination of staff turnover, increased specialization and a migration from paper-based bookkeeping to digital shifted more of the basic bookkeeping tasks to the CPA firm. That simply wasn’t a cost-effective approach.
The Right-Sized Solution at the Right Moment
A business contact encouraged Shafer to reach out to Supporting Strategies, a company founded by Leslie Jorgensen that specialized in outsourced bookkeeping services and operational support. “So I called Leslie,” says Shafer, “and I loved her immediately.”
Supporting Strategies assumed responsibility for reconciling all of the practice’s accounts on a monthly basis, “which is super-complicated, honestly,” Shafer says. “They interface with my CPA to provide them the necessary information to do what they need to do, and they also interface with my paychecks company to get my staff paid and make sure their taxes are correct.”
Bookkeeping and Beyond
In addition to reconciling the practice’s accounts and streamlining its interaction with the CPA, Supporting Strategies delivered next-level services that Shafer hadn’t envisioned. For example, they generated biweekly Excel spreadsheets that gave her new insights into her business operations.
“Some of my staff are on commission, for example,” Shafer says, “and now I can track that much more closely. Supporting Strategies has pulled together all the financial aspects of the business so that I can look at things comprehensively.”
Professionalism with a Personal Touch
Like many medical professionals who operate their own practice, Shafer is under tremendous pressure to manage her time as efficiently as possible. “It drives me crazy when there are gaps in the schedule,” she says. She also has to be careful to separate her personal finances from her practice’s finances.
Supporting Strategies had the staffing to handle that responsibility, too, saving Shafer the trouble of finding a separate bookkeeping service. “Because I trust them all and I know the way they do things, I now submit all my personal information to them as well,” she says. “They get it all ready for me before tax time, which has been an incredible timesaver. And their service is reasonably priced.”
As an early adopter of outsourced bookkeeping services and operational support, Shafer couldn’t be more pleased with the results. “Supporting Strategies is extremely reliable, extremely accurate and extremely responsive, and I completely trust what they’re doing,” she says. “They’ve really helped me manage the financial aspects of my business, which has also helped me manage my time.”