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Podcast: Opportunities for CPAs in the veterinary niche

Written on May 1, 2020

By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA content manager

Mary-Beth-KoesterFor business owners, juggling the passion of why they started their business while also working to keep it financially sound can be overwhelming. This extends to the veterinary field.

“We see practice owners struggle with the business side, although they’re excellent at what they do,” said Mary Beth Koester, principal, director of valuation and transaction advisory services at Rea & Associates. “They love the medicine and that’s what they went to school for and that’s why they joined the profession, for their love of animals and animal welfare.”

Koester is on the most recent episode of The State of Business podcast, discussing what it’s like working in the veterinary niche. Despite the unique specialization, many of the services offered are similar to other industries.

“We provide everything under your typical CPA umbrella,” she said. “Bookkeeping, tax, payroll, pension services, retirement and 401K planning. We also provide valuation and consulting services. Even transition services, meaning helping a practice owner transition out of ownership and bringing an associate into ownership and looking at other strategies as well.”

Veterinarians aren’t dissimilar from other business owners when it comes to having a passion for their profession and not as much the business side. Many of them need help with bookkeeping, preparing tax returns and navigating cash flow and succession planning, she said.

And it’s common to deal with clients who are emotional and stressed about how much they have to juggle.

“They have the financial burden of the practice if they’re a young doctor,” Koester said. “Perhaps it’s student loan debt they’re coming out of school with and on top of that they want to own or start their own practice. And they’re dealing with animals who either they can’t help or the owners can’t afford the care the animal needs.”

This means being a good listener when interacting with your client, Koester said. She said it’s important to focus on the areas you excel at to support the client and help ease their mind.

Listen to the complete episode now to hear more about trends Koester is seeing in the veterinary space and how CPAs can make themselves valuable advisors.