6 Ways A Veterinary Team Member Could Embezzle from Your Practice

by easyDVM

You may not want to think about it, but you could have a thief in your midst. For many veterinary team members, the temptation to embezzle from their employer is real. Sometimes no one may even notice until the culprit’s made off with a substantial amount of money.

Take control of the situation. Here are six all-too-common ways team members on all levels can steal from your practice, and some simple ways to avoid fraud.

1) Deleting or altering invoices.

Your invoices are the lifeblood of your business. They’re how clients and other businesses know what to pay you.

At many businesses, it’s easy to change or even delete an invoice. By changing the amount on an invoice after the customer receives it, an employee could take some of the money paid by the customer. By deleting an invoice, the employee could walk off with all the money, or even provide services to family and friends for free.

This problem exists because there’s no paper trail. In these cases, practice management software is invaluable: it allows management to password protect invoice changes and deletions, and track changes made.

2) Taking cash.

Cash provides your employees an easy way to embezzle. It’s easy for a team member to skim the till. Alternately, if clients aren’t diligent about checking their receipts (or taking a receipt at all), a team member can request more cash than they’ve rung up the client for, and can pocket the difference.

As a rule of thumb, any time there’s cash changing hands, there should be two team members there. All clients should receive receipts, and practices should audit cash registers and receipts regularly.

Worried about tracking invoice deletions? With easyDVM, we can help…

3) Making personal purchases on the company’s credit card.

This one is straightforward: team members use the company credit card for personal expenditures. It’s a classic way of embezzling.

Only select members of your team should be able to use the company credit card. Veterinary practice management software helps managers run reports on spending and see where money’s going. Immediately question unusual purchases.

4) Paying fake vendors.

It can be surprisingly easy to make fake purchases on a company’s behalf. A team member could easily authorize a payment to themselves or a friend.

Veterinary practice software helps businesses run reports on their payments, and detect any purchases that don’t match the practice’s normal routine. Again: if you see a payment to someone you don’t recognize, look into it.

5) Taking inventory home and selling it online.

Normally the profits from selling flea or heartworm products go directly to your business. But a savvy team member can figure out how to take those profits for themselves, without ever touching company money. Team members can swipe drugs or tools, sell them online, and pocket the profits. Particularly brazen team members may even claim the item never came, forcing the supplier to eat the cost and send duplicate items.

Another way is to set up their own account at a vendor that you are paying for.  The products ship directly to the employee’s home and you get stuck with the bill.

To counteract this, keep security cameras up, and assign team members to take inventory regularly. Ideally, the team member taking inventory shouldn’t be the same one who’s unpacking items.  And use your practice management software to track inventory and cross-reference what you received in the software with the invoices you are paying.

6) Logging hours they didn’t work.

Many businesses let employees report their own hours. Some team members will take advantage of this, logging hours they didn’t work.

Veterinary practice management software will usually let managers see the hours a team member has logged, at a glance. Managers should be present and engaged enough to know if that actually reflects the employee’s presence in the office, or their work.  Our easyDVM software even shows the ip address of the device where they clocked in allowing you to easily check that they are in the right place at the right time.

There are many ways to embezzle money from a veterinary practice. By staying diligent, keeping an eye on expenditures, and running regular reports on your veterinary practice management software, you can make sure your employees are on the straight and narrow. Most of your employees are completely honest and your due diligence protects them from being set up by that one bad apple.

Worried about the transition from Paper-based to Paper-less Veterinary Practice Software?

by Sam D Meisler DVM

Worried about the cost and expense of a transition from paper to paperless?  This is a very valid concern and there are many things to consider.  First, how will the transition take place.  In going from paper-based medical rAnxietyecords to paper records, we recommend proceeding slowly.

Once you have decided on a veterinary practice management software provider, the first thing to do in the initial set up after getting your basic business information in (ie. name, address, logo, sales tax percentage, etc) is to load up your prices for services and products.  Most providers will allow you to put all of your prices onto a spreadsheet like Excel and they will then
load them into their software database.  Or you can enter them in one by one.

Next, take a good hard look at all those shelves or filing cabinets full of paper medical records.  Converting them to your new veterinary practice management software system is a daunting task.  Yes, you could pay a third party to come onsite and scan in all the thousands of patient records into i
ndividual pdf files for an exorbitant fee.  Then you could upload them all one-by-one into the software wasting hours and hours of your staff’s time.  Instead, we suggest that this is a great time to clean house.  Instead of converting every medical record, take this opportunity to purge records.
The best way to do this is when you are ready to start using your new system, enter client and pet information into the computer only as those particular clients come in for services.  You could also save time, if you have scheduledappointments, by entering client and pet information into the system the night before.  Scan the old paper records into a pdf file at the same time.  Many veterinary practice management software systems have a client registration screen where the client can do all the work for you by entering their current information directly into an iPad.  When the client comes in, give them the iPad to enter their information.  After a year of doing this, you can slowly purge that huge mess of paper medical records.  And in time, you can slowly move the old paper records of clients no longer using your services to the back room for storage.

Above all, make the transition super easy on you and your staff.  And use a veterinary practice management software system that is as easy to use as ordering something from Amazon.

Going Paperless in Veterinary Practice

by Hunter Little

Going Paperless!
Going Paperless in a Veterinary Practice!

For nearly the last 30 years, the notion of going paperless has been at the center of an ongoing dialogue on veterinary business innovation and evolution both large and small; however, the paperless dream has been mostly just that: dialogue. It is certainly hard to argue with the stalwart tenure of a veterinary practice management paper-based system. Like an old friend, the paper-based system has been -for the most part- reliable and steadfast, a constant companion that has seen us through the good and bad times. Yet, paper is also cumbersome, time-consuming, and –something no veterinary practice owner wishes to hear – costly. Either because we don’t yet see the benefits of a paperless system or we simply don’t like change (which is entirely possible and not without its merits in the veterinary practice community), going paperless hasn’t quite yet taken the firm hold so many believe it should. But, I’m here to tell you that going paperless is no longer the hassle it once may have appeared to be. Given the ease-of-use of most current veterinary practice paperless platforms, the increasing demand for mobile-friendly businesses, and the numerous veterinary cloud-based software systems now available, it is nearly impossible nowadays to argue for a paper-based system. As with any comparison of this magnitude, there will always be some give and take. Having said that, let’s get perhaps the biggest detractors of going paperless out of the way.

The difficulty of the transition from a paper-based system to a paperless one is one of the few remaining arguments against going paperless still out there, but quite frankly it’s a talking point that loses ground every day. What I am speaking of is the fear many veterinary practice owners have that going paperless – if they haven’t already- will give way to learning curves and breakdowns in workflow, veterinary clients may become upset as changes occur, inefficiencies will ultimately arise and the flow of business and profit margins will be affected. Granted, it is always healthy to have suspicions and keep a keen eye on anything that may change or affect efficiency and productivity. But, it is 2016, not 2006. The reality is, technological literacy (particularly among the younger generations now entering the workforce in droves) is up; computers and operating systems are no longer foreign languages to the average person. Moreover, the number of mobile users is growing, which means the demand for mobile-based platforms is growing. If anything, the average veterinary client is now more readily prepared for a paperless system than they ever were before. Additionally, the average veterinary assistant tasked with learning the paperless system is more than likely already technologically versed to some degree, making that once daunting learning curve far more manageable, if not nearly painless. Of course, any transition is going to bring with it bumps and hiccups, but this notion that a technological transition is nothing but a pitfall simply isn’t the case in a technologically-versed 2016.

Data security, or the notion that files simply aren’t as secure electronically, goes down much the same route as the transition argument. While a veterinary practice paper-based system requires the physical removal of files (thus making them seemingly harder to steal), they can also be subject to physical and thereby permanent damage. More often than not, there are not multiple copies, so the damage is often irreversible. Additionally, there is the longstanding fear of hackers gaining access to sensitive data stored electronically or files being damaged by viruses or malware. But, once again, this is 2016, not 2006. Nowadays, particularly through veterinary practice cloud-based software, data is backed up through multiple systems to multiple locations. This makes data security far more robust, as well as providing multiple copies of files to reduce to potential for data loss.

Although no argument is ever definitively right all of the time, it would seem that those few remaining arguments against going paperless have lost some serious steam. If nothing else, simply consider the fact that technological evolution over time has given way to the paperless system. It is never a good idea to invoke change for the sake of change. This certainly may have been the case 10 or even 5 years ago, when the notion of going paperless was considered more of a revolution. But now, given the current technological climate, going paperless is no longer a daredevil’s endeavor. Going paperless is now an evolutionary process, an opportunity to let your veterinary practice evolve and progress.

As a sort of bonus, here are a few additional ways that going paperless can benefit your business:

  • the access time for veterinary medical records and data, when paperless, is instantaneous
  • veterinary medical records can be edited and updated at any time from anywhere
  • the copying and sharing of data can occur instantly whenever it is needed
  • redundancies and file maintenance, as well as file loss, can be avoided with the help of electronic systems
  • going paperless can vastly reduce the amount of space needed for file and data storage, which can, in turn, save money
  • the legibility and accuracy of files and veterinary medical records improves when digitally stored and maintained
  • the environmental impact seems rather obvious and self-explanatory, but you can learn more here (that may be a little snarky, but I felt that we should focus on the less obvious business benefits first)

EasyDVM Practice Software is a cloud-based veterinary practice management software system. We pride ourselves in offering a system that is user-friendly, easy to learn for new team members, full-featured and elegant in its simplicity. Best of all, all devices, multiple users, all your clients and patients, always affordable.

You, Your Veterinary Practice Software, and The People Who Actually Use It

by Hunter Little

Over the last couple of posts, we have been engaging in a kind of free-form dialogue about your practice’s software and if it really is the best fit for your practice in 2016. Really, I’ve been trying to challenge your digital/technological paradigm, and let you know that it is ok to demand more and expect more from your veterinary software platform. So far, I think it’s gone well (I hope you feel the same. If not, I haven’t given up on you yet). Yet, I think we can do better. To this point, the dialogue has been very two dimensional. What I mean is that it’s been a conversation about you, the practice owner, and your software. But, what about the people who engage with your practice’s software on a day-to-day level (i.e. your employees)? Sure, you probably engage with your software on some kind of a regular basis, but it may not necessarily be to the same extent as your employees, who are engaging with your software with nearly every task they do. Their jobs, assignments, etc. are intertwined with your practice’s software. So, it only makes sense that, at some point, they should be brought into the fold and be included in our growing dialogue.

If you’ll recalveterinary_teaml a post I authored a while back concerning millennials in the workplace, you might remember a point I made regarding the importance of inviting conversation and input. Whether this be in staff meetings, one-on-one teaching moments, or what-have-you, in this day and age it is important to incorporate the voices of everyone involved. Even though this may feel like an unwelcome or uncomfortable exercise, consider this: you, a practitioner, veterinarian, small-business owner, bring a unique point of view to the table. You see things from multiple vantage points, but at the end of the day, you see the bigger picture, the direction you want your practice moving, as well as everything it took to get there; however, despite the importance of your vantage point, it is feasible to assume that, sometimes, you can miss the minutia of your practice. This includes the small, day-to-day details and quirks that make your practice what it is. You may think you know all, and I would suspect that you do, as a person in your position should. But, the boss never knows all. It’s just a fact. Simply put, your position as boss limits your inclusion in the employee paradigm and experience. Therefore, your employees can bring a fresh set of eyes to the dialogue, a different perspective from your own. At your next staff meeting, ask your employees what they think about your practice’s software, and see where the discussion leads.

I pose this challenge to you, in part, because it was these very kinds of discussions that led to the creation of EasyDVM. We found that employees, despite saying they didn’t necessarily hate the old software, had a lot of minor complaints and suggestions for changes and improvements. Issues like having to manually look up and enter services and products for invoices, or having to navigate multiple windows just to set up appointments. When we added them all up, we realized that all of these small issues and complaints were affecting workflow and productivity. At the end of the day, nobody really spoke up because the old software had been around for a while, and it was just the way things were done. Phrases like “the way things are” or “that’s just how we’ve always done it” can be parasitic to a small business. Complacency and acceptance of the norm can lead to stagnation, leeching away at potential growth. It became clear that those who interacted with the older software on a day-to-day basis knew something the higher-ups didn’t. EasyDVM grew out of a desire to rise above this complacency. It is, quite literally, designed hand-in-hand with input from employees at all levels so that it matched up with the needs of those who would actually interact with the software on a regular basis.

So, I once again will challenge to incorporate your employees into the dialogue. Ask them what they think, and see where the conversation leads. It might surprise you.

Veterinary Software Today: What Services Should be Standard?

by Hunter Little

In the last post, I opened up the floor for a discussion about the current state of your practice’s software, as well as the nature of veterinary software in 2016. Today, as we briefly discuss what services should be considered standard features of your veterinary practice software, let’s take a second to frame this discussion in its larger context. I think we can all agree that the current state of technology and software has progressed far beyond its counterparts of ten years ago; even five years ago! As technology continues its ceaseless march forward, our expectations for what that technology can provide should progress as well. What I mean by this is that, in 2016, you should expect more of your technology and software than you did in 2005 or 2010. Services that were once considered new or extra features five years ago should now be expected as standard features. Think of your software like a home: many years ago, certain appliances like refrigerators might have been considered luxuries. Nowadays, we consider such things to be standard features.

Hopefully, that analogy made things a little more clear as we move forward with this discussion. At the end of the day, I want you to feel comfortable and self-assured in knowing that you should expect more from your software; however, having said that, what specific features and services should you expect to come standard with your software? While you may have your own answer to this question, I’ve compiled a list below of some major software features that should be included in your practice’s software. So, take your time, read through the list, and see if what you believe should be standard features and services matches up. Remember, it’s never out of the question to demand more from your veterinary software, particularly in 2016.


Your software should have a calendar system that allows you total control over daily scheduling and appointments of all kinds. This vet_at_computercalendar system should give you the ability to customize scheduling to fit the size and needs of your practice, including different sections for techs and doctors, as well as easy access to patient records and the ability to check-in/out patients.

Medical Records 

You should have access to a system of patients’ files and records for each and every patient. This database should also allow you to add doctors notes for exams and surgeries at any time, as well as general communication notes. This database should also have a built in tracker for due dates on vaccinations, procedure reminders, medications, etc. Lab work and previous medical history should also be available as attachments to patient files, so that a complete and wholistic file is created for each and every patient.

Boarding Calendar/System

Even if your practice does not offer boarding as a service, your software should, as a standard feature, offer a boarding module or calendar that gives you complete control over your practice’s boarding schedule. You should be able to make reservations for any given day, as well as see drop off and pick up dates for each pet.

Reminders/Patient Notifications 

Your software should include the ability to automatically keep track of due dates for a variety of services invoiced to the patient via the patient records (as well as the ability to manually add reminders for patients if need be). Would also be able to easily send reminders to clients through these reminders via email or even printable postcard.


As far as invoicing features, your software should be able to easily create invoices without having to navigate different pages to do so. All your services and products should be accessible to search and select right there on the invoice, as well as the ability to add bundles of products and services for quicker invoicing. You should also be able to access a variety of payment methods without having to leave the invoice. If there is an existing balance or credit for that client’s account, it should be visible on the same page as well. Nowadays, invoicing should be a one-stop, streamlined process.


Your software should include the ability to add and edit certificates that fit the size, scope, and needs of your practice.

Veterinary Software: Looking at the Bigger Picture

by Hunter Little

Let’s step back for a second and address the vast landscape that is veterinary software. Some of it is cloud-based, some of it isn’t. Some are pay-as-you-go, some are subscription based, and even a lucky few are free. Whatever the case may be, I think the veterinarymedicine, pet, health care, technology and people concept - happy woman and veterinarian doctor with tablet pc computer checking scottish fold kitten up at vet clinic industry, as a whole, is certainly guilty of one commonality: complacency. Veterinary medicine can be a slow-moving mammoth at times, preferring the familiar and the safe over something new that might upset the long-established balance. At the end of the day, it is easy to slip into the comfortable and seamless flow of the familiar; in other words, to do things as they’ve always been done. This preference for the familiar and long-established is no different in the sphere of veterinary software. Personally, I would wager that most practices have been using the same software for the better part of the past decade or so. But that is only natural. It is, of course, much easier to just continue using what has always been there, rather than take the time to sit down and take a long, hard look at your practice’s software.


I would imagine that, by now, you may have picked up on where I’m going with this. Today, I’m going to challenge your old habits. I’m going to challenge the way you think about veterinary software and how it should integrate with your practice. Not because it is the edgy thing to do, or I’m young and think I know better than you. I’m challenging you because it could prove to be a healthy exercise, not only for you as a practitioner, but for you as a business owner; as someone who is interested in the health and vibrancy of their small business. Ultimately, this will be an exercise in challenging the veterinary software norms of our day. Where deficiencies might be hidden, where old habits might be affecting productivity, and where efficiencies can be found or even built anew.

Over the next few posts, we will be looking at some specifics regarding veterinary software, like what services should be considered standard, as well as asking some bigger questions about the nature of veterinary software in 2016 (namely: should you really be paying for your software anymore?) So, today, I’ll leave you with some questions to consider as we move forward. These questions are simply meant to frame the conversation in the coming posts, as well as direct you in your questioning of your current software. Take them as they are (brain food, meant to stimulate your thinking!), and nothing more.


  • When did you buy/download your software? Or, better yet, when was the last time you updated your software?
  • How much are you currently paying for it?
  • Are there more features you COULD have, but you’d have to pay more for them?
  • What services/features come standard?
  • Is your practice taking advantage of the cloud?
  • How long does it take a new employee to learn your current software?
  • If you asked your employees, what would they say about your software?
  • If you like your current software, why?