FAQ

What does Doctor Financials do?


Doctor Financials took on its first clients in 2008 and has since grown to be NZ’s premier accounting practice dedicated to the surgical and medical fraternity. From the Far North to the Deep South, where ever you find Doctors, you’ll find our clients.

Back then the motto on the consulting room wall was Accurate, Fast & Simple. And that’s still the core of our attitude: the work we do for our clients must be Accurate, both for keeping our clients legally safe, but also for producing figures that can be relied on for making decisions and planning forward off.

And within that, Fast is how you are provided with value and timeliness, that’s what our specializing does – we know what we’re doing and we’ve seen it before, so you’ve come to the right place for getting great answers, in time. Our clients have the direct cellphone of their dedicated Partner and access to a private prioritised email address for instant access to complimentary advisory.

And finally, Simple. That’s because the days of accountants giving bad advice on needlessly complicated structures that only put the fees up should be well and truly over. If the structure is costing you more than the value you get from it, it should be simplified back to the most straight-forward way of providing you protection and savings. Because a structure that’s straight-forward and understandable to all parties is actually the strongest structure in any case.




What type of client do you serve?


If you’re a Doctor of Medicine then that’s you. Doctor Financials being exclusively dedicated is what gets you expertise to match (or better) the “big four”, as well as a prompt and bespoke service (our clients think we’re the better ones at that too).

We can generally save 15% or more of cost compared to the “big four”, not because we’re “cheap” but because we’re not as storied. You talk directly to the specialist accountant who understands what you do, avoiding needless questions and avoiding the time and cost of re-work - it's done right first time. Plus, we’re focused – we’re not doing a panel beater, then you, then someone importing goods from overseas – which means we’re more efficient as well as more accurate.




What services do you offer?


At Gold Tier, our bespoke full-service approach to accounting gives you:

  • Full annuals including future cashflow-at-a-glance, benchmarking information applied to your individual situation, along with integral personalised tax minimisation and advice. Really, it’s just logic. For instance, we can’t really give you genuine tax minimisation legally unless we take a deep dive and spend the time to understand what’s happened, the reasons behind purchases and use things such as benchmarking to identify the opportunities that apply to your current situation.
  • Secondly, the bookkeeping services associated with the above. To avoid re-work and accuracy problems and to ensure you get the full value from our offering we strongly prefer to start in-house with the raw data. This means we take care of your Monthly Management Reporting and GST for instance.
  • Then, most importantly, all on-demand advice, structuring and cash-flow discussions whether via meetings, phonecall or email is supplied complimentary no-charge off-clock. This encourages you to use what you need for discussion and sounding-board advisory, and to take the time you need to tell us what we need to know. If a more in-depth report or consult is required that involves back-office time, then we’ll advise you of that and an estimate will be available. Our qualified accountant:client ratio is one of the highest in the industry, meaning we have the experience required available to answer our clients calls personally and return emails promptly. You get medical industry specific accurate advice and explanations of options right through to the best conclusion, each and every time. You can see how the best way for us to give you value is by leveraging our experience at consulting level – which is the most valuable thing we have, but which also doesn’t take a lot of time in comparison - and put it at your disposal no charge.
  • Associated with that are our complimentary interviews. A fair-use policy applies, and we either come to you in acknowledgement of the value of your time, or alternatively to suit we have centrally located offices and interview rooms at city and provincial locations right across the country. We're available wherever our client’s careers take them.
  • Finally, we have a long-standing policy of providing complimentary returns for immediate family members including Trust distributions which are included at no charge.




Do you offer one-off consulting services eg a retirement structure planning session?


Doctor Financials generally only provide consulting services to current clients. This avoids situations where allegorically we may be diagnosing and treating without the subject’s history and notes. What is offered is a second opinion service in cases where the client is happy for re-work to enable that to happen, and we also provide consulting services to other accountants in situations where our specialist industry knowledge is required.




Do you offer flat-rate accounting?


Not exactly. Flat rate accounting as a method of billing involves some clients effectively subsidising other clients so we avoid that. But that doesn’t mean we can't give an up-front estimate - in fact we check with you each year if you would like that for budgeting purposes. And you are welcome to pay for work month by month rather than annually, or alternatively pay the annual fee off using interest free monthly payments.




Are you a price-first generalist accountancy practice?


Broadly, there’s three ways to get cheap accounting. The first is not to use an accountant: an unqualified bookkeeper “accountant” doesn’t have the years of study, the training costs, the ongoing professional indemnity insurance costs, or the constant cost in dollars and time of the CPD hours to keep them up to date. Those costs make up approximately a third of the cost of a qualified accountant. Book-keeping services are legitimate in their place - we use them judiciously under qualified accountant supervision - but as in life, you get what you pay for.

Secondly, having inner city office space costs money for the convenience and connectivity. Outer suburban practices or even someone that operates from home won’t have those costs to pass on. You don’t want an accountant who wastes good space either, but having accessibly and surroundings that don't negatively impact on efficiency or networking ability, as a rule of thumb adds to another third of the cost.

Finally, service. There are places who factory-farm clients with a very low accountant to client ratio and hundreds or even thousands of clients per worker. You won’t get timely access or advice, but you will get cheapness.

So, no. We’re not low-service factory-farm accountants out in the suburbs competing in the price-driven generalist "poke it through for tax" market: that’s comparing Plastic Surgeons to beauty therapy, or licenced table service to a pie cart. But we are very much accurate, efficient, and value for money.

To be clear, we’re not recommending you use unqualified or factory farm outlets. In fact, we think the cost to you of using them is more than the price. But if price is the only consideration then that should give you a steer on what to look for.

The other tip is to ask for a price up-front. Accountants are notorious for being optimistically hopeful on job times; in fact, so are most people. If you’re at a low point financially in your career, then you should be using that very simple technique for all work you need done, not only accountancy.

Finally, one more comment: if your affairs are very simple and completely repetitive year to year plus you have the spare hours (maybe you’ve recently retired) and also the financial knowledge and will, then maybe you really only need a friendly accountant to show you how to do it yourself. Paradoxically, accountants who have expertise and are in demand (and so can charge more) are often the ones who can afford a free 20 minutes, so they’re the ones to ask for a complimentary squirt of one to one to get you started and for you then to see if doing it yourself will work for you.




What type of clients is your service most cost effective for?


Because of our bespoke level of service, there’s a ‘sweet spot’ starting circa $4000 of core accounting services in a typical year. This is the level where our specialist advantages of accuracy and time efficiency not only result in more personalised advice, but also result in a financial saving to the client.

Other situations that our offering is cost-effective for include clients with specialist needs, those with practice ownership or growth aspirations or who need on-demand access to a specialist accountant who knows them and their situation personally and is available to give timely help and advice.

Smaller clients using less than $2200 net of services per annum have a flat rate contribution added of $350 for software costs (including tax reminders) and $300 for PI. These costs are absorbed in the hourly rate for clients using over $2200 net of services per annum.

NB: our clients who retire are valued as the fulfilment of our "accountant for life" ethos and their advice needs and tax matters are taken care of with the same level of service as for our early and mid-career clients without any minimum applying to them.




Are you taking on new clients at the moment?


Yes, we took on two new senior accountants and a bookkeeper in 2021 and so we are 'open book' at the moment.

In addition to our client criteria noted above, we strictly control our client to accountant ratios to ensure fast and personalised service and so this does mean we periodically need to close for new accounts.

If you have been referred by a colleague, please tell us this as it is a factor we take into account.




I am a Doctor with specialist advice needs, practice ownership or growth aspirations and I like what I hear. What should I do next?


Our standard free interviews policy is available up-front in advance to potential clients, so we recommend setting up a complimentary meeting. This meeting enables you to see from your side if we would be a good fit for your circumstances and plans ahead and allows us to gauge whether we genuinely can provide you with better service and better value (our two criteria for taking you on).

Use the Contact Us form to tell us in the first instance about yourself and your situation and we'll get right back to you.





Partners currently accepting clients

Gary Bishop

Surgical & Medical Practice Accountant, Structuring Consultant & Director at Doctor Financials

Please be aware if phoning that Gary uses high-powered hearing assistance