Value of adding financial expertise can be rewarding for practice

Phyllis Billington, certified ophthalmic executive (COE), Horizon Eye Specialists & LASIK Center, Orlando, shared some reasons for adding a chief financial officer (CFO) to her practice and Mike Trier, practice CFO, shared the benefits to the practice during their presentation, "The Value of Adding Financial Expertise."

Phyllis Billington, certified ophthalmic executive (COE), Horizon Eye Specialists & LASIK Center, Orlando, shared some reasons for adding a chief financial officer (CFO) to her practice and Mike Trier, practice CFO, shared the benefits to the practice during their presentation, "The Value of Adding Financial Expertise."

When a bad financial situation arises, Billington urged attendees of the American Society of Ophthalmic Administrators-sponsored COE rapid-fire presentations to ask the tough questions: "Am I being replaced?" and "Am I doing that bad of a job?"

"You have to be strong enough to ask the questions, but you also have to be strong enough to hear the answers," Billington said.

Billington said she did not have to fear for her job and actually took an active role in hiring Trier. Some structures that Trier helped add to the practice included budgeting, strategic planning, and service excellence standards.

The practice now has new mission, vision, and value statements and five key strategic goals for 2008 and 2009. These goals are complete with actions for how to carry them out.

"One thing we did implement right away was service excellence standards. We have 12 general standards of excellence," Trier said.

The practice also is trying to avoid pitfalls such as having too much change at one time and not communicating effectively, according to Billington and Trier. Progressively, they also are placing priority on planning for a new office.