Financial Management For Your Mental Health Practice: Key Concepts Made Simple


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What experts are saying about this book: 

“This brief and easy-to-read book should be read and used by every private practitioner. It offers a data-based approach to establishing and running a private practice as a successful business. Its common sense approach, practical information, and easy-to-understand examples will make this a great resource for those new to private practice and experienced professionals alike. All those who want to run a successful private practice should read this book.” – Jeffrey E. Barnett, Psy.D., ABPP, Associate Dean, Loyola College of Arts and Sciences, Professor, Department of Psychology, Co-author of Financial Success in Mental Health Practice (APA Books) and Billing and Collecting for Your Mental Health Practice (APA Books).

“This concise and encouraging offering presents a convincing argument for protecting the substantial investment mental health practitioners make in their professional careers while providing practical and unintimidating financial guidance for doing so, particularly for those interested in owning a group practice. Illustrative examples and chapter summaries demonstrating “How It All Fits Together” assure practitioners they can and should adopt the identity of “business owner,” even without a background in accounting or finance.” Kristi S. Van Sickle, PsyD, CPA Assistant Professor of Psychology, Florida Institute of Technology School of Psychology, Melbourne, FL

“If the thought of the business aspects of your practice brings up any degree of fear/worry/concern, then consider reading Financial Management for Your Mental Health Practice: Key Concepts Made Simple by Jeffery Zimmerman, PhD, and Diane Libby, CPA. This small, concise paperback book outlines and defines the basic principles of accounting practices and business management. Clinicians who are new to private practice will appreciate the basics offered in this book. However, even those clinicians with several years of experience will find the book helpful as the authors provide guidance on common business decisions one considers throughout the lifetime of a private practice…The strengths of this book are its concise writing, easy to follow examples, and the providing of information that covers the lifespan of a mental health practice. There is no fluff in this book at all. The authors give clear, well-written definitions and explanations of terms and concepts…I found this book to be a helpful guide in my practice. The clear definitions, suggested metrics, and discussion of common business decisions will allow me to enter my CPA’s office more educated and better prepared to talk about the future of my practice. I intend to refer to the book often as I take my group practice from infancy to maturity.” Samantha Slaughter, PsyD business consultant, CEO of Integrative Psychological Services of Seattle (, and licensed psychologist. 

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Financial Management For Your Mental Health Practice: Key Concepts Made Simple

By Jeff Zimmerman, Ph.D. and Diane Libby, CPA.

Published by TPI Press

Perhaps no issue is more important to the sustained success of a mental health practice than understanding the financial aspects of running a business. Yet this topic receives such little attention in training Without full awareness of where revenues are coming from, and where they are allocated in the practice, how can a small business owner know how they are doing financially? Could you be doing better? Where should you invest more resources? Where could you cut expenses? How can you review financial statements in order to plan for sustained growth in your practice?

One need not be a CPA to develop and maintain a successful practice; but understanding basic accounting concepts is one of the necessary ingredients. In this book Dr. Zimmerman combines his years of experience running a large mental health practice and consulting to mental health practices, with Ms. Libby’s years of experience working as a CPA for mental health practices, to develop a helpful and important primer that is essential reading for anyone wanting a financially successful practice.


Read the introduction here (click arrow to expand)[expand] 


Get ready to start on a journey. This is a journey you may believe that you just cannot take. Or, it may be one that you have attempted but then given up on. The journey is learning some basic accounting and financial business principles and practices as it relates to the operation of a mental health practice.

No, you don’t have to be good in math or have an MBA as a prerequisite to begin this journey. We (a psychologist who has spent over 30 years in private practice and an accountant who consults with mental health practices) are going to teach you the basics in a manner that is straight to the point and pertinent to running an independent mental health practice. Whether you are in solo practice or have a large inter-disciplinary practice (or are somewhere in between), we have written this book to help you think about your practice as a business and better understand some of the basic accounting and financial principles necessary to be fiscally aware. It is going to be easier than you expect.

Learning these principles can help you: (a) make better business decisions; (b) deal with bank and loan officers, and (c) understand the reports generated by your office software and your accountant. We have purposely kept this book short. It is only seven chapters. Each chapter will discuss a key element related to the journey (a stop along the way) and conclude with how all the points in the chapter can fit together.

We will begin in Chapter 1 focusing on why this all seems so difficult. In Chapter 2 we discuss some basic principles of Accounting and Finance. We will show you in Chapter 3 many key measures related to your practice and show you how you can use them to understand and when necessary shift what is happening in the business of your practice. In Chapter 4 we show you how to use some of these measures and combine them with general, as well as some specific, strategies for managing your practice. Chapter 5 outlines various strategies for compensating employees and how to determine what ranges of compensation are reasonable for your particular practice. Chapter 6 focuses on planning for retirement. Chapter 7 addresses a number of common business decisions that practice owners face and how to line up your mentors and advisors.  [/expand]  

Table of contents (click arrow to expand)[expand] 

Chapter 1: I Never Took an Accounting class

     Why is it so difficult?

     How it all fits together

Chapter 2: Accounting and Finances

     Method of accounting

     General ledger/chart of accounts

     Profit and loss statement


     Accounts payable

     Accounts receivable

     Debts: Loans and lines of credit

     Setting up your practice management system and your accounting system

     How it all fits together

Chapter 3: Practice Metrics

     Income and expenses

     Billings and collections

     Accounts receivable

     Case origination

     How it all fits together

Chapter 4: Principles of Practice Management

     Weekly oversight meetings

     Monthly oversight meetings

     Quarterly oversight meetings

     Additional strategies for internal controls

     Other strategies

     How it all fits together

Chapter 5: Compensation

     Employee compensation

     Owner’s compensation

     How it all fits together

Chapter 6: Saving for Retirement

    Retirement plans with no employees

    Retirement plans for practices with employees

    How it all fits together

Chapter 7: Making it Work

     General principles

     Common business decisions

     Lining up your mentors and advisors

     How it all fits together [/expand]


About the authors

Jeff3Jeffrey Zimmerman, Ph.D., ABPP is a licensed psychologist (Connecticut and New York) in independent practice for over 30 years. He returned to solo practice in 2007 after serving as a founding and managing partner of a group practice for 22 years. Dr. Zimmerman is a founding partner of The Practice Institute, LLC , and co-author of The Ethics of Private Practice: A Guide for Mental Health Clinicians. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and past-President of the Connecticut Psychological Association. He has received numerous awards, including Distinguished Contribution to the Practice of Psychology from the Connecticut Psychological Association Diane LibbyDiane V. Libby is a licensed CPA in Connecticut with 33 years of experience in public accounting. Diane joined Adams Samartino & Co. CPAs as a partner in 1996, coming from the regional firm Blum Shapiro and Co, where she became a tax partner in 1990. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Accountancy from Bentley College in 1982 and a Master's Degree in Taxation from the University of Hartford in 1987. Diane is a member of the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants. Additionally she serves on the Board of Governor's for Charlotte Hungerford Hospital.

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