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Making Bookkeeping Easier for Private Health Providers

Originally published by SHOPS Plus

Managing a business is a lot of work and many health care providers who own facilities have never received training in business administration, making it even more of a challenge. SHOPS Plus helps providers acquire the necessary skills to run their facilities efficiently and effectively through business and financial management training. These skills are particularly important in accessing credit.

Accurate accounting is essential to the success of any business so one of the key skills the project provides in its training is bookkeeping. Although sometimes overlooked because it is a conventional practice, without proper bookkeeping, managing a business is close to impossible.

Ndieng is a midwife and owner of the Al Noor clinic using the ledger. | Credit: SHOPS Plus

Identifying the need for a new tool during provider coaching

During a one-on-one business coaching session with trained provider, Bineta Sène Sall (also known as Madame Ndieng), SHOPS Plus senior training manager, Talla Diop, realized that although the provider understood the accounting system, she was having trouble keeping her books up to date. Ndieng was using a plain notebook as an accounting ledger, and it was just too time-consuming to have to copy the column headings by hand, over and over again.

Ndieng, a midwife, owns the Al Noor Clinic in Petit Mbao, Senegal. The one-on-one coaching is part of the continued support offered by SHOPS Plus to providers that demonstrate high motivation or that have ideas for investment projects requiring financing. In her case, it was rebuilding a clinic that was destroyed by flooding.

Easy solution becomes key product in trainings

Nurse Ngoné Gueye uses the ledger to help manage the Yaye Fatou Thiam clinic’s accounting. | Credit: SHOPS Plus

SHOPS Plus found a quick solution to the problem. Diop developed a standard accounting ledger sheet that he photocopied and gave to the provider. This simple tool transformed Ndieng’s bookkeeping and has since enabled her to keep her facility’s accounting records current. As a result of this success, Diop had the accounting ledger sheet printed, copied, and bound, and now this simple but important tool is accessible to all providers.

Since its development, whenever the SHOPS Plus team runs a business and financial management training session, it brings these accounting ledger books. The books are available for purchase so that providers can put their new bookkeeping skills into immediate practice. By investing in the management skills of private health providers, the project supports the success of their facilities which in turn allows them to serve more patients.

Learn more about our provider access to finance work.