A lot can happen in two decades. Just ask PWB’s hearing industry team leader, Jeremy Kiecker. He started working with audiologists and hearing aid specialists nearly 20 years ago and hasn’t looked back since. As you might imagine, he’s seen it all and then some. To get his take on all things audiology, we sat down to ask him a few questions. Here are his responses, edited for clarity.
Why does PWB focus on the hearing industry?
The Twin Cities has long been home to a large number of hearing aid manufacturers. Years ago, we were asked to be a preferred provider of accounting services by a few of them. We began to learn their businesses and how to best serve them, and our work with the hearing industry grew from there.
What are the top 3 most pressing challenges facing audiologists and hearing aid specialists today?
The number one challenge we see is not being able to access timely and accurate financial information. The uncertainty of this past year (2020) accentuated the challenges some practices have with getting their hands on it. Without it, it’s nearly impossible to pivot in the face of change, and, as we all know, the various government relief programs required a slew of financial documents.
Not having enough hours in the day to do it all—to have a life while running and growing a practice—is another challenge that plagues audiologists. This is especially true for those that find themselves being pulled into back-office tasks.
The third most pressing challenge is keeping up with tax and regulatory changes. Many practice owners say it’s overwhelming to even think about them.
What services does PWB provide most often for clients in the hearing industry?
Beyond guiding hearing industry clients through financial management, tax, and compliance issues, we offer a variety of audiology-focused solutions. The package we offer most is our QuickBooks Oversight package. This is ideal for practices that have an internal accountant but may need additional tax or financial management guidance throughout the month.
What should audiologists and hearing aid specialists be thinking about today?
Right now, the industry is going through several changes sparked by the pandemic. In addition, practice owners are facing continued competition from big-box stores, the threat of over-the-counter hearing solutions, and third party versus private pay—all of which are changing the way patients access hearing care.
With this in mind, practices need to be financially sound. Practice owners should be reviewing their cost structures to make sure they’re charging enough for their services. They should be pulling the right information out of their financials and patient management systems, tracking the right KPIs, and making adjustments as quickly as possible.
Needless to say, this isn’t the first time the industry has experienced change. And it won’t be the last. We’re confident the practices we serve will find new ways to adapt.
Learn more about PWB’s hearing industry-focused services.
Connect with Jeremy Kiecker.