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Assistant practice manager training plan 3: Practice finance

Assistant practice managers are often involved in some aspects of practice finance. This training plan suggests tasks in this area that can be delegated to the APM.

Depending on the size of the practice finance, is another area where APMs are often involved. This can range from handling petty cash up to maintaining the financial records of the practice.  

Below are some suggestions for areas that can be delegated to APMs.

Petty cash

Explain the current system for handling petty cash and hand this to the  APM to administer. Ask them to review the system to ensure it is working and accurate.  

Stock control

Depending on the size of your practice you may want to delegate all stock ordering and control to the APM, in larger practices HCAs or nurses may be responsible for the ordering of clinical supplies.  

Encourage the APM to research different suppliers on a regular basis to ensure value for money.

Invoice payment

Ask the APM to review the invoice system, is it working smoothly, can they suggest any improvements? Is there a system for flagging unpaid invoices and chasing them?  

For invoices the surgery needs to pay is there a good stock check system in place? Is there a process for checking invoices against stock received and forwarding these for payment?

Insurance reports and private work

Is there a system for allocating insurance reports to doctors and getting them back in a timely manner. How are reports tracked to ensure payment?

What is your system for ensuring you are paid for any private work? Is there any way to improve this?

Business and employer insurance

Is this something your APM could research and write a proposal of the options? It is good practice to review all standing orders and direct debits on a regular basis to ensure that the practice is getting value for money.  

Annual accounts

The preparation of the annual accounts can be stressful, even with systems in place and it will vary from practice to practice how much the APM is involved in the annual accounts meeting. However it can be helpful to allow them to sit in this meeting so they understand the financial situation and help to set up systems to ensure that all paperwork is labelled and filed to make it easier to audit at year end.


Ask APM to set up systems to ensure that all claims are made on a regular basis and to ensure that payment is made. It may be necessary to set up searches on the clinical system to ensure that accurate data is collated for submission, it may also be necessary to talk to the clinicians to ensure that they are read coding appropriately so that claims can be made.

Useful reading


Assistant practice manager training plan

Fionnuala O'Donnell is a practice manager in Ealing, West London, and a CCG board member.

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