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How do we make profit shares fair?

A points system is certainly helpful for modern practices, which frequently have a variety of partner working hours.

The simplest method is to list every aspect of partnership work including routine surgeries, visits, clinics, shared private work, administration, audit, out-of-hours and special duties (such as IT, finance, staff). Include any regular practice work, such as paperwork or projects, done at home.

You should then all meet and agree the number of points to allocate to each task. Start with a routine two-and-a-half-hour surgery. This could be allocated five points. Now look at all the other areas.

Most of them will be given points on a 'time spent' basis. So a clinic lasting two hours would be allocated four points or a one-hour finance meeting with the practice manager two points.

Out-of-hours work such as a Saturday morning surgery could receive a weighting such as seven points for two-and-a-half hours.

Once this has been agreed each partner can list, score and add up all the tasks they perform in an average four-week period.

Each partner's points total is added to create a practice total. Sharing ratios are then each partner's total expressed as a percentage of the practice total.

Ad hoc work such as an extra surgery can be reimbursed at an agreed rate. Most practices review their system annually and make this an opportunity for individual workload changes.

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