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Accounting for the Medical Office

Accounting is another of the administrative competencies in the medical assisting career. A person in this career may be required to take on many duties in the medical office that would typically be done by an office manager. This chapter describes the key areas of accounting and book-keeping that may be encountered.


The Business Side of a Medical Practice

Bookkeeping Methods

Banking for the Medical Office

Managing Accounts Payable

Managing Disbursements

Handling Payroll

Calculating and Filing Taxes

Managing Contracts

Learning Outcomes

After completing Chapter 18, you will be able to:

 18.1 Describe traditional bookkeeping systems, including single-entry and double-entry.
 18.2 Explain the benefits of performing bookkeeping tasks on the computer.
 18.3 List banking tasks in a medical office.
 18.4 Describe the logistics of accepting, endorsing, and depositing checks from patients and insurance companies.
 18.5 Reconcile the office's bank statements.
 18.6 Give several examples of disbursements.
 18.7 Record disbursements in a disbursement journal.
 18.8 Set up and maintain a petty cash fund.
 18.9 Create employee payroll information sheets.
 18.10 Compute an employee's gross earnings, total deductions, and net earnings.
 18.11 Prepare an employee earnings record and payroll register.
 18.12 Set up the practice's tax liability accounts.
 18.13 Complete federal, state, and local tax forms.
 18.14 Submit employment taxes to government agencies.
 18.15 Describe the basic parts of an employment contract.


The administrative and accounting duties of the medical assistant may involve several aspects of financial control through the proper understanding and management of accounts receivable and accounts payable. The use of standard bookkeeping and banking procedures is necessary in order to maintain the business of the office in proper form. The tasks involved may include the following:

  • Using daily logs of charges and receipts for patient accounts
  • Depositing cash and checks in bank accounts
  • Summarizing patient charges and receipts
  • Reconciling bank accounts to the practice records
  • Disbursing funds for petty cash and office purchases
  • Managing payroll for employees
  • Preparing tax forms for payroll processing
  • Assisting with contracts of the practice

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