AAHA/VMG Chart of Accounts

Two men looking at a computer
In this article:
  • Understand the importance of financial standardization in veterinary practice.
  • Learn how the AAHA/VMG Chart of Accounts can help you strengthen your finances and grow your practice.


VMA standardized Acct infographic


Industry-standard accounting

Running a veterinary practice is similar in many ways to running any other business. On one hand it requires flexibility, innovation, and creative thinking. On the other—financial practicality and attention to detail. Believe it or not, a good veterinary accounting system is integral to both.

The AVMA—along with many other organizations—recommends the AAHA/VMG Chart of Accounts as the standard chart of accounts for veterinary practices. It applies best-practice accounting standards for classifying revenue, expense, and balance sheet accounts in practice.

The AAHA/VMG Chart of Accounts is more than just a basic utility to track bills and payments. It lets you better organize your finances and collect data you need to strengthen your operation. It’s free for all veterinary practices, and you can begin implementing it in your hospital today.

Get the chart of accounts

Profit fuels innovation

Profitability and economic sustainability are essential in veterinary practices. A thriving balance sheet keeps the clinic doors open, and supplies exam rooms and labs with state-of-the-art equipment to enhance patient care. Our clients and patients rely on us to stay in business, and that requires healthy finances.

What can you do with the AAHA/VMG Chart of Accounts?
  • Measure your clinic against industry standards.
  • See where you excel and find opportunity to improve.
  • Shed light on income and expenses.
  • Match specific revenue items with associated costs.
  • Simplify budgeting.
  • Streamline training of bookkeeping staff.
  • Provide detailed financial data to demonstrate economic health to potential buyers.

Easy to implement and use

If you’re not already using the AAHA/VMG Chart of Accounts, it’s relatively easy to make the switch. You can do it gradually or all at once, depending what seems right for your individual practice. You also can hire help. Your bookkeeping firm can typically do it for you in just a few days for a few hundred dollars.

Our resource booklet Financial standardization in veterinary practices: Why it matters and how to do it can help you deploy and use the standard chart of accounts. Developed jointly by the AVMA and American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), the booklet is full of practical information, including:

Being good at the business side of veterinary medicine is good for business and good for patients.

  • Standard definitions
  • Step-by-step implementation plan
  • Roles and responsibilities of team members
  • Change management advice
  • Case studies from hospitals using the chart of accounts 

Get the chart of accounts