Financial recordkeeping practices of self-employed dietetic practitioners Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/4m90f008r

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  • The practice of dietetics has changed over the past several years to include an increasing number of dietitians working in private practice. The 1986 census of The American Dietetic Association identified 2,383 (4.3%) of the membership as active in the Consulting Nutritionist in Private Practice group. Private practice opportunities have developed as a result of societal changes emphasizing preventive health care, the increasing elderly population, decline in hospital admissions and reduction in patient days. This necessitates the need for dietetic practitioners to provide services outside the traditional hospital setting. The increasing opportunities in dietetic private practice are paralleled by the dietetic practitioners' increased need for financial recordkeeping knowledge and skills. The purpose of this research was to determine the current financial recordkeeping methods utilized by self-employed dietetic practitioners. The objectives of this study were to: (1) identify financial recordkeeping practices of self-employed dietetic practitioners, and (2) determine if demographics influence the financial recordkeeping methods utilized by self-employed dietetic practitioners. A survey questionnaire was the research tool from which financial recordkeeping and demographic data were collected. The survey questionnaire was sent nationwide to a sample population selected from the Consulting Nutritionist in Private Practice group of The American Dietetic Association. Of the 310 surveys mailed, 79 percent valid responses were used in analysis using frequencies and chi square test of significance (P<.05). The results reflected that the largest percentage of the self-employed dietetic practitioners are relatively new to self-employment practice, within the past five to ten years, work fewer than 30 hours per week and earn 100 percent of their personal income from their practice. Comments provided by the respondents indicated enthusiasm and high interest in their practice. The majority of the self-employed dietetic practitioners use a manual financial recordkeeping system; however, they do not utilize standardized techniques. Significant outcomes of the financial recordkeeping system data were: 1) respondents' ratings of their financial recordkeeping systems efficiency, effectiveness and timeliness differed significantly between the manual and computer systems; 2) the respondent's ability to prepare financial records was significantly different when comparing the manual and computer systems; 3) the respondent's ability to prepare and maintain financial reports was significantly different when comparisons were made among the sources of the financial recordkeeping system. In most cases the respondent rated the manual financial recordkeeping system lower than the computer system. There were two general conclusions to be drawn from this research. First, self-employed dietetic practitioners appear to need additional education and skill development opportunities in accounting, finance and financial recordkeeping. Also, further research is needed to determine the specific financial recordkeeping methods necessary for dietetic specialty areas.
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