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To identify factors associated with financial performance of independently owned companion and mixed animal veterinary practices.


Financial statements (ie, annual balance sheets and income statements for 3 consecutive years) were obtained from 45 practices.


Ratio analysis of financial statements was performed with the DuPont Model, and practices were grouped into 4 financial performance groups on the basis of return on equity. Liquidity and solvency ratios and debt management and asset investment practices were then compared among financial performance groups


Financial liquidity was low across all financial performance groups, but most practices were solvent, with assets exceeding liabilities. Debt management was found to be a limiting factor for financial success, with lower-performing practices using credit cards and lines of credit to purchase capital assets. Practices that were not solvent owed debts on the purchase of intangible assets and had higher owner withdrawals, compared with other practices. Practices that built productive capacity by borrowing and investing in productive assets had higher long-term returns.


Results suggested that proper debt management coupled with prudent asset investment was associated with higher financial performance for independently owned companion and mixed animal veterinary practices.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association