Our People

Biography

Peter Saccasan is the National Leader, Health Services and National Director, Pharmacy and a Director in the Business Advisory division of RSM in Sydney.

As National Leader of the Health sector at RSM, Peter seeks to bring to market the advisory, compliance and risk management services that RSM can offer to a range of health industries. Health Services by RSM brings together RSM’s seven service lines and highlights the sector-specific solutions that each division has brought to clients in this sector. 

Peter Saccasan is a Partner of RSM Australia Partners and a Director of RSM Australia Pty Ltd.

"In leading Health Services by RSM, my experience in Pharmacy has enabled me to co-ordinate RSM’s approach to providing industry-specific services to the ever-growing Health market."

With a background in the SME market and over 20 years of pharmacy experience, Peter provides a complete business service for pharmacy owners and private client businesses, with a focus on sustainability.

In his role as National Director, Pharmacy, Peter leads a team of industry specialists who understand the sector. The Pharmacy team at RSM has worked with hundreds of pharmacy owners to ensure their businesses are performing well and achieving industry-standard benchmarks. In addition, the team continues to assist prospective owners to carry out due diligence on target pharmacies as well as help them through the acquisition process which can be quite daunting. This is in addition to helping them manage their tax and accounting affairs effectively.

"I find it rewarding that we can help new and existing owners navigate their way through a pharmacy acquisition. Through that process, we also look to ensure that clients use the business structure that is appropriate to their needs. Having worked to understand one industry in detail, I find this helps in talking to clients in any industry and in getting to know what makes their businesses tick. "

Prior to joining the firm, Peter operated in partnership, his own accounting practice for almost 25 years. He speaks regularly at pharmacy conferences and has been a contributing author to pharmacy trade magazines. Peter was also made a life member of the Australian College of Pharmacy for his contribution to the organisation.

Outside the worlds of health, pharmacy and accounting, Peter loves State of Origin rugby league, especially being a Queenslander living in NSW. He also enjoys watching live Test Cricket and has been lucky enough to see cricket at both the SCG and MCG. He also played soccer for 30 years.  Peter is a family man with five children and, at last count, 10 grandchildren in the growing tribe.

I believe I can look at the big picture as well as ensure the underlying details are attended to.

SOLUTIONS PETER PROVIDES

Peter is responsible for providing business and tax advisory services for a wide variety of pharmacy and business clients. Through his extensive business advisory experience and knowledge of the pharmacy industry, Peter is able to provide sound advice and innovative solutions in the areas of:Peter Saccasan

  • Buying a pharmacy
  • Improving a pharmacy
  • Managing cashflow
  • Partnership and succession
  • Strategy and advice
  • Structures, finance and valuations

View our health services >

View our pharmacy business services >


Significant projects

Through specialisation in one area, the focus on pharmacy has also enabled Peter to identify quickly the key drivers of any business and provide appropriate guidance to owners of different types of businesses.

  • Worked with large groups of owners and across different states. 
  • Assisted in transactions for multiple store acquisitions.
  • Was successful in getting Ministerial approval for a new PBS number after rejection by the ACPA.

Appointments

  • Formerly a National Director of the Australian College of Pharmacy

Professional associations

  • Fellow, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand
  • Fellow Honoris Causa, Australian College of Pharmacy

Qualifications

  • Master of Economics
  • Bachelor of Financial Administration
  • Leading the Professional Services Firm - Harvard Business School

  • Strategic Planning and Management in Retailing Program - Australian Centre of Retail Studies

Publications

Webinar: Due Diligence - Tips and Traps | October 2020

7 October 2020
RSM Australia was proud sponsor of the recently concluded 2020 Pharmacy Ownership Ready Conference, hosted by Medici Capital and Attain Pty Ltd. The conference was done online where pre-recorded webinars were made available covering a wide range of topics about what's to come and what can be expected from the buying process and ownersh...

Webinar: Pharmacy Business Insights | 9 September 2020

9 September 2020
The Guild Learning and Development hosted the Pharmacy Business Insights Webinar on 9th September 2020 where Peter Saccasan, National Director, Pharmacy Services at RSM, along with Natalie Sirianni (Director of Attain Business Brokers) and Philip Chapman (Director MiLease and Lease1), discussed the current pharmacy business landscape...

Pharmacy Business Insights – Podcast

8 September 2020
Peter Saccasan is featured in a Pharmacy Business & Career Network Podcast. In this podcast episode, Peter explains the current business landscape in the pharmacy industry, highlights the importance of business management and provides valuable insights on key strategies that can assist pharmacy owners in managing their businesses throu...

Pharmacy Businesses - COVID-19 Support

27 April 2020
This information pack is directed specifically at pharmacy owners and their businesses. COVID-19 support and economic stimulus packages are discussed and specific information is included around: cash boosts cash savings from tax commitments investment boosts JobKeeper payments: 10 must-read FAQs for pharmacy...

The ‘P’ in Pharmacy – It’s about Professionalism, not Price

9 September 2019
The ‘P’ in Pharmacy – It’s about Professionalism, not Price 2019 is an opportune time to consider your professional services offering and the value to pharmacy and customer alike. How can professional services impact my pharmacy? The Guild recently estimated that the latest round of price disclosure will reduce dispensary remunerat...

4 Tax Tips for Pharmacy Business Owners.

2 July 2019
As the income tax year draws to a close yet again, many pharmacy owners will take on the daunting task of looking through their financial records and start to consider the extent of taxes to be paid on hard-earned profits. Fortunately, there are legitimate and acceptable strategies to help your pharmacy reduce its tax footprint come 30 June. ...

Single Touch Payroll reporting is coming - employers take note!

16 March 2018
Employers with 20 or more employees will need to change the way they report to the ATO from 1 July 2018.  Single Touch Payroll (“STP”) is a new reporting system the ATO has introduced. STP involves the reporting of payroll payments, PAYG and superannuation directly to the ATO for every pay run that is made.   What do EMPLOYER...

Liquidity a problem? Give your business a health check !!

2 December 2016
Companies relying on historically low interest rates to mask their true capacity to pay bills when they fall due, need to seriously address debt serviceability once the official cash rate starts moving higher which some will say will occur in 2017. Companies with insufficient cash flow to service a higher cost of debt could face a cash squeeze and ...

Just what is a sustainable cash flow?

21 November 2016
Many SME owners struggle to differentiate between profit and cash flow.  If asked to produce a cash flow forecast, most will revert to producing a profit forecast.  But profit and cash flow are definitely not the same.  Growth is not necessarily a sign of success For example, did you know you can actually go broke if your busin...

Are low interest rates reducing business risk?

23 September 2016
The current low-interest climate In 2016, the Reserve Bank has again lowered the cash rate, taking a 0.25% cut to bring the rate down to the current 1.5%.  It really is staggering – an official cash rate of just 1.5%.  Recently one bank has come out and boldly predicted the rate will fall to 1.0%. We did a little research and have...

Don't follow 'the pack'

11 August 2016
Have you ever heard of the mysterious 'they'? If you are a parent of teenaged children 'they' are close family friends. You know how it goes, 'they' always get the most privileges, have the best parents ever, go to the movies every weekend and of course, 'they' have an unlimited phone plan. Yep, 'they' are living proof that I, as a parent, kno...

Health innovation must continue for pharmacy

20 June 2016
The April price cuts continue the downward spiral on medicine prices and the gross profit return to pharmacy. Since PBS reforms began, the known goal is that dispensary contribution can only be arrested by volume. As the GP$ per prescription falls, pharmacy owners need more scripts to provide the same GP$ which are used to pay the overhea...

What price are you really paying for that pharmacy?

19 May 2016
Last month I wrote about the art of negotiation in a pharmacy purchase. If you get the timing right with asking the right questions you can generally argue the price down in a sensible way. This month I want to look at the impact of paying above valuation for a pharmacy and what that means for your investment. Current pharmacy market ...

Are you in good shape? How about your business?

2 May 2016
At a tender age of 50+ (now that I have been here for a few years, ‘50’ is the new ‘40’ okay!), I have recently bounded off for the ‘executive health check’.  After 2 ½ hours of testing, sampling, hitting the tread mill etc., I (and my wife) am pleased to report that all is well. All the vital signs are in good shape and...

Timing really is everything

7 April 2016
Back in January this year I wrote about the keen price being paid for pharmacy businesses. A few months down the track and I have to say that the market continues to be strong. In that last article I stressed the importance of getting the debt and equity mix right and ensuring that cashflow was sufficient to enable all commitments to be m...

Exclusive interview with Retail Pharmacy magazine

30 March 2016
National Director of pharmacy services at RSM and long-time pharmacy business adviser, Peter Saccasan, speaks to Retail Pharmacy about cashflow, telling owners the real story about their pharmacy business performance. You have been an adviser to the pharmacy industry for 20 years and your firm has recently been part of a...

Your pharmacy cashflow: a great story, or are you dreaming?

18 March 2016
‘The king is dead! Long live the king!’, as they say when the monarchy passes on. In the case of pharmacy, the old king (turnover or sales or the PBS cheque) has long passed its use-by date as a key indicator of the business. It’s what you get out of the sale and what you do with it that counts. You can start with GP$...

Jack of all trades, master of…?

18 March 2016
For many years the pharmacy industry has been doing battle with primarily the grocers who have been eyeing off the foot traffic that travels in and out of pharmacy and trying to divert that into their stores. There have been many suggestions that it is time to 'create competition', 'stop the rip-off' and 'do the right thing by the consumer'&nb...

That dollar discount – the power of 3!

5 February 2016
EVEYRONE knows what the dollar discount is about.  So let’s just talk about some issues. Firstly – it can apply to ALL scripts.  The big focus has been on concessional patients but the discount can apply to general scripts as well.  With the dollar discount has come the PBS co-payment and safety net changes. The followin...

Practical business planning, it's easy as now, where, how

15 January 2016
Building a business plan is not difficult. Yes, it does take a little time, and yes, it is a useful process. The process can be brought down to just three clear steps: where are you NOW? WHERE are you headed? HOW will you get there? By working through these three steps, you will easily build a plan, a...

How hot is too hot?

9 December 2015
The market for pharmacy businesses is very strong at the moment with what appears to be the unleashing of unmet demand in the run-up to the close of 5CPA and the commencement of 6CPA. I am seeing seriously high prices being paid for many businesses. How is the price determined? My readers would know that the price of a pharmacy business is ge...

Make the RIGHT connection or go broke trying

5 November 2015
Most pharmacy owners use key performance indicators to some extent in monitoring their pharmacy. Invariably all of the KPIs will focus on trading, on the profit issues. Very few will focus on the balance sheet and, if they do, it will only be on stock. To ensure you are in a sound financial position, you need to bring the balance she...

Are you on the professional services starting line?

31 October 2015
One of the key announcements relating to the 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement (6CPA) was the continuing importance placed on community pharmacy programs . There has been an increase from the 5CPA commitment of approximately $600m up to an amount of $1.26b. Where is the funding being directed? Approximately $613m is earmarked fo...

Cash remains the key to success

12 October 2015
‘Things change but everything remains the same’, as they say. Despite the confidence that has come back to the market after 6CPA, owners still need to focus on business growth through gaining script growth, driving retail sales, implementing professional services and managing expenses. For those owners who may have borrowed significan...

Planning DOES pay off!

11 September 2015
There are some truly focused pharmacy owners out there. Over the past month I have had the pleasure of interacting with three pharmacies who were winners in the Guild Pharmacy of the Year. The common theme that rose to the surface in our discussions was that each one of them was systematic in their approach to transferring their pass...

Partnerships - the three G’s!

31 August 2015
That’s right - getting in, getting along and getting out. Going into business with colleagues has a certain appeal to it, sharing the load in many respects. You can share the financial burden, the business stress, management duties - even have alternate holidays so that the business runs smoothly. Many good points to admi...

The profit pain is over – or is it?

11 August 2015
6CPA has arrived and owners appear to have seamlessly moved into and absorbed the new way of being. In my last article I outlined the changes to remuneration, including the implementation of the new AHI fee. Relatively speaking, 6CPA has helped in slowing the impact of accelerated price disclosure and the train wreck that was appearing un...

RX evolution confirmed by 6CPA

10 August 2015
Dispensary profit will continue to be impacted and, without volume growth, the dollars may not be sustainable. The imperative remains for pharmacy owners to develop the whole of their business and not just dispense scripts. The new agreement by its very nature is not straightforward. Owners need to work&nb...

Next year’s plan ready to go?

16 April 2015
No doubt those who attended APP 2015 came away with many ideas to implement in the pharmacy. Since that time there has been much dampening of enthusiasm with potential horror stories coming out around the imminent 6th Agreement and the 2015 federal budget. With more looming cuts to the PBS the screws continue to tighten on pharmacy owners and ...

A changing business model – start thinking

4 March 2015
It has now been almost 3 years since Lipitor came off patent and the real effects of PBS reforms started to make a dent in pharmacy profits. In that time we have witnessed shrinking profits and rising costs, and whilst generic substitution opportunities have increased along with the substitution fee, these have lagged behind the profit impact of re...

Low interest rates are good, right?

3 March 2015
The Reserve Bank has just announced a drop in interest rates to a record low of 2.25 percent, which should translate to continuing lending rates of five percent or less for most pharmacy owners. No doubt this was the cause for joy among owners with a reasonable level of borrowings, which seems to be the norm ...

Going into partnership – at what cost?

23 December 2014
Over the past 12 months I have had some interesting discussions with vendors of pharmacies about the potential impact of PBS reform on their profitability and ultimately the value of their pharmacy business. Most were in denial and insistent that there should be no adjustment and that the purchaser could be assured (but not in writing) that th...

Just what is ‘pharmacy practice?'

12 November 2014
There has been much discussion passing on the airwaves over the past month on the possible introduction of variable pharmacy remuneration. Another view is that dispensary is core business and that there should be some basic remuneration on current lines without going overboard to jump at the ‘new fad’ of variable pharmacy payments. I co...

Open and shut case? Deregulation NOT an option. Or is it?

21 October 2014
The big news of the past month has no doubt been the Competition Review draft recommendations around pharmacy. This has set the hounds running with strong views being circulated on both sides of the case around deregulation. Do we have to be the same? The review, by its very nature, has a clear focus on competition and its mantra is the ...

Big data for better decisions

31 August 2014
At the Australian College of Pharmacy conference just held in Hobart, presenters teased out the concept of ‘big data’ (or BD) and what this might mean to pharmacy. Owners are already competing against BD proponents such as Woolworths and Coles. No doubt, the franchise owners also apply their own BD science to drive purchasing and logi...

Driving to the target

11 August 2014
Reduced margins on dispensary income dollars are now a reality with PBS reforms taking bite. ScriptMap reports, which I know my readers get regularly, are becoming reality as the reductions hit dispensary GP$. Owners should be setting out practical steps to planning to overcome the reductions to their GP$ and net profit. The term 'busi...

Opportunity keeps knocking

9 July 2014
Amidst the seat-shifting that is being done around PBS reforms, there is still the glimmer of light that appears when someone is more focused on the opportunity in pharmacy rather than pending armageddon. I have had some great conversations recently with some people who continue to be positive about the industry and what they believe can be im...

Targeting the new bottom line

6 June 2014
In last month’s article, I focused on the imperative to move the pharmacist into the front line of customer engagement. This is across the pharmacy not just in the dispensary. It is move which brings your most qualified team member into direct contact with the customer. The aim is to ensure that all needs are properly identified and met...

Pharmacist first - moving from fulfilment to adviser

4 May 2014
When a client calls my office, I guess that seven times out of ten they are seeking to speak either to me or one of my senior managers. Perhaps they generally want to talk through an issue which may or may not be important, so they can call me on my direct line or mobile because I have supplied that to them just for this occasio...

A simple process to implementing change

31 March 2014
At APP, I presented on the topic of building a sustainable pharmacy business. A sustainable business is one which produces the necessary profits and cashflow to enable a business to grow and meet its commitments now and into the future. Over the past few months I have been writing about the need to change the pharmacy business model in or...

"Hello, I'm here!" - maximising the customer visit

2 March 2014
In my last two articles I have written of the change imperative that is ever more present in retail pharmacy. With the price changes of PBS reform taking profits out of the bottom line of pharmacy, action is needed to replace it. The replacement revenue is needed quickly but you can manufacture an income stream overnight. Getting the a...

Professional health solutions - the time is now

20 January 2014
It looks like a price cut, smells like one, sounds like one - just maybe it is one. The December 2013 price changes have arrived and with it the beginning of the slide in prescription profits that have been forecast, well, for years now. Pharmacy owners have been told ad nausea that this would happen and now it’s here. The los...
Events

APP 2016

18 - 20 March 2016
Pharmacy specialist and RSM partner Peter Saccasan will be presenting at the APP2016 conference at 12:30pm on Saturday 19th March. Peter's presentation at the 2016 APP conference will focus on: Cash flow tells the REAL story about your pharmacy. A Pharmacy can be profitable but STILL run out of cash, a good understanding o...

Webinar | Pharmacy Business Insights

Wednesday 9 September | 6:30pm - 8:30pm AEST
Guild Learning and Development will host the Pharmacy Business Insights Webinar where Peter Saccasan, National Director, Pharmacy Services at RSM, along with Natalie Sirianni (Director of Attain Business Brokers) and Philip Chapman (Director MiLease and Lease1), will present on the current pharmacy business landscape and issues....

Webinar | 2020 Pharmacy Ownership Ready Conference

October 2020
RSM Australia is sponsoring the 2020 Pharmacy Ownership Ready Conference, hosted by Medici Capital and Attain Pty Ltd, which has moved to an online version with pre-recorded sessions.  The videos will include the relevant information and a range of topics that will prepare you for what's to come and what can be expected from the buying...