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Academy of Dental CPAs | Career Tips for New Dentists

Starting your professional career as a new dentist can be one of the most exciting (and anxious) times of your life. Whether you are beginning your own practice or joining one, there are several important aspects to keep in mind. We have compiled a quick guide that will help you manage your priorities as a new dentist with confidence.

  1. Protect Your Work-Life Balance – While you might be used to a heavy schedule during your years in academia, don’t let yourself burn out. You deserve a healthy work-life balance. By setting expectations and following them, you can enjoy your time with friends, family, or hobbies without feeling tread on by your work schedule.
  2. Know Your Strengths – Your practice should center on two things: what you are compassionate about, and what you are incredible at. Don’t pursue a specialty just to appeal to your community if it isn’t something you are excited about. Focusing on your strengths will bring you more satisfaction in your work as well as higher quality to your service.
  3. Manage Your Debt – Dental school graduates usually have a significant trail of student debt following them. Whether you refinance, make extra payments, or choose an alternate repayment plan, focus on reducing your balance instead of simply paying off the interest. Don’t forget to contribute early to your retirement fund, either. The best time to start saving was yesterday.
  4. Successful Practice Management – A dental practice is a business, and a business needs a strong leader. Dental schools don’t typically prepare you for the financial and leadership elements of your career, so don’t be afraid to seek coaches or consultants. With the right mentor, both you and your practice can succeed.
  5. Continue Your Education – The last advice you want to hear as a new dentist is ‘more schooling,’ but it’s true. Once you have settled in, you should look for new opportunities to hone your skills. There exists a world of workshops, lectures, and courses that can further your passion in dentistry, bring you confidence in your work, and improve the value of your practice.

With the right mindset and plan, you can build yourself up as a new dentist, achieving your leadership and financial goals. If you are considering starting your own practice, our team will be the resource you need to secure your future in success. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Academy of Dental CPAs | 4 Ways to Grow Your Confidence as a Business Leader

The up and down nature of confidence can be exemplified as a business leader because of the stressful nature of maintaining a high-ranking position. Confidence can grow with practice and effort. Here are four ways to grow confidence as a business leader.

Consistency is Key
Rapidly changing methods and ideas can prevent a business leader from feeling confident. The business should work for the business leader, not the other way around. Gaining a sense of consistency and stability with schedules, rules, and realistic expectations can lead to an increase in confidence that the business will run smoothly. Know and understand the key parts of the business, important dates, and the function of each role. You can only become confident in your business operations when you fully grasp the nature of the entire business.

Be Yourself
Being afraid to say what you think can be viewed as a lack of confidence. Speaking your mind, while still having a professional filter, can build confidence as it shows you are part of a team and contributing. Being yourself will also dispel any notion coworkers might have that you are not being a genuine person. Openness and authenticity will not only strengthen your bond with your employees, but are also essential traits for effective leadership.

Be Open to Criticism
Change cannot come from one person alone, and not all criticism should be seen as a slight against you. Listen to feedback from coworkers and customers and tailor that feedback into something positive. Do not let the criticism fester and destroy your confidence, take it and use it to grow as a person. Accepting constructive criticism and negative comments can help increase your confidence.

Know What You Are Talking About
Fully understanding what you are talking about can help improve your confidence. If you are a business leader, strive to know everything you can about the business and its operations. If you are speaking about a topic, research everything you can about that topic. Become the expert. You will be better positioned to demonstrate confidence when it is clear that you are invested in what you are discussing.

Confidence can not only make or break your career, it can impact the business as a whole. You can take your confidence to the next level, while learning how to prevent situations from arising that can be detrimental to your confidence.

For a consultation, contact our team.

Academy of Dental CPAs | 5 Signs You NEED an Accountant

Have you wondered whether you actually need to have a professional accountant? Here are 5 signs that confirm you do:

1) You earn over $200,000 per year – Your odds of being audited once you start earning over $200,000 a year increases to nearly 4%. While this may not seem like a large number, it’s actually an increase of over 300%. Having your financials in order in case this does occur is vitally important once you become a high-earner.

2) You are a business owner or are self-employed – Utilizing the services of an accounting professional is vitally important for any business owner or entrepreneur. Tax laws change annually. The current US tax code has over 7 million words in it. Making sure all of your deductions are included, your assets are depreciating properly, and you are maximizing your tax savings will wind up saving you money in the long run.

3) You are setting money aside for others – When putting money aside for your children, grandchildren, or anyone you want to take care of, it’s very important to use a financial professional to decide which vehicles to use for tax-deferred or tax-free savings. This includes college savings plans or trusts.

4) You are incurring large capital gains tax – The key to success in paying big capital gains tax is paying at long-term rates. An accountant can help you with a Qualified Small Business Tax Credit, minimize your taxes, and help you set long-term payment goals.

5) You are experiencing rapid growth in your business – Not only is keeping your finances up to date time-consuming, it’s also complicated. When you’re experiencing rapid growth, it’s time to call in an accounting professional. Having more customers, employees, and vendors is going to require more paperwork and number crunching and can rapidly become impossible for you to manage.

Contact our team today to learn how we can make your life easier.

Academy of Dental CPAs | Claim Financial Freedom

Whether you’re starting a new practice or have been an owner dentist for years, the financial stress that can come from being a business owner can sometimes overwhelm even the most seasoned professionals. Our goal is to help you achieve complete financial freedom so that financial worries don’t interfere with your ability to work well.

Below are some tips you can follow on your own to help build a rock-solid foundation for your practice. Staying organized and up-to-date with your financials allows you to focus on delivering quality care to your patients. Contact our firm today to learn how we can help!

1. Have a plan. As the popular saying goes, “failing to plan is planning to fail.” In order to see true success, you’ll need to have both short and long-term plans for your practice. How will you allocate new earnings? How is your practice prepared to deal with slow seasons? How are you budgeting for new purchases? If you don’t already have answers to these questions, they could be a great place to start. Planning for the unexpected can help safeguard your profitability from being derailed by unforeseen expenses.

2. Set goals. Don’t be afraid to dream big. Your practice will only be as successful as you make it. Setting goals allows you to have a clear yardstick to measure your success against and can help you make better financial choices in the present. By recognizing the simple truth that every small decision you make now can have a huge impact on the future, you’ll be able to start setting yourself up for success. Your future self with thank you.

3. Be Smart. When starting or growing your business, there can be benefits to taking on strategic debt. However, doing so in a manner that will benefit, rather than hinder your growth requires an understanding of the returns you can expect on your investment. Don’t jump into big purchases without a plan, rather weigh the potential benefits and risks of all your financial decisions.

4. Get Organized. Disorganization can be a killer for any business. In order to ensure you’re not letting anything important slip through the cracks, it’s important to have systems in place that will guarantee nothing is missed. In addition to protecting you from unforeseen troubles, efficient organization can also help bring opportunities for improvement to light. Whether it’s money that could be saved or resources that could be conserved, understanding the ins and outs of your financials can help you to understand exactly how your money is being used.

If you feel that you could improve in any of these areas, our firm is here to help! Our goal is to make the process of managing and running your practice as simple as possible, allowing you to focus on delivering quality work to your patients and growing your business. Contact us today to learn more.

Academy of Dental CPAs | Combat Burnout to Increase Production

Have you ever felt tired, stressed, and overwhelmed to the point where it impacts your production numbers? Burnout can happen to all dentists and their teams. Yes, this includes you. Before burnout starts to significantly impact your practice, you need to know how to recognize it and how to manage it.

Identify Signs of Burnout

If you start to feel unfocused, tired, or bored, you may be experiencing burnout. Does your team lack the enthusiasm they once possessed? When you start to notice these clues and behaviors, take action immediately. You and your team have invested countless hours in building a fulfilling career in dentistry. Don’t allow a temporary period of burnout to cause you to question your work. Instead, it’s time to reinvigorate your attitude.

Identify the Problem Areas

When production numbers begin to slip, look at where your numbers are starting to drag. A dental CPA can help you identify areas where your numbers a falling. When a department’s numbers begin to sink, your team members can start to feel low, impacting the office’s overall morale. Identifying the problem area allows you and your team to find and implement a solution before dissatisfaction spreads.

Identify New Areas to Explore

If you are experiencing burnout, the time may be right to learn a new skill. Sign up for a CE course or workshop on a subject that is new or intriguing. By expanding your skills, you can increase the number of services you provide, which can turn sagging appointment numbers around. Could your team benefit from additional courses? You may want to try selecting a course the entire team can participate in together. Not only will you all be learning new applicable skills, but you will be improving your relationships with each other which will lead to improved morale.

Burnout will happen to even the best dental team. When you start to notice the signs of burnout, don’t wait for things to improve on their own. Be proactive and identify the areas you or the team could improve. Whether it is improving the number of hygiene appointments, or taking a new CE course, take action immediately to combat signs of burnout.

A dental CPA team can help you evaluate areas of opportunity. Contact us today.

Academy of Dental CPAs | Common Payroll Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Academy of Dental CPAs

Handling payroll for a dental practice is often thought of as a simple task. The truth, however, is that there are many minor errors that can easily lead to major problems. Train your team to catch these small mistakes your practice might be making, so you can be sure to avoid them in the future.

Estimated Recordkeeping – Don’t wait until the day before payroll is due to log shifts worked for the pay period. Days can begin to blend together and it can be challenging to recall who worked which days and times after the fact. Looking through notes and emails to figure out past days’ activities can be stressful and even inaccurate, leading to incorrect pay.

Employee Misclassifications – There are many differences, at both federal and state levels, between an employee and a contractor. Make sure you classify your team members, temporary replacement workers, and anyone else in payroll correctly to ensure an accurate, streamlined process. Depending on the infraction and your area, heavy penalties can occur for misclassified worker pay.

Not Tracking Bonuses or Gifts – Work trips or group outings are no problem, but any sort of bonus or gift that has monetary value needs to be tracked. Gift cards are a common example of this. Make sure to keep a running log of any exchanges like these for year-end purposes.

Paying Employees Wrong Rates – When employees are hired, given a raise, or have their pay otherwise adjusted, make sure this is correctly logged in the system or software you use. Using an hourly wage in a program to pay as salary can have rounding problems, so double-check your work. Manual error or forgetting to process a raise on the books right away can lead to owing back-pay or other issues in the future.

Holidays or Haphazard Payroll – Try to set a fixed schedule for your payroll. When holidays affect the normal cycle, have an established plan to deal with it appropriately. Depending on your area, missing or late payroll can create tax headaches or incur penalties, as well as causing hardship for your team.

Payroll can be a straightforward and mistake-free process at your practice, but it requires proper oversight and attention. Keep an airtight system, follow up on any mistakes, and think ahead. For more information on how to handle payroll or tax concerns, contact our office.

Academy of Dental CPAs | Converting Leads into Patients

Academy of Dental CPAs | Converting Leads into Patients

Marketing is an essential part of attracting new business. Strong print and internet marketing materials can help introduce your practice to potential new patients. Glowing reviews and testimonials tell people that you have a trustworthy team and offer quality care. However, even the best marketing efforts won’t contribute anything to your business if you fail to convert leads into patients. There are a variety of reasons outside of your control that might stop someone from scheduling an appointment at your practice, but it’s important to make sure you do all you can to help motivate people to seek treatment with you. Below are some tips to help your team more effectively sell the value of your service to potential new patients. 

Be responsive and available. As a dental professional, you know what it’s like to be busy. Often, your patients have busy lives of their own. Make sure your team is available to take calls as they come and try to offer flexible appointment times to help people work within their limited free time. 

Don’t be too pushy. While it’s helpful to be clear about all the treatments offered at your practice, patients are often turned off by overly “salesy” approaches. Take the time to get to know a patient and their needs, goals, and budget before trying to sell them on dental solutions. This will make them feel valued and understood, increasing the likelihood of treatment plan acceptance. 

Offer a friendly and welcoming environment. There are a number of people who absolutely dread going to the dentist. Because of that, some potential patients may already have a negative feeling towards you and your team despite no fault of your own. Work to overcome this discomfort quickly by offering a personable and kind environment. Make sure your team greets patients by name and gets to know a bit about them. A little can go a long way. 

Don’t lose track of people. Repetition is one of the easiest techniques for cementing something into memory. If a potential new patient contacts your office, be sure to follow up if you don’t hear from them again. You never know the reason they didn’t call back, so taking that step for them can offer a second chance to make a connection and help your practice stand out more in their mind. 

Many dentists find it difficult to think about their practice as a business. It is likely that you chose dentistry due to a passion for service and healing, not bookkeeping or sales. Yet nearly any successful retailer will say that the only way to gain business is to give customers what they want, when they want it. Contact our firm for more strategies on boosting new patient numbers and patient retention! 

Academy of Dental CPAs | Medicine for Your Business

The business world often goes hand in hand with stress. Pressures to attract new customers, meet quotas, or increase productivity can make working feel like an unpleasant chore. If you have begun to dread going into the office due to an oppressive atmosphere, chances are strong that you are not alone in your feelings. Turning things around for you and your team may be easier than you think. Consider adding fun back to your business with a daily dose of laughter. 

Academy of Dental CPAs | Medicine for Your Business

 While the addition of humor to the workplace does not move deadlines or reduce the expectations for performance, it can help create a more enjoyable environment for everyone there. When the office feels fun and engaging, the work feels lighter and more accessible. Scientific studies have shown that laughter relieves tension, boosts the immune system, and relaxes the muscles. Additionally, laughing can increase memory, energy, and creativity and elevate the mood. Every office can benefit from these effects. 

There are many ways to inject some humor into your workdays. Try sharing a joke with your team to start the huddle and invite them to bring their own. Post a board in a shared space and challenge everyone to bring a funny image or comic strip to hang. Have a silly shirt day once a week or once a month. Take silly photos or videos of you and your team to share on social media. 

Embracing a little more humor with your colleagues and team takes only a small investment of time and can yield large increases in mood, productivity, and worker morale. For more ideas on making your work more engaging, contact our office. 

The best medicine for your business is to check out Aberdeen Technologies as they can help you with medical device manufacturing and medical injection molding.

Academy of Dental CPAs | Dental Practice Human Resources: FAQs

Academy of Dental CPAs | Dental Practice Human Resources: FAQs

Whether you manage human resource decisions and concerns yourself or simply oversee your practice manager, as the business owner, you are responsible for ensuring your policies are legal, appropriate, and applied fairly. You may find it useful to take a moment to review a few commonly asked questions regarding aspects of human resources for dental practice owners. 

What questions do I need to avoid during interviews? 

There are a few basic, even common questions we would not think twice about asking during conversation that are not appropriate for an interview setting. Some of these include: 

  • Are you married? 
  • Do you have children? 
  • What is the origin of your (unusual) name? 

While all these questions can be meant to break the ice, they can also lead to the sharing of information about protected class status, such as disability, family status, ethnic or religious heritage, and others. Even if the answers would have no bearing on your decision, these questions can leave you open to a complaint or suit if the position is not offered. 

What should I do if an employee refuses to sign their disciplinary action form? 

Bring a witness into the room, note the refusal to sign, and have the witness sign confirmation that the disciplinary action form was provided. Additionally, remind the employee that refusal to sign does not nullify the disciplinary action and further infractions can still lead to more serious consequences. 

We use software to track the hours our employees work. The program has a function to automatically deduct meal times so the employee does not need to manually clock in and out. Should we use that function? 

Before you decide to implement an automatic system of this type, consider the time saved by not manually entering hours. Then compare that to the time lost by entering corrections if a team member misses lunch, returns early, or runs late. If your office rarely deviates from schedule, this may be beneficial. However, if you find that you are making corrections more than once or twice a week, it may be costing more time than it saves. 

If you have other questions regarding staffing concerns, contact our office for a practice management consultation. 

Dental CPA | From Dreams to Reality: Effective Goal-Setting

No matter how impressive your vision for your practice may be, dreams require hard work, strategic planning, and a willingness to adapt to make them real. Highly successful practice owners learn to set goals realistically and effectively. Master the skills of effective goal-setting, strategic planning, and assessment to find greater success in your business. 

Dental CPA | From Dreams to Reality: Effective Goal-Setting

Set Incremental Goals 

Start small when setting goals. Establish daily and weekly goals. It can be easy to let ambition take over while you dream of long-term goals. However, you cannot reach your long-term goals without smaller victories along the way. Setting smaller, incremental goals provides the opportunity for you to be in constant control of your practice. You will know if you miss a weekly goal, and you can then adjust your strategy to make sure it never happens again. If you are only setting quarterly or yearly goals it can come as a surprise when you miss them, or your team might be left struggling to meet them at the last minute. 

Make Goals Visible 

You and your team need a visual reminder of what your goals are and when you plan to achieve them. Put them up on a bulletin board in the office, include them on your calendar. Write your goals in a place you look daily as a constant reminder. We all have those back-of-the-mind thoughts or ideas that might be good if implemented, but they are frequently forgotten. Make your goals visible to you and your entire team. 

Goals Need to be Measured 

How will you know if you achieved your goal if you cannot measure it? Goals should have a measurable standard. Perhaps your goal is to see 10 new patients by the end of each month or to increase the number of referrals by 50% before the end of the quarter. Pick specific numbers and concepts that can be defined in a concrete way. Abstract goals are harder to reach because they are too difficult to define. When goals are measurable, you will know exactly what you need to achieve your desired result.  

Rethink the way you are setting your goals for your practice. Your ambitious plans will be successful only if you have a road map to reach them. This is where effective goal setting comes in. Get into the habit of writing down your goals and measuring them. Effective goal-setting strategies take careful planning. Master these skills and you will be on your way to the practice success you have dreamed of achieving. 

For more tips on managing your practice, please contact us.