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Academy of Dental CPAs | Thousand Dollar Mistakes You May Be Making

 Most dentists are experts at what they do. They keep teeth healthy. Many of those same dentists are less experienced in making sure their books are well kept and accurately reflect the financial health of their practice. Both of these skills are absolutely critical to maintaining the longevity of your practice. With that in mind, here are 3 common bookkeeping mistakes that could be costing you thousands of dollars and eventually your entire business.

Misunderstanding the Difference Between Cash Flow and Profit

Understanding financial reports is no easy task. The complexity can often be confusing for inexperienced people, leading to some costly mistakes. Commonly, a dentist/in house bookkeeper will mistake profit figures for the amount of available cash. This is not correct. As a result of this mistake, dentists make purchases hat incur overdraft fees and charges costing your practice a lot of money. Profits are computed using a profit and loss statement. Cash flow however, is measured using a cash flow equation and factoring in depreciation expenses, inventory, and accounts receivable.  

Accidently Recording Transactions in the Wrong Period

Another common mistake is made as practices “close the books” at the end of each month. As your in house bookkeeper reconciles accounts and prepares your financial statements, transactions from previous periods can be wrongfully entered. If this mistake goes unnoticed, all of your future reports will be wrong as well as you tax documents and cash figures. As you can imagine, that is not good news. Misrepresentation of cash, whether or not it was an honest mistake, can mean a doubling of repair costs and harsh penalties from the IRS.

Not Working With an Experienced Dental Accountant

Trying to manage your financials yourself or hiring and inexperienced bookkeeper can spell disaster for your practice. High tax bills, theft, common cash mistakes and more are all results of an unreliable accounting system. 

Working with a dental accountant can save you time and money by implementing an effective system. Give yourself the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have an accurate understanding of your practice finances at all times. Contact our office for more information.

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Academy of Dental CPAs | How Hiring a Dental Accountant Can Save Time

Dental Accountant

Staff issues, the IRS, practice management, day to day business needs; it can all seem overwhelming. It’s more than likely that you got into the dental field to be a dentist, not an accountant, and even though those are important, we know it might just not be your thing. You don’t have to worry- most dentists feel the same way. But unfortunately lack of interest or knowledge doesn’t let you off the hook. After all, the right accountant can be the difference between your practice succeeding or failing. As your best line of defense against the complex and brutal business world, a specialized CPA can save you not only a great deal of time, but also money.

 Unlike an accounting computer program, a specialized accountant does more than provide basic numbers. Unless you or someone on your staff has a background in dental accounting, you’ll need a CPA to organize and present the data in a useful way. A skilled dental CPA will go multiple steps further than a computer program ever could. Just as you gather information to help treat your patients, your dental accountant will use those reports to evaluate, diagnose and plan in order to keep your business running as efficiently as possible.

The CPA will ask questions and create solutions to problems such as: How is the financial health of you practice? What can we do to minimize taxes and generate more revenue? Is it time to add another dentist?

Services your CPA will provide depend upon your needs. You may only need your tax returns prepared. But if you’re looking for the maximum benefit of a specialized accountant, they can also provide you with added security, tax planning and expert business advice. Remember, an excellent dental CPA can save you both time and money while providing peace of mind.

If you have questions about what a specialized CPA can do for you practice, or would like to begin your search for a CPA, contact our office today.

Academy of Dental CPAs | Is Your Business Healthy?

The definition of success is subjective. However, many can agree that accomplishing a healthy work-life balance seems to be one of the most important ways to achieve success on many levels. By establishing healthy business habits, you can minimize the occurrence of career burn-out. If you’re experiencing career dissatisfaction and questioning the health of your business, consider the following:

Establish healthier habits. Arrive at work at the same time each day. Consistency for yourself and your team can make a difference in creating a peaceful work environment. Dedicate time to work on your business, and stick to it. When administrative work, important decisions and other owner responsibilities stack up, it’s common to carry that stress around with you. Eventually it affects your team and patient satisfaction as well.

Know your number. Money is not the root of all evil. It’s also not the solution to every problem. It’s a necessary component to running a healthy business. It’s important to know where you stand financially and have the ability to make smart investment decisions. Before purchasing that $30,000 “high tech solution to all of your problems”, consider how it will truly aid in providing better care for your patients. What will the ROI be? How have others in your situation made this investment profitable? Our team will help advise your major financial decisions. When it comes to your numbers, it’s helpful to know where you stand at all times. We are here for you.

Owning a business can be a very satisfying and rewarding responsibility. It can be difficult to find the time needed to accomplish everything on your to-do list. Prioritize your responsibilities and create deadlines. This alone will help you make the time for the important items that often get pushed to the backburner. Once your priorities are clear, it will become easier to say “no” when necessary and to have the focus required to check off important items.

If you’d like assistance in making wise financial decisions, contact us.

Academy of Dental CPAs | There’s Power in Numbers

Being a member of the exclusive Academy of Dental Certified Accountants (ADCPA.org) allows our team the benefit of providing collective experience, national averages and best practices. The ADCPA meets twice per year to learn and grow together. By joining with dentistry’s top dental accountants, we have the ability to expand our service offerings, continually improve our communication and technology, as well as learn about ancillary supporting services which benefit our dental clients.

If considering a general CPA for your dental practice, consider the advantages to hiring an ADCPA member.

When uniting with other top dental CPA’s, our team has the ability to learn alternative ways to serve our clients. We discuss controversial topics and learn where our peers stand in terms of providing the most ethical, and beneficial tax strategies. Having a CPA that is well versed in tax law and is up to date on best practices can save you time and money.

Dental CPAs provide a wide range of dental specific accounting needs. As your Practice grows, your taxes become more complex. Dental CPAs will share effective techniques for maximizing your tax savings. Aside from tax planning and support, we offer proficient insight on current trends and relevant issues that aid in making sound decisions for your business. Whether starting your first practice or managing your established growth, you can rest assured knowing your our team is by your side, providing you with strategic advice, every step of the way.

For more information on how our team will help you, contact us.

Academy of Dental CPAs | 3 Ways to Buy Time: Boost Your Practice’s Productivity with Time-Saving Measures

Time is your most precious resource. On certain days, managing your time is not just difficult, it is downright impossible. Ask yourself about the strategies you are currently using to organize your day. What other tools could you be leveraging to save your practice’s most precious commodity? Here are 3 methods you can implement to maximize your time.

1. Re-evaluate Your Management Tactics

You can buy time without spending a dime. Employ a new way of keeping track of practice productivity. You can have your team record their tasks for the day in a quick email. Each staff member can quantitatively list their duties, allowing for simple reference later. This cuts down on micromanaging your staff by way of asking, “What did you do today?” Managerial work is difficult to implement after a full day of back-to-back appointments.

You can cut back on daily meetings because you will have a clear picture of what each team member is contributing. Having a list of completed tasks at the end of the day allows for everyone at your practice to be keenly aware of who is to be held accountable for each task.

2. Utilize Apps to Maximize Efficiency

“Lost time is never found again.” Ben Franklin knew this more than 200 years ago, so how can you apply this knowledge to running your practice? There are numerous tools available for your phone that can be a valuable resource for keeping track of your practice. You can benefit from the use of efficiency apps. In today’s world, there is no need to manage all aspects of your business manually.

Take advantage of scheduling apps and software. You can schedule emails to remind patients to book their next visit to your office without having to send it in real time. This can be an indispensable tool for patient retention, by keeping you in consistent contact with your patients. Apps such as these will help you save time, and keep track of your practice’s performance.

3. Consider Express Check-In

It is not always your team that is responsible for lost time slipping through your fingers. One late patient can set the whole day off-schedule. Make it easy for your patients to register. Provide compliant forms online for patients to fill out before coming into the office. Saving time at the front desk will help your entire practice run on schedule. Never allow for your practice to earn a reputation of running behind schedule, instead work with your patients to create a smoother, faster registration. Your patients will not want to fill out redundant forms. Rework any documents or forms where possible to prevent your patients from filling out information such as their name and address multiple times.

Successful business leaders are experts at time management. Put methods in place that allow for concrete, quantitative results to measure productivity. Utilize technology to make your life easier and allow your patients to work with you to save time. Don’t get caught watching the sand fall through the timer, take action and rethink your time management strategies. Contact our team today to schedule a consultation.

Academy of Dental CPAs | 4 Simple Ways to Reduce No-Shows

Whether your patient is scheduled for a cosmetic consultation, restoration placement, or routine hygiene and screening visit, you want to be certain they will come. When your patient cancels with little or no notice, they delay important treatment and wreak havoc with your schedule. Even one missed appointment per day can lead to thousands in lost revenue in a single year.

Reports indicate that about one in ten patients cancels or skips scheduled dental visits. Consider these 4 easily implemented strategies for reducing your practice no-show rate:

  1. During a patient’s visit, clearly communicate the state of their oral health. Explain what treatment they need, why they need it, and when it needs to happen. Emphasize the benefits of receiving the treatment in a timely manner. Patients who understand the value of their treatment are more likely to remember and return as scheduled.
  • Ask your patient to choose how their appointments are confirmed. Offer to use text, email, mail, or phone calls, if possible, so they are more likely to receive their reminder. Consider offering your patient the ability to authorize you to contact a spouse, parent, or partner who most often handles scheduling or reminding them of commitments.
  • Whatever their method of choice, follow through with appointment reminders at least 24-48 hours prior to their scheduled window. If you speak to someone directly during a reminder, choose words that prompt the patient to agree to call if they cannot keep the appointment. Cancellations are less frequent when the patient feels they have made a commitment.

4. Set aside time at least once a month for your team to reach out to patients who are not yet scheduled for their next visit. Use the preferred contact method on file and offer same day or next day appointments, if possible. This has the benefit of both bringing back inactive patients and filling openings left by cancellations or reschedules.

Communication is key in reducing no-shows and reactivating patients. Before implementing new strategies for scheduling, hold a team meeting and discuss your new policies in detail. Be certain that every member on your team is ready and willing to explain the value of treatment, follow up with patients, and support the changes to your systems.

For more ideas that can help your business thrive, contact our office for a consultation.

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

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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 | 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.