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Dental CPAs | Be a Leader, Not a Manager

Practice leaders set the standard and pace of your work. Managers hover and maintain status quo. Which definition sounds like you? Changing the way your practice is structured or operates can be a vast undertaking. Use these tips to get started on a path for developing an innovative practice that you lead, not manage.

Leaders Innovate

Leaders develop ideas that further practices. Managers use the framework that is already in place. Don’t hover over your hygienists or office staff. Let their work speak for itself and step in where necessary. Demonstrate to your team the qualities you want through your own actions.

Do What You Do Best

The majority of your time should be spent with patients, that is the best use of your abilities. This means you must delegate tasks to other team members. Leaders delegate tasks. Let your office staff handle the clerical side of the practice. Utilize a hands-off strategy where appropriate to free your time for patients.

Track Team Tasks

Rather than micromanaging your team, have them write or email their daily tasks to you. This will allow you to track the team’s progress and use of time. It will also save you from constantly asking, “What did you do today?” Hold your team accountable for their tasks. Request that your team define their tasks in quantitative terms. Spot-check as you feel necessary.

Know When to Hire and Train

When your practice feels swamped, hire and train. Leaders can recognize if their team is unable to handle the current workload. Pushing your team beyond their limits is not going to produce the results you are striving to achieve. Your team will work best when they have the necessary time and resources to do their tasks.

Leaders don’t have the time to micromanage. Leaders know when to back off and let the practice run on its own. This doesn’t mean you should let your entire operation always run on auto-pilot, but focus on letting each team member contribute their abilities in the best capacity. The only way to break through the status-quo is to allow for new ideas and strategies to take hold. This cannot be achieved if you are spending your time hovering over your team. Transform the way you manage your practice and your practice will transform itself.

To learn more, contact our office.

Dental Accountants | The Bright Side of Customer Complaints

Dental CPAs

No matter how fantastic you and your team are, you will occasionally have a customer complain about something. When this happens, you and your team may feel discouraged, frustrated, or even annoyed, depending on the specific complaint and how it was shared. It can be easy to brush the complaint aside and tell yourself that the client was just having a bad day. However, changing the way you think about customer complaints can be highly beneficial to your business.

Client complaints may involve anything from office décor or other customers to the time, cost, or outcome of a business transaction. Even concerns that feel trivial or unfair to you should be handled with respect and appreciation. Like any consumer, your client wants to feel like you care about their experience and their feelings. A complaint is an opportunity for you to win back a customer’s trust.

If you thank your customer for bringing their concerns to you, commit to taking action to correct the situation, and follow through on your commitment, you will earn loyalty from that client. This loyalty can translate into additional business from the client, and even referrals to friends, family, and social media connections. Over time, handing one complaint as an opportunity to improve can lead to hundreds or even thousands of dollars in revenue.

However, if customers leave your office feeling that their concerns are unimportant to you, they will likely look elsewhere for business in the future. Unhappy clients do not stay with your business. They do not refer others to you. They may even tell others about their unpleasant experience with your office, which can cost you potential customers and revenue.

Every customer complaint you receive is a gift. Your team or business may have a weakness that you were unaware was an issue. If one client voices a complaint, it is likely that others have noticed the problem as well. Consider asking customers for feedback after a visit. Let them know proactively that you appreciate their input and are ready and willing to provide the best experience possible. When your customers feel valued, they will be more loyal to you, your team, and your company.

For more tips on providing a better customer experience, contact our office.

 

Dental CPAs | Making Informed Acquisitions

Dental Accounting

Purchasing an existing practice can be an exciting prospect. Whether it’s your first practice or you’re an established owner, the process can be lengthy as you weigh all the pros and cons of the potential investment. Making sure you know everything you need to about a practice before considering an acquisition will help protect you from making a poor choice that could end up costing you in the long run. Below are some considerations to keep in mind when looking to purchase a practice.

Acquisition is Just the Beginning

Even the most aesthetically modern and technologically advanced practice will require some renovations to make it match your branding and culture. This is especially true for older practices or ones that simply aren’t up to the standards you hold. A great deal on a building might not seem so great if you’ll have to pay twice as much to get it patient-ready.

Assess the Assets

Before you commit to purchasing a practice, a professional appraisal of assets is highly recommended. This can include everything from the soundness of the construction to the usability of the existing furniture or the functionality of the existing equipment. It’s essential to know exactly what is included in your potential purchase and to make sure it’s worth the amount you will be paying for it.

Reputation Matters

When looking to purchase a practice, figure out what reputation the current owners have built in the community. If it has particularly poor reviews or has a hard time retaining patients, those are important potential hurdles to keep in mind. While it’s not impossible to build a new reputation for your new practice, it will require more effort on your part to establish your separation from the previous ownership.

These tips may help you think more comprehensively about practice acquisition. If you need advice on a potential acquisition you’re considering or are simply looking for additional guidance in running your practice well, contact our firm today!

Dental Accountants | How to Create a Patient Friendly Environment

Dental offices can be intimidating for patients when they first walk through the door. New patients may be faced with a busy office phone ringing and the sounds of dental equipment in the background. These situations can add to the anxiety new patients may be feeling. Here are three strategies that your dental office can use to create a more patient-friendly atmosphere.

Friendly Front Desk Team

The first person a patient interacts with at a dental office is the front desk team. Not only will that team member be providing the first impression of the practice, but they will also be the one interacting with patients for future appointments. Having a friendly employee at the front desk can go a long way in creating a positive first impression, while alleviating any additional concerns patients may have. Compassionate team members will show patients how easy it is to work with your team and build patient loyalty.

Have a Presentable Waiting Room

The waiting time after arriving at a dental office can be nerve-wracking for anxious patients. Creating a presentable and welcoming waiting room can help lessen their stress. Amenities as simple as comfortable chairs and reading materials can help a patient take their mind off a visit. Creating a separate play area for children will keep them occupied while also helping to keep the noise level of the area down.

Communication is Key

Good communication can remove frustrations and keep the patient up to date regarding their oral health. Additionally, you will be able to build a strong doctor-patient relationship. Review all the options that a patient has for any needed treatment, cover different payment methods, and discuss easy ways to schedule appointments. Strong communication will keep your patients returning back to your office.

Provide each patient a great experience. Not only will your patients be happy with their dental care, but they can become referral sources for new patients. With these three strategies, your office can take a step in the right direction for creating a patient-friendly environment.

To see how our team can help you build a patient centric practice, contact us.

 

Dental CPAs | Why You Should Join – or Start – a Dental Study Club

Science is a field where the only true constant is change. Dentistry is no different. With advances in techniques and new technologies every year, it can be challenging to stay current, especially without breaking your budget.

Study clubs can be an ideal solution to this inevitable problem. There are many reasons why you should be gaining the benefits of membership in a dental study club. Here are some of the most valuable advantages you stand to gain:

Continuing Education

By pooling the resources of a group of dental professionals, you can attend continuing education lectures and clinical hands-on training in your local area, without all the time and expense of travel. This added source of training and education can be invaluable for staying current with new techniques and new technological advances. If you have a desire to focus your practice on one or more specific areas of dentistry, such as implants or sleep apnea treatment, a targeted study group can help you find and attend the courses you need to develop the skills and qualifications to reach your goal. 

Peer Support

With a dental study club, you are interacting with other dentists and specialists in your area. Group discussions have been shown to be one of the most effective ways to share experiences, techniques, challenges, and new ideas with like-minded individuals for the benefit of everyone involved. This informal venue can allow you to explore new ways of approaching a problem or a treatment and allows you to benefit from what another has already tried.

Networking

While it is not the primary reason to join a study club, you should not overlook the importance of networking. Making other dental contacts in your area can be highly beneficial. Specialists, in particular, depend on referrals from other dentists. It can be much easier to refer a patient or gain a referral when you have developed a relationship with other professionals and know how they treat their patients, what technologies they use, and other such information.

Whether you join a local study club or decide to create one of your own, the benefits of membership far outweigh the costs. For more information, contact us today.

 

Dental Accounting | Why Your Practice Needs Effective Team Meetings

Dental CPA

Regular effective team meetings can play a crucial role in the health of your dental practice. That one simple-sounding factor can impact every aspect of your business. Your people, your patients, and your practice all benefit from regular effective team meetings.

Your people need team meetings. The core of your practice is your vision, your goals, and your strategy for achieving your goals. Each member of your team needs to understand all of these things and, just as importantly, needs to understand their part in your plan. Without that understanding, your team is working blindly and is unable to actively contribute toward reaching your goals for your business.

A team meeting is an ideal format for open discussion about your vision, goals, and strategy. Not only can you use this discussion to ensure every member is clear on your expectations, but you may find that their unique perspective creates an exchange of ideas on more effective ways to reach your goals and how each person can best contribute.

While not every team meeting needs to include high-level discussion of vision, goals, and strategy, it is a good idea to include this at least once or twice a year and when bringing a new employee into the team. Additionally, many successful dentists find that it is highly useful to touch on how the strategies are being implemented and to discuss any measurable progress toward goals on at least a monthly basis. This helps to keep your team engaged and motivated toward achievement.

Your patients need team meetings. One of the most common components of an effective team meeting is education. Your team needs to know what the policies are, what is on the agenda for the day, if there are any specials being offered, if anyone is sick or on vacation. Any new ideas, training, or techniques that can be shared should be. Your patients need to know they will be given correct and consistent information from any member of your team. Make sure everyone is on the same page.

Your practice needs team meetings. Teach your team how to ask patients for referrals. Word of mouth can have a huge impact on your new customer base. Even happy, satisfied patients rarely refer anyone unless asked to do so, according to a recent study.  Your team members should be engaging your patients in every interaction to ensure a positive experience and should be able to ask for referrals when patients are pleased.

Only you can review your practice, your time, and your schedules to determine when and how frequently you should hold team meetings. Whether you meet daily, weekly, or on some other timeline, make your meetings regular and effective. You will see benefits to your team, your patient experience, and your practice.

Contact us to learn more.

 

Dental CPAs | Follow the Trends!

Dental CPAs Near Me

dental cpasWith technology and economic changes overhauling much of the dental industry, practices are requiring more innovation to stay ahead of the curve. Below are some trends to explore that can help you reach the top of the chart and stay there.

Onsite Amenities

Dental practices often run the mistake of being too clinical or severe in their appearance. Make your patients comfortable with modern, innovative amenities. Heated or massage chairs in examination rooms can calm anxious patients, while TVs installed on the ceilings (complimentary earphones optional) can offer a safe distraction while your team works.

Dental Insurance Coverage

Many patients are turned away at the thought of visiting a dentist who is out-of-network. Whether you decide to be in-network with more plans or use targeted marketing showing how affordable you are for out-of-network plans, you can open the door for many potential patients that otherwise may have gone elsewhere.

Payment Plans

Many potential patients do not have the option of a work-based dental benefits plan. Consider offering monthly payment plans, in-house financing, or working with a third-party to provide affordable options in these cases. When given the opportunity to have care within their budget, patients who lack insurance will have more ability to accept treatment.

New Technology

Upgraded equipment and modern technology can be a game-changer for many patients. Whether offering a quicker, more comfortable experience or ensuring a safe and effective treatment, using advanced technology on the market can help your dental practice target patients interested in quality.

Bolstered Online Presence

The internet has limitless potential to reach prospective patients in your area. Allow patients to learn more about you and your office, schedule a visit, and ask questions through your website, social media, and other online resources. In the modern economy, internet marketing is a must.

Don’t let your practice fall into the past – keep your practice relevant by following the trends that will keep you thriving. For more professional guidance, contact our office for a consultation.

ADCPA | Academy of Dental CPAs

 

Dental Accounting | Are You Getting All Your Tax Deductions?

Dental CPAs

dental cpasUnderpaying your taxes is a serious problem, but overpaying taxes by missing eligible deductions can be nearly as harmful to the growth of your dental practice. Tax deductions are powerful tools to reduce your taxable income, allowing you to save more of your revenue. Keep these important and easily-forgotten tax deductions in mind throughout the year so you’ll have your documentation ready for filing.

Marketing and Advertising
Is your dental practice engaged in marketing or advertising? In addition to being an important avenue to grow your patient base, marketing and advertising are also tax deductible. According to the IRS, as long as your expenses related to this are reasonable and are not aimed at promoting business activity outside of your industry, then you can write them off in their entirety.

Utilities and Overhead
Keep detailed records of your practice’s utilities so that you can write them off at the end of the year. Gas, electric, water, internet, phone – these are all deductible. Other overhead payments such as rent or mortgage can also be written off, so make sure to log them.

Lab Fees
A significant part of your annual budget, lab fees can make a substantial difference in your taxable income. Keep track of all expenditures for crowns, dentures, or other outside work that your business relies on to serve your patients. Save on your taxes by writing off these expenses.

Supplies and Equipment
From cotton swabs to top of the line equipment, track everything purchased for your dental practice. Save receipts and invoices, make a spreadsheet, or use software to log and categorize these costs. You will thank yourself at the end of the year for being meticulous.

Tax and Legal Fees
Services such as attorney consultations or tax professionals are also deductible, reducing your taxable income and offering you clarity while navigating tax laws.

Don’t overpay your taxes and stifle your practice’s growth potential. To be certain you are getting every possible deduction, contact our dental CPA office for a consultation.

 

ADCPA | Academy of Dental CPAs

Dental CPAs | Common Payroll Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Dental Accounting

Academy of Dental CPAsHandling 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.

ADCPA | Academy of Dental CPAs

 

Dental CPAs | Smart Money – Filing Taxes with an Accountant

Dental Accountant Near Me

Did you know that more than 65% of failed businesses blame financial mismanagement as their downfall? This is why forming a good relationship with a professional financial advisor is paramount to the longevity of your business.

When is the most important time to have this established relationship in place? That’s right – tax time. If you’re thinking about taking any shortcuts during this time (like using online software), you may want to reconsider. Why risk your entire business by cutting corners on something so crucial? Consider these reasons why you should work with a professional accountant.

Accountants understand tax code. Tax code is not only complicated – it changes frequently. It’s literally a full-time job interpreting and staying up to date. A financial professional will be able to guide you through this and take that stress off your plate. You’re already busy enough without having to keep up to date on tax law. Knowing you’re working with a professional can eliminate the stress of tax compliance. It’s hard to put a price on peace of mind.

Accountants know how to get you more deductions. Everyone wants to maximize their deductions, but only a true professional financial expert can get you everything you deserve.  Don’t leave any money on the table and don’t overpay on your taxes. Working with an accountant throughout the year will ensure you have the documentation you need to get your deductions and not overpay your taxes. This is exceptionally important especially for small businesses, like most dental offices.

Accountants minimize your risk. Are taxes the place where you want to cut corners and take a risk with your business and your team’s financial future? One mistake can land you in a heap of trouble. No one wants to deal with any sort of issue with the IRS let alone an audit. If you run into one of these scenarios, you’ll wind up paying far more than you would have if you worked with a professional from the beginning.

Everyone is willing to take some risks, especially small business owners and entrepreneurs.  Being brave enough to start your own business or follow your dreams is a risk in itself.  Don’t jeopardize your dream by cutting corners on one of the most important tasks of every year.  Work with a financial professional and allow yourself the peace of mind to protect what you’ve built.

For more information, contact us today.