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Dental CPA | Finding Opportunity in Hygiene Appointments

What percentage of your total production consists of hygiene appointments? For many dentists, hygiene appointments make up a significant portion of total production numbers. According to a study last year, hygiene appointments comprise nearly one-third or greater of total production numbers for approximately 80% of all dentists. 

Dental CPA | Finding Opportunity in Hygiene Appointments

Hygiene is a significant source of overall production, but is there room for improvement? The same study uncovered a startling statistic – only 17% of dentists indicated that the majority of their active patients are receiving regular hygiene appointments every six months. This means there is a significant opportunity here. Hygiene numbers could increase as much as five times among current, active patients. 

What steps can you take to encourage patients to schedule, and attend, regular hygiene appointments? 

It is necessary to have an action plan in place. Create a consistent system that can be followed for confirmations. Some practices call or text one or two days prior to the appointment. This can help reduce the number of no-shows. Instill in your team the need to address the importance of hygiene examinations to patients. Most patients are not fully aware of all that goes on during the appointment and view it merely as a cleaning. Emphasize the need for regular oral cancer screenings as well.  

Opportunity exists within your practice. Harness the potential that each patient brings with regular hygiene visits.  

Boost hygiene production to improve your bottom line. Contact us for financial insight and assistance. 

Dental CPA | How Team Morale can Make or Break Your Dental Practice

Team morale can make or break your dental practice. It’s a bold statement, but there are several reasons why it is true. The morale of every member of your team impacts other team members, your patients, and over time, even your bottom line. If you want your dental practice to be a success, team morale needs to be a priority. 

Unhappy staff are less productive. When a member of your team is unhappy in their job, they work more slowly, are less efficient, and are less likely to “go the extra mile” to ensure a great patient experience. When an unhappy staff member isn’t giving a great patient experience, that patient is less likely to be a repeat patient and unlikely to refer anyone else to your practice. Over time, this could potentially cost you dozens of patients and thousands of dollars. 

Unhappy staff make other staff unhappy. When one person is feeling unmotivated, unappreciated, or disgruntled, their attitude affects those around them. Other staff are forced to work harder to compensate for the lack of productivity. One person complaining about being unhappy can hurt the morale of every other person in your office. What starts as a seemingly small problem can quickly gain momentum if it isn’t addressed quickly and correctly. 

Unhappy staff are more likely to quit. On the surface, this may seem like a good thing: take the poor attitude and low morale out of the equation. However, the cost of finding, hiring, and training a replacement can be high. Even more, the most common reason why an employee quits a job is that they feel unappreciated and/or unsupported by management. Chances are good that if one of your staff feels that way, others aren’t far behind. 

Overcome team morale issues with good leadership. As the dentist and CEO of the practice, you are the primary person your team is looking to for leadership. Hold yourself accountable to your team for following through on your promises. Deal with conflicts as soon as they arise. Have an open door policy that makes your staff feel comfortable coming to you with problems so you can address them before they become unmanageable. 

Hold regular effective team meetings to ensure every team member understands their place in your vision for the practice. Recognize individual and team successes. Show appreciation. Ensure that you are supportive of any staff empowered to make decisions. If you need to coach them on a change in policy, do so privately to avoid undermining their authority. 

You are the leader of your team. The trust, support, recognition, appreciation, and respect you give to your team is the foundation of your team’s morale. When you create a great working environment, your team morale is high. High team morale creates a better patient experience and greater productivity, which benefits everyone. To ensure your practice thrives, make your team’s morale a priority. 

Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you and your team.

Dental CPAs | How to Prepare for an Audit

The prospect for an audit can be daunting. The best way to combat the stress and anxiety induced with this process is to prepare yourself and your company before it happens. Below are a few tips to keep your stress levels low and your preparations high through the process. 

Know what it will entail 

If you are unaware of what an audit entails, it is a good idea to do your research and learn about the process. Knowing what questions the IRS examiner might ask or what documents they will want to see can help control your anxiety and show you are well prepared. 

Document thoroughly 

Get in the habit of keeping up with your primary and secondary tax records year-round to be better prepared for when an audit happens. Staying organized using a personal filing system will help you know where everything is. Be sure to have a digital and paper trail as well incase anything happens to either filing system. 

Gather the Information 

Before the audit happens, make sure you have all the necessary documentation that will be asked of you to present. If you believe something is missing, you can try to recreate the records as accurately as possible or contact the place where you submitted it to for their records. Since you will have all your documents in one place, lay out the information and label it for the auditor for an efficient process. 

Pre-audit compliance report 

If you feel overwhelmed or disorganized, get on track with a thorough examination of your financial data to prepare and compile your documents. Our experienced team will help you set up a system and provide you with confidence if facing an audit. 

For more information on audits, or addition accounting advice, contact us today. 

Dental CPAs | Making Informed Acquisitions

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 seriously considering an acquisition will help protect you from making a poor choice that could end up costing you big 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 or changes to make it match your branding and practice culture. This is even truer for older practices or ones that simply aren’t up to the standards you hold. It’s important to factor the costs of updating a practice will incur into your calculations. 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 the tangible 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’re about to pay 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 a more proactive 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 CPAs | Making the Right Impression

When clients visit your office, they observe. Your clients are going to make decisions and judgements based on what they see. If you don’t already, you need to think in the same manner your clients do. If you were a new client to your office, would you schedule a second appointment? Here are a few elements to consider. 

Your Office’s Appearance 

Look at your office. Is it clean and hygienic? Is it cluttered, dusty, or musty? Your clients will pick up on elements such as these. Make your office spotless. You risk your professional credibility if your office appears to be dirty. Clients are visiting you for professional treatment, so the environment must be clean. Décor matters too. Consider repainting your walls to be a soothing light blue or green. What artwork do you have hanging on your walls? Project a modern atmosphere to create confidence in your methods. 

Your Team’s Appearance 

Both you and your team should always be presentable. Is a team member coming to work wearing wrinkled clothing or covered with pet hair? Are phone calls left unanswered? An observant client will notice and it could cost you repeat business. You are in the business of retaining and serving your clients, so your team needs to smile often and set a confident, professional tone.  

Keeping your office clean is a key element to client retention. Create an environment that makes your clients feel comfortable. Visitors will interpret your office and the appearance of your team as a reflection of your professional capabilities. It is imperative in today’s age of social media and online reviews that you present a positive impression of your business. A misstep on your part may be read by other prospective clients online. 

Make the right impression with your clients if you hope to gain repeat business. 

To get started with a professional consultation, please contact us

Dental CPA | Opportunity Called – Did You Answer?

The first step to growing your practice is attracting new patients. Your website, social media, and marketing are all geared toward the idea of getting people to call your office. To help convert this interest into new patient appointments, you have probably spent time selecting and training the team members who answer the phones during office hours. But have you considered what happens when a prospective patient calls when the practice is closed? 

If a person calls your office for information about a service or comparison shopping, they may decide to call back within your business hours. Chances are, they were not ready to schedule an appointment at the time of the call, so they may accept the delay and still call back. However, a new or current patient who is experiencing a dental emergency is far more likely to hang up and try calling another dentist who has someone answering the phones and ready to help. 

Many dental practices do not have any coverage for phone calls outside their hours of operation or during lunch hour. Others have an impersonal answering machine advising callers of the practice hours and perhaps offering to record a message. This can be extremely frustrating for your patients, both current and prospective. 

If your patient discovers on Friday afternoon or evening that they will need to reschedule an appointment set for Monday morning, chances are that message will not be heard until it is too late to move another patient into the opening. If your phones are being answered outside working hours, this can be addressed much more promptly, leading to better scheduling and happier patients. 

You may be wondering how to arrange to have 24/7 phone coverage. There are a few options available, but one of the most economical and most personal for your practice is to train some of your team members to share the responsibility. No one has better knowledge of your practice, your patients, and your schedule than your own team. You will want to decide on the best way to compensate them for the added time, such as paying them a set amount per weekend or evening day or an amount per call answered. 

Once this is determined, arrange a rotation for the team members who will participate. Your main phone line can be forwarded to a practice-owned mobile phone during off-hours, which can be held by the team member on call. Be sure that each person has your after-hours contact information in case of an emergency, especially when you are first launching this system. 

After a few months, hold a meeting with all the involved team members to review the number of after-hours calls you receive, what times are most common, and how many are converted into new appointments for your practice. This can help you value the ROI for this new plan of action and to determine whether your office benefits from full 24/7 coverage or if a more limited extension of hours is more cost-effective. For more information contact our team today.

Dental CPA | Manage Your Calendar to Balance Your Life

Appointments and continuing education consume most of your time. How do you manage to live a happy, well-adjusted, balanced life when you simply don’t have time? The key is in planning. Do you use a calendar to manage your time or do you simply make agreements and arrangements as they come up? Here is how you can balance your schedule by managing your calendar. 

Set Clear Boundaries 

The first step to achieving a work-life balance is to consider your basic responsibilities and obligations. Set aside blocks of time in your calendar to meet with patients, hold team meetings, and attend organizational group meetings. Your calendar should be your primary time-management tool.  

Time Off Means Time Off 

You need to set aside time for activities unrelated to work. When you decide to take a day off, make sure it’s in your calendar. If it’s not in there, your time off is likely to be consumed by an emergency patient appointment, unexpected meeting, or other business-related expense. Make your scheduling priorities clear with your office team so they are not left with the burden of how to handle unexpected situations while you are away. 

It’s Not Just for Work 

Your calendar doesn’t need to be exclusive to work. In fact, it may be beneficial for you to regularly include your other commitments. From your children’s school activities to anniversaries and birthdays, seeing these events alongside your work schedule can help you make better scheduling choices. You’ll be more reluctant to accept an invitation to a meeting or convention when you know it will conflict with another occasion. By including other events on your calendar, you minimize the risk of dealing with a stressful schedule conflict between your work life and your personal life. 

Never let your calendar run your day. You have the ability to schedule your day by using your calendar as a tool for time management. Start by setting clear scheduling boundaries by blocking the time you need for your main responsibilities. Don’t be afraid to take time off, but always make sure it is a part of your schedule.  Also, consider including other life events and activities in your calendar to better manage your schedule. 

For more tips on effectively managing your work schedule, contact our team today. 

Dental CPA | Planning for Retirement

Whether you have been working for 3 years or 30, it is important to have a retirement plan in place. Unfortunately, many people have never taken the time to create a realistic estimate of what kind of savings they will need to enjoy the lifestyle they want during retirement years. Here are a few key factors that influence how much you should be saving to ensure that you can retire comfortably on schedule. 

  • How long will you be retired? Advances in modern medicine have increased life expectancy over the past decades. Depending on your health and family history, you may want to plan as though you will live to 100 and estimate your needs accordingly. 
  • What do you plan to do during retirement? If you are planning to travel more, visit family members more frequently, or embrace a hobby, you may have increased living expenses compared to your working years. 
  • What other expenses will change? Your commute, work clothes, and business lunches may stop, but you may have higher costs for medical care and prescriptions. Talk with our financial planner about the types of changes to your budget that are likely to occur during retirement. 
  • How much are you currently saving? When you meet with our financial planner, you will review the details of your current retirement savings plans and how your portfolio is performing. During retirement, it may be beneficial to continue some of your investments to help your savings outpace inflation. 
  • Do you have a withdrawal strategy? If you are an owner or partner in your business, is there a written agreement for buying you out when you retire? Do you plan to transition by working part time for a year or more or should you stop all at once? How are your retirement savings affected by taxes? All these and more should be part of your strategic plan for retirement. Our financial planning expert can guide you through the details of your withdrawal process. 

For more information on planning for your comfortable retirement, contact our office and schedule a financial planning consultation. 

Dental CPAs | How Team Morale can Make or Break Your Dental Practice

Team morale can make or break your dental practice. It’s a bold statement, but there are several reasons why it is true. The morale of every member of your team impacts other team members, your patients, and over time, even your bottom line. If you want your dental practice to be a success, team morale needs to be a priority.

Unhappy staff are less productive. When a member of your team is unhappy in their job, they work more slowly, are less efficient, and are less likely to “go the extra mile” to ensure a great patient experience. When an unhappy staff member isn’t giving a great patient experience, that patient is less likely to be a repeat patient and unlikely to refer anyone else to your practice. Over time, this could potentially cost you dozens of patients and thousands of dollars.

Unhappy staff make other staff unhappy. When one person is feeling unmotivated, unappreciated, or disgruntled, their attitude affects those around them. Other staff are forced to work harder to compensate for the lack of productivity. One person complaining about being unhappy can hurt the morale of every other person in your office. What starts as a seemingly small problem can quickly gain momentum if it isn’t addressed quickly and correctly.

Unhappy staff are more likely to quit. On the surface, this may seem like a good thing: take the poor attitude and low morale out of the equation. However, the cost of finding, hiring, and training a replacement can be high. Even more, the most common reason why an employee quits a job is that they feel unappreciated and/or unsupported by management. Chances are good that if one of your staff feels that way, others aren’t far behind.

Overcome team morale issues with good leadership. As the dentist and CEO of the practice, you are the primary person your team is looking to for leadership. Hold yourself accountable to your team for following through on your promises. Deal with conflicts as soon as they arise. Have an open door policy that makes your staff feel comfortable coming to you with problems so you can address them before they become unmanageable.

Hold regular effective team meetings to ensure every team member understands their place in your vision for the practice. Recognize individual and team successes. Show appreciation. Ensure that you are supportive of any staff empowered to make decisions. If you need to coach them on a change in policy, do so privately to avoid undermining their authority.

You are the leader of your team. The trust, support, recognition, appreciation, and respect you give to your team is the foundation of your team’s morale. When you create a great working environment, your team morale is high. High team morale creates a better patient experience and greater productivity, which benefits everyone. To ensure your practice thrives, make your team’s morale a priority. Contact us for any other questions you may have.

Accounting for Dentists | Medicine for Your Business

Dental CPAs

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.

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.