Blog

Dental CPAs | Smart Money – Filing Taxes with an Accountant

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.  Contact us to work with a financial professional and allow yourself the peace of mind to protect what you’ve built.

CPA Near Me | 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.

Dental Accountants | 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 for more information.

Dental CPAs | Boost Your Case Acceptance by Connecting with Patients

Dental Accountants

For many dentists, treatment acceptance can be a difficult topic. Nobody enjoys feeling pushy about a service they provide or a product that they offer, and the same concept holds true in dentistry. However, did you know that you can improve your case acceptance rate by simply reworking the way you talk to your patients? Learn how to have two-sided patient communication in our latest blog.

Help Them Understand the Benefits

When approached with an important decision from an outside source, people tend to be on the defensive — especially when it comes to something as intimate as healthcare. That’s why you should rethink the way that you handle case acceptance.

  • Your patient needs to understand their situation, whether it is a cosmetic issue, a preventative measure, or an urgent oral health concern.
  • Patients need to be able to follow your reasoning for why the service is necessary and how exactly it can change their oral health for the better.

Once they have a true understanding of the ‘problem’ and the ‘solution,’ they will feel more compelled to accept the treatment they need.

Stop Speaking and Listen

During your patient appointments, don’t simply run through the checklist of explaining their treatment. Patients want to feel that they’ve been listened to, not talked at. 

Ask what their goals, needs, and concerns with regards to their oral health, confidence, and quality-of-life. Then, let them speak. Giving them the chance to voice their own opinion shows you care about them and how they feel, both before and after their treatment.

Educate and Elevate

Patient education is important. While there is a fine line between explaining and over-explaining, you should do your best to educate your patients about their oral health.  Avoid judgment and being too graphic, but provide a thorough explanation of their current dental and oral health. 

If they are curious about tiny cracks in their teeth, explain craze lines. If they want to know why their gums bleed when they floss, explain periodontal health and how to prevent it. When patients feel that you are invested in not only their wellbeing but their education, too, they feel more confident in the care you’re providing.

You can increase patient acceptance by having a two-way conversation with patients and including them in their oral health.  These conversations will ensure patients understand their problem and are given a solution, are allowed to discuss their own concerns and goals, and are educated on treatment and services.  Patients will feel that your suggestions are being given with their best interest in mind — that you care about your patients as individuals, not just as a mouth to fix or a goal to meet.

Schedule a consultation with our team today to discuss more techniques on how you can boost treatment acceptance and improve your practice.

Dental CPAs | Toxic Employees

Dental Accountants

Hiring is time-consuming, stressful, and sometimes costly. In some cases, this causes business owners to avoid firing an employee long after it has become clear that the person is damaging the overall work environment. Finding the right person for your office can be challenging. However, continuing to retain a toxic employee can be far more costly for you and your business.

What is a “toxic employee?”

A toxic employee is easily recognized for exhibiting several, if not all, of the following behaviors:

  • Bad attitude: This includes eye-rolling, muttering, snide comments, complaints, confrontational tone, and passive-aggressive speech or actions.
  • Lack of engagement: This can include work-avoidance, lack of enthusiasm, unwillingness to accept responsibilities, and being inattentive in meetings and huddles.
  • Dishonesty: Whether this involves refusal to accept accountability, blaming others for mistakes, or outright lies and thefts, dishonesty is harmful to your business and your team.
  • Poor work performance: While a new team member may experience a learning curve at first, the toxic employee never rises above the bare minimum of what has been explicitly listed as expected. In many cases, they may not even be fully or properly completing work. They are uninterested in feedback or training and unwilling to work to improve.

Do you recognize anyone in your office from these descriptions? If so, it’s time to pull the plug.

When you continue to keep a toxic employee on your staff, you may avoid the headaches of the hiring process in the short term. However, you are creating a host of other problems for yourself that will cost you a great deal more time, money, and energy to solve in the long term.

One toxic employee in your office can cause:

  • Loss of new customers: If a toxic employee is interacting with potential customers, they are creating a negative image of your business, which can lose hundreds or thousands of dollars in revenue.
  • Loss of existing customers: If your clients are treated poorly even once, they may choose to take their business elsewhere – and they may tell others.
  • Loss of your best team members: Your best people want to work in a positive environment where they feel supported and appreciated. By tolerating the complaints or shoddy work of one toxic person, you risk losing team players to a company that maintains a better atmosphere.

Don’t compromise your business or your best team members by refusing to fire toxic employees. For more strategies to improve your business, contact our office.

Dental Accountants | Revitalize Revenues through Increased Investment

Dental CPAs

Every business experiences trends of increasing and decreasing revenues. When new business slows and income begins to dip, many business owners react by cutting back on the item in their budget they think is most expendable: marketing.

The unfortunate reality is that this is almost definitely the wrong step to take. When you cut your marketing budget, you reduce your revenues as well.

Today’s business cannot survive through only word of mouth referrals. Your company needs to attract new clientele on an ongoing basis, not just in the weeks following a postcard blast or mass email. In addition, you need to engage and maintain the loyalty of your existing customers.

Consistent, effective marketing helps you achieve both ends.

One recent study examined the marketing budgets of several publicly-traded companies. The researchers found that businesses that were spending an average of 16.5% of revenue grew up to 15% annually, and those that spent an average of 22% grew 16% – 30% annually.

When your marketing budget increases, your revenue follows suit.

There are several factors that can influence how much your business should be spending on marketing.

  • Are you a new startup company? You may need to invest more until you have established a client base.
  • Is business established and you want to maintain growth? Compare your current rates of new customers to those lost annually to determine how your current budget is doing.
  • Is business stagnant or decreasing? Consider investing an additional 5% or 10% above your current marketing budget, at least until the trend reverses.
  • How competitive is your local market? Higher competition requires greater investment to grow business.

For more advice regarding your marketing budget and business growth, contact our office.

Dental CPA | 5 Signs You Need an Accountant

Dental 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.

For more information, contact us today.

Dental Accountants | Why You Should Join (or Start) a Dental Study Club

Dental CPA

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.

For more information, contact us today.

Dental CPAs | Are You Minimizing Your Work?

Dental CPA Near Me

Words have a powerful effect on perception. Are you selling yourself short when it comes to describing your practice or your services? Patients visit you because they trust you to be open, honest, and experienced in communicating the condition of their oral health in a way they will understand. To accomplish this effectively, you need to be mindful of your word choice.

“Check Up” or “Comprehensive Examination”

A “check up” sounds menial and unimportant. You might say you take your car in for a “check up” or “tune up.” Oral health care is diminished when it is referred in this way. Use the more professional sounding “comprehensive examination.” This emphasizes the fact that you and your team are doing a lot more than just checking the mouth and teeth. You are looking for signs of decay and oral cancer, providing a thorough cleaning, and offering recommendations for additional treatments. That’s a lot more than a “check up.”

“Just a…”

Don’t use this phrase when leading into a diagnosis. “Just a cavity,” or “just a little inflammation,” minimizes the importance for action. Your patient might heed this as permission to wait on further treatment. The public is often not aware of the importance of their oral health and how oral diseases can spread, worsen, and lead to other painful and costly problems. Be clear with patients when making a diagnosis, but never make it sound unimportant or that it can wait.

“Bleaching” is Not Synonymous with “Whitening”

When describing whitening treatments to patients, it may sound like a natural choice to use the word “bleaching.” Avoid using this term. To some patients, this may imply bleach is used in the whitening process. It also sounds far more painful than “whitening.” Using the term “Bleaching” sounds dangerous, or that it involves the use of harsh chemicals. “Whitening” is an ideal term to use as it also serves as a description for what patients can expect after treatment – a whiter smile.

Word choice matters. Patients are relying on you for information about their health. Be clear, be concise, and be honest with your patients. The public’s perception of dental professionals is not always positive. Clear communication is one way to bridge the gap between your team and your patients. Show your value to your patients by choosing strong words to describe your services, and avoid minimizing the importance of your work.

For more information, contact us today.

Dental Accountants | 4 Ways to Grow Your Confidence as a Business Leader

Dental CPAs

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.