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Does Your Dental Office Make the Right Impression? | Academy of Dental CPAS

When patients walk through your office door, they form an immediate impression about your practice. No matter how competent you are, and no matter how friendly your team is, your practice will be judged by what people see up front. Increasingly, they want more than just a clean office.

Make the Waiting Room Look Like a Living Room

Research, led by physician and author Esther Sternberg, shows that patients are putting a premium on healthcare design. They want practices that pay attention to aesthetics and sensory wellbeing. Baby Boomers respond to an upscale, hotel-like atmosphere, while Millennials and Generation Z value artwork and digital connectivity. All groups value a waiting area that feels more like a comfortable, but uncluttered living room than a sterile space.

How does your office stack up? Walk into your waiting room from the point of view of a new patient. How are the furnishings? Are the walls painted in a soothing color or a hue that is harmonious with your brand? Is the floor spotless? Does the waiting room smell clean and fresh?

If you and your staff just don’t have time to deep clean, consider a janitorial service. Your accountant can help you build this into your budget.

Focus on Decor

Place a premium on making patients feel comfortable with decor. It doesn’t need to be expensive. A rustic or oriental-style rug on a hardwood or laminate floor adds warmth. Lighting can add dimension and a modern touch.

As for the walls and furnishings, healthcare decorators favor a mix of warm and cool colors, perhaps with an aquarium or a Zen-like fountain.

Amenities count, too. Some dental offices are adding massage chairs, aromatherapy, paraffin hand-wax stations, and noise-cancelling Bluetooth headphones. Check out Pinterest for ideas and ask your patients what would add to their experience. Be sure to showcase your decor in your social media marketing to attract new patients.

Look at Your Team

Ultimately, team interaction with patients is more important than decor. Make sure your office etiquette is up to par, that each team member greets visitors in a polite manner, and answers phone calls promptly and professionally. 

Keeping your dental office clean and inviting is more important than you might think for attracting and retaining patients. To learn how you can afford upgrades to your office, call our dental accounting firm. 

The Financial Rewards of Work-Life Balance in Your Dental Practice | Dental Accountants

Work-life balance is essential for productivity and long-term financial success. Here are tips on how to balance personal time with business needs for both you and your team. 

Motivating Your Team

Work-life balance needs to be built into your practice values. If your employees are well-rested and feel their family life is manageable, they are likely to put more energy into their work and be happier overall. Those who feel stressed might request more sick days, which puts a financial strain on your practice. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control Foundation says lost productivity from absenteeism costs U.S. employers nearly $226 billion each year, or $1,685 per employee.

As a practice owner or manager, you likely can’t give your team the perks of a large corporation, such as subsidized daycare, FMLA, or an employee-assistance program; however, you can be sensitive to your team members’ needs, such as child or eldercare responsibilities, and schedule accordingly. Creating a strong team culture in this way also motivates employees to help one another.

Consider implementing an employee incentive program for milestones met. A day off is ideal, but if that is unworkable, you can implement other meaningful perks, such as commissions, raises, and bonuses. However you choose to compensate your employees, it is important to remember that happy team members tend to be loyal, productive, and motivated to deliver excellent patient care.  

How to Achieve Work-Life Balance as a Dental Practice Owner

When you are responsible for teams as well as patients, you have double the workload. Add to that continuing education and paperwork, and it can be difficult to carve out time for reflection, organizing, and personal errands. The answer lies in planning.

Use a calendar or scheduling app to plan your day. Set aside blocks of time to work with patients, arrange team meetings, and attend organizational group functions. Your calendar should be your primary time-management tool. It can also include your outside commitments, such as children’s school activities, birthdays, and anniversaries.

By including nonwork events on your calendar, you minimize the risk of schedule conflicts between your work and personal lives.

Honor Your Own Time Off

When you decide to take a day off, make sure you put it on your calendar and honor it. Make your scheduling priorities clear with your team members and make instructions clear so they are not left wondering how to handle unexpected situations while you are away.

The key to achieving work-life balance is creating clear boundaries for you and your team members and truly learning how to unplug. It can help your practice become a more productive place that in turn boosts profitability.

For more tips on creating a more harmonious, financially savvy dental practice, contact our team for a consultation.

How Do You Handle After-Hours Phone Calls? | Dental Accountant Near Me

Dental CPA Near Me

Time is money, and if you are not taking advantage of after-hours phone calls at your dental practice, you could be missing out on new opportunities to connect with patients and grow your practice. 

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You may have created an effective marketing strategy that is getting the phone to ring, and you have probably trained your team in proper phone etiquette; but have you considered what happens if a prospective patient calls on nights and weekends?

If someone phones you after hours seeking information or to reschedule an appointment, they will likely leave a message or call back during regular business hours. However, a potential new patient who needs emergency dental treatment is more likely to hang up and call around until they get a person to answer. 

Many dental practices do not have phone coverage outside standard hours of operation or during lunch; others have an answering machine. Both can feel impersonal and frustrating to patients and prospects. 

If your patient discovers late one night or on a Sunday that they need to reschedule an appointment the next business day, chances are your team won’t hear the voicemail until it’s too late to make changes. If your phones are being answered outside working hours, issues like this can be addressed more promptly, leading to better scheduling and happier patients.

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If you are interested in 24/7 phone coverage, you can either hire an answering service or train your team to share the responsibility. If a professional answering service makes sense for you, talk to a dental accountant about the cost of building it into your budget and the possible return on investment it could yield. 

The other option, sharing the responsibility among team members, may cost you less and offer a more personal interaction. No one has better knowledge of your practice, your patients, and your schedule than your own team. Discuss with your accountant the most effective way to compensate team members for this time, such as paying them a set amount per shift or per call answered.

If you believe lack of 24-hour phone availability is detrimental to your business, talk to our team about adding this service into your fixed costs and exploring the tax ramifications. Arrange a free initial consultation today by contact one of our dental CPAs. 

Smart Ways to Plan for Retirement | Dental CPA Near Me


Dental CPA Near Me


No matter how long you have been practicing dentistry, it’s important to put a retirement plan in place. Act now to create a realistic savings timeline for a comfortable senior lifestyle. Here are some questions to ponder as you consider your retirement strategy. 

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How much are you currently saving? When you meet with our dental accounting team, you will review the details of your P&L, taxes, and your long-term savings objective. During retirement, it may be beneficial to change some of your investments to help your savings outpace inflation.

Do you have an exit strategy? If you are a dental practice owner or partner, it would be helpful to create a written agreement about who will buy you out when you retire. Ask yourself whether you plan to retire outright or work part-time. Think about how your retirement savings will be affected by taxes. These issues and more should inform your strategic plan for retirement. Our dental accounting firm can guide you through details of the transition process.

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What do you plan to do during retirement? If you have your heart set on starting a new venture, traveling more, or embracing a hobby, you may have to plan for shifting priorities and greater living expenses. The economy continues to change, and it is worth your while to lean on experts to help future-proof your lifestyle. 

How long will you be retired? Advances in modern medicine have increased life expectancy dramatically. Depending on your health and family history, you may want to plan as though you will live to be 100 and estimate your needs accordingly. Have you considered long-term care insurance, for example?

What other expenses will change? Retirement may eliminate your commute, work wardrobe, and team lunches; however, for most people, the golden years is a time of higher costs for medical care and prescriptions. Talk with us about the types of budget changes that are likely to occur during retirement.

Don’t let decisions for the future creep up on you, even if you are young and healthy. For more information on tax planning and looking ahead to a comfortable retirement, contact our office and schedule a complimentary initial consultation. We are experts in helping dentists achieve their goals during their active working life and beyond; contact us today.

How Patient Complaints Can Help Your Business | Dental CPA

Dental Accountants

No one likes to see a patient complaint. Unfortunately, you can be the most compassionate dentist with an exemplary team and follow procedures to a T, and still get a few complaints. Our advice: use them as opportunities.

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The complaint may have a kernel of truth or completely baseless; the important takeaway is this: handle with care: about 94 percent of people use online reviews to choose a business; you do not want a complaint to snowball into a bad review. That can quickly lead to a loss of revenue. That is why it is critical to respond to them.

When complaints are brought to your attention, you and your team may feel frustrated, discouraged or annoyed. That is normal. It can also be easy to feel cavalier about a complaint you see as minor. After all, some complaints are objective: the office décor, wait times, or insurance issues that are completely out of your hands.

Handle All Complaints with Respect

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Even concerns that feel trivial or unfair to you should be handled respectfully. That means making the patient feel heard; letting them know that you take the complaint seriously; and promising to look into it. Here are the steps you should take:

Acknowledge and thank your patient for bringing their concerns to you, without judgment: “I appreciate your taking the time to let me know what you experienced.”

Affirm by repeating the complaint back to the patient: “So you’re saying you had to wait 40 minutes for your appointment and no one checked on you. I’m sorry to hear that.”

Commit to taking action to correct the situation, if warranted. “Sometimes things get backed up. I’ll talk to the front desk team to make sure they are letting you know if there’s a delay.”

 Thank them again: “I do thank you for taking the time to let me know what happened. We appreciate that you put your trust in our practice and we’ll do whatever it takes to make sure you are satisfied.”

Follow through on your commitment, you will earn loyalty from that patient. A complaint is an opportunity for you to cement a patient’s trust.

Keep Building Patient Loyalty

Patient loyalty is a fragile thing, so it is essential to maintain it. Loyalty can translate into fewer rescheduled or cancelled appointments, increased case acceptance, and even referrals to friends, family, and social media connections. Over time, handing one complaint correctly can lead to hundreds or even thousands of dollars in revenue. It is also the right thing to do.

However, if patients leave your office feeling that their concerns were not heard, they are unlikely to refer others to you, or worse, complain on online reputation sites and social media.

Satisfied patients help keep your revenue flowing; our firm is there to keep it strong. Call us for all your dental accounting services.

Can One Toxic Employee Spoil Your Practice? | Dental Accountants

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Hiring new employees is time-consuming, stressful, and sometimes expensive. It’s no wonder, then, that many businesses find it more cost-effective and less emotionally taxing to retain employees, even if they turn out to be a negative influence. Enter the devastating effect of the toxic employee. 

Dental offices tend to be small and close-knit, which makes it even more difficult to confront someone about their behavior and let them go. While finding the right fit for your practice can be a challenge, holding onto a toxic team member can be far more costly.

What is a Toxic Employee?

A toxic employee may be a competent worker, or started out that way, and they may be decent people at heart. For whatever reason, however, their actions and attitude become a drag on the workplace culture. See if you recognize these red flags in your practice:

  • Poor attitude: This type of person will exhibit passive-aggressive characteristics. They may agree with a directive on the surface, but accompany it with eye-rolling, exaggerated sighs, sarcastic comments, muttering, complaints, or a confrontational tone.
  •  Dishonesty: Whether blaming others for their own mistakes, refusing to accept responsibility, or outright lies and thefts, this type of toxic employee can harm your bottom line as well as morale – especially if you don’t confront it. 
  • Lack of engagement: This type of employee avoids work, lacks enthusiasm and is lackadaisical toward responsibilities. They are often inattentive at meetings and huddles. 
  • Falling work performance: The toxic employee will not do any more than the bare minimum of what is expected. They appear disinterested in feedback or training and are otherwise unwilling to improve.
  • Bullying behavior: Anyone who intimidates other team members, is disruptive, or otherwise makes others feel uncomfortable, could be a toxic employee. 

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If you recognize any of these indicators, you have two choices. You can give them another chance or let them go. There is almost always an underlying reason for someone’s toxic attitude: The employee may be going through personal turmoil or carrying forth maladaptive behaviors from childhood. Some toxic employees don’t even realize they are behaving in a negative way until someone points it out. 

While practices are often family-like, keep any discussion strictly work-related. Outline your findings in a factual manner and document, if possible. Create an improvement plan and a timeline. Consult labor laws in your state for additional guidance. 

Your second choice is to outright fire the toxic employee. You may have no choice if you have found an issue that puts patients at risk or involves financial malfeasance.   

If you are still on the fence about letting a negative team member go, consider these consequences of keeping a toxic employee.

  • Loss of new patients: If a toxic employee is interacting with potential patients, they are creating a negative image of your business, which can lose hundreds or thousands of dollars in revenue.
  • Loss of existing patients: If they are treated poorly even once, they may choose to take their oral care elsewhere – and they may tell other people.
  • 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, bullying, or shoddy work of one toxic person, you risk losing valuable team members.

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

Don’t Ignore Negative Reviews | Academy of Dental CPAs

Academy of Dental CPAs

Finding a bad review of your practice is a slap in the face and it happens even to the most conscientious practitioners. Someone might be having a bad day and take it out of you. Sometimes the review is deserved and presents a growth opportunity. While we all act differently to criticism, the one thing you should not do is ignore a bad review. When ignored, negative feedback can have a detrimental impact on your practice. 

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Can You Afford to Lose Patients to Bad Reviews? 

Potential patients who are considering using your dental services will invariably look at your reviews. If any bad reviews are ignored, they may not give you a second glance. They might make the assumption that you don’t care about your patients or care to address deficits. That is a sure way to lose out on new business and any referrals they might make in the future. This applies not only to potential patients but current ones who keep track of reviews. 

Reviews are (Usually) Forever

Negative feedback on review sites is usually there, out in public, for all time. It is difficult if not impossible to remove bad reviews. This creates a lasting list of negative impressions on your practice that can be referenced by others. That is why it is important for dentists to address poor reviews whenever possible. Show the client or customer that you care about their thoughts. Do not attack; stick to facts and apologize if warranted. While it may not win a patient back, it may be appealing to future patients, especially if you also have many positive reviews.  

Show You Respect Your Patients

No one wants to be treated disrespectfully; we all want our voices heard and to be valued as individuals. If you ignore negative reviews, you are essentially telling both the reviewer and prospective patients that you don’t care what they have to say. While some reviewers just want to be nasty (or may be competitors trying to sabotage you), legitimate patients who do complain feel passionately enough about your business to voice their concerns. If you don’t validate those concerns, expect them to take their business elsewhere. 

Missing a Chance to Learn

You are not perfect; no one is. Mistakes present an opportunity for leaders to learn. It is even better when a patient presents those mistakes clearly. This will allow you to learn why the mistake happened and how to fix it so it doesn’t happen in the future. If you ignore feedback, you open the door to a mistake happening again. Negative reviews offer a chance to learn and grow your business; if you ignore them you miss that opportunity.

Great reviews are not the only ones that can help improve your practice. Bad reviews present an opportunity to learn from them and grow. If you choose to ignore poor reviews, the consequences could be disastrous. Not only could you lose current patients, but prospects, too. 

When you see a negative review, take a step back and see what you can learn from the experience. Address their concerns, by telephone if possible, and make every effort to create positive experiences in the future.

Contact our Academy of Dental CPAs team for a consultation today on other ways to grow your business.

Information Sharing Through a Dental Study Club | Dental Accountants

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Have you considered joining a dental study club? The dental profession is constantly changing, as are all health and science fields in general. It can be challenging to stay current with advances in techniques and new technologies every year. In leaner times, too, it is important to stay current within your continuing education budget. 

Academy of Dental CPAs

There are many reasons to consider joining a group of fellow dentists in exchanging knowledge and ideas. Here are some of the most valuable advantages you stand to gain.

Continuing Education

When travel and extended time off are not feasible, dental study clubs allow you to pool resources of a group of dental professionals and attend continuing education lectures. These groups also make it possible to participate in hands-on clinical training in your area. This added source of training and education can serve as a valuable way to stay current with new technology and techniques affordably. 

Learn a New Practice Area

If you want to focus your practice on one or more specific areas of dentistry, such as implants, Botox or sleep apnea treatment, a dental study group focused on those areas can help. You can find and attend the courses you need to develop the skills and qualifications to reach your desired goal.

Peer Support

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. With a dental study club, you are interacting with other dentists and specialists in your area. Informal gatherings allow you to explore new ways of approaching a problem or a treatment, bounce ideas off of other professionals, and benefit from what your peers have already tried.

Learn the Value of Networking

Getting to know your peers satisfies the need to interact with like-minded professionals and even gain a source of referrals. While it may not be the primary reason to join a dental study club, virtual and face-to-face meetings are 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 similar information.

The collegial exchange of knowledge, solutions to challenges, and support can be invigorating while the format is economical. Consider joining or starting a study club in your area, and let us know if we can help with setting financial goals and budgeting. For more information, contact ADCPA.

How to Get the Most Out of Team Meetings | Dental CPA Near Me

How to Get the Most Out of Team Meetings

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Regular team meetings can play a critical role in the health and growth of your dental practice. That one simple point can impact every aspect of your business. Your people, your patients, and your overall practice benefit from regular team meetings. The key is to make them effective. 

Keep Goals and Expectations in Focus

The core of your practice is your vision, your goals, and your strategy for growth. Each member of your team needs to understand all these things and, just as importantly, needs to understand their part in your plan. Without that overarching understanding, your team is working blindly and less able to actively contribute toward reaching your practice goals.

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 goals – and how each person can best contribute.

Encourage Participation

Workplaces are a microcosm of the larger world. Some people are comfortable speaking in front of a group, some hate it. Some speak loudly, some must be drawn out. Ask each team member privately if they are comfortable speaking at meetings. If not, encourage them to share a written note or an email with you and address their point in the meeting. 

Keep Meetings Positive

Have a round-table discussion of anything on your team’s mind. Have people share wins and learnings and don’t rebuff constructive criticism. Make sure each person is made to feel comfortable sharing their ideas with the rest of the group. This can be tricky when there are interpersonal issues within the team. If there are, enforce a no-tolerance policy for put-downs, belittling or dismissiveness.  

Casual vs. High-Level Meetings

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

Engage with Education

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, and if anyone is sick or on vacation. Any new ideas, training, or techniques that can be shared should be. Your patients benefit from correct and consistent information from all members of your team. Make sure everyone is on the same page.

Only you can determine when and how often you should hold team meetings. Whether you meet daily, weekly, or on some other timeline, make sure your meetings are encouraging, educational, and affirming. You will see benefits to your team, your patient experience, and your practice as a whole. Contact our ADCPA Dental Accountant office today.

How to Become a True Leader | Academy of Dental CPAs

ADCPA – Academy of Dental CPAs

There is a big difference between managing a dental practice and being a true dental practice leader. As is true for many small business owners, dental office leaders set the standard and pace of work. They inspire confidence and trust. 

Making fundamental changes to the way your practice operates is no easy task, but it is attainable with the right mindset. Use these tips to get started on a path to developing an innovative practice that you lead to success. 

Leaders Leverage Consistency

Leaders are constantly learning and implementing. They develop ideas that foster efficiencies, make people feel valued, and encourage synergy. By holding a consistent weekly meeting, your team can learn your leadership style. When communication is infrequent or inconsistent, leaders feel pressured to communicate and train in the few precious moments that arise sporadically between patients. This type of management can cause stress for the whole team.  

Don’t Micromanage Your Team

For most dentists, the highest and best use of time is spent treating patients. This means you must delegate tasks to other team members and trust them to do it. In fact, a hallmark of leadership is delegation. Let your employees handle the clerical side of the practice. It is important, however, to have structure in reporting, communication, and benchmarks. With this structure, clear expectations will replace micromanagement. You will find the workday will flow more smoothly and your team members will feel more empowered in their respective roles.   

Track Efficiency with Goal Setting

Every goal should be realistic and measurable. By giving each team member a set of weekly goals, you’ll alleviate the pressure that arises from having one or two team members carry the weight of the entire practice. Ensuring that a fair contribution is made by each employee will also resolve personal conflicts that can arise on a dental team. By setting and evaluating personal contributions, you’ll also be able to easily assess when a team member is deserving of a promotion. 

Know When it’s Time to Train and Hire

Great leaders can recognize if their team is unable to handle the current workload. By hiring just before you need to, you’ll allow room for your business to grow. All too often, dental practice owners wait too long to recruit and end up burnt out, unmotivated, and unhappy. 

Are you ready to step into a true leadership role and supercharge your practice? We’re ready for you. Contact our ADCPA Dental Accountant office today.