Academy of Dental CPAs | Medicine for Your Business

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. 

Academy of Dental CPAs | Medicine for Your Business

 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. 

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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.

Dental CPAs | Are You Minimizing Your Work?

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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

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The up and down nature of confidence can be exemplified as a business leader because of the stressful nature of maintaining a high-ranking position. Confidence can grow with practice and effort. Here are four ways to grow confidence as a business leader.

Consistency is Key

Rapidly changing methods and ideas can prevent a business leader from feeling confident. The business should work for the business leader, not the other way around. Gaining a sense of consistency and stability with schedules, rules, and realistic expectations can lead to an increase in confidence that the business will run smoothly. Know and understand the key parts of the business, important dates, and the function of each role. You can only become confident in your business operations when you fully grasp the nature of the entire business.

Be Yourself

Being afraid to say what you think can be viewed as a lack of confidence. Speaking your mind, while still having a professional filter, can build confidence as it shows you are part of a team and contributing. Being yourself will also dispel any notion coworkers might have that you are not being a genuine person. Openness and authenticity will not only strengthen your bond with your employees, but are also essential traits for effective leadership.

Be Open to Criticism

Change cannot come from one person alone, and not all criticism should be seen as a slight against you. Listen to feedback from coworkers and customers and tailor that feedback into something positive. Do not let the criticism fester and destroy your confidence, take it and use it to grow as a person. Accepting constructive criticism and negative comments can help increase your confidence.

Know What You Are Talking About

Fully understanding what you are talking about can help improve your confidence. If you are a business leader, strive to know everything you can about the business and its operations. If you are speaking about a topic, research everything you can about that topic. Become the expert. You will be better positioned to demonstrate confidence when it is clear that you are invested in what you are discussing.

Confidence can not only make or break your career, it can impact the business as a whole. You can take your confidence to the next level, while learning how to prevent situations from arising that can be detrimental to your confidence.

For a consultation, contact our team.

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

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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!

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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.

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Dental Accounting | Are You Getting All Your Tax Deductions?

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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

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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