5 Dental Accounting Myths You Shouldn’t Believe
If you’re in charge of your practice’s accounting, you’ve probably spent a bit of time researching ways in which to streamline things and smooth-out processes. Poke around the Internet for information, however, and it won’t be long until you start realizing that much of what you read is contradictory. People have a hard enough time agreeing on best practices as it is, but not knowing what’s true and what isn’t can lead to some real problems if you’re not careful.
Here are 5 dental accounting myths you should never believe, no matter how many times you may have heard them before.
Myth #1. Accounting is About—And Only About—Math
What keeps someone from handling the accounting side of their dental practice more than anything else? Typically, it can be traced to an aversion to math. Sure, running numbers is a big part of accounting, but it’s actually just a small part of a much larger picture. The “meat and potatoes” of accounting comes down to analysis of things like assets, liabilities, business expenses and many other elements that need to be carefully planned-out. In this way, accounting is more strategic and planning-oriented than it is complex math.
Myth #2. You Only Need to Focus on Accounting at Tax Time
Some myths are not only untrue, but actually dangerous if you put too much stock in them—the idea that accounting only matters at tax time is one of them. Sure, tax time is always going to be the most crucial period for bookkeepers to focus on the finer details, but you need to be keeping track of your books the entire year through. The added benefit to staying on top of your bookkeeping is that doing so will make filing that much easier once tax time finally arrives—otherwise, you’ll most likely find yourself scrambling.
Myth #3. Technology Has Automated Everything About Dental Accounting
Make no mistake—accounting has become quite a bit less stressful over the years due in large part to the proliferation of software solutions. Technology has certainly helped boost productivity and speed up certain processes, but it hasn’t automated things to the point where a bookkeeper is no longer necessary. Great accounting comes from smart, analytical thinking. As impressive as today’s technology happens to be, only the human brain is capable at this point of making these types of decisions.
Myth #4. Accounting Should Never Be Outsourced
At the end of the day, most dental practices are trying to cut costs as much as possible without anything suffering as a result. This is completely valid, but it shouldn’t keep you from making smart decisions that can benefit your business. Outsourcing to an experienced accountant may be one of the smartest things you can do when it comes to things like identifying tax breaks, cutting down on unnecessary expenditures and more. Plus, it will take a great deal of stress off of your in-house team.
Myth #5. Pen-and-paper Accounting is Acceptable Practice
Still using a notebook to keep track of your business expenses? It may work for the most part, but pen-and-paper accounting is an excellent way to overlook important expenses or increase the chances of errors and mistakes popping up. Digital is everything today, as accounting software not only streamlines the process of data entry, but it saves your information to the cloud so that you never have to worry about losing what you’ve been working on. For these reasons alone, pen-and-paper accounting practices should be done away with for the most part.
The Internet can be a great source of information, but just remember—don’t believe everything you read about dental accounting.