Should You Outsource Bookkeeping for Your Dental Practice?
When it comes to managing finances, most small business owners and entrepreneurs find themselves devoting quite a bit of time and energy to the process—80 hours or more each year for many people. For dental practice managers who already have a bottomless pit of responsibilities on their plate, dealing with the books can be a frustrating exercise. The logical solution that comes to mind for most people is to simply hire an in-house bookkeeper, but depending your situation, it may be more beneficial to outsource the task.
Outsourcing doesn’t need to be as scary as it sounds if you’ve never done it before—it can actually be quite a bit easier than hiring a full-time or even part-time employee. Here are just a few of the pros and cons of outsourcing to help you in making the right decision for your practice.
Pro: Freed-up Time
More often than not, practice managers and other dental professionals find themselves managing the books not because they want to or excel at it, but because they simply have no other option. Most people take this route in an attempt to save money instead of paying for a bookkeeper, but in the end, it can actually translate into countless lost hours that could be spent furthering the business in another way. When you outsource bookkeeping, all of this time is freed up, allowing you to focus on what truly matters without having to worry about the state of your books.
Con: Communication Barriers
When you hire an in-house bookkeeper, communicating with them in the case of an urgent need is as easy as walking down the hall—not always true when you outsource. Many accounting firms and contractors pride themselves on excellent communication, but you can’t always be sure until you work with someone and get a sense of their style. Getting in touch with your bookkeeper immediately and with no warning may not be possible when you choose outsourcing as an option, so bear this in mind if fast communication is important to you.
Pro: Cost Savings
Outsourcing dental accounting will still end up costing you more than handling it yourself, but it can be dramatically less expensive than hiring a full-time (or even part-time) in-house employee to handle the books. When you outsource, you’re getting all the benefits of working with someone who holds a deep understanding of the finer points of accounting without having to worry about the costs typically associated with a new hire. If money is a major factor in your decision, outsourcing will almost always be a better idea than hiring.
Con: Finances May Go On Autopilot
At face value, the idea of putting your practice’s finances “on autopilot” and not having to worry about dealing with them at all may seem incredibly lucrative—especially if you’ve been spending hours each week managing them yourself. When finances are taken out of your hands, however, so too is the intimate overview of your practice’s spending habits. Being able to pay close attention to costs is a crucial part of keeping overhead and expenses low, and if you’re not the one in charge of this, you may lose sight of how to cut costs going forward.
Pro: Peace of Mind
One of the main reasons why practice managers decide to outsource to professional accounting firms is due to the peace of mind that often comes along with doing so. When you outsource, you rarely have to worry about human error, computer security risks and other issues that can cause bookkeeping headaches. Many practice managers are able to sleep more soundly just knowing that their finances are being handled by true financial experts rather than “cobbled together” in-house, which is reason enough to consider outsourcing.
In the end, there are arguments to be made both for outsourcing bookkeeping and for hiring in-house professionals. Once you identify your business goals and needs, you’ll be better prepared to make the right decision for your practice.
eAssist Helpful News and Billing Tips; Edition #121