Peace of Mind in Accounting: Getting Your Books in Order
Accounting issues for dentists crop up just like with any other business: lack of time and investment. This is more than just a denial of issues, but also thinking those issues won’t crop up over the long term. Maybe you don’t have someone looking specifically for problems in your accounting, but rather a front office employee already stretched thin between their primary duties. This isn’t doing the trick for your finances, and if it sounds familiar, it might be time to buckle down and start figuring out where you’re losing out.
Maybe your books are in such disarray that you’re thinking of Googling “dental accountants near me” before you know it. This can seem like a great idea in the moment, but the first thing you should do is find time to figure things out on your own and take stock of your books. We don’t always realize where we’re losing money until we actually look:
- Debt structuring: Would you rather pay $25,000 out of pocket or can you finance for a few months? There’s no need to wipe out a giant chunk of change when you can manage solid payments for a small duration.
- Overhead: Do you have a set payment practice/rubric for employees at the professional and part time level? Do you even know what those numbers are relative to minimum wage and average salary bases? Answering this questions will put you in a better position to distribute a long term payroll plan that takes your profit into account.
- Taxes: Are you familiar with the rules garnering the type of business you run relative to your quarterly and yearly gross? Sometimes we push our taxes to the backburner until we’re hit with a bill potentially costing thousands.
We all know that the best investment you can make in your business is to actually invest in it. This might sound easier said than done, but a truly dedicated CPA for your practice should be at the top of your hiring list, right after customer service representatives in your front office.
Dental CPA costs have risen over the years, yet the specialty accounting practices required for this job have gone up just as much. You obviously want someone with experience in the industry, who is familiar with dental practice management and all of the duties that come with effective bookkeeping:
- Clear labeling of dates and receipts to reduce confusion and overload. No one wants to be digging around “October” trying to figure out what year it is.
- Recording each business transaction, from salaries to equipment purchase. There shouldn’t be a “$10,000 operational surprise” one month.
- Utilize effective, easy-to-use management programs. Companies like Quickbooks and other CRM solutions should represent an efficient, less-wasteful method of keeping track of all of your finances. Maybe you want something searchable, or something faster and leaner so you can crosstrain your other employees. Research what fits your business, and then use it.
As with all types of companies, each investment comes with risk. When it comes to your accounting, the peace of mind offered by knowing that someone is looking over your finances in a detailed, focused way should outweigh any doubts you may have. Once you have a grasp on how the numbers work, you can review them yourself and look for inconsistencies and things you might want to change. Being able to make your practice run as smoothly as possible is just one of the benefits of hiring a certified accountant, but it’s your job to make sure the numbers fit.