5 Secrets to cut dental accounting fees in your dental practice
Updated: Sep 29, 2020
Have you ever noticed when your dental accountant starts talking, its a downright foreign language? Almost alien. They start throwing terms around like Gross Profit, Section 179, Basis, Capital Gains, AMT Tax… and you say “gesundheit.”
I’m guessing you most likely don’t find accounting exciting, and you don’t have the time to understand it. As your dental accountant is going over fees with you, you force a smile and nod in agreement. However, you have no idea what they are talking about or why you have sky-high fees. And you’re not alone, trust me. So how can you hope to reduce dental accounting fees if you don't understand the services? I have some easy ideas to help.
Here are five ways to cut dental accounting fees in your dental practice.
Stay organized and paperless
Don't add extra services
Use a payroll service
Use an independent bookkeeper
Stay Organized and Paperless
Mailing physical documents to your dental accountant is a big no-no these days. Its standard procedure to make copies of everything that comes in that door and your dental accountant usually charges you for the time it takes to scan those papers into PDF’s.
If you do scan and email documents, a significant difference you can make for your dental accountant is to keep everything organized, so they don’t have to go searching through an email of documents labeled “Image 1”, “Image 2”, etc. Title your PDFs and Images clearly for your accountant like “Bank of America 01-31-15”. It’s also very helpful if you send everything as one lump instead of sporadic emails with single files attached. It takes so much more time to sift through.
I know how busy practice owners are. It’s one crazy day to the next, and that’s good because that means you’re making money. However, if you wait a week or weeks at a time to get back to your dental accountant with answers to questions, it’s going to cost you. While your information is fresh on their minds, they want to finish the project and get it off their plate. But when time lapses a couple of weeks, and they start to forget where they left off, it’s going to cost them more time to go back through everything again to remember, and it’s going to cost you more money in the process.
Don't Add Extra Services
Try to cut back on all the extras tacked onto your dental accounting services. These will include formal financial statements, multiple meetings throughout the year, and 1099-MISC preparation. These are ok services to have; however, you can find more cost-effective methods for the year getting these services. Use your bookkeeper for financial statements, get 1099’s prepared by your payroll service, and you only need one or two meetings with your CPA a year.
Use a Payroll Service
Using your dental accountant for payroll services can be more costly compared to a payroll service like Gusto, ADP, or Paychex. I understand it seems nice to have it as a package deal, but amuse me and shop around to see what’s out there and for what prices. You’ll be surprised. They are simple to use with support for help, and they file the payroll tax returns and 1099 MISC forms for you. I would advise against using a payroll software platform that requires you to submit the payroll tax returns yourself, such as QuickBooks/Intuit payroll. There is too much room for error, and they are full of deadlines.
Use a Bookkeeping Service
Putting Patterson Dental to the dental supplies account in QuickBooks might seem easy enough, but it’s never really that simple. Your dental accountant is spending more time fixing your bookkeeping errors than you know, and it’s dramatically increasing your dental accounting fees.
Consider using a dental bookkeeping service instead of trying to do the books yourself. They will probably do it faster and better, which will save you both money with your dental accountant and your own valuable time.
Don’t forget that you are allowed to shop around for a dental accountant, and you don’t have to stick with what you have. It doesn’t hurt to talk with other dental accountants to find out what their fees would be and what they can do for you. It’s also not necessary to work with a local dental accountant. I know many dental accountants who have clients nationally. You have a plethora of options, and I can help you make the change if you need guidance.
Thank you for reading!
Sona Wegner, MBA