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Dental Accounting…Filling Your Practice’s Cavities

Tom Judge

November 4, 2020

New tools and techniques in the dental industry are emerging all the time. The same is true for dental accounting and management practices. Just as dental professionals stay up to date on the latest and greatest in the dental industry, so do accountants that specialize in accounting for dentists. Do you have time to keep up with both? Does your office manager have the time? It’s ok if you answered no because you aren’t alone. What you do about it can have a significant impact on your business.

There are several areas that we commonly see opportunities for savings and improvements in dental practices which include record-keeping systems, internal processes, operating expenses, capital investments and more. Whether you are just starting up your dental practice or you have been in business for years, the topics we cover below are among some of the top areas of focus for a dental practice’s future success and growth.

Top Dental Practice Management Software Solutions

Dental practice management software solutions are key to managing your dental practice. The list of dental practice software solutions grows daily and the investment in these solutions can be significant. As with many business solutions, there are high-end solutions that provide extremely robust features and there are minimalist solutions that provide basic solutions. The cost associated with these dental practice management systems varies as much as the bells and whistles each software offers. Many dental practices need a solution that lands somewhere in the middle when it comes to cost and capabilities. Working with an accounting firm specializing in the dental industry helps to ensure your investment aligns with your practice’s needs now and into the future.

Common Dental Practice Management Software Must-Haves

  • Electronic Health Records (EHR)
  • Digital sensor/imaging
  • Billing
  • Coding
  • Reporting
  • Reminders
  • Staff scheduling

If you think there are just a handful of dental practice management software solutions out there, think again. Here is a link to a great software comparison site that allows you to filter based on a handful of parameters such as the number of doctors, any specialties, price and a few others. While this site narrows down the dental software management systems, partnering with a firm that understands your individual business is important when navigating the options.

These dental practice software solutions are not only for the back of house management by the dentist and office administrator, they can be a differentiator for your patients. Additionally, these software solutions can help your business advance and grow in areas from creating efficiencies to developing an online presence that allows your practice to handle online scheduling and new patient growth.

Our team of dental industry accountants is focused on the industry with knowledge about these software solutions and business practices. This expertise can help you determine the best solutions for your business based on your full business profile as well as partner with you to map our growth opportunities for your dental practice. If you are looking for someone to discuss your dental practice management software options with, contact one of our team members today.

Common Operational Practices

The day to day operations of your dental practice is the backbone of your success. Several common areas could impact your practice such as the classification of different assets, capital investments, operational expenses and more which could all impact the bottom line of your dental practice’s balance sheet. An accounting firm that specializes and focuses on dental practices will be intimately familiar with your day-to-day operations and overhead structure, billing routines, staffing requirements, and more. This knowledge allows our team to understand and advise each company on opportunities such as system enhancements, fee schedules, an industry comparison of cost structures, analyze staffing efficiencies and identify incentives or tax savings.

Opportunities for Your Dental Practice

There are new laws, incentives, tax savings and more emerging regularly in the dental industry. The firm you partner with should be in tune with these. A common opportunity for dental practices relates to your Electronic Dental Records (EDR), commonly referred to as Electronic Health Record (EHR) in the general healthcare industry, and is an integral part of your dental practice. According to the ADA, an EDR or EHR system offer the potential to improve care quality and patient safety by enhancing both the quantity and quality of information available to providers for decision making. An EHR system's ability to capture detailed clinical information in a highly structured manner can enable analysis for quality assessment, identification of areas for improvement, and the design of decision support tools like allergy alerts, medication alerts, and other prompts.

Properly leveraging your EDR could position your dental practice for financial incentives provided by programs such as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) where your accurate tracking of patient volume percentages could lead to qualification to receive the Medicaid incentive for nearly $70,000 over six years. Having the right systems coupled with a dental practice specialized accounting firm could lead to significant opportunities for your company.

Our dental accountants are engaged in the industry and focus on providing each client with an individualized plan tailored to your practice. Our team will provide you with a detailed analysis to identify business trends and opportunities for growth—as well as help you improve the operations, efficiency and profitability of your practice. Trust your accounting to a firm that knows your industry and contact JLP CPAs to make sure your dental practice is positioned for success.

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