As a dental professional, there should be one priority: the health and wellbeing of your patients. Every dental practice strives for their patients to leave in better condition than when they walked in.
However, the reality is that running a successful dental practice has a host of other things that need to be taken care of, too. Your patients should be number one, yes, but what about billing, invoicing, benefits, employee payroll, and the overall financial health of your practice?
While you’re looking out for your patients’ best interests, who’s looking out for yours?
A Certified Public Accountant, or CPA, is a licensed professional who looks after the financial health of their client. However, when it comes to the dental industry, a run-of-the-mill CPA doesn’t necessarily have specific knowledge about the ins and outs of the dental industry. They may not have time to hone in on the unique needs that a dental practice has, from the latest in dental technology to the suppliers that need to be organized.
Enter the Dental CPA.
Dental CPAs are a little different in that they have a laser focus on the unique needs of a dental practice. A Dental CPA uses best practices designed specifically for a dental practice. They ensure that the practice is working smart to generate revenue and bring in patients. They also keep an eye on the bottom line so that they can guide you in staffing decisions as your practice grows or acquire the latest technology that will give you an edge in the market.
In short, hiring a Dental accountant to look out for the financial well-being of your practice is one of the best things you can do to help your practice flourish.
But choosing an accountant for your dental practice requires a little know-how, so you’re sure to get the one that’s best for you and your practice. In this article, we will guide you through the important decision of choosing the Dental CPA that is the right fit for you.
Steps to Finding the Right Dental CPA
1. Ask Yourself: Why Does My Practice Need a Dental CPA?
Even the smallest of practices is complex, but your practice has unique complexities. Hiring a Dental accounting firm gives you more than a professional to file your taxes. A Dental CPA is an adviser that will help you every step of the way in determining what you need to do to secure the financial success of your practice.
2. Decide What You Need
Once you’ve decided that your practice needs to hire a CPA that works with dentists, you need to determine what exactly you need them for. Where are you in your business plan? Are you happy with the size of your practice, or are you looking to grow your business over the next few years? Are you looking for someone to analyze your strategies for growth and make recommendations? Knowing what specific guidance you need from your accountant will dictate the kind of CPA you choose based on their expertise.
3. Begin the Search
Once you’ve solidified the role you see your Dental CPA playing in your practice, it’s time to find the right person for the job. A good place to start is by asking friends and associates in other practices who they trust to help secure the financial success of their practice. As you research different CPAs, take careful notes on ways you think that accounting firms might meet those needs or how much they charge for their services.
4. Compile a List of Questions
As you search for the right accountant for your dental practice, it’s important to have a list of questions to determine if a firm is a good fit for your needs. Some questions you might want to consider include:
- How much experience do you have in the dental industry?
- What type of services do you offer beyond traditional accounting and tax planning? Are these services your firm needs?
- And what about business advice? Will you be able to offer us sound advice when it comes to important business decisions?
- Who does the work at your firm?
- Have you worked with multi-practice dental practices?
- Are there owners at other dental practices you’ve worked with who I can talk with?
- What data security measures do you take?
- How much will this cost me? And how does your fee structure work?
Getting clarity around some of these issues will help you determine who to choose for the job.
Know Who You’re Partnering With
If you find someone you think will be a good fit for your practice, you need to perform an adequate review and check their references. See how the CPA engaged with past clients and whether or not they were satisfied with their work. While you’re at it, also check to make sure they have the proper credentials to fulfill the tasks you need them to.
Make Sure You Have a Good Fit
There are going to be times in the year when you will need to work fairly closely with your accounting firm. Because of this, you must find a CPA that you like working with, even at times when stress is high. You want to be able to have an easy conversation with your CPA right from the beginning. You also want to make sure they are good at communicating with you. The speed at which they respond to messages about questions or concerns you may have may be the deciding factor in who to partner with.
Shannon & Associates Can Help!
Hiring the right Dental CPA for your practice and its goals is essential to securing the financial future of your practice. While finding one may not be an easy task, once you have the right one, you’ll wonder how you managed without one at all.
At Shannon & Associates, we combine the expertise of financially guiding dental practices with our commitment to creating a relationship with our clients that puts everyone at ease. Think we might be the right fit for you? Gather your list of questions and contact us to discuss how one of our partners can take some of the day-to-day procedures on your mind so you can focus on the health of your patients.