Dentists: Brush Up on Your Bookkeeping Habits

When you decided to start your own dental practice, you likely focused on the services you were selling, along with your customer service and marketing skills. While running your own practice offers plenty of upsides, it also means you’re responsible for every aspect of operations, including the parts you think are beyond your capabilities – or just plain boring.

Accounting and bookkeeping tasks often fall into both of these categories, but that doesn’t keep attending to them from being absolutely necessary. Incorporating these eight simple steps into your regular habits and mindset will not only cover the basics – but will also give you a much clearer sense of your practice’s financial health.

1.       Separate your business accounts from your personal accounts.

It may feel simpler to reach for the same credit card or use the same bank account to pay for everything, but from a business accounting perspective it’s a recipe for disaster. Whether you are a sole proprietor or are an LLC (where separating these expenses out is a requirement), you’ll find that if you pay for your business expenses separately it will make it much easier to optimize your taxes and to make smarter decisions based on a good understanding of your revenues and cash flow.

2.       Get away from hard copies.

One of the top reasons people give for not going paperless is that they have too many paper records to convert. The truth is that you can keep your paper files and still switch over to digital. All you have to do is check the box to convert to paperless as you log on to each of your accounts. You’ll be amazed at how much lighter you feel without account statements filling your snail mail mailbox, and how easily you can access information with the ‘find’ function of your computer.

3.       Use cloud-based accounting software.

Where it was common for small businesses to invest in off-the-shelf accounting software, cloud-based software has made it much easier to access your information from anywhere. It also offers the advantage of continuous software updates that are responsive to both improved performance and legislative changes, as well as superior security.

4.       Where autopayment is available, activate it.

Why should you go through the process of tracking and paying monthly bills manually? As long as you have plenty of cash in your payment account you can set yourself up with autopay and move on to more important tasks.

5.       Log expenses and payments every single day.

Procrastination is something we’re all guilty of, especially when it comes to tasks we’d rather not do but keeping current on logging expenses and revenue is crucial. Make it part of your daily activities, like making yourself a cup of coffee or brushing your teeth. Otherwise, you’re going to have a big pile of records that either has to be entered into your books or get forgotten about completely. The good news is that there are plenty of apps that make the task easier.

6.       Put a quarterly (or monthly) check-up on your calendar.

Every quarter you need to take a close look at how your business is doing, so put it on your calendar as if it is an important appointment. If you’ve kept your records up to date, this will provide you with the opportunity to get a helpful overview of how your business is doing and what trends you can track and respond to.

7.       Anticipate and prepare for your tax needs.

If you find yourself worrying about how you’re going to pay your tax bill each year, it means that you’re not paying attention. If you know how much you’re making then you have a good idea of how much you’re going to owe, and you should be setting those funds aside now so that you’re not stressed later.

8.       If you can’t handle your accounting tasks, get help.

Gulf Coast Accounting & Tax offers bookkeeping and accounting services to help dental practices stay on track. Though you may be able to manage on your own for a while, business growth may necessitate hiring help. Whether that is a part-time or full-time employee or an outside service like ours is up to you. Just make sure that you recognize when you’re in over your head or out of the time you need to do it yourself.

Keep your dental practice headed in the right direction with the critical financial data you need to make smart decisions. Contact us to learn how our comprehensive bookkeeping and accounting services can make your practice prosper.


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