For anyone who’s not an accountant, and even some who are, organizing financials is tedious. Ina dental practice, you have to properly code expenses, assign billing categories, and produce timely financial reports all on top of running a practice.
Here are some suggestions for how dental practices can become better organized, more efficient, and more accurate in their bookkeeping.
Revisit this post on updates to dental practice chart of accounts to ensure yours is set up properly.
QuickBooks online – this is a no-brainer as it will allow you to do your bookkeeping online and at the practice or at home. If anyone is still using a desktop-based accounting software or something in Excel, make this your New Year’s resolution to switch to QuickBooks Online.
Your CPA can also usually provide training to you and your staff on how to use QuickBooks. The cost of paying for a few hours of customized training – not to mention help just setting it up if it’s new to you – is well worth the time and frustration of trying to do it yourself.
Use a payroll service provider – it costs money, but the time it will save you is almost too valuable to measure. Some of the options in QuickBooks allow you to integrate your own payroll provider, which I recommend, or you can use theirs. Some accounting firms will also do payroll – it’s worth it to ask and then evaluate your options.
Keep checks to a minimum – use a credit or debit card for office expenses. For credit cards, you can set up auto-pay at the vendor level.
Reconcile transactions on a daily basis – don’t wait a week or four to log in and organize line items. You’ll end up sitting there for much longer than you wanted and it’s easier to miss things.
Have more than one bank account and credit card account – the value here is that you use one account for one type of major expense, like clinical supplies. On the bank side, having an account for payroll, deposits, reserve, etc is a good idea and helps you keep finances organized at a glance.
Chart of accounts – The chart of accounts is where you’ll be able to see how money is used. Don’t use a generic chart of accounts; work with your dental CPA to create an industry standard COA specific to your practice.
If your dental practice is just getting started with QuickBooks, here’s a good post on the beginning basics.
This isn’t an exhaustive list on bookkeeping best practices, and we could go on at length about how to maximize your practice’s financial reporting. For questions on dental practice financial management, contact Dental CPAs.