5 Qualities You’ll Find in a Good Dental Accountant

5 Qualities You'll Find in a Good Dental Accountant

It’s a beautiful morning, but as you drive to the office, the only thing running through your mind is what to do about the mess of numbers you left the night before. You stare blankly at a jumbled spreadsheet until your coffee loses its warmth and you wonder how you got here. Why am I sitting behind a desk doing these math equations when I should be out there running my practice? Does this sound familiar?

If it does, you’re not alone. Every business owner and dentist has felt this way at one time or another. The good news is that while you may feel stuck now, you don’t have to feel stuck forever.

Hiring a professional dental accountant is the easiest, most profitable way to gage how well your practice is operating while continuing to grow your business. However, not all dental accountants are the same and the one you hire can be the difference between success and struggle. So, what should you look for in a good dental accountant? As you research your options, consider these five qualities that your dental accountant should have:

1. Trustworthy

It goes without saying that trust is key factor when hiring someone for your practice, however when you’re relying on that person to manage your financials, a whole new level of integrity is expected. Your accountant will be handling a lot of important information that must be kept confidential and not only because it’s beneficial to your practice; you have a legal obligation to your patients to keep all of their records, including account balances, private. Reputation goes a long way. Before signing a contract, do your homework. Include a real-life scenario in your interview accompanied with “What would you do?” questions. Better yet, contact the accountant’s professional references for additional testimony.

2. Knowledgeable

A well-qualified dental accountant will not only understand the basics of general bookkeeping and accounting, he will be well-versed in the bookkeeping and accounting practices specific to the dental industry as well as knowledgeable about which of those are most beneficial to dentists. For example, reconciling bank accounts using the latest accounting software is one of the most important ways we help dental practices reach their business goals. Although it sounds simple enough, many dental practices let months go by without comparing their bank account statement to their account software records. By helping dental practices stay on top of these kind of financial details, we help dentists make better financial decisions, which in turn grow their business and increase their overall revenue.

In addition to being knowledgeable about dental financial management, your accountant should always stay informed of any updates made to general accepted accounting principles (GAAP) or nuances in tax law. Advancements in technology have changed the way businesses run (including yours!) and a good dental accountant will embrace these changes by attending conferences and seminars to learn about these accounting trends. By staying up to speed, he will manage your financials better and be able to give you sound advice for your evolving business strategy.

3. Organized

Accurate reporting is directly correlated to a business’s profitability and the root of this is good organization. Your dental accountant should have a well-oiled system for interpreting data, preparing reports, storing files, and filing paperwork. Structure will increase the efficiency of his work, allowing him time to research helpful financial tactics and analyze them more thoroughly.

In order to help our dentists reach their business goals more efficiently, we keep digital records of their practice’s financials. Doing so allows them (and us!) to focus on what they’re passionate about, without drowning in a stack of papers.

4. Detail Oriented

Steve Jobs once said, “Everything is important- that success is in the details;” and he was right. Your dental accountant must be detail-oriented as he will be dealing primarily with the numbers you will use to make important financial decisions. One misplaced comma, period, or mistaking a 0 for an 8 could influence a judgement call and do serious damage to your practice. Be sure to discuss your accountant’s review policy and ask about what safety nets he has in place to catch numerical mistakes.

The primary way we prevent mistakes from occurring is staying familiar with our dentists’ financials. When a dentist knows his patients well enough, he can easily determine whether that chipped tooth happened because of a fall,  a hard piece of candy, or a hockey fight. When we work with a dental practice over time, we learn how it operates and we can detect patterns in their financials. If anything looks unusual as we go over their monthly statements, we dig deeper to find out why the numbers look the way the do and help dentists make better financial decisions based on that data. Being familiar with our dentists and how their practices run also allows us to prevent mistakes and catch them quickly if they do occur.

5. Client Centric

What separates a “good” dental accountant from the “best” dental accountant is his perspective on customer service and client relationships. It’s not enough to be skilled in mathematics, knowledgeable, or well-organized. Your dental accountant should not only have a respectful attitude during your interactions, he should be willing to go above and beyond to help you implement a solid business financial strategy.

Two Roads differs from most bookkeeping and accounting firms because we are proactive (vs. reactive). We care for our dentists by regularly interacting with them to ensure their financial goals are met and responding quickly to any questions or concerns they may have. We see our clients as partners, not customers, and our job is to help them be successful.

As a professional bookkeeping and accounting company, we firmly believe these five characteristics are crucial to running a successful (and ethical!) business- both ours and yours.

Relationships are very important to us and we treat our partners as family because you deserve our best. Dr. Jonathan Bradshaw of Heritage Family Dentistry came to us a year ago after being burned by a “professional” bookkeeping company who cared more about their own bottom line than handling his financials properly. Read more about how the Two Roads difference has made a positive impact on his practice.

We can do the same for you. Contact us at (865) 212-0063 for more information.

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