Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Making the Most Out Of Financial Planning

Did you resolve to make better financial decisions for your dental practice this year?
Financial improvements are the third most popular resolution people make on January 1. It’s not too late to make progress for 2017. Use this guide as a starting point to set up your office for success.
Tips for Financial Success from the ADA
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), smart financial planning for dentists begins with a profitable practice. A profitable practice begins with raising fees. A good rule of thumb is to implement a small increase every ten months; that way, you’re netting one extra increase over a five-year period.

Next, on the ADA’s list of recommendations is collecting 100 percent net. Make sure you see all the gains from your work. Setting your expectations lower can impact your profitability and your staff’s collection procedures. So if your monthly gross is $50,000 and after insurance adjustments and other write-offs, the net is $45,000, make $45,000 your collection goal. Don’t settle for less.

The third tip for financial success is having a plan for consistent growth. Involve your staff in this discussion, and benchmark at least the following figures:
  • Gross Production
  • Net Production
  • Collections
  • Net Collections
  • New Patients
In 2015, the median gross billing for dentist owners in private practice, including specialists, was $640,000. The top source of gross billings in 2015 was private insurance, followed by direct patient payments, managed care, and government programs.
Other Recommendations
Other recommendations include viewing overhead expenses in terms of revenue, doing everything possible to ensure quality patient care, and properly managing debt.
Don’t be so quick to cut expenses if doing so would negatively impact practice growth. For example, investing in a new patient billing system requires up-front expenses, staff training, and perhaps ongoing maintenance expenses. If the new billing system allows you to serve patients better and more efficiently, it’s a win in the long run.
When it comes to debt, debt that will increase your practice’s profitability and efficiency is good. Think mortgage, software, and better equipment. But any debt you struggle to pay off is problematic.
Practice growth planning is time-consuming and sometimes difficult. But it’s time well spent. Don’t put off your financial planning goals. Put a plan in place now and see the benefits throughout 2017 and beyond.
Contact us today to make the most of the financial planning at your dental practice.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

At a Glance: Important Tax Deadlines for March and April

According to a recent study on dental practice seasonality trends, March and April are among the busiest months of the year. Does this sound like your dental practice?
If so, you’ve no doubt also noticed this coincides with tax season. To help make your busiest months a little easier, here are the tax deadlines for March and April.
March 15
Dental Partnerships should File a 2016 tax return (Form 1065). Provide each partner in your dental practice with a copy of Schedule K-1 of Form 1065, or a substitute Schedule K-1. To request an automatic 6-month extension to file the return and provide Schedules K-1, use Form 7004 to extend your filing deadline to September 15.
Large Dental Partnerships (100+ partners) should file a 2016 tax return (Form 1065-B). Provide each partner in your dental practice with a copy of Schedule K-1 of Form 1065-B, or a substitute of Schedule K-1. This due date applies even if you request an extension of time to file Form 1065-B by filing Form 7004. To request an automatic 6-month extension and move your filing deadline to September 15, use Form 7004.
If your dental practice is structured as an S-Corporation, file a 2016 income tax return (Form 1120S) and pay any tax due. Provide each shareholder with a copy of Schedule K-1  of Form 1120S, or a substitute of Schedule K-1. To get an automatic 6-month extension of time to file, use Form 7004 and pay what you estimate you owe on your return.
If your dental practice is electing S corporation treatment beginning with calendar year 2017, you should file Form 2553 (Election by a Small Business Corporation). If you file Form 2553 late, S corporation treatment of your dental practice will begin with calendar year 2018.
March 31
File the following forms with the IRS if they apply to your dental practice. Note that a deadline of March 31 for these forms only applies if you’re filing online.
  • Form 1098 (Mortgage Interest Statement)
  • Form 1099 (Self-Employment Income)
  • Form 3921 (Exercise of an Incentive Stock Option), and
  • Form 3922 (Transfer of Stock Acquired Through an Employee Stock Purchase Plan)
April 18
Dental Corporations should file a 2016 income tax return (Form 1120) and pay any tax due. To request an automatic 6-month extension of time to file, use Form 7004 and pay what you estimate you owe on your return.
You should also deposit the first installment payment for your 2017 estimated income tax.
If you’re not already working with Dental CPAs for your practice’s tax planning, contact us today. We can help manage your tax liability and reduce your stress during your busiest months.
For more information, contact out DentalCPA team at 844-DENT CPA (336-8272) or email 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Are You Ready For Tax Season?

If you haven’t already, it’s time to skim through your tax documents to ensure you are well prepared for filing. Here are some important items to remember:
  1. Check your records for invoices of single item purchases of more than $2500. These fixed assets need to be capitalized. Review your invoices to make sure nothing is coded as an asset that should be an expense or the other way around.
  2. Gather all your year-end loan, bank, and credit card statements so you can tie down balances as of 12/31.
  3. Review receipts of meals and entertainment to see if anything should be coded to employee expenses. Often, there’s a good number of items that are really lunch for the employees which have a great tax benefit.
  4. Review your records of gifts distributed in 2016. Gifts that were either for marketing or employee purposes should be correctly coded for them to potentially be considered a deductible expense.
  5. If you participate in an employer match program, ensure that all payments are made before you file your return.
For more information or answers to questions specific to your practice's situation, call our office at 844-DENT CPA(336-8272).

Tips for Entering Your First Practice

You are out of school, and it’s time to begin your dental career. Where will you start? Have you found a place to work? As multiple questions run through your head, let’s discuss some tips that will help you navigate through the “what’s next” phase so you can start in the right direction.
Gain Experience
Working for an existing practice will help you gain the experience you need to develop your skill sets as well as well help to build relationships with patients without the concerns or challenges of a business owner.
Do Your Research
When researching the best place to practice your associateship, it’s important that you take your time so you can find a practice that is a good fit.  Don’t rush into an agreement if there are any uncertainties. Here are a few examples (not comprehensive) of what you should be discussing during the interview process:
  • Clearly communicate your income goals
  • If you’re interested in purchasing the practice down the line, share your intentions
  • Be honest about your skill sets and comfort level
  • Inquire about the mentoring dentist’s clinical philosophy. Will you be expected to follow his or her guidelines fully?
In order to find a good fit, open communication is essential. After covering your key areas, the mentoring dentist should also clearly communicate his or her expectations. Such as production goals, required schedule, transition plans, compensation, as well as the role you are expected to play in relation to the staff. Again, these are only a few examples; you should seek as much clarification as you need to confidently make a decision.
Begin Your Journey with an End Goal in Mind
Do you plan to own your own practice someday? Speak with your potential employer about the possibility of buying into or purchasing the practice in the future. Negotiate a guaranteed salary when you begin work at the practice.  After nine months discuss basing your salary on the amount of business you bring to the practice.
Take Time to Consider Location
Pay attention to the location of the practice in which you are considering for your associateship. Ultimately, of you plan on owning the practice, its location will determine your future patient base, and how your revenue stream will look.
Develop Your Team
Begin relationships with bankers, CPAS, investment broker, attorney, and insurance agent as well as dental brokers. It’s never too early to establish a strategy with a team of advisors that can help you elevate to the next stage of your career. Also, building relationships with other employed team members can be beneficial later on in your career.
Have a Plan
The key to successfully transitioning out of dental school is to have clear vision of the direction in which you want your career to go. With any professional journey, obstacles are inevitable. By having clear goals and a long term plan in place, you will remain on track for a successful future.
For more information, contact our office at 844-DENT CPA (336-8272) or 
Note: The content is accurate as of the date published above and is subject to change. Please seek professional advice before acting on any matter contained in this article.