4 Steps to Streamline your Dental Practice Finances & Accounting

After 15 years of experience working with dental practices and through owning dental practices myself, it is evident that across the entire industry many practices are using out of date procedures and technology to run their dental practice’s finances & accounting.

The days of handwritten ledgers, updating cumbersome spreadsheets, sending boxes of invoices to your accountant at the last minute before the looming submission deadlines, fortunately no longer exist!

The last few years have seen a revolution in the accountancy world. The technology has evolved to the point that much of the sending and processing of invoices can be done with simple technology systems.

Going digital with your accounts doesn’t just mean an end to endless paperwork. It also reduces the amount of manpower required to process accounts, both in the dental practice and in the accountancy office, saving both you and your accountant time, effort and money!

Working with hundreds of dental practices across the UK, we have detailed below what we know to be the most important things you need to be doing in your practice to ensure your accounts and finance systems are streamlined, helping you better manage your practice.

Use Cloud-based Book-keeping and Invoice Scanning Software.

Cloud based accounting software such as Xero or Quickbooks online have revolutionised accounting for small businesses. Combine this with scanning support software such as Receipt bank and once you have mastered the process, you will have a slick accounting system in place.

Instead of having to keep hardcopy records of all your invoices, receipts and documents, storing them and then shipping them off to your accountant when needed, all you need is a smartphone or scanner!

Simply take a photo of your receipts, invoices etc via the cloud accounting app, or scan the documents with a scanner, and send them off via the app or email.

These are then sent directly into Receipt Bank which can be automatically synced up to software such as Xero or Quickbooks Online. There is no need to print off bank statements and send them through to your accountant. All your information is fed directly and securely into the system from the images you provide.

Having the bank data coming straight into Xero or Quickbooks saves considerable time and effort and can greatly improve the efficiency of your dental practice.

All your invoices are also stored in Xero too, so trying to find an old invoice is easy as they all reside in the Cloud, accessible 24/7 from anywhere with an internet connection.

Share and Collaborate

By having everything available on the cloud, what you see on the cloud is also what your accountant sees too, allowing your accountant to see real-time information on your practice’s (or your personal) expenses, finances and accounts.

Most accountants will be able to provide advice on tactics and strategies to improve your practices finances, and this is far easier with a clear, instant view of your accounts.

Sharing your accounts and finances digitally with your accountant allows them a much clearer picture of the financial health of your business, which in turn helps you to collaborate more effectively with either them or any other financial advisors.

With constant updates and real-time data, you and your accountant will be able to analyse trends, manage cashflow and identify potential issues far earlier than with old-fashioned hardcopy accounts.

The technology allows you to collaborate and work together to improve the value of your dental practice performance.

Improve Practice Performance via Management Reporting

Software packages such as Xero also allow you to automatically run a variety of financial reports for you to analyse over a whole variety of time periods.

For instance, most cloud accounting software packages allow you to run reports such as Profit and Loss, Balance Sheets and Cashflow Reports. You can also create your own templates for reports so that you can see the exact data and trends you want.

These reports make it far easier to keep track of your accounts and finances by doing a lot of the leg-work for you. Instead of wasting your time and effort poring over an entire month’s invoices to spot trends, simply run your favourite saved report and see the data instantly.

We advise clients to run such reports at least quarterly so they can assess and routinely judge and keep up with the performance of their dental practice.

Make Quality Decisions

With the technology available to small businesses today, there is absolutely no excuse to be using out-of-date, old fashioned accounting systems. You could be running a far more efficient and profitable dental practice simply by doing digital with your accounts!

By switching to digital cloud accounting software, by using the online functionality to share and collaborate with your accountants and financial advisors and by using the automatically-generated reports, you can ensure that you make better, quicker, more informed decisions to continually improve the efficiency and profitability of your practice.

By looking at the performance detailed in the reports you can identify and interpret areas that need changing in your dental practice, whether it means cutting costs, increasing fees, or increasing marketing activity.

Understanding the management reports can only help you a run a more efficient and successful dental practice.

More on How to Streamline Dental Practice Finances & Accounting

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