When looking for help with your financial data, it's important to remember that hiring a bookkeeper for your dental practice isn't the same as hiring an accountant. Keep in mind that a bookkeeper will focus more on the day-to-day record keeping of your clinic, while an accountant will focus more on tax preparation, forecasting, and advisory work.
It's crucial to know the difference between these two roles because even though an accountant can perform your bookkeeping duties, it will be much more cost-effective for your clinic to hire a bookkeeper to maintain your books throughout the year.
Plus, having a separate bookkeeper and accountant will provide you with additional oversight on your books. When year-end comes around, your accountant can review the books prepared by your bookkeeper and identify any potential errors.
Here are some of the most essential tips you need to consider when searching for the right bookkeeper for your dental practice.
1. Do they have experience working with dental practices?
A bookkeeper who has experience working with dental practice will better know how to set up your specific accounts for proper tracking. They will be able to identify which metrics you should track and how much detail you should aim to derive from your data, dictating how granular your chart of accounts is.
A bookkeeper that is experienced in the dental industry will also be able to identify if it's in your best interest to break out your revenue by types of dental services such as hygienist check-ups, braces, or root canals, for example, or your payroll costs by hygienists, dentists and admin staff. The payroll costs for your team of practitioners will be listed under your cost of goods sold category, while your admin staff will be listed under overhead expense.
An experienced bookkeeper will also help you manage insurance billing and accounting tasks. They will be familiar with accounting systems used by dental clinics and what you need to keep your books up to date and accurate.
2. Should you hire in-house or outsource?
While bookkeeping is a necessary requirement of any business, it probably doesn't require a full-time employee to get the job done. In many cases, the receptionist or office manager will do the majority of the bookkeeping tasks. This can be problematic. Since they likely don't have any formal training in bookkeeping, you could end up with errors in your books, leading to inaccuracy in your financial data.
To avoid this serious issue, you may want to consider outsourcing. Outsourcing your bookkeeping to a professional bookkeeping firm is an excellent way to save your clinic money while getting the bookkeeping expertise that you require to keep your books up to date. They handle all of their staff's hiring, training, and management, so you don't have to.
3. Can they leverage new technology?
Over the past few years, accounting technology has advanced considerably. A great deal of new accounting technology on the market could help you streamline your bookkeeping processes. You want to ensure that the bookkeeper you hire is familiar with these accounting programs and applications, knows which ones are suitable for your practice, and can help you install them and migrate your data.
The bookkeeper that you choose should also be familiar with your dental management software to leverage your data for reporting purposes. By selecting someone that stays up to date on the latest bookkeeping and dental management software, you ensure that your processes will always be as efficient as possible.
4. Do they have the ability to grow with your practice?
One of your main goals is to grow your practice by either increasing the number of patients you see or expanding to new locations. When this occurs, the number of accounting transactions that will need to be handled will also grow. You need to make sure that the bookkeeper you choose can cope with your practice's growth without sacrificing your financial data's quality, accuracy, or timeliness.
If you choose an in-house or part-time contract bookkeeper, there may be a capacity limit to the amount of work they can handle themselves. However, an outsourced bookkeeping firm will have unlimited resources to take on more work and scale alongside your business.
5. Can they provide support with other accounting tasks?
Many other accounting tasks accompany your bookkeeping, and not all bookkeepers are qualified to handle these jobs. Payroll, for example, should only be handled by someone with formal payroll training to ensure that your business stays up to date and compliant with the changing payroll legislation.
You should consider hiring a bookkeeper or outsourced bookkeeping firm that has payroll training to help you manage these complex duties.
Choosing the right bookkeeper for your dental clinic takes special consideration. You need to ensure that your bookkeeper can handle the unique needs of your business, grow alongside you and provide you with the technical knowledge you need to stay current in these rapidly changing times.
If you want to find out more about selecting the right bookkeeper or are ready to outsource your bookkeeping tasks, Enkel is here to help. We have a team of well-trained and experienced bookkeepers that can assist you with your books and help you stay up to date with all of your dental clinic's financial needs. Contact us today for all of the details.