Choosing a Dental CPA Can Be a Painless Procedure
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Finding the right dental CPA requires a little drilling down to get to the root of your needs. That work is necessary for extracting the best firm from your available options.
Segment your choices into three categories of certified public accountant businesses: small general-practice firms, specialized advisors who exclusively serve dentists and large, regional firms with specialties in multiple client sectors, including dentistry. Then, think about your service requirements with that segmentation in mind.
Understanding what each CPA firm offers will help you choose an advisor best suited to meet your needs.
General-Practice CPA Firms
General-practice CPA firms handle many essential functions, including tax returns, practice payroll and payroll taxes, whether those tasks are completed internally or through an outsourced service provider.
Many small business owners, including dentists, enjoy having a general-practice CPA who is a family member, friend or acquaintance.
Dental CPA Firms
Some dentists will want a CPA firm with a deeper dental focus. These can offer more strategic business advice, since they are more familiar with dental practices, technology and more.
Specialized firms share fee and other benchmarking data, as well as best practices for financial management. These resources give you tools to eliminate operational inefficiencies, such as overpaying for dental supplies due to a poor inventory management system.
These professionals are also familiar with succession planning in dental practices, providing actionable advice on how to navigate buy-outs and sales.
They differentiate the profitability of dental services — say between those a dental hygienist can perform vs. those that require a dentist.
Multi-Specialty CPA Firms
Some large, regional CPA firms offer all that and even more expertise. The analytical capabilities of these firms let you assess your practice’s financial performance from a variety of perspectives. This assessment also helps you set a course to improve performance.
Dental practice experts at multi-specialty firms help you identify benchmarking parameters, such as geography or practice size. That can bring insights on performance and opportunities relative to comparable dental practices. A multi-specialty CPA firm also brings expertise in minimizing tax liability in other business sectors.
These firms also offer important services and can provide them in a coordinated fashion, which adds tremendous value:
- Retirement plan administration
- Fiduciary services
- Professional liability exposure analysis
- Risk management services
- Financial and estate planning
- Asset management
When choosing from among these three types of CPA firms, consider the complexity of your practice and the scope of your needs currently and in the future.
If you consider a change, take a fresh look at the full spectrum of public accounting services available on the market and talk to an advisor.
You might wind up making a switch, or simply having some good candidates in line for a change down the road.
- More on running a dental practice: How to Save Money with This Little-Known Tax Deduction