Similar to dentists, Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) are licensed and regulated by the state. They also have disciplinary review boards and continuing education requirements.
Typically, CPA Firms operate as generalists and work with everything from individuals to small businesses to non-profits to corporations. And while being a generalist makes them well rounded, it can also be limiting if you want additional expertise like dental benchmarking or dental practice coaching.
Within the typical CPA practice, the Generalist CPA Firm will service lots of small businesses that use QuickBooks because it is the predominant accounting software program for small businesses in the United States. However, they seldom have a concentration of businesses within any one industry so the industry specific insight is limited. For example, a Generalist CPA firm will typically have a couple medical clients but the concentration of dentists within their practice is very low (maybe 1-3 at best). As a result, providing dental practice benchmarking or practice coaching is not something they can reasonably provide because dentists comprise a very low percentage (less than 5%) of their overall mix.
Conversely, a CPA Firm that concentrates on the dental industry can not only review QuickBooks, provide tax reduction planning, and provide best practices benchmarking for a dental practice your same size, but should also provide insight into the best local providers for:
- Dental Law Firms
- Dental Banking
- Dental Real Estate
- Dental Brokerage
- Dental Insurance
- Dental Practice Cost Segregation
If you are searching for a higher level of expertise at key points in your dental career, it really pays attractive dividends to align yourself with a CPA Firm that is focused on the dental industry. Below are some of the most important inflection points for hiring a Dental CPA:
- Incubator Stage – While working in Corporate Dentistry or attending dental school, it really pays to create the right professional relationships to overcome obstacles to dental practice ownership.
- Growth Stage (first five years of ownership) – Decisions ranging from office location to practice type to office staff can have profound impact on production, cash flow, client acquisition, and debt reduction.
- Adolescent Stage – Decisions focused on technology upgrades, remodeling, office design, improved work flows, and improving clientele quality.
- Maintenance Stage – Most of this phase focuses on saving for retirement.
- Exit Stage – Most of this phase is focused on maximizing the value of the practice for sale.
The Dental Accounting Association is a proactive group of Dental CPA Firms that attend dental trade shows, dedicate time to dental industry education, provide dental practice benchmarking, actively put you into the best possible tax position, and can recommend the best dental providers throughout the key stages in your career. If you would prefer to avoid some bumps in the road and would like a higher level of expertise, then hire a CPA Firm that concentrates on dentists and has gotten better with time by coaching dentists successfully through the vital stages of life.