Dental practices can be highly profitable businesses, but building a successful practice requires owners to keep a close eye on expenses and cash flow. Along with dental practice management software, accounting software can provide essential real-time insights into the financial health of the business.
Accounting Software Features Dentists Should Look For
When choosing dental accounting software it’s important to look for key features unique to the dental industry:
Integration with Practice Management Software. One of the most important factors in choosing software for your dental practice accounting is how well it integrates with other software your practice uses. Many practices use dental practice management software for treatment planning, appointment scheduling and patient communication. If that software doesn’t integrate well with your accounting software, you’ll create extra work at a potentially significant expense, including staff or bookkeeping time.
You’ll want to be able to track accounts receivable (A/R) and slow-paying customers. Expense management, invoicing, inventory management, billing and purchasing may be part of your practice management software, and if so, you’ll want those features to integrate with your accounting software. If not, you may want to look for those features in your accounting software.
Data Security. It’s crucial that you maintain customer data confidentiality and comply with HIPAA requirements. A data breach can prove extremely costly, especially given the potentially sensitive nature of patient information. You’ll also need frequent backups, which cloud accounting programs can offer automatically.
Considerations For New And Established Dental Practices
Accounting software is helpful for keeping the books up to date so your business can stay in compliance with tax obligations. But it can offer much more that.
Most accounting software programs can be adapted to the dental industry, but the best dental accounting software will have a track record of meeting the needs of dental practices. You’ll want to streamline and automate practice activities, and not add extra layers work or complexity.
In addition, you want software that can grow as you expand your dental practice. Free accounting software is appealing if you’re starting a practice on a budget. Larger practices may need sophisticated features that are beyond reach for a small practice. And if you plan to acquire another practice (or to be acquired) you won’t want software that’s difficult to integrate with the other practice.
Try to think ahead to what you’ll need in the future so you can make a choice you won’t regret.
Best Accounting Software Options For Dental Practice Owners
If you’re considering accounting software for your dental practice, here are three popular choices:
Sage is one of the original accounting software programs and it offers healthcare accounting software that is HIPAA compliant. It offers unlimited users. It’s UK-based, and there may be a learning curve for US users. However, many accounting professionals are familiar with Sage, and can provide accounting services to practices that use it.
Intuit Quickbooks is one of the leading accounting software programs and it comes in several versions including Quickbooks Online, Quickbooks Online Advanced. Additional products such as payroll, payments and time tracking are available as add ons.
Quickbooks can be a popular choice for dental practices. Many bookkeepers use Quickbooks and it’s easy to find Quickbooks Certified Professionals if you need additional help beyond what your staff or accountant can provide. Your CPA or accountant will no doubt be familiar with it.
A popular choice for very small businesses, Xero offers an affordable accounting solution. It also offers a robust mobile app. Dentally (dental practice software) integrates with Xero to improve workflow.
ZipBooks offers free cloud-based accounting software for dental practices. Free features include invoicing, recurring billing, and practice expense tracking. Patients can pay online by credit cards, PayPal or Stripe. Payroll, bookkeeping and tax preparation are available as add ons.
How To Select An Accounting Software System For Your Dental Office
When choosing accounting software for your dental practice, there are several key factors you’ll will want to consider to make an informed decision:
Budget. What is your budget and how does the cost fit into your budget? When getting pricing quotes, don’t overlook add-ons that may be required.
Integration. As mentioned earlier, make sure you look at what software integrates with other software, including your practice management system, and how it will impact or automate your workflow.
Functionality: What features do you need? It’s a given that accounting solutions should offer reporting for tax purposes and financial statements. But other features your practice may need include billing, online payments, expense management software, purchasing, inventory management.
Training and Support. Who will be using the software and what kind of training will they need? What type of customer support is available if they run into problems?
Patient Experience. You may also want to consider how the software solution you’re considering will impact the patient experience. Billing errors or slow billing will negatively impact how your customers view your practice.
FAQs For Dental Accounting Software