Maryland Dental CPA | Common Payroll Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Handling payroll for a dental practice is often thought of as a simple task. The truth, however, is that there are many minor errors that can easily lead to major problems. Train your team to catch these small mistakes your practice might be making, so you can be sure to avoid them in the future.

Estimated Recordkeeping – Don’t wait until the day before payroll is due to log shifts worked for the pay period. Days can begin to blend together and it can be challenging to recall who worked which days and times after the fact. Looking through notes and emails to figure out past days’ activities can be stressful and even inaccurate, leading to incorrect pay.

Employee Misclassifications – There are many differences, at both federal and state levels, between an employee and a contractor. Make sure you classify your team members, temporary replacement workers, and anyone else in payroll correctly to ensure an accurate, streamlined process. Depending on the infraction and your area, heavy penalties can occur for misclassified worker pay.

Not Tracking Bonuses or Gifts – Work trips or group outings are no problem, but any sort of bonus or gift that has monetary value needs to be tracked. Gift cards are a common example of this. Make sure to keep a running log of any exchanges like these for year-end purposes.

Paying Employees Wrong Rates – When employees are hired, given a raise, or have their pay otherwise adjusted, make sure this is correctly logged in the system or software you use. Using an hourly wage in a program to pay as salary can have rounding problems, so double-check your work. Manual error or forgetting to process a raise on the books right away can lead to owing back-pay or other issues in the future.

Holidays or Haphazard Payroll – Try to set a fixed schedule for your payroll. When holidays affect the normal cycle, have an established plan to deal with it appropriately. Depending on your area, missing or late payroll can create tax headaches or incur penalties, as well as causing hardship for your team.

Payroll can be a straightforward and mistake-free process at your practice, but it requires proper oversight and attention. Keep an airtight system, follow up on any mistakes, and think ahead. For more information on how to handle payroll or tax concerns, contact our office.

Towson Dental CPA | Converting Leads into Patients

Marketing is an essential part of attracting new business. Strong print and internet marketing materials can help introduce your practice to potential new patients. Glowing reviews and testimonials tell people that you have a trustworthy team and offer quality care. However, even the best marketing efforts won’t contribute anything to your business if you fail to convert leads into patients. There are a variety of reasons outside of your control that might stop someone from scheduling an appointment at your practice, but it’s important to make sure you do all you can to help motivate people to seek treatment with you. Below are some tips to help your team more effectively sell the value of your service to potential new patients.

Be responsive and available. As a dental professional, you know what it’s like to be busy. Often, your patients have busy lives of their own. Make sure your team is available to take calls as they come and try to offer flexible appointment times to help people work within their limited free time.

Don’t be too pushy. While it’s helpful to be clear about all the treatments offered at your practice, patients are often turned off by overly “salesy” approaches. Take the time to get to know a patient and their needs, goals, and budget before trying to sell them on dental solutions. This will make them feel valued and understood, increasing the likelihood of treatment plan acceptance.

Offer a friendly and welcoming environment. There are a number of people who absolutely dread going to the dentist. Because of that, some potential patients may already have a negative feeling towards you and your team despite no fault of your own. Work to overcome this discomfort quickly by offering a personable and kind environment. Make sure your team greets patients by name and gets to know a bit about them. A little can go a long way.

Don’t lose track of people. Repetition is one of the easiest techniques for cementing something into memory. If a potential new patient contacts your office, be sure to follow up if you don’t hear from them again. You never know the reason they didn’t call back, so taking that step for them can offer a second chance to make a connection and help your practice stand out more in their mind.

Many dentists find it difficult to think about their practice as a business. It is likely that you chose dentistry due to a passion for service and healing, not bookkeeping or sales. Yet nearly any successful retailer will say that the only way to gain business is to give customers what they want, when they want it. Contact our firm for more strategies on boosting new patient numbers and patient retention!

Update – Phase 3 Dept HHS Provider Relief Grant (PRG)

I wanted to reach out to offer some insight into the HHS Phase III Funding Application that I emailed you on Friday October 23, 2020.

This 3rd round of HHS funding will first go to Dental Practices who have not received funding from HHS within the previous two (2) HHS phases. This would include Start Up Dental Practices as well as those Practices that were rejected or did not apply for Phase 1 or Phase 2 Funding. After all applications have been processed AND all entities who qualified for the 2% of net 2019 collection payment have in fact received their payments, there is a possibility of additional payments from HHS if there are monies left over. There are no guarantees.

At this time we do not know how much funding, if any, will be left over to be distributed to practices that have already received their 2% of Net 2019 Collections payment from HHS. We will have to wait and see.

If you are in need of your P & L for Q1 2020, Q2 2020 and/or Q1 2019 and/or Q1 2019, please reach out to your Schiff Team Member. We can also supply you with your 2019 Income Tax Return as well.

BREAKING NEWS: VA Dentists Newly Eligible to Apply for up to $100,000 from Rebuild VA Grants

We are receiving a lot of inquiries with respect to “VA Dentists Newly Eligible to Apply for up to $100,000 from Rebuild VA Grants”. Please see the following email:
https://www.schiffcpa.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Email.pdf

It is our opinion you should apply for these Grants. Please note, these GRANTS are TAXABLE

If you receive the Grant, it can be used for any of the following:

  • Payroll support including employee salaries, paid sick leave, medical leave, or family leave, and costs associated with the continuation of group health care benefits during those periods of leave
  • Mortgage Payments
    Rental or Lease Payments
  • Eligible Utilities:  Electricity, Gas, Water/Sewer, Telephone and Internet service
  • Principal and Interest Payments for business loans incurred prior to, or during the COVID-19 emergency
  • COVID Related Expenses – (applicants who received CARES Act funds are not eligible for reimbursement of these expenses under the Rebuild VA Grant)  (An example of this would be if you received the HHS Grant)

Here is a complete list of documents needed along with the required documentation:
https://www.governor.virginia.gov/media/governorvirginiagov/governor-of-virginia/rebuildva/RebuildVA-Business-Doc-Requirements_v3.pdf

Examples of Documentation – W-9, Business Income Tax Returns, Most recent Virginia Employment Commission Quarterly Report:
https://www.vec.virginia.gov/employers/VEC-FC-2120

PLEASE NOTE: You will need a DUNS NUMBER for the Completion of the W-9. If you do not have a DUNS Number, you can apply for one here:
https://www.dnb.com/duns-number/get-a-duns.html

Please reach out to your Schiff Team Member if you need any documentation from us (Tax Returns) during the Application Process.