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Should the Bookkeeper for Your Dental Practice Also Clean Teeth?

Jul 9, 2019 3:35:46 PM Cheryl Coyle

Dentist Office I recall my first experience as a bookkeeper in a dental practice. I met the dentist and of course the hygienist. It wasn’t until I began working at various dental practices that I realized how much non-dental related work the hygienist does.

For example, I have seen the hygienist responsible for receiving payments, preparing and sending past due invoices, dealing with insurance-related matters, scheduling patients, and managing accounts payable. This work is in addition to the dental work which he or she is trained to do.

The knee jerk response is that the work is getting done, so why change what works? Here’s why:

Lack of Training

A dental hygienist has very specific skills that do not include bookkeeping. It is likely that proper bank reconciliations, cursory review of financial statements, monitoring of accounts payable and receivable are not being handled efficiently or correctly.

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Loss of Revenue 

The bookkeeping function only pulls the hygienist away from revenue-generating work and ultimately costs the practice money.

Decreased Employee Satisfaction

Taking on a disparate role can be viewed as a negative when it does not enhance an employee’s core training. The skills involved in being a dental hygienist and a bookkeeper really do not compliment each other. Instead, have your hygienist learn a new skill or obtain additional dental-related certifications that will enrich their job and ultimately help the practice.

Benefits of Hiring a Bookkeeper for Your Dental Practice

There is a myriad of ways books can go wrong. Bringing in the expertise of an outside bookkeeper will give you peace of mind that your transactions are recorded properly and your financial statements are in good order.

I don’t want a bookkeeper cleaning my teeth; you should not want a dental hygienist doing your books. 

Contact us to discuss how we can help your dental practice.

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Cheryl Coyle

Written by Cheryl Coyle