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Give Your Dental Practice The Boost It Needs With QuickBooks®

Dental QuickBooks - Dental CPA

Here are tips you need to know about using QuickBooks® in your dental practice.

Maintaining the business side of your dental practice isn’t easy. And keeping your books updated and accurate can be worse than a tooth ache. But, with the right software, it doesn’t have to be that bad. For example, when used properly, QuickBooks® is an easy-to-use, affordable accounting software package that can help you finally keep tabs on your practice’s cash, accounts receivable, accounts payable, inventory and more – which can ultimately help you boost the profitability of your practice.

Check Out: Customize QuickBooks For Your Dental Practice

Start QuickBooks® On The Right Foot

Simply purchasing and installing QuickBooks® isn’t enough. Taking this approach will prove to be even more frustrating and time consuming because the records you depend on to manage a profitable practice will be inaccurate, and you’ll just have to start over again anyway. Instead, if you want to get the most out of your QuickBooks® investment, you will need to follow specific steps, in a specific order, to ensure the software is not only working, but is reporting accurate data.

Keep Your QuickBooks® Software Current

The fact remains that basic double entry bookkeeping has not changed in more than 500 years. However, that doesn’t mean that you don’t need to update your QuickBooks® software. Here’s why you need to keep it updated.

If you use QuickBooks® to prepare your dental practice’s payroll, for example, you should be aware that QuickBooks® only supports three years’ worth of releases for payroll. So, with the release of the 2013 version, your 2010 version of QuickBooks® will soon be out of date and will need an upgrade.

If you are using QuickBooks® version 2010 in a web-hosted environment, you will have to upgrade at during 2013, as Intuit requires that web hosts to allow use of only the most recent three versions of QuickBooks®.

Contact A QuickBooks® Pro For Help

Whether you are a new dentist or seasoned pro, dental professionals find success with QuickBooks® every day, but they don’t realize this success alone. Working with a QuickBooks® expert to set up and/or manage your dental practice’s data doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. In fact, you could help you secure greater profit in the long run just by calling in the professionals. At the end of the day, if you’re not taking full advantage of all that QuickBooks® has to offer, you’re missing out on some pretty powerful tools. The team at Bright Dental can help. With a team of certified QuickBooks® ProAdvisors, our QuickBooks® team can assist with QuickBooks® consultation, set-up, training and support. Email Bright Dental CPAs today to learn more.

By Heather McNichols (New Philadelphia Office)

Are you looking for additional QuickBooks® Resources for Dental Professionals? Check out these links for more insight and advice.

Unlock Your Dental Practice’s Potential With QuickBooks

6 QuickBooks Tips Every Dentist Should Know

Dentistry: It’s Not All White Coats And Drills

Fraudulent Credit Card Transactions Will Become Your Practice’s Problem On Oct. 1

PCI  to EMV – Protecting Your Patient Credit Card Data

Patient Data Protection - Ohio CPA Firm

As of Oct. 1, 2015, the liability for fraudulent transactions will no longer be assumed by the credit card issuing institution. Instead, if you (the merchant) fail to adopt EMV technology, your dental practice will be responsible for any loss that results from a fraudulent transaction.

Like their screenings and dental procedures, your patients want their payment experience to be as easy and painless as possible, which is why you have come to depend on the ability to process credit card payments, which are frequently used to cover the difference after insurance pays a portion. But did you know that the magnetic stripes on your patient’s credit cards make them susceptible to fraud?

Major data breeches have made the news in recent years and all businesses are at risk (including your dental practice). Fraudsters are able to steal the information hidden within the cards magnetic stripe and use that information to create a fraudulent card. To combat the growing threat on consumer data, most American businesses will be expected to implement Credit Card EMV (EuroPay, MasterCard and Visa) technology October 1.

Read Also: ID Thieves Don’t Discriminate, Health Professionals Are At Risk

Change Is Necessary To Protect Your Patients

Due to the increasing number of credit card breaches where millions of credit card numbers and associated data have been stolen, the industry has forced small businesses nationwide to adhere to PCI (Payment Card Industry) Security Requirements. Supported by the PCI Security Council, the ultimate goal of EMV is to stop and prevent further fraudulent activity. Success has already been noted in countries outside the U.S.

“Currently, almost half of the world’s credit card fraud happens in the U.S. where magnetic stripe technology is the standard,” states David Navetta and Susan Ross in a blog on Data Protection Report. “Outside the U.S., an estimated 40 percent of the world’s cards and 70 percent of the terminals already use the EMV technology. These countries are reporting significantly lower counterfeit fraud levels with EMV cards than with the magnetic stripe cards.”

Understanding EMV Technology

Credit Card EMV technology, which has been used in Europe since the early 1990s, replaces the magnetic stripe we have grown accustomed to with an imbedded chip that, scrambles sensitive cardholder data at the point of sale terminal. This technology ultimately makes it more difficult to access and replicate consumer data in an attempt to commit fraud.

Dental Practices Must Comply

Why should you be concerned about the credit card industry’s switchover to EMV technology? As of Oct. 1, 2015, the liability for fraudulent transactions will no longer be assumed by the credit card issuing institution. Instead, if your dental practice fails to adopt EMV technology, your practice will be responsible for any loss that results from a fraudulent transaction. If your practice currently accepts credit cards as a form of payment (and you would like to continue to do so), unless you want to be hit with potentially devastating losses, you must make sure to install and activate the new technology before the Oct. 1 deadline.

That being said, some types of businesses will have a little more time to comply. If you aren’t quite sure whether or not your practice is exempt, visit the website of each payment brand you accept to learn more.

Next Steps For Dentists

  • If you have not investigated or planned for EMV Technology, contact your card processor immediately to determine your business’s specific needs.
  • Implementing EMV technology can be a cumbersome and time consuming project, but the best way to protect your practice from fraud and liability is to implement the new technology as soon as possible.
  • If EMV technology has been implemented be sure to confirm that the chip reading capability has been enabled. In addition, confirm with issuers that cryptographic values are being associated with the card number to ensure that the EMV technology has been setup and configured properly. Verifying that cryptographic values are being assigned will eliminate the chance of misconfiguration and possible fraudulent activity.
  • Train your staff on the new procedures. When a patient tries to use their card, they will notice some changes, such as their credit card being held in the EMV reading slot throughout the entire transaction process. This is normal, however your staff should be prepared to answer the questions that will certainly arise.

By Brian Garland (Dublin office) 

Want to learn more ways you can protect your dental practice and your patients from a fraudster? Check out these articles: 

Dental Practices Should Beware Of Wire Transfer Scam

Is Your Dental Practice Safe From Scammers?

Internal Controls For Dental Practices

The Important Role Business Advisors Play For Dentists

Do you own your own dental practice? Or perhaps you’re considering starting up your own practice or purchasing one. Whatever the case may be, did you know that building up your business advisory team is critical to the success of your practice? With the right people in place, you can focus on the day-to-day operations of your practice, and most importantly – your patients.

Dental Practice Business Advisory Team

So who exactly should you recruit for your team? Here’s a list of professionals you should bring in before beginning your practice or use as needed throughout your career. They should become trusted members of your business family and be dedi­cated to your success. You will also find that one trusted advisor can often lead you to others along the way. Due to the specialized needs of independent dental practices, they should all be experienced in the dental industry and with practice purchases and sales.

  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA) – Your CPA should be capable of serving as an overall business advisor and should take care of all matters related to financial planning, taxes and financial compliance. They should also be able to properly value the practice you are buying and, eventually, the one you want to sell.
  • Attorney – A good lawyer will make sure you are compliant with all business regulations and advise you on the best legal structure for your business. They should also be able to provide insight on governmental and legal issues that will affect your practice.
  • Banker – Have a banker on your side to do more than simply quote interest and terms for any lending you need. They should also be invaluable in finding ways to help you meet your future financial goals.
  • Insurance Agent – You can’t fully protect your family and your business without a good agent who understands the needs of independent dentists.
  • Investment Advisor – You’ll need an investment advisor to help you with your personal invest­ments and those that are part of your practice’s retirement plan, as you want a retirement plan that attracts and keeps good employees. Look for one with a good track record, and one that you can trust.

To get more insight and tips into starting up your own dental practice or managing your current practice, download our newly released e-book that highlights tips and tools for young dentists. You’ll get expert insight from two CPAs and business advisors who specialize in working with dentists, as well as two case studies from a seasoned dental practice owner and a young practice owner who share best practices and challenges they’ve faced as they opened their practices.

If you’re a dentist looking for more information about managing the business side of your practice, contact the Bright Dental CPAs at Rea & Associates.

By: Alan Hill, CPA (Mentor office)

 

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Dental Practices Should Beware Of Wire Transfer Scam

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued a wire transfer scam alert for all small businesses in the United States. According to the FBI alert, between October 2013 and December 2014, 1,198 complaints from U.S.-based companies were received dealing with wire transfer scams. Losses from these incidents totaled more than $179 million. The FBI also reports that the scams can follow a Ransomware incident, and may involve a fraudster contacting a vendor and requesting a change of payment to an alternate fraudster-controlled bank account.

Though this particular alert was intended for small business owners, dental practice owners should also consider the impact of this scam and determine if their practice is safe from such a scam.

How To Mitigate This Type of Scam

The FBI recommends the following mitigation steps for these types of scams:

  • Keep all of your anti-virus software up-to-date.
  • Educate your practice employees about security best practices.
  • Be sure that any changes to payments via electronic transfer are verified with an employee of the bank and at a phone number that you utilize for assistance.
  • Don’t use alternate phone numbers provided via email or by a bank representative contacting you.
  • Always call the institution back and verify that you are communicating with your bank.
  • Monitor all of your practice’s financial transactions on a daily basis. Suspected electronic fraud must be reported in a single business work day.
  • Use two-party authorization access to complete all wire transfer transactions.
  • Utilize biometric authentication to verify the identity of authorized users.
  • Use online bank portals that require strong fraud controls to complete all wire transfer transactions.

You can find more information about the FBI’s scam alert here. This site also provides detailed samples of how the scams will be run against unsuspecting businesses.

If you have any specific questions about how this scam might impact you or if would like more information on IT security best practices, contact our Bright Dental CPAs.

By: Ryan Dumermuth, CPA, CFP (Mentor office)

 

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Is Your Dental Practice Safe From Scammers?

Is Your Dental Practice Prepared For An IT Disaster?

The Important Role IT Security Plays Within Your Dental Practice

Is Your Dental Practice Safe From Scammers?

One of our clients, a dentist, received a disturbing email last week … from himself.

The message said that he was robbed while on vacation with his family and needed money to pay his hotel bill and to purchase plane tickets to return home. The scammers attempted to make the email appear genuine by using the dentist’s name and address. It was then sent to his entire contact list.

Fortunately, his contacts realized that the email was a scam and did not send money. However this email serves as another reminder of how persistent and clever scammers have become. For example, this particular email referenced our client’s name, business address, office phone number and even used the “DDS” distinction following his name in the signature.

Is Your Practice Safe?

Avoid becoming a scammer’s next victim. Here are a few scams you should be on the lookout for.

What it is: A popular file encrypting program that locks your computer and your computer’s files until you pay up. Some victims have reportedly paid up to $10,000 to get their files back.

How to protect yourself: The best way to protect yourself against this is to back up your computer and files daily. You also want to be sure not to click on any links from emails that you aren’t expecting.

What it is: Victims receive a phone call from a scammer claiming to be an IRS representative. The caller threatens the victim with legal action if back taxes are not paid immediately.

How to protect yourself: Remember that the IRS will never call or email you in an attempt to collect payment. They will also never ask for your credit card or social security information over the phone. If you ever receive a call from somebody claiming to be the IRS, hang up and call the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at (800) 366-4484. You should also contact the Federal Trade Commission by using the “FTC Complaint Assistant” at www.ftc.gov. Add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your complaint.

What it is: If your tax return was rejected by the IRS after you filed it online, it’s likely a scammer filed a tax return using your name and social security number to get a fraudulent refund. Thousands of American taxpayers were victims of this scam last year – and there is no reason to believe that this scam is going away.

How to protect yourself: Provide your tax documents to your CPA as early as possible. The best way to ensure that your tax return is filed correctly and that your refund is distributed appropriately (if one is due), is to beat the scammers and file your return early.

Protect Yourself and Your Practice

Contact a Bright Dental CPA if you have been affected by one of these scams or want more information on how to protect yourself against these threats.

Author: Dan Bialek, CPA (Mentor office)

 

Related Articles:

Is Your Dental Practice Prepared For An IT Disaster?

The Important Role IT Security Plays Within Your Dental Practice

 

Rea & Associates, Inc. | Bright Dental CPAs | 7201 Center St, Mentor, Ohio 44060-4858
phone + 440-266-0077