Your Practice’s Free Valuation Could Come At A Hefty Price

Dental Practice Valuations

It has become a popular business model for some companies to contact prospective or existing business clients to offer them a free business valuation report. But what the sales rep won’t tell you is just how expensive these free services can be. In the end, you are just throwing your hard-earned money down the drain.

Owning a dental practice is just as mentally taxing as maintaining any other economically viable business. It’s no wonder you often daydream about innovative ways to cut office expenses and jot down ideas to generate revenue on napkins over dinner. At some point you will come to terms with the fact that, in addition to helping people, your ultimate business goal is to increase your practice’s overall value while making sure you can save enough for your own retirement.

What would you do if someone approached you about conducting a free business valuation on your dental practice? The easy answer is to say “yes,” right? After all, you are probably well aware of how important a business valuation is to the success of your practice – not to mention your own financial future. So, naturally, it doesn’t make sense to turn down this free offer … or does it?

Read Also: What To Expect From Your Career In Dentistry

Is ‘Free’ Worth It?

It has become a popular business model for some companies to contact prospective or existing business clients to offer them a free business valuation report. But what the sales rep won’t tell you is just how expensive these free services can be.

I recently met with an insurance representative who mentioned that he provides clients with free business valuations. This particular company had CPAs and valuation professionals on staff and would prepare these valuations with just the answers they collected from a five-minute questionnaire and three years’ worth of their financial data. Within a few days, their client would (supposedly) have a clear picture of what their business was worth.

After hearing about their method, I had even more questions. After all, having conducted thousands of business valuations myself, I knew something didn’t quite add up. So I asked to have a look at the valuation report this company typically presented to their clients and, within minutes of reviewing the document, the company’s motive became crystal clear.

Not only was this sales rep giving clients inaccurate information, he was grooming them to purchase more insurance than they actually needed. A transaction that would have resulted in you paying much more than you could have anticipated. On the other hand, when you work with a business valuation expert your practice actually stands to make significant gains.

When you hire a business valuation expert, you are hiring a professional who will take the time and energy to really get to know you, your dental practice and its prospects for the future.

Not Free, But Priceless

Email the Bright Dental Team to find out how our business valuation experts can help you grow and better manage your dental practice. The benefits of a Know & Grow Valuation include general business planning, succession planning and financial planning, buy-sell agreement values, exit planning strategies, and more.

By Tim McDaniel, CPA/ABV, ASA, CBA (Dublin office)

 

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

ID Theft and Refund Fraud - Dental CPA

Health professionals are at risk of identification theft and refund fraud. This compilation of resources offered in this Rea & Associates resource will help you through the next steps to reclaiming your identity if you have been targeted.

What has become abundantly clear over the last several years is that it doesn’t matter who you are, where you live or how you make a living – identity thieves do not discriminate. While tax refund fraud has been around since 2008, the size and scope of the scam has ballooned since then. Fast forward to 2013, and we find that the rapid escalation of this particular scam claimed a jaw-dropping $5.2 billion, according to the United States Government Accountability Office.

Locally, business owners continue to steadily report instances of identity theft and tax refund fraud to local law enforcement as well as to their financial advisors. From our perspective, we continue to see more instances of refund fraud than in previous years, particularly among healthcare professionals, which is a trend that is only expected to get worse.

Read: How To Recover From Identity Theft & Refund Fraud

Is It Too Late For You?

You probably won’t even know that you’ve been a victim of tax refund fraud until it’s too late. Some taxpayers will learn about the breach after receiving a letter from the IRS or from their state’s taxation department. It’s also likely that your accountant will be the first one to make the discovery when they try to file your tax return and receive a notification that the name and Social Security Number of their client – you – has already been used.

Here’s where it gets tricky.

Once it’s been discovered that you have been victimized, the burden is on you to prove your identity to the IRS to obtain the tax refund that is rightfully yours. The good news is that once you are able to prove that you are who you say you are, the IRS will happily release your money. But the bad news is that the entire process can take a lot of time and can be confusing to navigate.

Rea & Associates recently released a compilation of documents and resources from a variety of sources to help victims recover from Identity Theft & Refund Fraud, which can be an overwhelming task in itself. The steps victims must complete include:

  • Filing a report with the local police
  • Filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission
  • Contact one of the three major credit bureaus to place a “fraud alert on your credit records.
  • Respond immediately to any IRS notice by calling the number provided
  • Complete the Identity Theft Affidavit

You don’t have to go through it alone. Your financial advisor can help you through the steps and can communicate with the IRS on your behalf. Your advisor can also determine the validity of documents and phone calls if you have further concerns.

IRS Calling? Don’t Buy It

In addition to stealing your federal and state tax returns, some scammers are going the extra mile to harass their victims to pay “back taxes” that they don’t actually owe. It’s important to remember that the IRS will never contact you by phone or in person. The first correspondence you will have with the IRS will always be in the form of a letter – not a phone call. Last year, more than 1,000 taxpayers collectively lost about $5 million after scammers called to demand payment to settle their debt with the IRS. Failure to pay, the scammers warned, would result in jail time and driver’s license revocation.

For additional guidance, click here to read How to Recover from Identity Theft & Refund Fraud: A Compilation of Documents and Resources and get access to valuable information about what you should watch out for and how you can recover. For more information or for help claiming your tax return, email the Bright Dental CPAs at Rea & Associates.

By Alan Hill, CPA (Mentor office)

 

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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.

By Alan Hill, CPA (Mentor office)

 

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