If the financial aspects of running a dental practice were easy, then firms like Duckett Ladd wouldn’t exist.
The fact is, a dental practice is a large enough business that some sophisticated financial reporting and analysis tools are called for.
In the sections below, we’ll cover the basic info that every dentist should know about financial reporting and analysis.
The Basics of Financial Reporting and Analysis
First, let’s define our terms.
Financial reporting involves producing statements that communicate a firm’s financial status to management, investors, and the government.
Financial analysis refers to the examination of businesses, projects, budgets, and other financial information to evaluate performance and guide decision-making.
Now, let’s step through the three most important financial statements: the balance sheet, the income statement, and the cash flow statement.
Key Components of Financial Reporting for Dental Practices
The Balance Sheet
A balance sheet shows what a dental practice owns (assets), what it owes (liabilities), and the value of the business to the owners (owner’s equity) at a specific point in time. A balance sheet is a snapshot that presents the key info that’s required for financial analysis.
The Income Statement
An income statement summarizes a practice’s revenues, costs, and expenses over a period of time. Analysts review the data on an income statement to determine a practice’s profitability.
The Cash Flow Statement
A cash flow statement indicates the inflows and outflows of cash during a time period. This statement traces a net increase or decrease in cash and summarizes a practice’s overall liquidity.
Importance of Financial Reporting for Dental Practices
Financial reporting and analysis serve several purposes for dental practices. First, accurate reporting is a prerequisite for filing compliant and optimized tax returns, as well as fulfilling other regulatory mandates related to financial matters.
Reporting and analysis also provide key info for enhancing trust and communication with investors and lenders. This sort of information exchange isn’t reserved for large publicly-traded firms. Any small business that’s received or wants to receive loans or investments should be able to provide detailed financial status updates to its stakeholders.
Finally, reporting and analysis are crucial for informed decision-making in all of a dental practice’s money matters. Decisions like major purchases, hiring, or operational changes all benefit from the insights gained via reporting and analysis.
How Dental Practices Benefit From Financial Analysis
Like financial reporting, every dental practice stands to benefit from financial analysis processes. These include:
- Performance evaluation: identifying performance trends, comparing performance over different time periods, and engaging in benchmarking to compare performance against competitors and industry standards
- Risk management: detecting and protecting against financial risks and uncertainties, such as rising costs for materials or changes in tax laws
- Strategic planning: budgeting and forecasting with the goal of making better business decisions
Any dentist who engages in these processes gains a better understanding of their financials and develops a more refined vision for their practice’s continued prosperity.
How to Implement Effective Financial Reporting and Analysis in a Dental Practice
If you want to improve financial management at your practice, your budget is a great place to start. A detailed budget helps bring your financial situation into focus, informs financial planning, and keeps you accountable to your spending goals.
Once created, your budget can become a living document to revisit and update regularly. Along with informing your decision-making regarding spending, the budget is a tool for measuring your practice’s financial performance against the goals you’ve set.
As you advance from basic budgeting to more sophisticated financial tools, work with your financial advisor to establish a systematic approach. At scheduled intervals, organize your data, create reports, and perform analysis to track progress over time. Monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) such as net profit margin, current ratio, and debt-to-equity ratio to assess financial health on an ongoing basis.
The Role of Professional Accounting Services
Every dental practice owner should regularly devote time to financial record-keeping, analysis, and planning. That said, it’s important to hand over some of the heavy lifting to financial professionals.
Processes like bookkeeping, accounting, and financial planning are time-consuming and complex. Dentists who work with accountants save time, reduce errors, and gain access to advanced tools.
If you work with a full-service accounting firm, you can arrange customized financial accounting business services. These range from basic tax prep assistance up to hands-on bookkeeping and financial planning services.
Take Control of Your Dental Practice’s Financial Reporting
If you’re ready to enjoy the benefits of professional financial guidance at your practice, work with Duckett Ladd. We provide accounting and business advisory services tailored to the unique needs of dentists. Contact our team today to learn more.