What you should be doing while your practice is closed
Updated: Jul 21
During these difficult times, with dental offices shutting down everywhere, it is easy to have a pessimistic view filled with worry. However, there are some positive actions you can take to not only sustain, but improve your practice.
If you haven't already applied for the EIDL loan and grant or the PPP loan thru your bank, you may want to discuss this with your CPA or bookkeeper to find out if it is right for you. The PPP loan is a great way to keep the staff you treasure employed at no cost to you if done properly. One question asked most about the PPP loan is "What if my office isn't open yet for my employees to have work. Should I still apply for the PPP loan?" It is a great question and has different angles to look at. Even if you are not seeing patients yet, you can pay your employees to do other tasks at no cost to you. Of course if you do not use 75% of the PPP loan for employees, it's not forgivable, meaning you will have to pay it back. However, it is a loan at 1% interest. This is something to discuss with your professional and new information seems to be coming out everyday.
Listed are many tasks that you and employees can be doing to improve your practice before reopening:
From a bookkeepers point of view, one the most important things you could accomplish is revamping or refining your internal controls for fraud. As you get busy in the day to day of taking care of patients, some of the internal controls or processes can become sloppy or ignored. The doctor should be the leader in this task and have a good understanding of how the practice is set up to prevent fraud. Your bookkeeper can be a good source of information on the subject.
Clean up your AR in your Practice Management software. Check if there is old debt that does not need to be in there. Make sure all accounts have been invoiced and all insurance problems taken care of. I recommend the doctor be involved in this to have the most informed idea of what is going on in the practice. It will also help the numbers in your financial reports to be more accurate. Something your bookkeeper will appreciate.
Clean up and organize the supply room. Maybe create a more efficient system for tracking and reordering. If you don't have a system for receipts being sent to your bookkeeper, create one.
Refreshing the office with a spring cleaning and touching up worn areas. We all know when we are busy with patients that we become blind to these areas. Marks on the walls from our chairs, corners of the walls that paint needs touching up, dirty spots on the carpet can all be tackled during this time.
This is also a great time for team building by accomplishing things together. Many of my dental clients have told me how their office staff has grown closer working through the "COVID 19" challenges. Hope it can do the same for you.