As a former dental hygienist of 35 years, I have seen many changes in the field of dentistry, especially when it comes to technology.
I can remember after performing tasks the same way for many years feeling hesitant and slightly resistant to change. I especially remember this when digital X-rays were introduced to the office I was working in. Some of my fears were, how was I going to get a good image with the sensor when there was tori or a shallow palate? The sensor was so thick and did not bend like x-ray film did.
Today I could not imagine, after having used digital x-rays for over 20 years, going back to the old way. Having to develop the film, not seeing the image right away to know if I had the view needed, or even having to worry about an x-ray developer malfunctioning and eating my films, are just a few things that improved with this technology.
So that brings me to the title of this article-"What about Cloud Accounting?" "What IS holding the dentist back?" Just like digital X-rays being the future, if you are a quickbooks desktop user, like it or not, the cloud is where the future is headed.
Today, 80% of new Quickbooks users are choosing the online version. Intuit Quickbooks is encouraging the online version and the number of desktop versions are being drastically reduced. The number of online users is expected to grow and the desktop market will loose most of it's market's share.
Quickbooks is also investing less in the desktop versions. The Accountant edition and Enterprise edition will not be receiving any specific new features. All the versions of desktop will receive the same features across the board. They will not maintain separate identities. Quickbooks for Mac there will be no new versions.
Ok, so what about now? Is Quickbooks online or desktop right for your dental practice? If you really evaluate each system itself, the desktop version is more of a product/inventory focused system. Whereas, the online version is better for a service based industry.
From my own experience as a bookkeeper working with dentists, they already have a practice management software that handles the Accounts Receivables and invoicing. A skilled bookkeeper can help you with which reports are needed from your practice management software for the accounting in your quickbooks online or desktop version.
Let's take a look at some of the features of Quickbooks online that I think you will appreciate, just like all the new features I grew to love with the digital x-rays.
Upgrades-they are done automatically and on a regular basis at no additional cost or hassle.
Support- support is included at no additional costs and does not expire. You may do online chat, email or contact by phone. My experiences with support have been nothing but positive.
Access-If there is an internet connection, you, the dentist, can access your books via any PC, laptop, tablet or phone. It's also great for your accountant and bookkeeper too. No more making appointments to go over the books from a specific computer. Someone doesn't have to physically be in your office in order to handle the books. It can also be cost effective to not have employee costs if you have a remote bookkeeper.
More Access- also gives you the ability to have financial reports in an instant. Records can be created, managed and retrieved at anytime also.
Backups-You, the dentist will never have to worry about this again. With Quickbooks online, they are automatic, frequent and reliable. I had a client at one time that had his quickbooks desktop on three different computers. Whenever working on the books, the information not only had to be backed up to a thumb drive, but had to be downloaded on the other two computers, one of which he always took home at night. Paying your bookkeeper or staff to perform these tasks, to me, seems to be wasteful.
Apps- This is my favorite feature that is superior with the online version. The dentist can connect to 3rd party apps securely. Quickbooks online offers an API (application program interface). What this means is that you, the dentist, can connect safely to apps tailored for your specific needs. For example, Hubdoc is an app which enables bank statements, invoices and receipts to be retrieved automatically, helping you and your bookkeeper to be more efficient. The retrieved documents and receipts can also be filed and stored in the cloud, reducing the paper storage in your office. If you choose not to use Quickbooks payroll, there are many other options to connect to for this service. There are also bill pay, timesheets, and many more choices to help the dentist and bookkeeper be more efficient. All of this can save time and money.
The ability to attach documents, signatures and receipts to the actual transaction
Review actions using the audit log
Track expenses by location if you have two or more offices
Set bank transactions to automatically download each night
Automate and schedule transactions
So now you might be asking, "What about security?" Quickbooks online has a 123 bit encryption. That is the same level of security that banks and financial institutions use. Quickbooks online also has a two-step authentication when signing in, if you choose to use.
On a side note, many Quickbooks desktop users will use a remote accessing tool like Teamviewer to share information with the bookkeeper and accountant. Although this tool can have many helpful uses, I do not feel it has the same level of security to be used with your financial information.
Another instance of desktop information being compromised, although more rare, was during Hurricane Harvey. Because of severe flooding, many dental and medical offices in Houston, TX lost their financial information due to the main source and backup being destroyed.
So in closing, just like your clinical dentistry needs to keep up with technology, so does your bookkeeping and accounting to be more efficient and profitable. If you would like to explore further how Quickbooks online could be right for you and your practice, contact Annette Woods at BookkeepingAesthetics@gmail.com for a complimentary consultation.