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3.17.06 Issue #210

Everybody Makes Mistakes

Mistakes happen.  Some can be corrected.  Especially in QuickBooks. With QuickBooks being the number one recommended software for dental practice accounting, I have seen hundreds of mistakes in the of practices I’ve consulted.  Here are just a couple…more.

Not backing up your QuickBooks data.
This is a big common mistake.  Complacency is a catastrophe in any business, but it’s much worse to lose documentation of completed work because of negligence.  Unfortunately, it sometimes takes a loss before we believe.
The first time your computer crashes, you are physically sick when you realize how much information you have lost.  I know.  I’ve been there.   Mine was a computer virus.  But tragedy comes in different forms at the most unexpected times. 

This past year we saw hurricanes wipe out communities of residents and businesses.  A colleague had been backing up online and made me a firm believer in online back up.  Because they had to relocate their business, they could purchase another computer and software, then download all their operational information.  They were up within hours.  Many, many corporations were doing the same across the south and relocating their businesses, as well as their personal lives.

A client experienced a tragic fire to her practice, losing everything. Because she had been told to take backups offsite, she had her practice software and QuickBooks when she needed it the most!

In the midst of dealing with the bigger tragedy of a hurricane or fire, give yourself one less thing to regret by backing up your critical data.  QuickBooks offers this service, as well as many other online services, for the QuickBooks data and any other files.  The cost is based on the amount of storage you need and you can back up daily, automatically.

Backing Up is covered in much greater detail in my More Than Just Turning It On book.  This resource covers essential computer information that you need for your practice, in layman’s terms.  In fact, one recent reader called it the Practice’s Computer Dummy book!

Mixing Personal Expenses with Business Expenses.
At a, Getting The Most Out Of QuickBooks In Your Practice workshop, one of the attendees was smiling broadly while I was covering this area.  I talk about keeping a six lane highway between business and personal.  I talk about if you assume you will be audited, it will help you keep your finances organized.  The more I covered, the more emphatically he agreed.  At the break, I found out why.  He was an IRS auditor and his wife was a dentist!  After my initial personal panic, he affirmed everything I said.  It was nice to have the confirmation from the source.

The chances of your practice being audited are very good.  The IRS loves to scrutinize small businesses such as yours.  Mixing personal with business expenses is one of the areas looked at with a magnifying glass.  It is much easier to keep them separate.

Get a business credit card for business expenses only.  Use your personal credit card for personal expenses only.  If you are incorporated, this is more important as you are then an employee of the corporation.  Use the memo field in the credit card’s register to type what the expense is for.  Too much detail is always better than not enough.

Do not allow this to be a neglected or lazy area.  Or, like not backing up, the first time you are audited, could be a very expensive lesson. So, in summary.  If you work as if you are going to be audited or assume your computers will crash, you will be much more cognizant of what needs to be done to protect yourself.  Just like a known logo – Just DO IT!

To order Susan’s QuickBooks™ 2006 In Your Practice Primergo Here

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McKenzie Management's Seminar Schedule
2006 Location Sponsor Information Topic Speaker
Mar. 24 West Branch, MI Northland Dental Study Club 989-345-7750 Breakdown Sally McKenzie
Mar. 29 Long Island, NY Suffolk County Dental Society 312-440-2908 Breakdown Sally McKenzie
Mar. 31 Las Vegas, NV Dental Town Meeting* 877-777-6151 Pred. Empl. Success Sally McKenzie
April 14 Santa Rosa, CA Redwood Dental Society 877-777-6151 Breakdown Sally McKenzie
April 27-30 Anaheim, CA California Dental Association* 877-777-6151 Peak Perf. Sally McKenzie
* The McKenzie Company will be exhibiting at this location

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