Choosing a Dental Accountant (Even If It’s Not Me)

If you’re buying a dental practice, you’ll need to have a few people on your team. I tell dentists the only absolutely vital, must-hire person on your team is your dental-specific attorney—do not attempt to buy a practice without one. The next name on that list, though, is your accountant, who is almost as important.

Your dental accountant will handle the economic side of the transition, and should be involved from the beginning, once you’ve found a potential practice to buy. They’ll examine the deal and how it will impact your personal and professional finances, and answer a few key questions:

  1. Is this a good practice to buy?
  2. If yes, what is a fair price to pay for this practice?
  3. If I pay that much, how much can I expect to make as the owner?

This is what I’ve spent the last decade-plus doing for clients, first as an employee at a dental CPA firm, now as the owner of Dental Buyer Advocates.

So how do you pick an accountant? Just google it? Actually, that’s not a bad place to start, as long as you’re searching for dental-specific accountants and firms.

Once you find a few you think might work, choosing one will be based on your conversations with them. You’re not necessarily looking for a personality fit here (although it’s nice to get along with your accountant, obviously). Here’s how I put it in chapter two of my book:

Interview two or three of those accountants and ask the following questions:

  1. Do you specialize in working with dental practice transitions and dental practice owners?
  2. How many clients do you work with? How many are you working with now?
  3. What are some of the basic philosophical principles that drive your recommendations to clients?
  4. What services do you provide?
  5. How will you help set me up for success when I’m an owner?
  6. Can I speak with some existing and precious clients as a referral?
  7. How much do you charge and when do you charge it?
  8. How often will we be speaking through the transition? How will we coordinate meetings?

To get more information on why you should ask these questions, and what they’re meant to tell you, check out this season of the Practice Purchased Podcast, all about dental accountants, finances, and taxes.