Wagemate’s Mitchell Lea says: "Outsource the payroll headache"
The business of dentistry has become a complex, time-consuming and stressful affair. The role of the principal is diverse and comprises of many different daily, monthly and annual tasks, which must all be completed in addition to delivering patient care. These often require a good understanding of legal regulations, which in themselves can cause a lasting headache for those trying to ensure compliance while running a busy dental practice.
It’s all about delegation…
Depending on the size of your practice, the number of staff working with you and the type of dentistry you deliver, there will be different opportunities available to you to delegate certain tasks. Your practice manager, for example, could take on the responsibility of CQC compliance and ensure that all contracts, CPD records and other documentation relevant to staff are in order.
Your dental nurse may be happy to manage stock or contribute towards your marketing activities by taking control of your social media platforms and building relationships with local media. If you provide a high volume of dental implants, it may be worth creating the role of treatment coordinator so they can manage the patient journey and maintain an efficient diary for all clinicians.
No matter what you delegate or who takes on which tasks, allocating some of your work to others can free up your time, allowing you to focus on your patients and do what you do best – providing your patients with high quality dentistry. As long as everyone understands their duties and how to fulfil them, your practice will likely enjoy an increased level of efficiency when several people share responsibility for running the business.
In some instances, tasks can be optimised by technology. With regards to practice management, dental software systems on the market make it easier to organise appointments, contact patients for recalls at the right time and monitor business performance through digital data collection and analysis. These save you and your staff time while also helping to make sure your patients receive the very best service.
Other areas that can be automated include inventory management and product ordering, and several modern autoclaves offer data logging for automated recording of sterilisation procedures and easy compliance with infection control regulations. Both these features encourage smooth workflows throughout the working day, improving practice performance and reducing the risk of mistakes.
While patients always have been and always will be the priority, dental practices are fundamentally businesses and therefore there will be aspects that principals and other members of staff may not be comfortable doing. For example, there can be much confusion over topics such as payroll, pensions and HMRC filing, which dental professionals have to learn for themselves – these subjects are certainly not covered in dental school.
This can be problematic as an error in calculating pension contributions, a delay in paying wages or the submission of an incorrect P11D to HMRC (required if you provide benefits or expenses to employees or directors) can result in far-reaching consequences. Whether completely accidental or through a simple slip of the fingers on the keyboard, a mistake during these processes could lead to additional tax bills, disgruntled staff or even totally unnecessary and avoidable fines from HMRC.
To eliminate the risk of error throughout these processes, outsourcing the whole task can bring with it peace of mind for both you and your staff. It also makes sense to utilise the expertise of professionals with extensive experience in payroll and HMRC dealings, offering your business protection and support.
Working with a company like Wagemate would be ideal for dental practices of all sizes looking to streamline processes while saving up to 66% on payslip costs. The team offer an automated payroll service with a risk-free guarantee that covers everything from payroll to pensions, HMRC documents and BACS payments. Wagemate also provides a totally secure online ePayslips portal that enables you and your staff to monitor finances in a convenient and easy way.
There are many different aspects to running a successful dental practice, and a lot of skills and knowledge are required to ensure compliance. By appropriately delegating certain tasks and outsourcing areas that can be completed more efficiently by experts in their fields, you can make business management easier, more reliable and more cost-effective.
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