Optimizing operations: 5 ways accounting firms can benefit from dental practice efficiencies

minute read

Last Updated December 7, 2023

Three people sit in a waiting room at a dental office while a patient is being seen behind glass doors.


One of the defining characteristics of our member firms—and really, most accounting professionals—is that they’re always searching for new ways to improve efficiency and client satisfaction. That’s where a community like Rightworks Academy comes in; there’s no better place to observe, gather tips and ask questions of other members. 

But where do you go for exemplary models to follow if you’re not a member of a community? Or if you are, but you’re looking for a path not yet covered? Well, I have an excellent model—one I discovered in an unexpected place: the dental office.  

5 valuable lessons from your local dentist (that don’t involve your teeth) 

Over the years, dental offices have refined their operations and improved efficiency through continual learning and adaptation, offering valuable lessons for accounting professionals who are raring to enhance their services. Here are five aspects of dental practices’ efficient operations that I believe could help your firm, too.

1. Peer learning and collaboration

In the dental industry, professionals regularly engage in peer review and collaboration. And they learn from each other’s successes and challenges to refine their practices. Accounting firms can foster a similar culture of shared learning, encouraging collaboration both within the firm and with the broader accounting community. By doing so, they can stay abreast of best practices, innovative solutions and emerging technologies that could benefit their operations and service delivery.

2. Task standardization

Just as dental treatments are standardized to ensure every patient receives consistent care, accounting tasks can follow suit. With standardized procedures for routine services, firms can improve efficiency, accuracy and client confidence. Creating detailed protocols and checklists ensures that even the most complex financial tasks are handled competently and consistently.

3. Clear and transparent pricing

Clarity in pricing is another hallmark of dental practice efficiency that accounting firms can emulate. A transparent fee structure—where clients understand what they are paying for and why—can eliminate confusion and build trust. Accountants can implement clear, upfront pricing for standard services, with a well-defined policy for additional charges.

4. Leveraging technology for efficiency

Dental offices are often at the forefront of adopting technology that enhances patient care and office management. Firms can also harness cutting-edge financial and client management software to streamline their processes—from data management to client communications. This drives both improved efficiency and client satisfaction.

5. Focus on customer experience

Finally, dental practices understand the importance of the patient’s experience, often going to great lengths to create a comfortable and reassuring atmosphere. Accountants can take note by ensuring their clients receive a similarly positive experience, from the comfort of the waiting room to the clarity of communication and the personal touch in service delivery. 

Improve efficiency in your firm

As strange as it seems, firms can learn a lot from the way dental offices operate—particularly when it comes to peer collaboration and continuous improvement. By integrating lessons from dental practice efficiencies, such as standardization, transparency, technological adoption and a focus on client experience, firms can not only streamline their operations but also elevate their client service to new heights.  

Embracing these strategies could be a game-changer for you and your team, resulting in a more robust, client-oriented and successful accounting practice.

To learn more about improving efficiency in your firm, consider becoming a Rightworks Academy member today.

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