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Apple Guerin Company

Dental CPAs | 5 Signs You NEED an Accountant

Have you wondered whether you actually need to have a professional accountant? Here are 5 signs that confirm you do:

1) You earn over $200,000 per year – Your odds of being audited once you start earning over $200,000 a year increases to nearly 4%. While this may not seem like a large number, it’s actually an increase of over 300%. Having your financials in order in case this does occur is vitally important once you become a high-earner.

2) You are a business owner or are self-employed – Utilizing the services of an accounting professional is vitally important for any business owner or entrepreneur. Tax laws change annually. The current US tax code has over 7 million words in it. Making sure all of your deductions are included, your assets are depreciating properly, and you are maximizing your tax savings will wind up saving you money in the long run.

3) You are setting money aside for others – When putting money aside for your children, grandchildren, or anyone you want to take care of, it’s very important to use a financial professional to decide which vehicles to use for tax-deferred or tax-free savings. This includes college savings plans or trusts.

4) You are incurring large capital gains tax – The key to success in paying big capital gains tax is paying at long-term rates. An accountant can help you with a Qualified Small Business Tax Credit, minimize your taxes, and help you set long-term payment goals.

5) You are experiencing rapid growth in your business – Not only is keeping your finances up to date time-consuming, it’s also complicated. When you’re experiencing rapid growth, it’s time to call in an accounting professional. Having more customers, employees, and vendors is going to require more paperwork and number crunching and can rapidly become impossible for you to manage.

Apple Guerin Company LLC
6421 Perkins Road, Bldg. A, Ste. 1B, Baton Rouge, LA 70808
(255) 767-1020

Dental CPAs | We Visited the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry

AG Dental CPAs and Advisors visited the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry April 23, 2018, for a lunch-n-learn with the 2018 graduating class. Along with an introductory presentation on taxes, AG Dental’s Jude Guerin and Robby Apple were able to answer questions about the new 2018 tax reform laws. As a way to thank our attendees, AG Dental held a drawing to give away a new Yeti Hopper 30 cooler to one lucky student!

Best of luck to all soon-to-be graduates!

Data Security Best Practices

Baton Rouge Dental CPA
Baton Rouge LA Dental CPA

Though most of the attacks making headlines are those aimed at large organizations or political groups, roughly a third of all data security breaches in the last few years have occurred in the health care industry. Of these, employee error caused three times as many breaches as external attacks. In addition, more than half of the businesses who experience a security breach have fewer than 1,000 employees.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires all health care providers to take steps to protect the private information of their patients from hackers, thieves, and staff. While no data security system is foolproof, there are some best practices that can help to decrease your risk of an information breach, especially from employee error. Here are some of the best practices you should be enforcing:

  • All computers should be placed where screens are not visible to patients or visitors.
  • Every computer should have an encrypted password for access.
  • All passwords should contain a mixture of letters, numbers, and/or symbols and should be changed regularly.
  • Passwords should never be written down in any place accessible by the public. It is preferable that they not be written down at all.
  • Every staff member must be fully educated about the importance of data security practices, their responsibility to follow these practices, and the potential repercussions for failing to comply.
  • Office computers and internet should not be used to check personal email or visit non-work-related websites.
  • Ensure all firewalls, software, and operating systems are kept up to date.
  • Wireless networks should be shielded from public view.
  • Every computer should have antivirus software installed and kept up to date.
  • Do not access office data remotely from a shared computer or unknown WiFi network.
  • Smartphones, tablets, laptops that have access to any work systems or emails should be password protected in case lost or stolen.
  • All hard copies of patient data should be shredded.
  • All transmitted data should be encrypted.
  • Sensitive information, such as social security numbers, financial data, or other private information, should never be sent through email or instant messaging services.
  • Consider purchasing cyber insurance protection.
  • If a breach does occur, take appropriate action immediately. Contact your legal counsel for advice.

Your first and best defense against the theft of sensitive patient information is the integration of data security best practices into your practice policies. Meet with your team to discuss any changes you need to make and your expectations of compliance. Protect yourself, your team, and your patients by working to protect the integrity of your systems.

Dental CPA | Claim Financial Freedom

Whether you’re starting a new practice or have been an owner dentist for years, the financial stress that can come from being a business owner can sometimes overwhelm even the most seasoned professionals. Our goal is to help you achieve complete financial freedom so that financial worries don’t interfere with your ability to work well.

Below are some tips you can follow on your own to help build a rock-solid foundation for your practice. Staying organized and up-to-date with your financials allows you to focus on delivering quality care to your patients. Contact our firm today to learn how we can help!

Have a plan. As the popular saying goes, “failing to plan is planning to fail.” In order to see true success, you’ll need to have both short and long-term plans for your practice. How will you allocate new earnings? How is your practice prepared to deal with slow seasons? How are you budgeting for new purchases? If you don’t already have answers to these questions, they could be a great place to start. Planning for the unexpected can help safeguard your profitability from being derailed by unforeseen expenses.

Set goals. Don’t be afraid to dream big. Your practice will only be as successful as you make it. Setting goals allows you to have a clear yardstick to measure your success against and can help you make better financial choices in the present. By recognizing the simple truth that every small decision you make now can have a huge impact on the future, you’ll be able to start setting yourself up for success. Your future self with thank you.

Be Smart. When starting or growing your business, there can be benefits to taking on strategic debt. However, doing so in a manner that will benefit, rather than hinder your growth requires an understanding of the returns you can expect on your investment. Don’t jump into big purchases without a plan, rather weigh the potential benefits and risks of all your financial decisions.

Get Organized. Disorganization can be a killer for any business. In order to ensure you’re not letting anything important slip through the cracks, it’s important to have systems in place that will guarantee nothing is missed. In addition to protecting you from unforeseen troubles, efficient organization can also help bring opportunities for improvement to light. Whether it’s money that could be saved or resources that could be conserved, understanding the ins and outs of your financials can help you to understand exactly how your money is being used.

If you feel that you could improve in any of these areas, our firm is here to help! Our goal is to make the process of managing and running your practice as simple as possible, allowing you to focus on delivering quality work to your patients and growing your business. Contact us today to learn more.

Apple Guerin Company LLC
6421 Perkins Road, Bldg. A, Ste. 1B
Baton Rouge, LA 70808
(255) 767-1020

Accountant Near Me | Guide to Getting Your Finances in Order

Accountant in Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge Dental CPAMany Americans live paycheck to paycheck. It can be a heart wrenching experience not being able to provide necessities for you loved ones. Americans are swinging in debt with many at no fault of their own. Financial hardships can pop up as fast as the next corner Starbucks. Or some people just overextend themselves. Our society is based upon consumption. Everyday we are blasted with advertisements for objects we are told we want. There’s a new smart phone every year, watches to go with that new phone, expensive sneakers, high-end headphones – these products boost our self-esteem. Make us feel high on the social latter. Buying even can just make us feel good.

Whether you are struck with a financial emergency or overextended yourself there are ways to get back on track. It takes sacrifice but the reward of not worrying about money is well worth it. Here’s a guide to getting back to financial freedom.

Know Your Debt

It easy to just no think about debt. Knowing what you owe and laying it all out is important. Look at it this way, this is the first step to financial freedom – and a lot less stress.

Time for a Budget

Once you know how much debt you have, compare it to what you bring in. After subtracting monthly bill payments how much is remaining? At this point think about how much you are spending on necessary and unnecessary items. Now, look at your bank and credit card statements to see what you are really spending. It may shock you!

Creating a budget spreadsheet is a great way to keep track of spending and keep on task. You will want to include the following items.

  • Net income – your final take home pay after deductions
  • Fixed expenses – these may include rent/mortgage, car payment, and utilities. Regular monthly bills fall into this category.
  • Variable expenses – expenditures which change month to month including but not limited to entertainment, groceries, gas, and clothing.

Reviewing your monthly spending will help you know which expenses can be cut. This will be a difficult process but humans are adaptable. This will not be forever. Don’t be discouraged!

Goals

What are your financial goals? Make a list of short and long-term goals. Reducing or eliminating credit card debt would be a good short-term goal. Saving for your child’s education or your own retirement would be a long-term goal. Remember, some goals may take years to accomplish – in the end it’s worth every penny!

Make a Plan

Review your budget, know your debt, set realistic goals, and then start planning. Your plan should reflect the goals you made and how you will achieve them. Sometimes planning is a task you can tackle on your own. However, depending on your debt to income ration you may need to reach out to a financial planner. There’s no shame in it. In fact, most people should. If you are unable to afford a planner, find yourself a mentor. A friend or relative you can talk to is a great idea.

Helpful Tips

  • Use a savings account – money just sitting in your checking accounting is not gaining interest.
  • Auto-pay your bills – this will help to keep you on track and not get charged late fees.
  • Contribute to your 401K – if you company has one you should do it as most companies match contributions up to a certain percentage. That’s free money.
  • Check your credit score – there are many ways to see your score for free and without hurting your credit. This is a good way to see how your debt is affecting your score and to check for any fraudulent activities.
  • Have emergency savings – once you are back on your feet it’s necessary to have a small amount of money set aside for the unexpected.
  • Adjust your habits – always think before you spend as this is the most helpful advice of all.

Following your plan and stay on target! Please contact us for advice!

Dental CPAs 70808 | Strategies to Boost Profitability

Dental CPAs in Baton Rouge, LA

According to Dr. Charles Blair, DDS, most dental practices are losing between $30,000 and $50,000 in potential profits. How can dental practices maximize return on their services and start to recoup capital? Here are three strategies to boost profits in your practice:

Optimize your Practice

Taking a look at production reports to make sure procedures were coded correctly. This may seem fundamental, but it can save a lot of time and money in the long run. One incorrectly charged procedure can increase costs over the course of a year.

In addition, adding high-dollar procedures to your practice such as endodontics, bleaching, and other cosmetic services can greatly boost your profit. Training dental hygienists in more complex procedures, such as soft-tissue management and bleaching, will also maximize a dental practices’ profitability.

Staff your Practice Well

In order to recruit and hire the best possible candidates, it is worth paying above average wages to experienced people in the field. This avoids employee turnover, which can become costly. A friendly and knowledgeable team will also help with patient retention rates.

Facilities and Equipment

If possible, purchase all your dental and office equipment, rather than leasing it. This avoids a number of issues, including higher retail costs, interest payments, hidden fees, and lease-breaking penalties.

Strive to maximize your office space. If your current patient volume doesn’t allow you to use all your offices, consider subletting either your primary or secondary office space. Also, merging your office with another dentist can help you in fully utilizing your space and also reduces overhead costs.

There are a variety of ways to boost profits and cut costs while owning a practice. To start, think about your services, staff, and office space. Opening a practice can be costly and leave many dentists in debt, especially after finishing school. Contact us today for help on managing your budget and ways to maximize your return on investment.

6421 Perkins Road, Bldg. A, Ste. 1B
Baton Rouge, LA 70808
(255) 767-1020

Accountants Baton Rouge | 4 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Retiring

Baton Rouge CPAs

Whether you have been working for a few years or a few decades, it is important to plan for your retirement. However, many people have never created a plan for retirement based on income and lifestyle. Here are four questions to ask yourself while thinking about whether or not you can comfortably retire on time:

  1.     What do you plan to do during retirement?

If you are planning to travel and visit family members more frequently, this will increase your expenses. Embracing a new hobby may also raise expenses compared to your working years.

  1.     What expenses will change?

Your commute, work clothes, and business lunches may stop, but you may have higher costs for medical care and prescriptions. Speak with us about the type of changes your budget will face during retirement.

  1.     How much are you currently saving?

When you meet with our financial planner, you will review the details of your current retirement savings plans and how your portfolio is performing. During retirement, it may be beneficial to continue some of your investments to help your savings outpace inflation.

  1.     Do you have a withdrawal strategy?

If you are an owner or partner in your business, is there a written agreement for buying you out when you retire? Do you plan to transition by working part time for a while or should you stop all at once? How are your retirement savings affected by taxes? All these questions should be a part of your strategic plan for retirement.

Don’t wait to plan ahead. What you do with your money now can significantly impact your life in the future. Our financial planning expert can guide you through the details of your retirement process.

For more information on planning for your retirement, contact our office and schedule a consultation.

CPA Near Me | What to Look for in a CPA

Accountants in Baton Rouge

Hiring a certified public accountant (CPA) to yourgrants you not only greater financial transparency, but also provides you with an excellent guide in making informed business decisions. You can also gain an increased ability to focus on your clients rather than being glued to QuickBooks between appointments.

If you’re considering hiring a CPA, it’s vital to know what you’re looking for in candidates. Below are the most important steps when looking for an ideal CPA.

Determine Your Need

Before you even start looking for an accountant, determine why you need a CPA. Are you looking for a CPA to fine-tune your financial business strategy? Do your bookkeeping? Or maybe you just need help filing your taxes? Once you pin down your specific needs, you can determine which skills you should look for in candidates.

Ask Around

Colleagues experienced in running their own practices can be a helpful resource. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice. Find out the traits they look for in a CPA. With their knowledge in mind, begin conducting your own research – guided by your particular needs.

Here are some general questions to ask yourself when looking for a CPA:

  • Do they meet my specific needs?
  • Are they up-to-date with their knowledge? Do they use modern software?
  • Are they established and reputable?
  • What companies do they currently represent?

Look for Industry Experience

Many general accountants spend a majority of their time working with clients in a vast number of industries and don’t necessarily have specific experience with specific industries. If you are looking for an accountant with specific industry knowledge, contact us today.

It can take time finding the right team to work beside you. Skip this step and contact us to get to know our team. We offer a variety of services to fit everyone’s needs. We look forward to hearing from you.

Baton Rouge CPA | Claim Financial Freedom

CPA Near Me

Whether you’re starting a new practice or have been an owner dentist for years, the financial stress that can come from being a business owner can sometimes overwhelm even the most seasoned professionals. Our goal is to help you achieve complete financial freedom so that financial worries don’t interfere with your ability to work well.

Below are some tips you can follow on your own to help build a rock-solid foundation for your practice. Staying organized and up-to-date with your financials allows you to focus on delivering quality care to your patients. Contact our firm today to learn how we can help!

  1. Have a plan. As the popular saying goes, “failing to plan is planning to fail.” In order to see true success, you’ll need to have both short and long-term plans for your practice. How will you allocate new earnings? How is your practice prepared to deal with slow seasons? How are you budgeting for new purchases? If you don’t already have answers to these questions, they could be a great place to start. Planning for the unexpected can help safeguard your profitability from being derailed by unforeseen expenses.
  2. Set goals. Don’t be afraid to dream big. Your practice will only be as successful as you make it. Setting goals allows you to have a clear yardstick to measure your success against and can help you make better financial choices in the present. By recognizing the simple truth that every small decision you make now can have a huge impact on the future, you’ll be able to start setting yourself up for success. Your future self with thank you.
  3. Be Smart. When starting or growing your business, there can be benefits to taking on strategic debt. However, doing so in a manner that will benefit, rather than hinder your growth requires an understanding of the returns you can expect on your investment. Don’t jump into big purchases without a plan, rather weigh the potential benefits and risks of all your financial decisions.
  4. Get Organized. Disorganization can be a killer for any business. In order to ensure you’re not letting anything important slip through the cracks, it’s important to have systems in place that will guarantee nothing is missed. In addition to protecting you from unforeseen troubles, efficient organization can also help bring opportunities for improvement to light. Whether it’s money that could be saved or resources that could be conserved, understanding the ins and outs of your financials can help you to understand exactly how your money is being used.

If you feel that you could improve in any of these areas, our firm is here to help! Our goal is to make the process of managing and running your practice as simple as possible, allowing you to focus on delivering quality work to your patients and growing your business. Contact us today to learn more.

CPA in Baton Rouge | Building a Better Team

Baton Rouge, LA CPA

Recruiting can be a time-consuming, stressful, and sometimes costly endeavor. When you’re looking to build an optimal team, it can be tempting to hold onto old employees for too long and hesitate to hire new ones until you’re confident you’ve found the “perfect” fit. However, both can be damaging to the efficiency and culture of your business in the long term. Building an ideal team can take time, but keeping the following tips in mind can help ensure your business is able to thrive.

Letting Go of Current Employees

It can be hard to let go of any employee. Ideally, everyone you bring to your business will become a valuable member of the team. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. If an employee is displaying any of the following signs, it might be time to consider letting them go:

  • Bad Attitude: This includes eye-rolling, snide comments, complaints, confrontational tone, and passive-aggressive speech or actions. An employee that disrespects their co-workers won’t have the best interests of the whole team at heart.
  • Lack of Engagement: Whether unfocused at work or unresponsive during meetings, an employee that’s not mentally present can’t give their best to their work.
  • Dishonesty: Whether this involves refusal to accept accountability, blaming others for mistakes, or outright lies, dishonesty is harmful to your business and your team.
  • Poor Performance: While it’s expected that an employee in a new role may need an adjustment period, if that employee shows an ongoing inability to grow professionally and exceed the expectations of their position, it might be a harbinger of problems down the road.

Hiring New Employees

Whether you’re looking to replace current employees or meet the demands of a growing business, you want to do everything you can to make sure you’re hiring the right people for your team. Here are some tips that can help streamline the hiring process:

  • There’s No Such Thing as Perfect: When looking to bring in new employees, it can be tempting to wait until you’ve found the “perfect” fit. However, that can unnecessarily slow down the process and cause you to skip over individuals who might become great assets for your team in time. Keep in mind that a good employee is one that grows and performs well, and look for individuals that possess the qualities needed to thrive long-term.
  • Follow Your Gut: Instincts exist for a reason. If something about a prospective employee isn’t sitting right with you, it could be a sign that there’s a deeper problem you’ll have to address in the future. While you shouldn’t necessarily make quick decisions on feelings alone, it’s worthwhile to take them into account.
  • Listen to Your Team: The members of your staff will often be able to offer good insights into how the company can grow. Whether a trusted employee is revealing the poor performance of a co-worker or a team is asking for another member to help manage their growing responsibilities, it’s worth seeking their input when making decisions.

Though there’s no exact science to building a successful team, there are proven strategies you can use to help the process be as painless as possible. By holding current employees to a clearer standard and exercising discernment with new and prospective employees, you can make the hiring process operate more smoothly and increase the overall productivity and happiness of your team.

For more advice on building a better team and managing your practice well, contact our firm today!