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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!

CPA Baton Rouge, LA | The Impact of Ignoring Negative Reviews

CPA 70808

CPA baton rougeFinding a bad review of your business can feel like your world is turned upside down. Some business owners may choose the approach of dismissing the negative feedback and blaming the customer or client. When ignored, negative reviews can have a detrimental impact on your business. Here’s how:

You Will Lose Clients

Customers and clients will not want to be treated disrespectfully. They want their voices heard and to be valued as an individual. If you ignore negative reviews, you are essentially telling both the reviewer and prospective leads that you don’t care about what they have to say. The clients that do complain are ones that feel passionately enough about your business to voice their concerns. If you don’t validate those concerns, expect them to take their business elsewhere.

Missing a Chance to Learn

Mistakes present an opportunity for business leaders to learn. It’s even better when a client presents those mistakes clearly. This will allow you to learn why the mistake happened and how to fix it so it doesn’t happen in the future. If you ignore the feedback from the client, you will not know what the mistake was and it may happen again. Negative reviews offer a chance to learn and grow your business, if you ignore them you miss that opportunity.

No Response Speaks Volumes

Potential clients that are looking at your online profile will see that a bad review is being ignored. If that were to happen, you could lose out on their business and any referrals they might make in the future because they don’t think you care about your clients. This applies to current clients that keep track of your businesses reviews.

Running Out of Excuses

Due to the nature of reviews being public, once a client writes one, everyone can see it. This creates a lasting list of negative occurrences for your business that can be referenced by others. Address poor reviews when possible. Show the client or customer that you care about their thoughts. While it may not win them back, it may be the perfect set up to capture future loyal clients who see your thoughtful and personal response.

Great reviews are not the only ones that can help improve your business. Bad reviews present an opportunity to learn from them and grow your business. If you choose to ignore poor reviews, the consequences could be disastrous. Not only could you lose current clients, but negative reviews could impact the decisions of future clients looking at your business. When you see a negative review, take a step back and see what you can learn from the experience. Address their concerns, and make an effort to change your business to create positive experiences in the future.

Contact our team for a consultation today.

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

Baton Rouge CPA | 4 Ways to Grow Your Confidence as a Business Leader

70808 CPA

The up and down nature of confidence can be exemplified as a business leader because of the stressful nature of maintaining a high-ranking position. Confidence can grow with practice and effort. Here are four ways to grow confidence as a business leader.

Consistency is Key

Rapidly changing methods and ideas can prevent a business leader from feeling confident. The business should work for the business leader, not the other way around. Gaining a sense of consistency and stability with schedules, rules, and realistic expectations can lead to an increase in confidence that the business will run smoothly. Know and understand the key parts of the business, important dates, and the function of each role. You can only become confident in your business operations when you fully grasp the nature of the entire business.

Be Yourself

Being afraid to say what you think can be viewed as a lack of confidence. Speaking your mind, while still having a professional filter, can build confidence as it shows you are part of a team and contributing. Being yourself will also dispel any notion coworkers might have that you are not being a genuine person. Openness and authenticity will not only strengthen your bond with your employees, but are also essential traits for effective leadership.

Be Open to Criticism

Change cannot come from one person alone, and not all criticism should be seen as a slight against you. Listen to feedback from coworkers and customers and tailor that feedback into something positive. Do not let the criticism fester and destroy your confidence, take it and use it to grow as a person. Accepting constructive criticism and negative comments can help increase your confidence.

Know What You Are Talking About

Fully understanding what you are talking about can help improve your confidence. If you are a business leader, strive to know everything you can about the business and its operations. If you are speaking about a topic, research everything you can about that topic. Become the expert. You will be better positioned to demonstrate confidence when it is clear that you are invested in what you are discussing.

Confidence can not only make or break your career, it can impact the business as a whole. You can take your confidence to the next level, while learning how to prevent situations from arising that can be detrimental to your confidence.

For a consultation, contact our team.

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

Finding Opportunity in Hygiene Appointments

Baton Rouge CPA

What percentage of your total production consists of hygiene appointments? For many dentists, hygiene appointments make up a significant portion of total production numbers. According to a study last year, hygiene appointments comprise nearly one-third or greater of total production numbers for approximately 80% of all dentists.

Hygiene is a significant source of overall production, but is there room for improvement? The same study uncovered a startling statistic – only 17% of dentists indicated that the majority of their active patients are receiving regular hygiene appointments every six months. This means there is a significant opportunity here. Hygiene numbers could increase as much as five times among current, active patients.

What steps can you take to encourage patients to schedule, and attend, regular hygiene appointments?

It is necessary to have an action plan in place. Create a consistent system that can be followed for confirmations. Some practices call or text one or two days prior to the appointment. This can help reduce the number of no-shows. Instill in your team the need to address the importance of hygiene examinations to patients. Most patients are not fully aware of all that goes on during the appointment and view it merely as a cleaning. Emphasize the need for regular oral cancer screenings as well.

Opportunity exists within your practice. Harness the potential that each patient brings with regular hygiene visits.

Boost hygiene production to improve your bottom line. Contact us for financial insight and assistance.

Planning for Retirement

Dental Consultant in 70808Whether you have been working for 3 years or 30, it is important to have a retirement plan in place. Unfortunately, many people have never taken the time to create a realistic estimate of what kind of savings they will need to enjoy the lifestyle they want during retirement years. Here are a few key factors that influence how much you should be saving to ensure that you can retire comfortably on schedule.

  • How long will you be retired? Advances in modern medicine have increased life expectancy over the past decades. Depending on your health and family history, you may want to plan as though you will live to 100 and estimate your needs accordingly.
  • What do you plan to do during retirement? If you are planning to travel more, visit family members more frequently, or embrace a hobby, you may have increased living expenses compared to your working years.
  • What other expenses will change? Your commute, work clothes, and business lunches may stop, but you may have higher costs for medical care and prescriptions. Talk with our financial planner about the types of changes to your budget that are likely to occur during retirement.
  • 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.
  • 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 year or more or should you stop all at once? How are your retirement savings affected by taxes? All these and more should be part of your strategic plan for retirement. Our financial planning expert can guide you through the details of your withdrawal process.

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

Human Resources: FAQs

Dental CPA Baton RougeWhether you manage human resource decisions and concerns yourself or simply oversee your manager, as the business owner, you are responsible for ensuring your policies are legal, appropriate, and applied fairly. You may find it useful to take a moment to review a few commonly asked questions regarding aspects of human resources for business owners.

What questions do I need to avoid during interviews?

There are a few basic, even common questions we would not think twice about asking during conversation that are not appropriate for an interview setting. Some of these include:

  • Are you married?
  • Do you have children?
  • What is the origin of your (unusual) name?

While all these questions can be meant to break the ice, they can also lead to the sharing of information about protected class status, such as disability, family status, ethnic or religious heritage, and others. Even if the answers would have no bearing on your decision, these questions can leave you open to a complaint or suit if the position is not offered.

What should I do if an employee refuses to sign their disciplinary action form?

Bring a witness into the room, note the refusal to sign, and have the witness sign confirmation that the disciplinary action form was provided. Additionally, remind the employee that refusal to sign does not nullify the disciplinary action and further infractions can still lead to more serious consequences.

We use software to track the hours our employees work. The program has a function to automatically deduct meal times so the employee does not need to manually clock in and out. Should we use that function?

Before you decide to implement an automatic system of this type, consider the time saved by not manually entering hours. Then compare that to the time lost by entering corrections if a team member misses lunch, returns early, or runs late. If your office rarely deviates from schedule, this may be beneficial. However, if you find that you are making corrections more than once or twice a week, it may be costing more time than it saves.

If you have other questions regarding staffing concerns, contact our team.

Combat Burnout to Improve Your Business

Have you ever felt tired, stressed, and overwhelmed to the point where it impacts your business? Burnout can happen to all professionals and their teams. Yes, this includes you. Before burnout starts to significantly impact you, you need to know how to recognize it and how to manage it.

Identify Signs of Burnout

If you start to feel unfocused, tired, or bored, you may be experiencing burnout. Does your team lack the enthusiasm they once possessed? When you start to notice these clues and behaviors, take action immediately. You and your team have invested countless hours in building a fulfilling career and a successful operation. Don’t allow a temporary period of burnout to cause you to question your work. Instead, it’s time to reinvigorate your attitude.

Identify the Problem Areas

When your numbers begin to slip, look at where your numbers are starting to drag. A CPA can help you identify areas where your business is falling behind. When a department’s numbers begin to sink, your team members can start to feel low, impacting the office’s overall morale. Identifying the problem area allows you and your team to find and implement a solution before dissatisfaction spreads.

Identify New Areas to Explore

If you are experiencing burnout, the time may be right to learn a new skill. Sign up for a course or workshop on a subject that is new or intriguing. By expanding your skills, you can increase the number of services you provide, which can turn sagging numbers around. Could your team benefit from additional courses? You may want to try selecting a course the entire team can participate in together. Not only will you all be learning new applicable skills, but you will be improving your relationships with each other which will lead to improved morale.

Burnout will happen to even the best team. When you start to notice the signs of burnout, don’t wait for things to improve on their own. Be proactive and identify the areas you or the team could improve.

A team of CPAs can help you evaluate areas of opportunity. Contact our office today.