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Why should you use a Specialist Dental Accountant?

Won’t any old Chartered Accountant give me the same advice as Morris & Co?

Why do I need a Chartered Accountant at all?

Won’t any old Accountant do?

First of all, anybody can call themselves an "Accountant". The Dentists Act prevents people without the necessary qualifications and GDC registration from calling themselves a Dentist, but the same is not true in the accountancy world and there are indeed many people who call themselves “Accountants”, often working from home, who attempt to provide accountancy services to dentists. 

What a lot of dentists don’t realise however is that there is no comeback if they use an unqualified accountant.  There is no guarantee that “any old accountant” will be up to date with changes in legislation, will undertake annual CPD, will have the necessary Professional Indemnity Insurance in place, or indeed will have the resources behind them so that you can sue them if things go wrong.

Morris & Co is regulated by The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. The ICAEW ensures that we work to high standards through its Professional Conduct Department.  If you use an unqualified or unregulated Accountant you don’t have this protection.

It might be nice to think that all Chartered Accountants would be able to give a dentist the necessary help and advice and indeed this might be true.  However many Chartered Accountants recognise that the tax and business side of  Dentistry is a very specialised area. They accept that if they act for say 30 dentist, 30 solicitors, 30 doctors, 30 farmers, 30 taxi drivers, 30 Post Offices, 30 window cleaners, 30 restaurants, 30 chip shops, 30 architects etc. etc. they might have a reasonable understanding of all of these businesses, but they could not hope to have the sort of in depth knowledge in each area necessary to give those clients a full and comprehensive service.

Most Chartered Accountants would welcome a dentist as a new client because of the additional fees and human nature is probably such that many Chartered Accountants already acting for a handful of Dentists would not wish to turn away a new client. 

A Dentist would only get a true idea of what they might be missing however once they asked the Chartered Accountant probing questions such as:-

  • What is the market like currently for my type of practice?
  • What is the current market rate per UDA for associates in my area?
  • Have I completed my pension ARR form correctly?
  • Is my lab bill percentage reasonable?
  • My current bank manager doesn’t seem to know the difference between a dental practice and a doctor’s practice.  Do you know any bank people with a proper understanding of the mechanics of a dental practice?
  • What National Insurance table should I be using to pay my VDP/Foundation Dentist?
  • What would be the effect on my NHS pension if I incorporated?
  • Am I allowed to treat my Dental Therapist who has just arrived from Poland as self-employed or not?
  • I have just received a Pension Savings Statement from NHS Pensions. What do I need to do?