Geoff Long explains why you should always hire a specialist dental accountant

Geoff Long explains why you should always hire a specialist dental accountant

This month, Geoff Long explores the unique advantages of using the expertise of a specialist dental accountant – and why you’re likely to get a better service than with a regular accountant.

I’m sure if you asked any of the team at my dental accountancy firm, Long & Co (Dentax), they’d say the same thing – people are often puzzled by exactly what is that we do. A common question we get is ‘why do I need a dental accountant – what’s wrong with a regular one?’. It’s a fair question, and it is one that I’d really like to explore a bit more here.

A highly specialist field

The first thing that I would want to point out is that just as dentists themselves are specialists in their own fields, so are we. They specialise in teeth, while we, as dental accountants, are experts in the very particular accountancy challenges that face dental professionals. In the same way that a doctor isn’t qualified to look at your teeth in the way that a dentist is (even though they have a thorough medical grounding), so most regular chartered accountants also aren’t able to provide the very specific advice to dentists that a specialist dental account can.

But why is this the case? Surely the basics of understanding the requirements of financial regulations are the same for every profession? Well, that most certainly is not the case. Dentistry is a specialised and complex profession, that requires accountants who understand the unique issues that dentists face every day. Let’s look at a couple of examples to see why.

Detailed knowledge of the sector

Buying a practice is clearly the ultimate career goal for many dental practitioners. It is an opportunity for them to build up their own base of patients, and to shape their careers and their professional reputations in the way that they want. But it is also a huge responsibility, with a considerable number of unique liabilities of the kind that most businesses don’t experience.

So, whether it is advice on buying in the specialist equipment you’ll need to set up, help with forging a new corporate identity for the practice, or taking on staff, as dental accountants we can help. How? Both through the huge amount of experience we’ve had with our many other dental clients, but also through our specialist dental accountancy knowledge – for example by helping you to maximise your tax advantage or claim against tax for repairs and maintenance to the property itself, agent fees, bank charges, insurance costs and even accountancy fees.

A specialist dental accountant will also be uniquely positioned to be able to give you an overview of the current market, with plenty of hard data on current trends, risks and opportunities – and advise on the viability of a new practice in a particular area.

Navigating the regulatory landscape

Another great example is the help that a dental accountant can give with winning NHS Dental Tenders. It’s probably fair to say that most general chartered accountants wouldn’t know where to start with these – applying for one can be a complex, and if I’m honest, often fairly arduous process for the uninitiated.

But to a dental accountant like Long & Co (Dentax), it is something that we have a huge amount of expertise in. Because we’re already familiar with the legal landscape for dental practitioners, and have worked on these kinds of tenders before, we’re able to help you to understand the various regulatory obligations that you have as a dentist when you attempt to win big contracts of this kind.

We have a robust, tried and tested process that has successfully delivered NHS contracts – with the security of the long-term income for your practice that they bring – and we have a very precise understanding of what NHS England’s requirements and expectations are. Working closely with a specialised dental accountant really is the best way to meet these expectations, and win.

The bottom line, for me, is that using an expert dental accountant will save you both time and money. You will ensure that you won’t need to go over old ground to recover from mistakes that have been made along the way due to gaps in your accountant’s knowledge of the sector, and you will ultimately save through the unique tax advantages that a good dental accountant should be able to spot. There’s much more on the advantages of hiring a dental accountant here.

Geoff Long is a specialist dental accountant based in Stevenage, Hertfordshire. He advises on a wide range of dental tax issues and regularly writes for the dental press. Geoff has over 20 years’ experience with dentist’s accounts and is recognised for his proactive approach to dental taxation and business problems.

Geoff can be contacted on 01438 722224 or email

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