All dental practices have financial needs that require attention by either internal or external accounting staff. The dentist may delegate these responsibilities to a practice administrator or an administrative assistant who can expect to perform many tasks in addition to the accounts receivable activities discussed in the previous section. These responsibilities may include receiving and organizing statements, paying for materials and supplies, processing payroll or tax forms, recording and analyzing expenses, to name a few. In a large group practice or institution, the practice administrator or assistant may collect the data for these activities and support accounting personnel in the preparation of financial documents. In a smaller practice, the administrative assistant may collect this data for the dentist or owner. Whether these processes are performed manually or software tools are used, a basic understanding of the systems involved is required.
Very few dental software companies provide accounts payable software and as a result, most dentists turn to their accountants for suggestions regarding suitable accounting software for their dental practice. When processing financial documents, accuracy is crucial. Verification of data and attention to detail are required to make certain the processed information is accurate. Incorrect data can mean improper cash flow analysis, inaccurate accounts receivable, erroneous claim form preparation, or inaccurate budget and expense figures; all of these can result in negative consequences for the dental practice.