4 Cash Flow Management Tips for Dental Service Organizations (DSOs)

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2023 Dental Industry Challenges and Trends

Hiring and rising costs were cited as the top two challenges for DSOs in a 2023 survey conducted by American Dental Association (ADA)¹. The biggest costs? Payroll, rent, supplies, inventory, and marketing, which have all been affected significantly by recent macroeconomic conditions. As a result, controlling costs and optimizing cash flow have become top priorities for many savvy DSOs this year.

The digital transformation that’s been gaining steam can help DSOs mitigate some of the financial strain facing the industry. Investments in tools like financial automation can empower them to ‌boost efficiency, improve cash flow, and easily onboard and integrate new practices as business grows.

4 Tips for Better Cash Flow Management with Financial Automation 

In an inflationary economy, robust cash flow is paramount. With multiple dental practices under one umbrella, it ensures smooth operations and meeting financial obligations on time. It also empowers DSOs to invest in equipment, talent, and growth initiatives in a competitive environment.

Automating financial operations plays a key role in gaining more control over cash flow. Here are 4 tips DSOs can use to maximize the cash flow benefits of automation.

1. Streamline Your Payables

Instead of chasing down paper approvals and writing physical checks, streamline accounts payable (AP) by digitizing your workflow with financial automation. The technology can help you automate approvals and schedule payments strategically to optimize cash outflows while maintaining strong vendor relationships. 

A streamlined AP process also helps navigate price fluctuations in supplies and equipment, a key cause of rising costs in dental operations. Features like PO matching help validate incoming supplies and control spend. Most importantly, financial automation allows you to manage AP for multiple practices on a single platform, improving visibility across the board.

2. Forecast and Budget Wisely

Create accurate cash flow forecasts and budgets to anticipate your organization’s future financial needs. Also, remember to plan for contingencies and investment opportunities proactively. Real-time tracking can provide rich information that’s just not possible with traditional spreadsheets. 

Financial automation also enables DSOs to set spending limits and allocate funds, so you’ll never go over budget on marketing, supplies, or training. This proactive approach helps prevent overspending and enables better cash flow planning.

3. Take Advantage of Continuous Visibility Into Your Finances

Would you rather wait until the monthly or quarterly financial close to worry about cash flow? Or would it be better to track finances daily or in real time? 

Healthy cash flow relies on continual measurement and adjustment, and real-time reporting can give you the transparency and visibility you need. By automating AP, AR, spend, and expense, you’ll have a clearer view of spend as it happens––and a greater ability to control it.

4. Leverage An Integrated Financial Operations Platform to Scale Your Business

Like other DSOs, you’ve probably had the experience of onboarding new practices with different technologies. Replacing or integrating different technologies can be a long and complicated process, limiting your ability to scale fast. 

Even just for one practice, you’ve likely seen disconnected solutions with varying levels of sophistication, and they aren’t as effective in providing a centralized view.

Consider an integrated platform for your financial operations, which provides a single view of AP, AR, spend, and expense. Better integration equals better organization. If only one login is needed, you can move across solutions easily and have more financial data at your fingertips.

Interested in seeing how your DSO can better manage cash flow with financial automation? Get a demo with BILL today.

Source¹: https://www.ada.org/-/media/project/ada-organization/ada/ada-org/files/resources/research/hpi/jan2023_hpi_economic_outlook_dentistry_slides.pdf?rev=442f8561b0544081b879c2bf40a187b4&hash=EA02275E2C35616756647AFC553D2215#:~:text=Looking%20Ahead%3A%20The%20top%20actions,continue%20to%20be%20margin%20compression