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The Cornerman Podcast
55 minutes | Mar 23, 2021
The Entrepreneurial Operating System with Scott Gullickson
The Cornerman Podcast team welcomes Scott Gullickson to the show for this episode. Gullickson is the Founder of Pinnacle Consulting Group. At Pinnacle Consulting Group, Scott helps dentists set up operating systems and analytics to help them get more of what they want from their practices - results. Tell us about your work. So my career started in the consulting world because I loved being able to help out businesses - big, small you name it. I loved being able to make a positive impact and improve businesses and, hopefully, people’s lives as well. So fast forward a little bit, my wife is now a dentist and has been for about eight years. So originally, we planned to start with one dental clinic and then start growing that until we run several practices. Then I realized that I'd rather be able to help out multiple businesses instead of only working with one or two. So I started consulting for my wife’s practice, a couple of other dentists’ practices and some nonprofits. One thing you preach is keeping it simple. How do you keep it simple when people start to think that they are big entrepreneurs? One of the biggest components we focus on when I implement is called the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS). EOS is a framework that takes a holistic approach at strengthening a business. We talk about hitting the ceiling a lot of times, so there are five different leadership abilities that we work on within EOS. The first one of those is actually to simplify - so less is more what like you mentioned before. There are practices that say, “Okay, I'm going to set up like my fortune 500 company.” Well, fortune 500 companies are extremely complex. So what we do is we take a look at the EOS model itself. You can see we've got six different components that every business has. It doesn't matter what businesses they are, they all have these six components. So they are vision, people, data, issues, process and traction. So every business has those six. If you want to simplify things, take a look at the fact that any weakness you have within your organization - your dental practice, your small business - are all able to fall into one of these six buckets. When we have these six buckets, we work on strengthening every one of them. So today, what we're gonna get to do is just kind of talk through how I'm able to come in and help dental practices, how businesses, in general, can run off of this operating system. So by running off of a single operating system that has the “less is more” mentality, that's one of the best ways that you can begin by simplifying how you're going to get your practice from where you're at today to where it is that you would like to be. When hiring, is it better to get the right personalities from a person you’re looking at hiring? Or is it more important to get someone who knows exactly how to do the work by the book and you might not have to teach them as much? So with EOS, we take a two-seat approach. So it's the right person and the right seat. When I work with clients, what we do is we say, “Okay, we're going to go ahead and identify what our core values are.” So let's say you've got four core values. We're also going to do something we call GWC - we're going to make sure the person “gets” it, that they “want” it and that they have “capacity” for it. It's a really simple tool that we use. It's not necessarily bulletproof, but it does help push you in the right direction. However, if you have someone who only matches two out of your four core values - or they get it, and they have a capacity for it, but the reality is that they don't want it - at the end of the day, you're going to have someone who's not wanting to be there. If you have someone who doesn’t want to be there - they're not engaged, they're not going to help you drive towards what the vision of your overall practice or company is at that point in time. So it's twofold. It has to be both someone who gets it, wants it and has the capacity for it. And then someone who is going to be a good cultural fit as well. To discuss your dental practices financial situation can be improved call (414) 759-9629 or visit Bull Moose online at http://www.bullmoosefinancial.com/. To get in contact with Scott Gullickson to learn more about EOS or inquire about consulting for your dental practice, visit https://www.scottgullickson.com/.
57 minutes | Mar 15, 2021
Planning Your Retirement with Jerod Spaeth
On this episode of the Cornerman Podcast Meagan Rutkowski and Ryan Walsh from Bull Moose are joined by Jerod Spaeth from Spaeth Barrett Group. Spaeth Barrett Group has two separate business lines - personal financial planning and business’ benefit programs. Spaeth Financial Group was listed as one of the eight best 401k providers in the state of Wisconsin. Not only do they look at 401k programs, but Spaeth is also an expert in general benefits consulting and product placement for businesses and business owners. What type of retirement plan would you start a dentist who owns their practice on? Retaining employees is a big deal and high up on the list, especially in this environment where there might be a lot of competition for knowledgeable workers. When you get into buying a practice, and there's a debt load that might be out there and you're tempted to pay that back a little faster. Some of these plans you might want to consider, how does it impact that debt load? It’s going to be up to what the priority of the dentist or business owner is. The first thing on that list is what we'll call a SEP IRA. That stands for simplified employee pension. I'm gonna bring this one up first because we see it less often, but it is an interesting concept - there's some flexibility to it. They typically worked well with closely held businesses or one-owner businesses with few employees. So if you're a dentist that is just starting, and they have one or two individuals, and maybe they're part-time, the dentist is doing a majority of the work and wants to increase their opportunity for retirement plans savings, SEP is pretty efficient. It's got a maximum contribution level of $58,000 a year or $25,000 of total compensation, whatever is less. Now the interesting thing is that we can get a bunch of dollars into a plan like that, but unfortunately, you're gonna have to give the same percentage of your employees’ wage in that plan. So if you, the business owner, wants to dump in 25% of your compensation, 25% of each one of your employees’ compensation has to go in that plan as well. This is all employer-based contribution. However, it's very simple to set up and administer. Like I said, for a new dentist just starting out with a low staff, but high income and wants to stock some serious dollars away, that offers a pretty compelling scenario. We see it rarely these days and it's really because of the employer-only contribution side of things. Most of our retirement plan providers want their employees to have some skin in the game to be able to make contributions and deferrals. So the SEP kind of takes a backseat, but it is available. If there's a family group of dentists it would work pretty well with that - brother-sister, father-son, father-daughter type of scenario. Why should an individual work with a financial planner? The big mistake was evident in 2020 when the market took a dive and people were panicking and either sold at the inopportune time, didn't invest at the right time or didn't take advantage of low-interest rates and refinance. An amalgamation of stuff happened last year where it's really important to have a trusted individual to talk to and yes, it's important to work with solid individuals, like us and yourselves as it relates to getting advice in a timely fashion. I think the real issue is that people are kind of in the middle of this. I don't care if they do it on their own, as long as they're informed and making these decisions. That's one side of the equation. Work with some trusted advisors and do it yourself, I'm sure you see the same, when you're going through, or looking at somebody that's done a TurboTax for the last couple of years, and they just didn't keep up on tax, there are certain things you can do on your own, as long as you're paying attention to them. And so I usually tell people, either go that direction, pay enough attention to it and do it on your own, or work with trusted individuals. The middle is the worst place you could be. Disclaimer: Cash balance plans need to be set up in the fiscal year of the expected funding, but can be funded through the tax filing deadline of that fiscal year. Find more information at http://www.bullmoosefinancial.com/ or call (414) 759-9629. Connect with Jerod to learn more about his work and Spaeth Barrett Group here.
38 minutes | Mar 8, 2021
Marketing Your Dental Practice with Brian Meehan
On this episode of the Cornerman Podcast, Mike Bark is joined by Brian Meehan, President & Owner of Celtic, Inc. Celtic is a full-service integrated marketing communication agency based in Milwaukee, WI. Mike and Brian discuss branding in relation to your dental practice and how the pandemic has caused businesses to reposition themselves when it comes to marketing. What is Celtic? Give us a rundown of what you do and your history. We are a full-service marketing communication agency. Down in the Third Ward in Milwaukee. We have a variety of services, we do branding, advertising, public relations, social media, digital and some other things. So we're an integrated firm. Some clients utilize all those services, other clients may just come to us and say, we need a website, or we need you to support our social media. So we do everything from full campaigns to project work. Where does the name Celtic come from? We go by the Americanized version of Celtic and why we're called that is because Celtic is a language. It's an ancient language. And it's a language that brought tribes throughout Europe together. And we just thought that was kind of a cool story for an ad agency that brings all these stakeholders together, and to create customers and to create a brand. So that's kind of how we came up with, with our name. We do work in a variety of categories. We don't just work in the medical industry, we work in travel, tourism, food and beverage, financial services, active lifestyle and health care is one of the areas that we work in. We've been fortunate to work with a lot of great brands that people probably are familiar with, but like EdVest, which is the state of Wisconsin's 529 College Savings Plan. That's one of our long-standing customers. We work with Summerfest. We work with Educators Credit Union, we work with George Webb restaurants, people always love that one. That's my kids’ favorite restaurant. So we work in a lot of different areas. One of those is health care products and health care services. So we do work with some dental firms and some other health care services. Do you think there's specific branding or certain things people should be doing now within the pandemic or shifting what their marketing messages are? When the pandemic hit back in March, a lot of practices shut down. They were forced to shut down. The thing that we were encouraging at that point was, you may not be open for business, but there's still value in being out there not going dark. Stay on your patients to let them know about all of the safety protocols that you're putting in place and all the efforts that you're putting forth to get the business reopened. So I did see some practices where there were no statements on their website and they weren't engaged in social media. I thought that was a missed opportunity because you don't want to go dark in a pandemic, you don't want people to think, “Well, they must not be in business anymore.” Some dentists did one thing that was great. They shared stories. There’s a lot of humanity to that. Stories like, “You know what, this is a scary time. We don't know how this is going to impact the world, we don't know how it's going to impact our practice. But we want to let you know that we are going to be here, we're going to follow CDC guidelines, we're going to do whatever it takes to put your safety first.” So I think the ones that got out there quick and were proactive in their communication won at the end of the day. So now it's almost been a year, which is crazy, to think about, most are back open. What I see is there's a great opportunity, and there's backfill with existing patients. A lot of patients that were on that six-month rotation coming in, and maybe extended it to a year haven't scheduled that appointment. So what I'm encouraging dentists to do is to be proactive in their outreach to existing customers and let them know that you’re open. Here are all the safety precautions and health precautions we put in place, we want to welcome you back. Let's get an appointment scheduled. So how do you do that? Do that through social media, do that through email, do that through your website and your blog. Those are just really simple ways, low-cost ways, to stay in touch with existing customers. Find more information at http://www.bullmoosefinancial.com/ or call (414) 759-9629. To learn more about Celtic, Inc. visit their website at https://celticinc.com/
33 minutes | Mar 1, 2021
Employee Retention Tax Credit for Dentists
Mike Bark and Meagan Rutkowski are back to talk about PPP forgiveness, the Employee Retention Tax Credit and everything that you need to know about getting your taxes in order with your dental practice. Visit http://www.bullmoosefinancial.com for more information. The new PPP Forgiveness form The first is we still get a lot of questions about whether or not you should be applying for PPP forgiveness at this point. The good news is the new simplified form, for those who took a loan under $150,000, is now out. It is a very simple form to fill out, you're going to put down some information about your loan, you're going to put in some information about how much in wages you're going to be using toward your forgiveness. That's pretty much it. You need to understand that this could be subject to audit at some point, but it's an extremely easy form to fill out. Quite frankly, the vast majority of our clients have loans that are under $150,000. So the application in and of itself is not going to be a hard thing to do. Having said that, we still don't want you to apply for forgiveness. There’s no rush to do it right now. PPP Forgiveness and Employee Retention Tax One of the positives in this recent stimulus bill that came out was if you took a PPP loan, and the prior law, you weren't able to take the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC). The new Act changed to say, not only can you take the employee retention tax credit proactively, but you can go back in time and if you meet certain requirements, you can take that Employee Retention Tax Credit now by either doing a tentative claim for refund or amending your fourth quarter 941 return. So where that kind of ties together with your PPP forgiveness application is one of the requirements in this law is you cannot use the same wages for PPP forgiveness and the Employee Retention Tax Credit. And you're probably saying, well, that's not a big deal, because we have a 24 week period in which to use our wages up to not only get our PPP forgiveness but get this ERTC. Where we see the potential problem right now is the PPP application only asks you for a dollar amount of wages on it that you want to use toward your forgiveness. It doesn't ask what period you are using those wages from. The issue as I think we see it in a lot of other people out there is if you put an amount of wages down on that particular form, how is that going to coordinate with the Employee Retention Tax Credit? In other words, how are they going to know that you're not double-dipping? I think one of our expectations or one of our hopes, is that they are going to modify that form slightly to indicate specifically what period of time are you using wages from in the PPP forgiveness application. That way as they try to marry the Employee Retention Tax Credit, they'll know that you're using a hunk of wages for your forgiveness, and a different one for your Employee Retention Tax Credit. Everything will go smoothly from that point on. Employee Retention Tax Credit Part of the CARES Act was the first round of the PPP stimulus and also the Employee Retention Tax Credit. But at the time, you weren't able to do both. So most of our clients ended up taking all the PPP long because that was guaranteed money. Now we see six months later, they changed it. Now everybody gets to do both. So the way that Employee Retention Tax Credit works is if you had a decline of 50% in a calendar quarter over the prior year, or you were shut down by the government, you are eligible for this credit. The credit is 50% of employee wages paid up to $10,000. So you could potentially get $5,000 per employee for wages paid. The period for the one on the CARES Act for 2020 was wages paid March 31, 2020, through December 31, 2020. So the max you'll get on that one is $5,000 per employee over that period. Now with this recent law that passed at the end of December, there's a second Employee Retention Tax Credit for 2021 wages, and that increases to a max credit of $7,000 per employee per quarter. So that credit will be more substantial. The requirements to meet that, are a little bit easier to meet as well. A good percentage of our clients meet the 50% decline in gross receipts for the second quarter because you guys were not in operations due to recommendations from the government. Some of our clients were seeing emergency patients so we're not sure if that is going to meet the requirement of fully or partially suspended operations. The slam dunk is a 50% decline. Then the next step is we would look at people who were fully or partially shut down. To learn more about the Employee Retention Tax Credit and how you can apply for PPP Forgiveness, contact Bull Moose Financial at (414) 759-9629, or visit their website.
35 minutes | Nov 24, 2020
Dentists and Disability Insurance with Dave Dorley
Mike Bark is joined by Dave Dorley, Director of Disability at Third Coast Advisors and one of the go-to's for the Wisconsin Dental Association as an expert in disability and life insurance. The guys talk about how disability and dentistry collide. Visit http://www.bullmoosefinancial.com for more information. What does disability cover in the dental industry? I believe that one of the greatest financial threats is somebody's income being depressed or going to zero. So I look at disability income protection as a foundational piece that most dentists are fairly aware that their ability to practice and continue to do procedures are important. However, there are numerous differences as you get into evaluating it. That’s where I come in. I compare and contrast different options that the dentists have, but 90% of disability claims are due to illness versus injury. Sometimes that is pretty surprising. I have three or four claims going right now and they're all illnesses, they're all either conditions that somebody is receiving treatment for, or progressive type diseases that cause their production to become depressed for a period of time. Does the disability insurance come in as a stopgap to their income stream? Absolutely. We can’t insure 100 percent of somebody’s income, the insurance companies will issue about 70 percent of somebody’s income to replace. They want to have some inherent incentive for people to return to work, but yes, it is a stopgap for when income goes down. When is it a good time for a dentist to get disability insurance? Early in their career as a dentist or when they start making some real money? We always like to say do it early. Getting disability insurance is not generally easy for everybody. So any kind of medical condition could occur, that could include mental nervousness, it could include some sort of surgery or condition that could come on as their career is progressing. So getting it early is really important because it is medically underwritten, where you'd have to answer certain medical questions on how healthy you are. And so early is better. It's also really important to get it early to lock in pricing that's guaranteed to age 65 which, usually, will cover somebody for their entire career. So, early to avoid any kind of limitations due to medical history and early due to pricing lock ends. What is the process of getting the medical underwriting that’s needed? As you’d imagine, the process has changed. In most cases, the insurance company would hire a nurse to go visit people at their homes. Now, the process has advanced to a level where labs with blood and urine aren’t required for most cases. Nowadays, most of the time it’s medical questions. The COVID pandemic has advanced us to most places not needing the kind of fluid testing to basically never needing to do them. It mostly involves disclosing medical history and answering medical questions with records being requested by insurance companies to verify. Are there any special considerations dentists need to think about when getting a disability policy or putting one in place for their practice? There are about seven or eight companies that do individual disability that's individually written and what's called non-cancelable. What non-cancelable means is that the insurance company can never change it once they've given it to you for life until age 65. So where it gets a little nuanced and important for dentists is, in the partial disability benefit rider, it's extremely important for a dentist to have what's called an enhanced partial rider. There are many cases where somebody may become totally disabled for a period of time and get treatment, they don't die, they return to work, but they're slower. So they're just not as productive for whatever reason. About 85 percent of the policies out there, at that point - if they're doing everything they did before, and they're working as long as they did before, but they're just slower - most policies are going to stop paying benefits. So the doctor earning $300,000, that's now earning $200,000, with most policies on the market, those benefits are going to cease at that point. So we have to be really knowledgeable about how these riders on the partial disability benefit area work and there are only a few companies that offer those types of riders. Listen to the episode for more information on how dentists can successfully implement disability insurance for themselves and their practice! Talk about how disability insurance can benefit you with Bull Moose by visiting http://www.bullmoosefinancial.com or calling (414) 759-9629 today.
62 minutes | Nov 5, 2020
Tax Planning for Dentists
Mike Bark and Meagan Rutkowski give you details, tips and some ideas you maybe haven’t thought about when it comes to your taxes and being a professional service provider. Visit http://www.bullmoosefinancial.com for more information. Today on the Cornerman Podcast we’re talking about everyone’s favorite subject - taxes! As we move into the end of the year, we wanted to give you some planning tips and ideas you should be thinking about when it comes to your’s and your dentistry’s taxes. We’re talking deductibles, tax code, levels of taxation and much more! Overview of the tax code Most people will complain about the level of taxation that they have to pay, but what a lot of people don’t realize is that we tax income and not wealth in the United States. Because of having an income tax, and not a wealth tax, you end up paying a lot of taxes if you’re making a lot of money. A second thing that people don’t realize is that there are some biases in the tax code. Some industries have it easier than others. The tax code doesn’t necessarily discourage you from professional services - a dentist, doctor, financial advisor - but there are some biases. An example of that would be the qualified business income tax deduction that says a business can deduct up to 20% of its profits in any year. For a professional service provider, once you and a spouse’s income breaks $315,000, that deduction gets phased out. Also, some industries like manufacturing or construction have inventory and percentage of completion to drive profits up or down allowing them a little bit of manipulation. In the professional service industry, we collect bills as we invoice them and we pay our expenses as we have them, so there’s not much we can do to manipulate our income. Choose your entity wisely The first thing is the choice of entity you are. Most people think that they need to be an S corporation - they heard it from an older dentist or are a part of a study club where someone was saying that. That’s all fine and good, except that the law changed two years ago. The biggest change in the law is the 20% qualified business deduction. If you're a business where you are going to make less than $315,000 in a year, you are probably better off being an LLC versus an S corporation because that 20% income tax deduction will outweigh some of the tax benefits that an S corporation gets. Automobile deductions I believe every tax return should have some type of automobile or vehicle expense on it. The most common decision somebody has to make is between mileage and actual costs of the vehicles. With a smaller vehicle, you'll be able to recoup that cost a lot more quickly than you could in the past. The basic rule for owning a vehicle within your business and having it be a tax deduction is it has to be used for more than 50% of business use. In some respects, it could be a hard hurdle for a single office, dentist or doctor to be able to clear because that commute is not going to be deductible. Essentially what you need to do is make an effort in logging your mileage. When people get audited, they take a few months from your google calendar or something like that and see if you’re using your car for work purposes. Health Savings Account (HSA) An HSA is available to people that are covered under high deductible health plans, which seems to be the way even the corporate world is going right now. So if you are under a high deductible health plan, in 2021 you can put in up to $3,600 if you're single per year. A family plan would be up to $7,200 per year. That's a deduction above adjusted gross income (AGI) so it's going to reduce your taxable income. Then you can use that money for any qualified medical expenses incurred during the year after the plan has been established. The other way to use that is to save that money and pay your medical expenses with other out of pocket cash. Then that balance is going to grow, it's going to give you a tax deduction every year and it'll be available for when you're older and have expensive medical. So I've heard financial planners suggest that before as another way to defer taxes if you're in a high-income situation. Listen to the episode for more tax tips and further details! Talk about how to minimize your taxes with Bull Moose by visiting http://www.bullmoosefinancial.com or calling (414) 759-9629 today.
26 minutes | Oct 26, 2020
An Update on PPP, Sick Pay and More
Get updated on PPP, Sick Pay, FMLA, PPE and everything else you might need to know for your dental practice! Mike Bark and Meagan Rutkowski are here to walk you through the updates that have been going on, including where things might be headed - especially with the upcoming election. Payment Protection Program (PPP) The banks are going to be sending you things and wanting you to apply for forgiveness because they want these loans off their books. It used to be that the forgiveness needed to be applied after your eight week period. That got pushed back to 24 weeks. So, you now have 10 months after the 24 week period ends to apply for forgiveness, which pushes us next May-June. As we've talked about, the one big reason is we don't know if the deductions related to the PPP grant income that you receive will be deductible. We're kind of waiting for Congress to act on that because it wasn't consistent with what the original intent was. So once you receive the forgiveness grant, that income is technically taxable right now. PPE/HHS Grants These grants are being made to help you purchase protective equipment for your dental practice. You can also make necessary modifications to your office and these are meant to help defray some of those costs. One of the things in the law is, initially, it was just for Medicare and Medicaid providers. So then they blew it out to more and more providers and that's where most of you within the healthcare industry got your 2% of your revenues as an HHS grant. That is now being expanded to even more health care providers. So in the last round, it opened it up to people who are non-Medicare non-Medicaid providers, but now it's opened it up to different professions like psychiatrists and psychologists. You can also apply again to receive these funds if you either did not get them or if you can provide enough substantial financial need, in order to get an additional fund. It's expected that these particular grants may be funded toward the end of the year, we don't expect a whole lot of our clients to get this one as they've already received their 2% grant. But again, it probably does not hurt to apply to get it even though it will be tough to get. What constitutes sick pay or FMLA pay? This applies to employers who have under 500 employees, which is all of our clients. There was an exemption you can apply for although we haven't seen that in dental practice, so you should work on the assumption this applies to you. So the first way this would apply is if you have an employee who is either following a federal-state-local quarantine, stay-at-home order or is quarantined by a healthcare provider, and I think that even applies to if you are waiting for the results of a test or you are told to stay home because you think you have symptoms. So in that case, you get up to two weeks or 80 hours of paid sick leave at your regular pay rate. On the employer side, you pay that out and then you're going to get a payroll tax credit when you file your next quarterly payroll tax return for those hours that you paid out because of this act. For part-time employees, it's based on an average. The employee has to be an employee for at least 30 days to be able to qualify for any of these benefits. And then they look back at the last year that the person has worked. And so much more… To get the latest news and updates or if you want to talk with Bull Moose visit http://www.bullmoosefinancial.com or call (414) 759-9629.
41 minutes | Sep 15, 2020
Dental Practices and Banks - Loans, PPP and Financing with Brian McManus
It’s time to talk about your bank. Rob Joyce and Meagan Rutkowski are joined by Brian McManus, Senior Vice President of Lending at First Federal Bank of Wisconsin. In today’s episode, you’ll hear how Brian works with dentists regularly. Listen to hear all the questions he gets from clients, along with answers to those questions. If there is another closure, which we’ve seen people worried about, could you see another round of financing or some way the government opens up financing? As far as opening up financing, there's always talk about if there is going be another round of PPP or some sort of stimulus. If this happens, we're still trying to close the loop on the first round, so to speak. However, the terms on this EIDL loan are extremely favorable. I think that's helpful if you do qualify, and you can make good sense of it, that that's an attractive product. But understanding what the impact may be in the next round is hard to see. The PPP in general is a moving target, and we are now looking at a case where maybe they do offer up another round, which may be more favorable than EIDL, but you don't qualify before you took this. And you just can't, it's hard to answer because it seems like something that changes every week, and it's hard to look down the road, but it wouldn't surprise me at some point that they're not going to let people take the first round of PPP, EIDL, the second round of PPP and whatever else comes. So if you don't need it, I guess I would be somewhat leery of having to take it. Have you guys processed any of the forgiveness applications at First Federal Bank of Wisconsin? Yes, we’ve [probably processed about 10. A lot of those smaller ones that are under the $150,000 threshold, we’ve been having discussions with our borrowers trying to wait on a definitive answer from Congress because it’s a lot easier to submit then. The forgiveness portals opened August 10, we submitted some of our first ones August 11 and still have not received any acknowledgment back from the SBA. They've shot clarifications as to how to properly enter versus correct errors that may be out in some of the stuff and we've checked them. Everything out there says pending validation and we're now 30 some days in. Keep in mind the SBA does have 90 days to decide on these and once you've applied it stalls any repayments you’re having to make on your principal or interest. So just by submitting, it at least stalls that process. Do you have a recommendation for what you like to see in your customers’ checking accounts on a day-to-day basis? It probably varies from person-to-person, but is there a good rule of thumb? A long-standing rule we've used is enough to cover at least two cycles of payroll. That's because I think if you’ve at least covered that, you can weather most storms and it gives you time to plan. I want to be very clear on this point - it's two payrolls plus payroll taxes. I find a lot of times when people struggle, that's the first thing. They want to make sure they pay their people, and they say they’ll catch up on the taxes later. I would suggest never making that part of your strategy. With those being essentially trust funds that are forwarded on, really what you want to do is make sure that you can get through about two payroll cycles. Some people like to cover two months of all expenses. That's not always realistic for most clients, but enough to make sure that you can get through one to two payroll cycles at least buys you the comfort of time to whether you need to go out and try to secure an additional loan, whether you need to secure some private money to weather whatever storm you're facing. If you can get through to payroll periods you’re normally in a pretty solid situation. Your line of credit can kind of shift that a little bit. If you have one full month, or two cycles, of payroll as well as a line of credit to back you up just in case, then that is a comprehensive cover level. Or at least that availability in the line of credit. Having a $100,000 line of credit doesn’t do you any good if you regularly maintain a $90,000 to $95,000 outstanding balance. So the key is always to make your line of credit revolve, use it to fund your short term cash flows. You get in $50,000, then pay it back down, but the line of credit can help you through time units, not a permanent use of cash because then you don't have that fallback. So even if you're not sitting on that full period of cash if you have that availability that you can borrow on, it's just as good, but you need to have one or the other - both are preferable. But having a line of credit that you're just letting there sit fully borrowed doesn't help you when the chips turn against you. And so much more…
53 minutes | Sep 1, 2020
Employee's Rights and Legal Advice for Your Dental Practice with Robert Driscoll
Mike Bark and Meagan Rutkowski talk with Robert Driscoll, Labor and Employment Attorney at Reinhart Law, about how dental practices can open during COVID-19 and implement procedures for employee rights including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Visit http://www.bullmoosefinancial.com/ for more information. Do employees have to have documentation for claiming they can’t wear a mask or is it simply their word? To make the request for the accommodation itself they don't have to use any magic words. They don't have to say, “I need an accommodation because of a disability.” And they don't necessarily have to ask anyone specifically. For example, if they see a frontline supervisor, and say, “I really can't wear this mask, it's really inflaming my skin condition.” That supervisor has to know and is trained to understand that is an accommodation request. Once an employee has done that, the employer is able to go to that employee and ask for information that shows the condition is a disability and that there is a disability-related need for the accommodation that they are requesting and maybe other information about other potential accommodations. The difficulty is usually you're going to get something back on this particular question fairly opaque and maybe not very detailed. It may be an honest dispute over whether the condition is a disability or not. But in most cases, to avoid any sort of dispute or litigation, you're going to assume that it is a disability once you get that information, and then try to accommodate the employee as best you can. I'm not saying in every case, you don't have to wear a mask at all, but there may be some other steps that you might be able to take to accommodate that request. Does that cover employees in a medical setting? Assuming that the company is at least 15 employees, then yes. And then the Wisconsin act is actually just about every employer in Wisconsin - so it’s very similar principles. I think where the difference is going to come in, is what a reasonable accommodation is in that setting. You could imagine for a dentist's office, where someone is working very closely in the face of someone else that it's not a reasonable accommodation to allow someone not to wear a mask or only a face shield or something like that. But there may be other accommodations available that are just as effective as the mask policy that you would have to consider. If not, the position you take is, “Because of the nature of our work, we can't make an exception to this policy. We've worked with you and unfortunately, we can provide you leave if you're unable to work because of this policy, as long as this policy stays in effect.” Would that then be covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or just the employer being generous with an employee and saying they don’t have to work and they’ll hold their job? It's actually going to be required by the ADA. The ADA does require some extent of leave - how much you'd have to talk with your employment lawyer. Employment councils have figured out that it's not a bright-line rule. It potentially could be covered by the FMLA as well, if the condition is a serious health condition, and you'd have to go through that analysis, assuming you're a big enough employer to be covered by the FMLA, and the employee is at work location 50 employees or more and has been, employed for 1250 hours. If they meet those requirements, then it could potentially be covered, in addition to the ADA, by the FMLA. The ADA and the FMLA kind of run side-by-side with one another. I think everyone is kind of familiar with all the CDC guidelines. I'm sure most people are probably sick about hearing of them, I just note that some of them change from time to time. There's still good guidance for how to run your workplace and how you develop your policies related to COVID. For example, the CDC has cut down on the quarantine time to 10 days, for certain individuals, especially those without symptoms ever appearing. Wisconsin still has a longer time period of 14 days. They're not necessarily required for employers in any setting, but they're really good to know and to follow because they're constantly being updated. And so much more…
54 minutes | Aug 21, 2020
Running Your Dental Practice During a Pandemic with Corinne Jameson-Kuehl and Jill Shue
Hosts Rob Joyce and Mike Bark interview Corinne Jameson-Kuehl and Jill Shue from Custom Dental Solutions “We serve private practice owners, and we provide them HR solutions to administrative training to culture solutions. And so we have been on the front lines of reopening practices for probably about the last three months. We have been focusing on what the CDC guidelines state and then also what makes sense for each individual practice to open safely.” I think the biggest question is what do I do if one of my employees just tested positive for COVID. You don't have to get an illegal sense, but what're best practices right then? This is the question we’ve been encountering so many times - just this week we’ve had this brought to our attention three times, and it’s only Tuesday. What we're advising practices to do is to contact their health department right away and let them know they do have a positive case within the practice. Every health department, every county, every state has different requirements of what to do in the case of a positive test. So they're going to do a little bit more of a more detailed investigation as to what that means - whether that means that the team goes home and quarantines or the practice is shut down or the practice isn't to shut down at all. So the health department will do a little bit more of a bigger investigation when it comes to that, but number one they need to call their health department and get that guideline taken care of first. How are you suggesting practices handle employees who may have been indirectly exposed to COVID? There’s a lot of factors like sick pay. So for example, a spouse comes in contact with someone who tests positive. We did have a practice where there was a spouse that was exposed to a COVID positive person in his workplace - and his wife was the dental assistant. So her husband had to quarantine and now he's exposed his wife, a dental assistant, who doesn't want to stop working. What we did was call the health department and they said he's not technically exposed. His company is going to do what they want with him to send him home and he's going to quarantine, but the employee has the right to work. So I think that's something that people are neglecting to understand at this time because you may have been exposed to someone or you know of somebody and you happened to have been at a party with them three weeks ago, you don't just stay home, you do have a right to work. As people were coming back to work, we actually sat down with the team and said, hey, look, this is what's going on. This dental assistant wants to come back into work. Her husband may have been exposed, he's home quarantined. How does the team feel? So we just directly communicated what made sense, the whole team agreed that they were comfortable with her working. And it was business as usual. Here we are two months later, and no one had any positive exposures and nobody had any symptoms or signs or anything like that. So I guess the bottom line for this is that it's really case-by-case. How are you recommending the communication from dentists to patients? Are you having practices call and talk through the COVID policy or is it more of an email blast? We are seeing a lot of variety when it comes to how we're communicating with our patients. The website is number one, you've got to have a COVID-19 protocol on your website, patients have to be able to see that. It's not required, but it's wonderful when you as a patient can log on and see, this is what my provider is doing. Again, it's a case by case situation. However, our third-party communication software should be texting our patients, emailing our patients and we should be keeping our patients in the loop of everything that's going on. We just had an office where when the mass mandate passed in Wisconsin, they had not communicated quickly enough that they were mandating masks in their practice. And they had a huge influx of patients calling saying, “Are you wearing masks? What's the protocol?” So I think I think you do also have to use those third-party communications to notify and communicate with your patients. On the other side of it, we also need to do the pre-COVID screening. And a lot of that is via text or a phone call. And that's what's holding up a lot of our administrators during this COVID time is because we're doing more communications with our patients. Our phones aren't stopping. So we have to have that phone call and say, “Here's your pre-COVID questionnaire. Have you had any exposure? Have you had any symptoms? Do you have a fever?” During that time it’s also a great time to then say, “Here's our mask protocol. Here's what we're doing in our office to keep you safe.” And you're communicating that at the time of the pre-screen. And so much more...
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