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Case Study: Making Life Easier with Dr. Stephen Rouse

[ Practice Consulting, Taxes, Case Studies ]

DCFO Case Study Rouse image

In 2006, following a 20-year-career in the military, Dr. Rouse opened a dental practice in Charlotte, North Carolina. Three years later, he realized that in order to give his patients the highest quality of care, he needed someone else to help manage the practice’s finances and ensure regulatory compliance. So, in 2009 he partnered with The Dental CFO to help him optimize his business and ensure long-term success.

Like many dentists in private practice, Dr. Rouse was overwhelmed by dental practice tax preparation and financial management. Managing this aspect of his business often pulled him away from what mattered most: high-quality patient care. He needed an organized group of business professionals skilled in managing dental practices to help. That’s when he found The Dental CFO.


“Partnering with The Dental CFO was one of the best business decisions I’ve made. They lifted the burden of administrative and financial management off my shoulders, making my life easier both inside and outside the office.”  – Stephen Rouse, DDS


A Q&A with Dr. Rouse

Discovering the Challenges

Q: ​​You’ve previously worked with financial consultants. Can you explain the challenges you were having with them, and how The Dental CFO helped solve those issues?

A: Before The Dental CFO, we were working with several individual consultants and dental accountants, but they weren’t interfacing with each other, coordinating strategies, or developing management philosophies. That meant I had to act as the quarterback. I felt I wasn’t prepared to manage all of those pieces by myself while being a full-time dentist. That all changed when we partnered with The Dental CFO. They knew how to handle all the moving pieces and explained to us how those pieces work.

A big benefit to partnering with The Dental CFO is that we don’t have to have a lot of people in the office doing things. They gather the information they need and advise us from a distance. To me, The Dental CFO provides a focal point for me to reference. They take care of any problem that occurs, either in-house or with one referral out.

Q: ​​Before partnering with The Dental CFO, did you feel torn between patient care, doing what you love, and handling the administrative work?

A: Absolutely. Before The Dental CFO stepped in to help my practice, I felt torn between doing bookkeeping, managing a business, and enjoying my free time. More often than not, I would use my time out of the office to manage the business’s finances. Now that we work with The Dental CFO, I can have a full book without worrying that I’ll be pulled away from patient care to look into administrative things. Very rarely do I have to take much, if any, of my personal time to manage details of my practice. The Dental CFO made my life easier, both inside and outside of the office.

Q: ​​What were some of the biggest obstacles or challenges you faced as a new owner of a private practice?

A: One of the biggest challenges I faced was trying to understand all the regulatory measures and how to appropriately fulfill their requirements. Dental practice taxes and tax returns are complicated and timely. I spent a tremendous amount of time and energy trying to figure out how to take care of those things, and that was pulling me away from my time with patients. While I did have basic knowledge around business, it wasn’t enough to run my practice efficiently. The dentist I took over the practice from also didn’t understand dental practice management, which made the transition from the previous owner to myself much more challenging, especially given our short transition time frame of one week.


A Dependable Solution

Q: ​​Before you signed the contract with The Dental CFO, were you hesitant? If so, why? What types of questions or concerns did you have? 

A: I was a little hesitant since I would be giving a great deal of information to a new group of finance specialists. After receiving a great recommendation from Shane Tenny at Spaugh Dameron Tenny, I decided to partner with The Dental CFO and trusted that their expertise would improve my practice.

My main question was about the integration of their services within my practice. After using a few individual consultants that didn’t communicate with each other, I wanted to make sure the next group I partnered with would be fully integrated and provide seamless service. I was also curious about how I would be communicating my issues with them directly. I soon found out that The Dental CFO prioritizes communication by having their CFOs communicate via phone call and text. That personalized communication was a major benefit to me and my practice.

Q: ​​What benefits or offers stood out to you that The Dental CFO provides? 

A: I was pleased to learn that The Dental CFO would not only handle regulatory compliance and provide dental tax advising but that they also provide customized financial information specific to my practice. I also really like that The Dental CFO offers access to their financial reporting tools and cloud-based accounting software. This transparency made partnering with The Dental CFO an easy choice.

Q: What specific services have you received from The Dental CFO? 

A: The Dental CFO covers just about any service we need, and if they can’t do it, they know someone who will take care of it. They handle our bookkeeping, HR issues, hiring, tax management, and any legal stuff that arises with patients. They even handle complicated dental practice tax audits and IRA audits. Partnering with The Dental CFO has given me peace of mind because I know they are knowledgeable on things I don’t specialize in.


Celebrating the Impact

Q: What is the biggest value The Dental CFO provides? 

A: My partnership with The Dental CFO gives me time to do what I want when I want, while still delivering excellent patient care.

Q: How would you explain the relationship you have with The Dental CFO? 

A: The Dental CFO provides more than just a business relationship or service relationship. They are actually invested in the growth and long-term success of my practice. The Dental CFO experts are like friends who know how to help us stay profitable. They make things like tax planning for dentists easy and stress-free. They answer all of my questions and always have the practice’s best interest in mind, but never push things that aren’t wanted or are unnecessary.

Q: ​​Can you share any specific examples of how The Dental CFO has gone above and beyond for your practice? 

A: The Dental CFO goes above and beyond for my practice on a daily basis. Whether the NC Department of Revenue and Taxing Authority calls, letters of delinquency arise, or we just run into general tax issues, The Dental CFO makes sure to handle those items in a timely and efficient manner. They handle it without me having to worry, which has lifted a huge burden off my shoulders. It feels great to have their assistance just a phone call away.


“This dynamic partnership exceeded all my expectations. I can’t imagine where my practice would be without guidance from The Dental CFO .”  – Stephen Rouse, DDS


What does the future hold?

After a long and rewarding career, Dr. Rouse plans to sell his practice in 2022. But The Dental CFO isn’t done helping out yet. We’re guiding him through the process of selling his practice and will continue advising him as he moves into this new stage of life.

The experts at The Dental CFO are here for your practice wherever your journey may lead you. Interested in taking your dental practice to the next level? Contact the experts at The Dental CFO today for a free consultation to see how we can solve your challenges and help you achieve your goals!

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