Dental Embezzlement News
Issue #29 -- November 2014
Did you miss a previous newsletter?  We archive them here.
We Love to Talk!
Here are some of the places you can hear us speak:
Nov 15
Dalhousie University, Halifax NS
Nov 18
Patterson Dental, Miami FL
Nov 19
Patterson Dental, Fort Lauderdale FL
Nov 20
Patterson Dental, Stuart FL
Nov 20 Grand Strand Dental Society, Charleston SC
Dec 3
American Association of Orthodontists webinar (AAO members only)
Dec 4
Paragon Management, Washington DC
Dec 6
ITI Study Club, Kennesaw GA
Dec 9
American Association of Orthodontists webinar (AAO members only)

Jan 24-25
Carestream Oral Surgery Summit, Atlanta GA
Jan 29
topsFest, Atlanta GA
Feb 12
American Academy of Dental Group Practice, Las Vegas NV
Feb 19
Ortho2 User Group Meeting, Scottsdale AZ
Mar 5
Pacific Dental Conference, Vancouver BC
Mar 6 Cloud9Ortho Users Meeting, Atlanta GA
Apr 9
New Orleans Dental Conference, New Orleans LA
Apr 14
Fox River Dental Society, Geneva, IL
May 8
American Association of Endodontists, Seattle WA
Jul 31 Arkansas Association of Orthodontists, Little Rock AR
Sept 11
Northeastern Society of Orthodontists, Providence RI
Nov 5
ADA Annual Meeting, Washington DC
Nov 10 Limestone City Study Club, Kingston ON
Nov 24 Lexington Oral Surgery Study Group, Lexington KY
To book a great speaker for your meeting or study club, please send an email here  or call us at 888-398-2327.
Prosperident's Mission
 “We eliminate uncertainty for dentists with embezzlement concerns and maximize financial and emotional recovery for victims.”

Check out our web store
You can find our web store at

Our most-requested document is our Embezzlement Risk Assessment Questionnaire.  
The Questionnaire is designed to allow a dentist to determine the likelihood that he or she is being embezzled, in 20 minutes or less.
Until November 30, we are pleased to offer this guide for 25% off the regular price of $79.  Just use offer code THANKSGIVING when ordering.
If you have previously purchased this guide, or if you are a current or former Prosperident investigation client, just email us here and we will be happy to send you one for free.
What Not To Do If You Suspect You Have Been Embezzled
by Pat Little DDS FAGD CFE

From the Summer 2014 edition of The Progressive Dentist
As dentists, we have invested enormous time and resources obtaining our education, growing our practices and pursuing other professional endeavors. Additionally, we invest heavily in training and developing our dental team to assist us in achieving our professional and financial goals. Sadly, over the course of our careers, there is a three in five chance that one or more of our trusted team members will commit embezzlement.
This is a violation of our trust and can be emotionally and financially devastating. Some of you have already been embezzled in the past and know all too well the consequences that result from this crime. Embezzlement also impacts the rest of your team, and they often are afraid you will no longer trust them, which can have a significant impact on team morale. Additionally, you will be required to hire, train, and build trust with a new team member. Therefore, it is imperative that you learn to recognize the early warning signs of embezzlement in order to minimize its impact. It is also paramount that you respond correctly if you suspect someone on your team may be committing embezzlement.
Introducing Jonathan VanHorn
Jonathan VanHorn is certainly an interesting guy.  He is a CPA, but has moved beyond the traditional CPA bailiwick of "historical" work like P&Ls and income tax filing.
Jonathan has founded a company called Dentistmetrics and now uses his considerable financial knowledge to help dentists improve their financial outcomes.  The following is an article that he wrote for our newsletter.  Welcome, Jonathan!
The Fifteen Numbers that Will Make (or Break) Your Dental Practice.
I finished a goal setting session with a client this morning, and as we were wrapping up my client said to me, "If I'd set these plans in motion five years ago, I'd be taking home nearly $15,000 more a month right now.  If only I had known what I didn’t know."
Many dentists know that "stats", “benchmarks”, and "KPIs" exist, but don't know where to start looking for improvements.  
This article covers three of the most important numbers I've compiled through my time as a dental coach and dental CPA.  These numbers should give you a starting point for your practice.  I’ve looked at a lot of dental practices and the practices that have mastered these numbers are typically the most successful in terms of profit. 
I do want to emphasize that averages apply to everyone but no one at the same time. What does this mean?  It means don’t immediately get upset over your performance if you look at these stats and are underperforming.  It also means that just because you meet these three numbers, you aren’t guaranteed to be maximizing your potential.
The Three KEY Numbers for any Dental Practice
But wait, the title is “Fifteen” not “Three”! What gives? I’m only able to share three of these numbers in this article, BUT, if you’d like to see a free report with more than fifteen of these same statistics, including a mini-guide with precise information on how to really get value out of tracking your performance, visit for a copy of the full report.
#1 - Wages and Salaries including payroll taxes benefits (not including associates, or owner’s expenses)
Goal: 25% of net productions.  If you have stable and consistent earnings, you can use collections, but net productions are a better indicator overall.
Subgoal: Of the 25% compared to net productions, around 1/3rd should be hygiene. (around 8% to net productions)  That leaves 17% for the office manager, the front desk, and dental assistants.
Subgoal: For every $35,000 in monthly collections, you have one front office staff.
Where you should look if you don't meet the standard:
  • Are you overstaffed?
  • Are you overpaying your employees?
  • Is this a production problem?
#2 - Dental Supplies
Big Picture Goal: 5% of net productions.
This can vary a bit depending on the services you offer.  But 5% is where you should set your sights.
If you need help on lowering your supply costs, I wrote a set of posts covering this exact topic which you can find here: How to lower your dental supply costs.
#3 - Hygiene Rule of Three:
·        Hygiene should equal 1/3rd the production for the practice.
·        Hygiene should be compensated at 1/3rd production.
·        Less than 3 hours a week unscheduled/cancelled hygiene scheduled per hygienist. (also called open hygiene)
If you don't meet the standard:
  • What is your average daily production for each hygienist?
  • What is the average production per patient seen from each hygienist?
  • What is your recall efficiency? (How many hygiene patients reschedule?)
To recap:
The three base numbers every practice should keep track of are the three big picture stats here.  If you keep these numbers in line, you will have the basis for a fantastic practice.  However, this isn't the end all be-all of every practice.
If you want more stats, such as:
  • The baseline goal per day for each hygienist.
  • The goal for each hygienist's service.
  • How many new patients a day you need to aim for.
And more than 13 other KPI's for dental practices, along with a step by step guide of how to look at these numbers check out for a full report.
A Note From Our CEO:
Embezzlement, Baby Boomers and The Culture of Entitlement
I recently attended a presentation about the different ways that Baby Boomers, Gen Xs and Gen Ys make buying decisions. One of the points made by the speaker is that we are currently raising a generation of kids who never get to "lose" (when we now give medals to kids for participating instead of winning) and who, even as they enter adulthood, still have their parents fighting their battles for them (for an interesting read on this, check out this Huffington Post article). 
One generational change that the presenter discussed was that now most parents repeatedly tell their children that they are "special" (whereas when I was growing up in the 1960's, parents used the word "special" in an almost derogatory way -- as in "What do you think you are, special or something?").
Part of my interest in these changes relates to my role as parent of a 12-year-old son (who is frequently told that he is special), but I am also interested in anything that explains any part of the explosion in dental office embezzlement we have seen over the past two decades. 
There has clearly been a seismic shift in the environment in which we raise our kids.  Since it is we adults who create the framework in which our offspring develop, I have to conclude that changed parenting mirrors a change in our values and is not an adaptation to newborns behaving differently from birth.
I am certainly not advocating a return to the "Mad Men" 1960's when kids sat on smoking parents' laps in the front seat of cars and bullying was almost encouraged; I'm simply considering changes in societal values and their potential effect on embezzlement.

I've said before that our embezzlers fall into two categories, "Needy" and "Greedy", with Needy thieves pushed by financial need and the Greedy stealing for emotional reasons.  One observation I have often made about Greedy thieves is that they feel that they have underachieved in life and that they "deserve" certain things that their incomes don't permit.  I am sure that I am not the only one who sees the parallel between the concept that "everyone should be considered a winner, regardless of effort and ability" and "life hasn't rewarded me the way that it should, and therefore I am justified in correcting this societal oversight by stealing".
So what I realized from the lecture I attended is that probably Baby Boomers and Gen Xs worldview makes some of them feel more "entitled" to embezzle than perhaps their parents felt.  This entitlement would certainly explain some part of why embezzlement in dentistry has been such a growth industry.
Thanks, as always, for reading.

David Harris, MBA CMA CFE CFF
Chief Executive Officer
Prosperident -- The world's largest dental investigation embezzlement firm