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By Mary Byers, CAE
Now’s the time to take inventory regarding your practice’s supply and office equipment needs. Why? Smart practices know that end-of-year and holiday pricing can be favorable and they take advantage of this as they finish one year and prepare for the next. Here’s how to boost your bottom line between now and the end of the year:
Take inventory. What’s on your practice “need” or “wish” lists? Take the time to methodically make a list of:
Prioritize. Of the items you’ve listed, which would make the biggest difference for your practice? Which, if purchased this year, could have the biggest impact on your bottom line? Which are the ones you’ve needed the longest? After considering these questions, narrow your possible purchases to make the list a manageable size.
Check prices. Call vendors and ask for their best prices on each item on your list. Check to see if any will offer a discount for a bulk purchase. Find out which items might experience a price increase after the first of the year. Use newspapers ads to compare prices on office equipment and supplies at local retailers. Compare online pricing at sites like Shopzilla, Bizrate and Pricegrabber. Look for coupons that might further increase your savings.
Don’t skimp. Consider training and support costs when considering the total investment you’ll need to make in each of the items you’ve identified. New software can be almost useless without proper training and adding these costs in now will make it easier to compare the items on your list when you know the full extent of the cost to purchase them.
Take advantage of tax breaks. Section 179 of the Internal Revenue Code allows you to deduct up to $500,000 of the cost of new equipment or other assets in 2011. (Some assets don't qualify for this Section 179 deduction, including real estate, inventory bought for resale, and property bought from a close relative.) The annual deduction amount goes down to $125,000 in 2012. If you’re looking at making a large equipment purchase, consult with your tax advisor regarding the ramifications of doing it this year versus next.
Prioritize again. Use the information you’ve collected above to prioritize and determine which items should be purchased this year and which can, or should, wait until next. Purchase the items you’ve identified before the end of this year in order to be able to take the expense on this year’s taxes. Keep the remaining list as a reference for next year.
‘Tis the season to take advantage of savings on both office equipment and supplies. Use the steps above to ensure you approach the process methodically and that you get the items most needed for your office at the best holiday and/or end-of-year prices.
A tradition of working for the dental profession. The Chicago Dental Society was organized in 1864 and incorporated in 1878. The objective of the Chicago Dental Society is to encourage the improvement of the health of the public, to promote the art and science of dentistry and to represent the intrest of the members of the profession and the public that it serves.
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