I remember when my family relocated to a new city and I applied for a job at a dental practice closer to home. This practice had been open for a little more than a year and seemed to be thriving. However, as the months went by, I realized that this practice had no systems in place … and it was especially noticeable in the collections. After about three months, the doctor told me that that month was the first month since the practice opened that he was able to draw a paycheck. This was a collection problem. Over my 20 years of experience in the dental office, I have learned that collecting money is a task that all financial coordinators will master in their careers, but achieving cash flow is an even greater skill to master. We all strive to achieve a collection rate of 98% of our production so when we have that monthly team meeting to review the numbers, we can sit glowing at our accomplishment. However, as a practice owner, improving the cash flow can be a much bigger achievement. It is vitally important for every dental practice to create systems that will significantly improve cash flow, even if collections aren’t increased.