NASDAL (National Association of Specialist Dental Accountants and Lawyers) recently published their annual Benchmarking Report for the financial period, 2020-21. In what was an unprecedented year in UK dentistry, these have shown:
- Overall, dental practices see an increase in average net profit per principal from £129,178 to £151,649
- NHS practices see an increase in average net profit per principal: £116,284 to £145,498
- Private practices see an increase in average net profit per principal: £133,192 to £143,418
- Associate average remuneration fallen from £70,514 to £63,304
Ian Simpson, chartered accountant and a partner in Humphrey and Co, which conducts the statistical exercise commented, “This year’s benchmarking figures are the first to reflect the seismic change that was the Covid pandemic. The increase in profits seems to demonstrate that despite being closed from late March to early June, practices bounced-back to recover lost revenue in the latter part of the year when pent up demand was unleashed.
The last two years have been tough and although our statistical sample shows a significant increase in profits, it is worth noting that this was not true for all and we are aware of practices and dentists who faced real hardship during and post lockdown. As we look forward to the 2022 figures, we might expect to see NHS practice profits fall back somewhat and a modest growth in private practice profitability.”
Nick Ledingham, of Morris & Co, specialist dental accountants and chairman of NASDAL, observed, “It is important, I think, to view the 2021 figures in a wider context. Whilst it may appear to be a big jump in profits of NHS practices, it is worth noting that NHS profits are still lower than they were more than a decade ago in 2010. Associates’ pay has seen a big fall over the last decade in both real and relative terms - associates have been used to their profits flat-lining and the 2021 report showed no let-up in this. In real terms, associates are considerably worse off than they were in the Noughties.”
The annual benchmarking survey statistics are gathered from the accountant members of NASDAL across the UK who together act for more than a quarter of self-employed dentists. The statistics provide average ‘state-of-the-nation’ figures so NASDAL accountants can benchmark their clients’ earnings and expenditure and help them run their practices more profitably. The basis of the survey figures is 2021 tax returns and accounts with year ends up to April 5, 2021.
Alan Suggett, specialist dental accountant at UNW and NASDAL media officer, added, “The NASDAL annual profit and loss benchmarking report is a unique and valuable tool which enables NASDAL accountant members to compare their practice owning clients with industry norms. It means that we help our clients really understand what is happening in their dental business.”