Guardian Dentistry Partners has a lofty yet pragmatic mission: to help their dental partners build the practices of their dreams. The company teams up with general dental practices to support their operations, marketing, and practice management so that their dentists can focus on dentistry.
Guardian’s network of dental practices is growing—fast. Since launching in 2018, they’ve partnered with 136 practices in 11 states, all of which they’ve migrated onto their payroll platform. All told, they process close to 15,000 bills a month.
To keep pace with their decentralized, rapidly growing network of practices, Guardian needed streamlined accounts payable (AP) and expense management processes. Which is why they turned to BILL Accounts Payable and BILL Spend & Expense.
Guardian implemented BILL as soon as they made their first acquisition in early 2019. When CEO Danny Kawas founded the company in 2018, he explained Guardian’s acquisition plan to Head of Accounting Peter Yu and enlisted his help in building their accounting department.
“I basically put Guardian onto BILL right away,” Yu recalls. “It was seamless from there.”
Yu had already been using BILL for about a decade as the owner of CPA by Choice, an accounting firm that specializes in personalized accounting services. “I signed up a couple of my clients for BILL,” he says. “It was just so easy and convenient.”
Today, Guardian’s partners experience the same ease and convenience when they switch from their legacy AP processes to BILL. The transactional email notifications and ability to easily track and manage invoices, among other features, make for a smooth, simple transition.
And help is just a phone call away. BILL’s customer support team is highly responsive, quickly escalating issues as needed, Yu remarks.
With BILL, Guardian’s dental partners enjoy not only a simple interface, but speedy payments too. Guardian pays them directly from the funds deposited in their BILL balance, with no extra fees, allowing their partners to receive payments the next business day.
As a dental partnership network handling sensitive patient data, Guardian needs an AP solution that’s not only simple and efficient, but secure as well. BILL is HIPAA-compliant—a relief to new and prospective partners, which only facilitates Guardian’s acquisition process and growth.
BILL provides multiple safeguards for electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI). For instance, customers who enter ePHI into BILL need to sign a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) with BILL, which establishes both parties’ obligations to jointly protect the PHI. Plus, customers can limit team members’ access to ePHI through assigning role-based permissions.
As added measures, BILL also adheres to the American Institute of CPAs’ SOC2 compliance and doesn’t rely on third-party services to issue payments.
Says Yu, “Our dental partners know that their patient data is safe and secure with BILL.”
BILL Spend & Expense has been crucial to supporting Guardian’s rapid growth. A lot of their time is spent on acquisitions and integrating practices, and streamlined solutions like BILL have made life easier and more efficient for the team.
Prior to BILL Spend & Expense, Guardian faced some challenges with expense management. This often included having to field a flurry of calls and emails from partners requesting budget increases on their corporate cards. What’s more, submitting expense documentation for approval was an onerous process that required partners to photograph and scan their receipts, routinely delaying Guardian’s month-end close.
Enter BILL Spend & Expense, which Guardian implemented in 2022.
With BILL Spend & Expense, Guardian can see what all 200 of their BILL Divvy Corporate Card users are spending, in real time. They can also assign sub-administrators to easily adjust department budgets. Before BILL Spend & Expense, the budget process was painful. Now they have flexibility, rather than getting 10 phone calls a day asking for an increase in budget.
BILL Spend & Expense also simplifies the expense approval process for partner practices, who submit their receipts via the BILL app, instead of photographing their receipts, scanning them, and uploading them to a standard expense management system.
The convenience of submitting receipts through the BILL app, coupled with BILL's seamless integration with Guardian’s accounting software, Sage Intacct, have significantly reduced Guardian’s month-end close time.
“Our growth has been through acquisition—and BILL has definitely played a big role in that,” says Yu.
Guardian processes AP for all their dental practices with BILL. If the company had instead relied on their partners’ legacy AP processes, each with their own work flows and other idiosyncrasies, Yu doubts they would have grown nearly as fast. “Growing as fast as we did would have been really difficult without BILL,” he explains.
Guardian is looking ahead to even more growth, with plans to acquire around 30 more practices in the near future. It’s a step they feel confident taking, knowing they can rely on BILL to simplify their AP and spend management, no matter how big they get—which gives them time to focus on the strategy that will enable them to sustain their growth long-term.
As a rapidly growing company, they can't afford to have a static system. BILL, on the other hand, is a flexible AP and spend management solution that allows Guardian to easily adjust budgets and view spend across their network—and grows with them.