The DentaLab System... serving dental laboratories since 1979
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December 2006

DentaLab News )
from Mainstreet Systems & Software... DECEMBER 2006
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  • More FAQs
  • What's New in QuickBooks
  • DentalRX

    Having more time....better cash flow....professional recognition....peace of mind.


    As we talk to labs, many tell us they are so busy getting cases done that they lack the time to do thinking and planning for their business. Adequate cash flow is also a major concern as they wait many weeks before being paid for their work, yet have to meet weekly payrolls and other operating expenses. After a number of years of experience and in-depth knowledge, they would like to be recognized as valued partners in dental health.


    An extra helping hand can be an excellent reliable computer system that saves you time by keeping your work load organized, gives you the information you need in an instant, allows you to be responsive to the requests you get from your doctors and to communicate your expertise, sets up the tools for faster payment, provides production and business analysis in seconds.


    This is what we strive to provide to dental labs along with simplicity, flexibility and most importantly, reliability and affordability. Remember...the best way to predict your future is to first imagine it and then go into action to create it.


    REMINDER! We will be closed for the major holidays observed in the USA. Upcoming are: Christmas on December 25-26, New Year's Day on January 1, which are also observed in all the other countries that we service. If you need to reach us, however, we will be checking our voice mail and emails.


    Easy, versatile software for the modern dental laboratory.



    Here are more frequently asked questions from your calls, as well as their answers:


    Q: Can we limit who can access certain information?

    A: Yes, absolutely, and this is true for both QuickBooks and DentaLab for QuickBooks. To do this, you must be designated as the system administrator and be given the user-id and password for this level. Not only access, but also update privileges can be limited to those with valid user-identification codes and passwords. To review the security levels in either system, go to the Help section, and then enter Security into the index. We also have a white paper on this topic than can be sent via email or standard mail.


    Q: What do you have planned for the user group in the coming year?

    A: We always have a to-do list with ideas submitted by the labs using the system and ideas we develop to continue offering more benefits to everyone. Here is a sampling: We have already completed (but not yet released) a generic quality control feedback form related to each case. This can be requested as easily as work tickets and case labels. We will offer customization for this form. For case labels, we will expand the options to include one with a note/memo back to the doctor.

    We are also exploring a new possibility for broadband remote capabilities for those who want to access their lab computer from another location or allow us to take a look from our offices. This approach would be easier to implement and offer greater speed when used. We also will continue development of the tutorials offered on the initial CD's and on our website and to have more regional user group meetings.

    From Intuit, there are plans to offer online payment capabilities in addition to their already speedy credit/debit card processing.


    Q: Where do we setup for sales taxes?

    A: This is accomplished in QuickBooks and corresponds to the national version you have. We recommend that you first click on Help and then in the Index, enter Sales Tax. Note that these taxes may have a different name, such as Goods and Services Tax rather than Sales Tax. Intuit provides an excellent audio tutorial on the steps you will need to take to establish your tax items, rates, how and when to collect and to pay taxes, whether each item (product or service) is taxable, how to generate supporting documentation for your tax returns, whether to have taxable items designated on your invoices. You can also print this documentation to serve as a taxation guide. If you need clarification on whether or not you need to collect sales taxes, be sure to consult with your accountant and/or your state and local governments. There are often steep fines if you are supposed to collect taxes but neglect to do so.


    With the same look and feel of QuickBooks


    DentaLab Tips & Techniques

    Steps, that is. Most of the time, when we receive a call saying that something is not working, we can trace the problem to incomplete setups. For example, if you set up a custom price level by percentage or item list, you must take the second step and let the computer know to which customer(s) it applies. If you want to factor the standard number of days needed to ship a case to a particular customer into its schedule, you need to specify this in the customer's record. If an item is a processing step to be printed on the work ticket, but not on the invoice, you must specify in the item's record that it is not billable.

    A computer "thinks" differently than you. It requires commands, settings, rules and algorithms from software to do its job. Sometimes users assume because they very well know what is to be done, that their computer will follow right along. Not so! We who develop your software provide a certain level of commands and settings, but we give you the opportunity to finish the specifications to your own way of doing things through the fields you enter in the basic lists, company settings and then each case entry, invoice or other transaction.

    Without a doubt, every month we hear of some smart thinking as we talk to you out in the labs. Here are some recent examples that we would like to share with you.

    One lab owner who wants to essentially have technician pay based on percentages of billings, but still have flexibility to adjust billings to accommodate his customers on some occasions, devised a point system to be substituted into the technician productivity piece rates normally used for specific dollar rates. The points essentially reflect a percentage of standard billed prices. When transforming the accumulated piece rates for each technician into an hourly rate, these points are the start of the calculations. This alternate valuation method has the added benefits of not having to continually edit the piece rates and not have to explain or run into conflicts whenever there is a need to issue billing adjustments, yet covers the need to both control labor costs and to provide employee incentives.

    Here is another smart approach from a one-man lab. So that he could respond to every call from a doctor's office and do it well, he setup two parallel benches. On one are the tools and materials needed to produce the cases, on the other is the telephone right next to his computer. From his swivel seat in between, he can swing from one side to the other and have the computer quickly provide answers for most of the doctors' questions. Another swivel and he is right back to work on his cases. We know from our work with dental offices that they are ever-conscious of making use of every minute of the day and find it maddening if they have sent work to a lab that does not answer the telephone.

    We have heard that labs have been struggling as to how to organize and index the increasing number of images sent to them by the dental offices. Some have set up folders by year or month and year or by doctor and then rename the images to match the doctor and/or patient and/or date. They wonder what should come first so that they can be sure to find the right one quickly. And then they need to find the time to set up the folders and enter the index names. And what if they make a mistake?

    The answer to this dilemna is software, because it can provide multiple indices and then access by one index or a combination of indices and even partial indices. If you have the Scanning Supplement to DentaLab for QuickBooks, you would click the Scan tab while in a case record and then either scan a prescription or other case document or navigate to your downloaded image from the doctor. The image will automatically be associated with the case and will be accessible in every way that the case can be found: by date, date range, doctor, patient, status, case number, invoice number, etc. etc.

    Some other advantages of using software to do this is that you can use a variety of scanners, you can add multiple images at any time, and you can save a boatload of time and assure accuracy. A rule of thumb is that if you take the time and spend the money to create computer records, you should also take measures to assure that you can find them quickly and easily. If you would like to discuss how to handle your images, give us a call at 215-723-7041 or send an email to

    SCAN-RELATED TRIVIA QUESTIONS: When reading or hearing about scanning, the terms PDF, Twain and JPEG are often used. What do these mean? For the answers, scroll down to the QuickBooks section.


    As we conclude our 17th year of offering DentaLab software and our 2nd year of offering DentaLab for QuickBooks, we thank all of you who have contributed to their excellence and to their ever-widening acceptance and success.

    We wish all of you the happiest of holidays and look forward to working with you in the year ahead.




    Here are two news bulletins from Intuit on its QuickBooks products. With Microsoft's release of its latest operating system Vista, QuickBooks 2007 products have been developed and tested to be compatible. Earlier versions, however, are not supported under Vista and may or may not behave normally. As of May 2007, QuickBooks 2004 versions will no longer be supported by Intuit's technical staff.

    QuickBooks is the #1 selling software for financial management and accounting in the world. More businesses choose QuickBooks than all the other accounting software systems combined. Recently, it received PC Magazine's Editors Choice Award with the top 5-star rating for the best software.

    They also are very responsive to the needs and requests of their users. Here are some of their new features.

    Speedier Cash Flow

    For those using the Merchant Services of QuickBooks to process credit and debit cards, the turnaround time to get the funds into your bank account has been shortened. Typically, it will now take only two days.

    The Discounts

    The Affiliate Program, of which DentaLab for QuickBooks is a part, is now handled by Kowabunga. The banners on our website have changed, but the discount levels ranging from 15 to 20% for procuring QuickBooks products and services through will remain the same.
    The Centers

    The five centers from one Home Page for customers, employees, vendors, banking and company that were introduced last year are proving to be very popular and easy to navigate. We told Intuit that the only complaint was that some found the text too small...and were very pleased to see that the 2007 versions have bigger fonts and brighter, more colorful icons.
    The Tutorials

    In addition, there are a number of helps or guides, including online Help with topics, indices and searches, context-sensitive guides as you enter fields.

    For one-on-one help, there are many accountants and Pro-Advisors who are expert, educated and experienced with QuickBooks to help you.

    Training courses are available throughout the world. On their websites ( and are a number of tutorials to help you get started and to guide you at any time you need it.

    Google Searches

    The 2007 versions introduce new options to do Google searches within your QuickBooks data. In addition, a new service for Google Marketing Tools is available.

    Here are the answers to the scan-related trivia questions. PDF means Portable Data Format. This was established by Adobe Corporation for use with its Adobe Reader, which is provided with Windows-based systems and downloadable from Because there is no charge for the reader, it is very widely used for distribution of documents. Unless you have additional software, however, you cannot edit PDF documents.

    Twain is a standard established for equipment manufacturers and software developers to assure that users will be able to accurately scan and control their images. JPEG is the graphic standard developed by the Joint Photographic Experts Group. It can be used to create compressed images that can be decompressed with minimal distortion or loss. It is widely used for digital photography, medical imaging, document imaging, and on the internet.

    Together, QuickBooks plus DentaLab for QuickBooks provide the most comprehensive well-supported software for running your dental lab…and at very affordable fees. Let us know your plans and ideas and how we can help. We are always happy to hear from you.

    Your DentaLab Support Team


    Customization is available for all products

    Dental RX
    We have been working with dentists on an alternate version of DentalRx that will be web-hosted and offered as an online service. The initial version will be for the USA and will include ADA insurance codes and dentist notes and preferences. Our goals for this second version remain the same:

    • Easier-to-read prescriptions
    • Provide accuracy and consistency
    • Fewer errors due to misunderstanding between doctors and labs
    • Convenient tooth chart and calendar
    • Secured access
    • Time and cost-saving features
    And much more...look for this in 2007

    Call 1-800-257-4535 or visit to learn more about Mainstreet Systems and our software designed specifically for dental laboratories.

    Learn more about Mainstreet Systems Products

    "It is very easy to use....I love it!"

    Becca Campbell
    Root Dental Laboratory
    Kansas, USA

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