Dr. Jacob and Amber Grapevine, Signature Dentistry, Plano, TX

We’ve been with (Four Quadrants) for five years. What they said they could do, they delivered over and above. From our standpoint, it makes sense to continue with them. I don’t see any reason why anybody wouldn’t want to at least take the time just to meet with them and just see what potential is there because I know when we first met with them.


Dr. Jacob and Amber Grapevine

The Grapevines stop by Four Quadrant’s offices to discuss the positive changes in the practice that have occurred since hiring the firm and why they’ve continued that relationship each year since.



Texas is known for its oversized preferences. And Plano, TX dentist Jacob Grapevine fits right into his home state as he’s maintained his Texas-sized talent for both dentistry and care for his patients. But with successful practices sometimes come big dilemmas. Jacob sometimes felt unsure that those important practice decisions were the right ones. On top of that, his team of tax and business advisors used the same cookie-cutter approach for him as they did other companies that operated nothing like a thriving dental practice.

Then Dr. Grapevine and his wife Amber decided to hire Four Quadrants Advisory: a firm that not only acts as a CFO for dental practices but also as a personal financial advisor with the goal of creating a multi- million-dollar retirement for each of its clients.

Four Quadrants’ counseling meant the Grapevines’ financial planning and accounting were on the same page. And thanks to frequent communication with the Four Quadrants tax experts, the Grapevines haven’t received a bill from Uncle Sam they hadn’t projected months before.

The Grapevines stopped by Four Quadrant’s offices recently to discuss the positive changes in the practice that have occurred since hiring the firm, and why they’ve continued that relationship each year since.

How would you describe your practice to a fellow dentist?

Dr. Jacob Grapevine - For us, when we started searching around and looking, the most frustrating thing was limited cash availability. The other thing was just paying so much money in taxes; that was the sparking point.

Amber Grapevine - Jacob was working all year just to pay taxes. That’s all you’re focusing on, to save money for that.

Dr. Jacob Grapevine: We knew we needed to save money for retirement. We also wanted to make sure our employees felt secure that our business was healthy and strong. Their livelihood depends on it as well. For everyone, we just were trying to figure out the proper way to go about to keep a healthy, strong practice, put aside money for retirement, which is the prudent and right thing to do. We just got tired of meeting our accountants.

A CPA was saying, “OK. Now you’re going to pay more this year. You’re going to pay more this year. You’re going to pay more this year.” We just felt that there probably was a better way to do things.

Amber, is there anything to add to that about, especially maybe from a stress-level standpoint or just also from finances, what was it like right in those few years before you found us or you started working with us?

Amber Grapevine - The communication wasn’t as good with our accountants. We wanted maybe to buy a new piece of equipment or to plan what we could do at the end of the year with the money, but it just seemed like they weren’t really giving us many answers; other than just, “You’re going to need to have this much for taxes.”

That just became our main focus, which is saving money for taxes, instead of being able to plan and really knowing what our expenses were each month and what was left over that we could actually buy equipment with or make our decisions with.

Last year, you saved nine times the amount you had saved the year before you hired us as your financial advisers. As far as when you wake up in the morning and the decisions you make and how it changes priorities, how it changes stress levels for both of you, knowing that?

Dr. Jacob Grapevine - I definitely would say there’s a strong sense of stability and peace that we have, knowing financially for our future and for our children and, again, for the practice and employees and everyone involved, it’s not just affecting our lives. It’s affecting the people around us, family and so forth, to be able to have the right structure that they provide, the insight and the wisdom and knowledge, that enables us to function.

The practice is healthy, we put aside money that’s needed for retirement. But, like I said, help the other people in our lives and employees. We don’t wake up stressed or worried, “Where are we going to get the money to pay for this bill? What are we going to do to pay this bill?”

I know so many people who probably do live paycheck-to-paycheck or bill-to-bill. The way that they’ve organized this and structured this and shared the plan that they have designed for us specifically, rather than just a cookie-cutter, it’s specifically designed to our situation. It just gives you; I would say, most of all a lot of peace.

Amber Grapevine - A lot of people our age are just working really hard, but they’re spending every dime they get. They don’t really see another way out. They don’t really see how you can save the money that we’re saving each month and still have a good lifestyle and really enjoy life. You can. There’s a way to do it. Just working smarter and not harder is a good way of putting it.

Dr. Jacob Grapevine - A good balance, where you don’t have to work twice as many hours to do this. Our lifestyle has been very comfortable. It just gives you a lot of flexibility.

You’re on pace for a net worth at retirement that is nearly four times larger than your projected net worth before you started working with us. How is your life different now, knowing that retirement is looking really good right now and your net worth will be looking really good down the road?

Dr. Jacob Grapevine - The way that they have set us up for our future, we do have a lot of choices that we will have. A lot of people will just have the mindset of, “When I retire, my lifestyle is going to change in a negative way. Things are going to go down significantly. I’m not going to have the cash I once had.” They are more or less working and living and spending for the now without thinking about the future.

For us, we enjoy the now. We’re having a lot of flexibility with that. We also know we have a very good, solid future. We get to enjoy choices. We don’t have to cut back. We’ll be able to go and plan more vacations and do a lot of things that we weren’t planning to be able to do just ourselves. With their help, they’re able to help us come up with the right plan and be able to choose to do things the way we want to.

Amber Grapevine - For us, it’s really important to leave a legacy for our kids down the road, not leaving them a legacy of debt. We want to make sure that they had a future and they were able to help people and give where needed. That’s encouraging, too.

You touched earlier a little bit on the cash and the taxes. If you want to restart that, just to make sure, just about the efficiencies the overhead strategies brought?

Dr. Jacob Grapevine - The efficiencies that they’ve introduced to our practice to help manage overhead have just given us a lot of peace and stability. We’re not focused on, “How much does this cost? How much does this cost?” constantly. We get to concentrate on the patient. The staff enjoys things a lot better as well. Happy doctor, happy staff, happy patients.

It’s a trickle-down effect, and then everyone wins. I’d say we all got into dentistry to focus and help people. When you’re always distracted by stress and management of money or lack thereof, you can get off course. That has a big role that it plays on how you think about your day.

Anything you want to add to that, Amber?

Amber Grapevine - Most dentists, honestly, they don’t even know what their overhead is. When he talks to his friends, they’re really not sure what it is and if they guess, they are typically wrong.

Dr. Jacob Grapevine - We were.

Amber Grapevine - They don’t look at it. They think it doesn’t matter. It’s not there. There’s not a problem. You have to look at it and be aware and work to fix it. There’s definitely work involved in what we did to get to this point, for sure.

I just wanted to pull out a little bit what you said about taxes and what was your pain point tax-wise and how did we help with that?

Dr. Jacob Grapevine - I would say from an accounting and tax standpoint, I’ve never seen or heard of a firm be able to provide you almost a monthly evaluation of where you stand on your taxes. Obviously, that makes a huge difference in your planning. You could see a problem when it’s small, before it becomes large and has a snowball effect.

That was an amazing and very impressive thing to us. When you can foresee what potentially could happen, unless you make some alterations to prevent that, it’s so much better than having to play catch-up, which is really what we felt we were doing all the time. We would meet in April to catch up from taxes of the previous year.

This way, we’re basically addressing the issues during the existing year. By year-end, things are in check and balanced and in good standing. That stress of going to that meeting to your accountant once a year is no longer a stress to us. We actually have enjoyed it sometimes.

Let’s pivot to the present. What was the best news you heard in the meeting today?

Dr. Jacob Grapevine - My favorite news today is, again, the projected plan that we’re on. Like I said, it’s not just about us. It’s about what we could be able to do for our family, for the business, for the employees and so forth, be able to know, “Hey, this is where you’re headed, and it’s not a situation where there’s going to be less and less for your future. It’s going to be more and more that you’re able to do more and more for others.”

Amber Grapevine - I would definitely say there are some hard decisions you have to make to meet that bottom line that you’re looking at, to know that you’re saving so well for the future and that you do have choices and options.

You’ve been with us for five years. We know we’re not the only game in town, so to speak. We appreciate that, but we want to know, too, how you would recommend us or why you decide to keep working with us?

Dr. Jacob Grapevine - One of the reasons that we continue to work with Four Quadrants is not just their unique style but the individual style that they provide to us. It’s not the same for every practice. Everyone is very different and unique. You get to sit down for a time period and explain your situation.

They think about that. They strategize, and they plan how to help you with where you want to go, versus just, “OK, here’s the numbers. Here’s what you need to do. You need to do this to make it better.” They were coming up with ideas and ways to help us along that path.

We’ve been with them for five years. What they said they could do, they delivered over and above. From our standpoint, it makes sense to continue with them. I don’t see any reason why anybody wouldn’t want to at least take the time just to meet with them and just see what potential is there because I know when we first met with them, they did share a potential that I didn’t see any possibility of that occurring.

At first, it just seemed too far out there. I also know that there comes the point in time where you have to decide, “If what I’m doing is not working, something has to change.” Meeting with them, they didn’t take us and completely do a “180” on us. They just took baby steps with us. They were there with us the whole process.

Anything you want to add to that?

Amber Grapevine - He does have a very custom approach to dentistry. He really treats the person as an individual and not as just a number, herding the cattle through to make the bottom line. He really sees them as individuals.

That’s really how Four Quadrants treats us, as an individual. They care about the choices that we’re making. They want to make sure that we’re happy and comfortable. It’s not just about hitting numbers so that it looks good on paper. It really is about us as a person. We appreciate that.