Bad Debts
How to handle Bad debts, write off a bad debt, clear debt from the invoice report, set a patient as a Bad Debtor, report bad debts
Shelley Withington avatar
Written by Shelley Withington
Updated over a week ago

From time to time it may become necessary to write off an invoice as a bad debt. 


Before you begin, you will need to add a new treatment to your treatment list.

  • Go to Settings > Treatments and Plans

  • Create a treatment with the name Bad Debt. Make sure that the Appear on invoice flag is set to Yes.

Writing Off an Unpaid Invoice

To write off an unpaid invoice:

  • Go to the patient’s chart and create a new course of treatment.

  • Select the bad debt treatment (that you created above) and add it to the chart.

  • Edit the newly added treatment and change the payment plan to Private and set the price as negative the amount that you would like to write off. For example, if you would like to write off £50. Then set the price as -£50.

  • Remember to change the dental practitioner if you’d like to allocate the bad debt to a specific practitioner in your practice.

  • Save and charge the treatment.

  • The patient’s balance should now be showing as £0.00 so you can now complete this course of treatment.

Clearing Bad Debts from the Invoice Report

The patient’s account should now balance as the bad debt has been written off. However, there are a few more steps that you need to complete in order to ensure that the invoices no longer show up in your invoice reports.

  • Go to the patient’s account page and take a new payment, setting the amount to £0.00 and the method to Other.

  • Once the payment has been created, click on the question mark to explain it.

  • First you need to explain the negative invoice. Using the £50 example above, you will need to enter -£50 into the amount field and select the invoice for -£50.

  • Finally you will need to add another explanation. Repeat the explanation process again but this time for the remaining invoice. This would be £50 in our example.

Reporting Bad Debts

To report how many invoices you’ve written off over a given period, head to the Practitioner Activity report and set the treatment to Bad Debt.

Marking the patient as a Bad Debtor

You can also mark this patient as a Bad Debtor using the "Set bad debtor" button at the top of the Account tab.

This will place a visible marker at the top of their record. You can remove the marker by clicking the same button.

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