Closing the Year in Dentrix

Tips from the Dentrix Support team to help you prepare.

Updated 12/3/21

As the end of the year approaches, dental offices begin the process of closing their fiscal year in Dentrix. The Dentrix Customer Support team wants to help make that process as easy as possible by providing some helpful advice and tips.

This article provides information we have found to be helpful in addressing four common questions that frequently arise at this time of the year:

  1. What does it mean to close the year?
  2. How do I close out the year? Are there special utilities or processes that I should run?
  3. What do I do with outstanding insurance claims from the previous year?
  4. Are there any reports that may be beneficial to run?

Watch the on-demand webinar recording titled, “Closing the Year in Dentrix” to learn more about what you need to do to prepare and get the steps for closing the fiscal year.

Month/Year End Explained

Closing the year in Dentrix is no different than closing the month. When you close the month of December, it also serves the purpose of closing the year. You can make the process easier for yourself in December by making sure you’ve closed all of the previous months up to that point.

Closing the month means completing a few tasks: closing transactions for the month, moving perio exams and clinical notes to history, resetting insurance benefits, applying finance and late charges, and processing future due payment plan charges. Fortunately, the Dentrix Task Scheduler helps you complete all of these tasks.

You can access the Task Scheduler by clicking the menu option in the Ledger. From there you can complete the monthly tasks for the previous month and any other months that have passed.

Read Why Month End is So Important for more insight into the month/year end process. Watch the Month End Task Scheduler video and read Schedule Routine Tasks and Reports to Run Automatically to learn how to close past months in Dentrix.

Closing the Year

Dentrix does not require a special process for closing the year. All you have to do to close the year is to close the last month of the fiscal year.

Watch the video to learn how to close the month:

Keep the following in mind as you close the month:

  • Create an up-to-the-minute backup of your practice data before you close the month.
  • Make sure you have installed all Dentrix hotfixes before you close the year.
    • To check for available hotfixes, in the Office Manager, click Help > About Dentrix and click the Check for Updates button

Outstanding Insurance Claims

After you close the fiscal year, Dentrix detects all pending claims created during the previous year. When you post payments or adjustments to claims from the previous year, you have the option to apply them to the previous year or the current year. This option appears in the Total Insurance Payment dialog box, and it defaults to the previous year.

Year End Reports

The Dentrix Office Manager has several reports that can help you at year end. The following is a list and brief description of some reports that give you helpful year-end information:

Practice Advisor Report

With this report, you can assess the overall financial health of your practice with month-to-date and year-to-date statistics for collections, continuing care, new patients, production, and schedule management. The Practice Advisor shows you where you have reached or exceeded goals and where improvements need to be made. This report provides statistics for the practice as a whole and for each dentist and hygienist.

Taking the recommendations provided in the report, you can use the other year-end reports (described below) to look at details regarding those shortfalls. To run this report, in the Office Manager, from the Analysis menu, click Practice Advisor to open the Practice Advisor dialog box, and then click Practice Advisor Report.

Learn more about the Practice Advisor Report.

Analysis Summary Report

This report lists charges, payments, and adjustments. You can use this report to generate totals for a specified date range or daily totals. You can also generate a detailed summary that includes MTD and YTD totals for each provider. To run this report, from the Reports menu, point to Management, and then click Analysis Summary.

Learn more about the Analysis Summary Report.

Practice Analysis Report

This report provides statistical data for production, receivables, patients, and financial contracts (payment agreements and future due payment plans). The report lists this data for the current day, month, year, and past three months. You can only generate this report by Entry Date (the date a transaction or procedure was entered into the computer). You can rearrange the columns on this report to suit the needs of your office by clicking Setup > Analysis. To run this report, from the Analysis menu, click Practice. Then from the File menu, click Print Analysis.

Learn more about the Practice Analysis Report.

Production Summary Report

This report generates a detailed list showing the total number of times you completed each procedure in the specified date range and the average charge for each procedure. By default, the report groups the procedures by categories, such as Diagnostic, Preventive, and so forth. To run this report, from the Analysis menu, click Practice, and then click the Reports menu.

To generate an unfiltered report, clear all the options under Select Summary Reports except Production Summary.

Learn more about the Production Summary Report.

Adjustment Summary Report

This report provides detailed information such as the number of times each adjustment type was used and the total amount adjusted off during the selected date range. To run this report, from the Analysis menu, click Practice, and then click the Reports menu.

Learn more about the Adjustment Summary Report.

Payment Summary Report

This report is similar to the Adjustment Summary Report in that it provides a detailed summary of payments received. These may include Cash Payment, Credit Card Payment, and so forth. To run this report, from the Analysis menu, click Practice, and then click the Reports menu.

Learn more about the Payment Summary Report.

Patient Summary Report

This is a demographic report that shows the total number of current patients. The report data is broken down by gender, age, insured, non-insured, and so forth. To run this report, from the Analysis menu, click Practice, then click the Reports menu.

Learn more about the Patient Summary Report.

Aging Report

The Aging Report shows all the accounts with a balance in a specific aging bracket. This report can customized to show a range of patients, providers, billing types, minimum balance, and minimum days past due. Many offices find it useful to print this report at the end of each month and year. To run this report, from the Reports menu, point to Ledger, then click Aging Report.

Learn more about the Aging Report.

Insurance Aging Report

Unless you are looking at an individual patient’s Ledger, there is no way of knowing whether an insurance claim has been paid, or if there is something delaying the payment. By running the Insurance Claim Aging Report on a regular basis, you can keep an eye on unpaid claims and identify which may need to be followed up on. To run this report, from the Reports menu, point to Ledger, then click Insurance Aging Report.

Learn more about the Insurance Aging Report.

Family Ledger Report

Patients often request a printout of their Ledger for the previous year. To print a Family Ledger Report, in Office Manager, from the Reports menu, point to Ledger, and then click Family Ledger Report. Select the guarantor for the desired family. The First Transaction Date should be modified to show the first day of the year (1/1/2021) and the Report Date (at the top) should be the last day of the year (12/31/21). A Family Ledger Report can also be printed directly from the Ledger, but it is not possible to specify a date range there.

Learn more about the Family Ledger Report.

Note: These are the same reports that are recommended for month-end. After you run these reports for the last month of your fiscal year, you will run these reports for the entire year (with the exception of the Practice Advisor Report).

Following the recommendations in this article will help simplify the work of closing the year and save you some time to enjoy the holidays. Happy New Year!

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By Jason Coggins, Dentrix Customer Support Manager

Originally published in Dentrix Magazine, Winter 2013