Why Month End is So Important

Closing the month is important, but it doesn’t have to be stressful.

Updated 7/16/21

To close or not to close, that is the question. The answer? CLOSE! A lot of offices worry about closing out the month and how it “locks down the month and they can’t make changes.” I’ve always compared closing out the month to banking. If you deposit one thousand dollars into your bank account but notice on the receipt that it says one hundred dollars, you walk back up to the teller and point out the error. Instead of deleting off the original deposit, the teller typically does an adjustment to make it right. We can do the same thing in Dentrix.

Consequences of Not Closing the Month

  1. The Accounts Receivables don’t age. Everything looks like it’s in the current column, rather than aging at 30, 60, and 90 days.
  2. The insurance estimates are typically off. The patients’ maximum doesn’t reset for the new year, making manual calculations a daily routine and a drain on efficiency for the practice.
  3. Patient statements can be several pages because it includes everything, rather than just showing the most recent procedures.
  4. Data on reports can be skewed.

Tips to Increase Your Confidence in Closing the Month

  1. Read the Day Sheet. The doctors and hygienists should read their own Day Sheets to verify accuracy. Missing Build-Ups, PA’s, or Fluoride treatments can often be spotted on a Day Sheet. They can even identify and correct a wrong tooth before the claims go out.
  2. Consider sending out insurance claims the next morning. That gives the clinical team a chance to review their day sheet and discover/fix any inaccuracies.
  3. If someone makes an error (and we are all human, so expect a few), simply inactivate the procedure, make the appropriate adjustment, and re-enter the correct data.
  4. Make it a habit—it will get easier every time.

Get the Help You Need

Not sure where to start? Watch one of the videos or the recorded webinar 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

A closed-out month is a happy month.

Learn More

For Dentrix G7.5 or higher, watch the tutorial video about Month End updates.

For Dentrix G6.5-G7.4, watch the free on-demand webinar or the read about the Month End and Task Scheduler.

For Dentrix G6.4 or any previous versions of Dentrix, watch the month end tutorial.

To learn more about closing the month, read Month End Options in One Click! The New Month End Window or see the Running Month End topic in Dentrix Help.

If you found these ideas helpful, you may be interested in learning more about the Dentrix Profitability Coaching Program, where these, and many other great concepts, strategies and ideas are taught to you and your team by one of our highly skilled and experienced profitability coaches. To find out more about Dentrix Profitability Coaching, click here.

By Jeri Sorenson-Amato, Practice Development Specialist

Originally published Jan 3, 2019