Write off bad debts

Learn how to write off an outstanding debt.

Emily avatar
Written by Emily
Updated over a week ago

If you need to write off an invoice for any reason, you'll be able to do so in Cliniko! Rather than simply leaving it open forever, you'll be able to record it as a "write off" for your records, and take it off your books.

This process includes functions that are only available to power receptionists and administrators.

Write off bad debts

Step one: create a unique billable item

We recommend creating a new billable item called "Write off" or "Bad debt" (whatever makes the most sense for you).

To do this, head to Settings, and then Billable items:

Click on the Add service or Add other button (for a write-off, "Other" is probably more applicable, but it's up to you):

Fill out the details for your new "write off" billable item. Set the price to $0.00:

Hit the Create bilable item button, and step one is completed!

If the item(s) that you are writing off include tax, you'll want to create two "write off" billable items—one called simply "Write off (tax)", and the other called "Write off (no tax)". When creating the tax one, be sure to select the tax "type" from the "Tax" drop-down menu. This will ensure that the "write off" billable item includes the relevant tax.

Those billable items would look something like this in your overall list of items:

Now, on to actually writing off the invoice!

Step two: write off ("reverse") the invoice

Find the invoice that you wish to write off (it'll be easy to spot because it will have an "open" flag next to it):

Select that invoice, and at the top, hit the Reverse button:

This will open up a new page, and it will look very similar to a "regular" invoice, except the top will say New credit note:

Down at the bottom, you'll see that the original billable item is still listed there, but with a negative number. For the purpose of writing off this debt, you're going to want to remove that original billable item, and replace it with the new "Write off" item, ensuring that you change the "price" of the write off to a negative number that matches the amount you're writing off.

Below is an example of what this process would look like:

Hit the Create credit note button at the bottom. This will bring you to a new page that says Credit note at the top. You'll see that it's a reversal of the invoice you've just written off, and will have a negative value:

This means the that previously-outstanding invoice is now off your books, but the data will still show up in your revenue reports (so you can keep track of how much you've written off).

Got other questions on anything invoice-related? Our accounting help guides are the place to look! 🧐

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