...handle refunds + credit matching

Please note: this is an advanced topic and it requires basic knowledge of procedures like creating an order, an invoice, a payment, sending orders and receiving orders.


Many of the hearing aid buyers try more than one type of hearing aids. When that happens, the first hearing aid is returned to the manufacturer and a new one is purchased. It also happens that the patient decides to not purchase any hearing aid in which case no new aid is ordered.


RFC - Return for Credit: the hearing aid is returned to the manufacturer. It's the opposite of a Hearing Aid Order.Credit Memo (or Credit) - a negative invoice, a way of saying "the clinic owes this amount to the patient". It's usually generated as a result to a RFC. It's the opposite of an Invoice.

Refund - a payment from the clinic to the patient. It is normally issued on a credit memo but can also be required because of an overpayment. It's the opposite of a Payment.

Balance - is the amount the patient owes to the clinic for provided services. 

     Positive Balance - shows that the patient owes the clinic some money for performed services.

     Negative Balance - shows that the clinic owes the patient a refund for a return or an overpayment

     Zero Balance - no money owing either way, the balanced state.

Please note: a negative amount in Ear Works is shown between brackets like ($4,000.00) = minus four thousand dollars.

Credit Matching - an internal procedure of balancing negative and positive balances on different invoices and credit memos. There are no money transferred between the patient and the clinic when performing a credit matching.

RFC Flow

1. The patient decides to return a hearing aid(s)

2. The clinician creates the RFC order

3. If needed, the clinician creates the Hearing Aid Order for the replacement aid(s)

4. The front-desk/admin sends the RFC Order.

     4.a The system automatically creates a Credit Memo for the returned aid(s)

     4.b Where possible, the system applies the new Credit Memo to any open balances for this patient.

Explaining the Credit Matching

During a complicated purchase cycle with multiple exchanges there are situations in which there are several invoices and credit memos with contradictory balances (one negative and one negative).

The most common example is something like

Invoice for Hearing Aids - total amount $4,000 - positive balance $4,000 - the patient is supposed to pay this amount to the clinic

Credit Memo for partial RFC -  total amount ($2,500) - negative balance ($2,500) - the clinic is supposed to refund this amount to the patient

Since you can't have both a refund owing and a payment due, it doesn't make practical sense, you may want to clear the credit (in this case) and reduce the amount owed by the patient accordingly.

In this case the Full balance is positive: $4,000 - $2,500 = $1,500 which means the patient should pay you this amount.

So you want to show only a $1,500 balance on the invoice and that's it.

Something like:

Invoice for Hearing Aids - total amount $4,000 - positive balance $1,500

Credit Memo for partial RFC -  total amount ($2,500) - zero balance $0

You can create a Credit Matching in the same way you create a Payment. 

1. Start a New Payment. You can do that from:

  • shortcut:  Ctrl+Shift+P
  • menu:  Financials > Patient Invoices > New Payment
  • toolbar:  New Item... > Payment
  • the Invoice window -> The Take Payment button

2. On the New Payment window click the Credit Matching button on the top-right corner.

Avoiding the Credit Matching

There is a method to avoid doing a credit matching when:

A. the total balance on a file is not zero

B. the balance is verified and is correct

C. there are contradictory balances on different invoices

D. you are ready to take a full payment (if the balance is positive) or do a full refund (for negative balance)

You can apply the full payment/refund to all open invoices and credit memos:

1. start a payment

2. set the amount of the payment to the total balance on the file

3. select Multiple Invoices tab on the payment.

4. check off all the invoices that are shown in that list, whether the balance is negative or positive

5. save the payment

6. make sure the new balance on the file is $0.

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