General Ledger, Trial Balance and Transaction Detail Reports
The general ledger and trial balance allow you to see what your current account balances are, and what debits and credits have been posted to those accounts. The transaction detail report allows you to get detailed information about the transactions taking place inside your system. We’ll take a look at each of them in this video. I want to make a clear distinction before we get too much further. Each of the reports we will look at in this video is, in fact, found under the Financial Reports menu. None of these, however, is actually considered financial, based on how the report builder configures it. Before you get up in arms, I understand that these deal with financial information. But where NetSuite draws the distinction has a lot more to do with how they are created, and how they can be customized.
We can see the difference in two ways. First let’s do a quick comparison. I’ll open up a balance sheet in another tab, and I’ll open the general ledger in another tab. If we switch between the two tabs, we do see some differences, but they have more to do with the types of reports than anything else. But, let’s customized each of these. I’ll click the customize button here for each. Now, if we go between the two, do you see the difference? This Edit Layout is missing from standard reports. We can also go to the Reports menu, and begin creating a new financial report. You will notice, there are only a few types, and these are all financial statements. I wouldn’t get too hung up on the distinction though, because there really isn’t that much difference.
Let me close some of these tabs, and we’ll get back to our home screen. From here, we can get to our General Ledger by hovering over Reports, then Financial, and clicking General Ledger. This will show us all the transactions that we have done, that impacted the GL in some way. This is sorted by the account, and is filtered based on the dates we select down here. Just like the other reports we looked at, in the last video, we can change the subsidiary we are interested in seeing, or we can see a consolidated subsidiary. We can also select from a number of predefined date ranges, here to the left. One of the things you might notice is missing, is a place to click and see more filters. This report does not come with those filters out of the box, like the ones we looked at earlier. You can add these filters, but have to save this with a different name, and you cannot replace the built-in report.
The way you would customize this is by clicking on Customize, which takes us to the Report Builder. In the Filters section, we can search for any filter we want. I’ll type Department in here, and click the magnifying glass. There are a number of department options, but if we hover over each of these, we can see where they are pulling their data from. Usually you will want to use the highest level option, that is the one that is at the highest level down here under help. We can see if we scroll over some of these others that they go down a level or two, and are probably not what we want. If we want to add this we can simply click it, and it will be placed in the filters section. We also need to set something in the filter since this is set as, equal to. If you add everything, this will act like the other filters did by default. Lastly, we need to select this Show in Filter Region check box so that this can be changed at runtime. Adding class, location and any other filters is pretty much the same thing. I’ll click OK, and let’s preview this. Now we can select anything we want here, similar to how we could in the other reports. To save this we need to return to customization. We could now save this under a different name, but since this is only for demonstration purposes there really isn’t any reason to.
The next report I want us to take a look at is the trial balance. This can be found under Reports, Financial, and Trial Balance. Normally the trial balance is used to look at all the debits and credits in your system, and verify that they all total up to the same amount. This report is often used prior to performing a period close, or generating financial statements for distribution. Here we see a list of all of the Debit and Credit amounts we have in our system. At the bottom, in the data section, we see the totals for the debits and credits. Ideally these two should be equal.
We can collapse or expand these, as with the other accounts. We can drill down to see more detail, which could be useful if we needed to figure out why these two columns were not equal. We can make changes to this, the same as we can with the other reports. One of the filters that this one has, that the others didn’t have, is this view filter. If we change this to Total, and click refresh, we see only a single column, and at the bottom the amount should be zero. Zero in this case is a good thing, because it means that our debits and credits are equal.
The last report I want us to take a look at in this video is the transaction detail. We can get to this by going to Reports, Financial, and Transaction Detail. The transaction detail report gives us a list of all of our transactions, that had a financial impact for the selected date range or period. I have seen this used often, during financial audits, as part of the audit process. The auditors will pull some random selections from here and take a thorough look into those specific transactions. Like the others we can filter this however we need, and can drill down. This is also one of the reports I have seen customized most often. The two customizations I see most are, filters for the type of transaction, and filters for the account. This makes a lot of sense too, if we think about it. Because, there are often times when you may need to see details for only sales orders, or bills. There are also plenty of times when you may want to see only those transactions that went into, or were posted against, a specific account.
Let’s go ahead and add those two filters to this report. I’ll click customize down here, and select Filters in the customizer. Let’s search for Type, since that was what the column was called. There are quite a few of these filters here, and we can tell that most of them are probably not what we want. The two that look the most likely are the Transaction Line Type, and Transaction Type. So how would we know which one we wanted, or should use? Well sometimes the best way, is by adding one and seeing what it does. I happen to know from past experience that the one we want to use is the Transaction Type. If I was setting this up, and didn’t know, I would simply test out the two, and see which one provided me with my expected results. I would also be careful, and compare this to the standard report after first building it.
Once I add Transaction Type, I also have to select a default type. At least I have to in order to use this as an, equal to, filter. I’ll go ahead and select all of these, so my report returns the same result as it did before. I’ll click on done and we’ll add these. I can use these little triangular lines to expand this box a bit. Now that I am happy with my results, I will click done again. I also want to be sure to check the Show in Filter Region, otherwise this report will basically be the same as the standard one. Now I can click OK, to add the line.
Let’s preview this to see how it looks. Right now, this looks the same as it did before, and that’s because we are not really filtering on anything. If we select a type to filter on, and then refresh this, we can see the difference. I’ll go ahead and go back to customization so we can finish this up.
Adding account is almost identical to adding type. When we search we see a similarly long list of fields we can choose from. The one we want is this first Account. I am not actually going to go through adding this, because I think you know how to do it. Since, it’s the same as what we just did. We could save this report with a different name and use it in place of the transaction detail report, and that is all there is to this.
The general ledger, trial balance and transaction detail reports provide a deep view into your company finances, and now you know how to use them.