Payables are how you pay your bills in NetSuite, and we’ll explore them in this video. In the last video, we had a purchase order for some training we purchased. This PO can be billed in one of two ways. We can either go to the purchase order itself, and the easiest way is to use the recent records menu. From here we could click this Bill button, and the order would create a vendor bill linked to this PO. We could fill out any information we wanted or needed to, and click save. This would create the vendor bill that we could later approve and pay. This is okay for entering bills from purchase orders one at a time, but there is an easier way if we want to do this for multiple purchase orders together, to be a little bit more efficient.
If we go to Transactions, Payables and click Bill Purchase Orders, we see a list of purchase orders that need to be billed. I’ll select a couple of these purchase orders and choose Submit. I am brought to a vendor bill creation screen that has lines filled in for both of the purchase orders I selected. This only works on POs that are to the same vendor, and that are billed to the same subsidiary. It can be a great way to issue a single large payment to a vendor you deal with frequently rather than issuing multiple smaller payments. From here you can enter any information on the vendor bill that you want, and this is the same screen we saw earlier, just with more line items, since we are creating the bill for multiple POs. I am going to go ahead and change the approval status to pending approval so we can look at the approval process. In most instances of NetSuite this field would not be editable, and would default to pending approval, however the way I have my demo instance setup things are generally approved without hesitation. I’ll go ahead and click save and the bill has been created. I know this because of the green bar telling me that the transaction was successfully saved, and I am dropped back to the Bill Purchase Orders screen.
Another nice thing about this page is that it’s handy to see what purchase orders have not been billed yet. Without this screen, I would have to create my own saved search or use an alternate method to tell what purchase orders have not been billed, but this is a lot more convenient. From here I can also open a purchase order if I want to take a look at it by clicking on this date here. I could have also right clicked and opened this in a new tab if I had wanted to.
All of this is great if I want to create a bill based on a purchase order. But what if I want to create one for something else. What if I need to pay a bill for something that I did not order with a purchase order. For that we can manually enter the bill, and we do that by going to Transactions, Payables, and clicking Enter Bills. So maybe I just got an invoice for my business internet service, I’ll go ahead and enter that now. I can enter a reference number if I want, which can be my invoice number from the provider. I’ll enter 123456. I can pick a vendor or type one in and it will auto complete. I’ll go ahead and type in “The Best Internet Service” and we can see it auto complete the entry. I also need to enter either an item or an expense. In my case I am going to enter an item since I have an item setup for this. Expenses are for categories of items you might purchase where you really are not too concerned with tracking the exact assets, the items themselves. We talk more about this in chapter five when we talk about accounting items. I’ll click this item subtab and enter Monthly Internet Service, which also begins to auto complete. I can add line item detail if I want to, but I don’t need it for this. I’ll go ahead and click on Add to add the line. I’ll also change the approval status to pending so we can see this bill in the approval workflow as well.
This bill is all ready to go, but truthfully if I was going to have one like this, that I got every month, what I would actually do is use a memorized transaction. In this case, I know that I will pay for Internet service monthly, and I know that the amount will always be the same. This means that I am just wasting time entering this month after month when I could have the system do the work for me. We haven’t really talked about memorized transactions yet though, but we will in video nine of this chapter. I’ll go ahead and click save to record this in NetSuite. This popup I am getting is just a warning because I have already saved a bill with the same reference number. Since this is just a demo, I am not really concerned about this, and will click okay to dismiss the dialog box.
Now we have several bills that are pending approval. Let’s take a look at how to approve them. If I go to Transactions, Payables and click Approve Bills. I see a list of bills that are awaiting approval. Since there are a lot of these here, I could sort or filter them using these filters above. I could click the date for any of these bills and I would go to the details for it. I can see a little bit of detail such as the vendor, memo if there is one, and the order total. If I want to approve these, and in this case I do, I select the ones I want to approve and click Submit. That’s all there is to it. These bills are approved. Of course, I could have also opened each one individually and approved it that way.
The last step for vendor bills is for them to actually be paid. If we go to Pay Bills, which is in the same menu we have been working with in this video, we see the bills we have waiting to be paid. I have these sorted in reverse chronological order, so I am seeing the oldest ones first. I could go ahead and click on the date for any one of these individually and it would open up. I’ll go ahead and open this one in a new tab. I can now make a payment on the bill, or perform other actions like authorizing a return. Of course, this isn’t the only way I can get to this screen. I could have searched up here in my global search for example. And we know how to do that and use a page prefix of bill, followed by a colon, from an earlier video. But paying one bill at a time would be tedious, and if we wanted to pay more than one at a time we could do that in the screen we left a moment ago. This is similar to how we approved more than one at a time. Let’s close this tab now, and we’re back at the Bill Payments window.
I can click on the check box for multiple bills to be paid, and when I click save, NetSuite will walk me through the ones I have selected. I can also enter a discount over here, so maybe the vendor provided me with a discount because the merchandise did not arrive by the promised date. The discount is in dollars though, so if it was a percent discount I would have to calculate that outside the system, or create a customization that could do that in the browser. And by the way, you could write a browser script that takes something like a percent sign and calculates that this should be a percentage discount.
Now that I have my discount in place, I’ll click save and I get a confirmation screen that I have paid the bills, or at least marked them as paid in NetSuite. Just to take a closer look, we can go back to the bill, and I’ll do that with my recent records, and see that it’s been marked as paid.
I want to clarify at this point that marking a bill as paid in NetSuite is just a paper transaction. Just because you mark it as paid does not mean that it is actually paid. However, there is a chance that you have a third-party payment processor hooked up to your NetSuite instance. This would be something like bill.com or your bank. In that case depending on how you have things setup, paying a bill may actually generate a payment being sent out. There is a lot of variability to this type of setup though so you should check with your financial team, NetSuite administrator or implementers to understand how this is setup for you.
There is a lot more to payables and bills that we have not covered in this video, not the least of which are vendor variances and vendor credits. Variances are where the cost of a bill you pay differs from the planned cost on the PO or other document. This might happen if there is a shipping charge or holding charge for example. Credits are where a vendor credits you back some of what was paid, maybe they overcharged, or you overpaid, for an item because a quantity discount was not accounted for.
Between this and the last video you should now have a good overview of the procure to pay cycle in NetSuite, and be able to use it to correctly account for goods and services your business orders.