NetSuite is at the core, a transaction based system, and without a thorough understanding of transactions in NetSuite, you can never fully understand the system. Basically, what you will need to know are the types of transactions there are, how they work, how they flow through the system, and how they affect other areas of the system. We’ll take a look at all of that in this chapter.
Most transactions, though not all, have a financial impact. This means that they flow down in some way to affect the general ledger. In fact, this is so common that almost all transactions provide the ability to drill down, and see their GL Impact. Now, I know we have not looked at any transactions yet, but we will soon. Right now, I have a sales order open. Under our actions menu, for almost all saved transactions, we will see these options, to Go To the Register, and to view the GL Impact. If we click on GL Impact for this, we can see how this one has been posted to our general ledger. We can see what accounts have been credited and debited. We can click on any of these account links to be taken to the account register.
Another thing that transactions have, is the ability to enter a department, class, and location. If you are on OneWorld, you also have the ability to enter a subsidiary. This information allows you to later slice and dice your data and create meaningful reports, so you can easily look at how any specific business unit, or area of the business is performing. Of course, these custom fields are not limited to transactions, but they have more benefit here than anywhere else.
Given that the developers of the system thought it important enough to include these links, and this type of access, this should tell you something about how important transactions are. Now, I will say, that not every transaction has a financial impact. For the ones that do not, you will not have options to view their impact, but there are not many of those.
So, what makes transactions so special anyway? Well it all really boils down to the way they behave vs. other records in NetSuite. Generally, they represent an action, or part of a flow of an action, through the system. Think of it like this. A customer record just sits there. I mean yea, it can be a lead, then prospect, then customer, but there isn’t a lot of action with that record. Transactions have action. They often have approvals and workflows in place. Most importantly they can affect your financials, and thus have the ability to generate revenue for your business. And I think that makes them pretty special.
In the last chapter, we talked about the activities dashboard. Similar to this, there is also a Transaction dashboard. This can be found by clicking the Transactions menu. Almost everything we talked about for the other dashboards is the same for this one. You can Personalize it here, and you can change the layout to suit your needs. Just like the activities dashboard, this is a separate dashboard that you can have setup any way you like it. You can also set this up as your landing page, when you login to the system, if you want. Because we covered dashboards in a few previous videos, we will not revisit them in this movie or chapter, but since they work the same way, you should already have the knowledge you need.
For most chapters, we will not be doing an overview of what we will cover in that chapter. However, for this one, I thought it was important enough that I want to provide an overview of what to expect. We’ll start by looking at the Procure to Pay cycle in NetSuite. This is where you buy and pay for things you need to run your business or sell to customers. Next up, we will look at the order to cash cycle, which includes moving all the way from an estimate or quote, to a sales order, then on to billing, and receiving payment from customers. We will review transactions important to employees, such as time tracking and expense reports. Next, we will cover inventory management, and light manufacturing. Finally, we will wrap this chapter up with coverage of some transactions that are specific to accounting. This includes things such as Journal Entries, Budgets, and Allocation Schedules.
I also want to let you know some of the things we just don’t have time to go over. Those include credit card payments, printing checks and most forms. We won’t cover forecast and demand planning since that has a lot of variability to it, and could take its own chapter. We also won’t talk about commissions in much depth, since they can get complex. Actually, NetSuite does a really good job of commissions, however there are just so many different ways that companies tend to do them, that they are difficult to cover. We also won’t be covering bank transactions, reconciliation or period close. Lastly, we won’t be covering custom transactions at all, they just have too much variability for an intro course. I do want to tell you, though, that custom transactions are really cool, and we hope to do a course that will cover them and other customizations in the future.
There are a few more things that we won’t look at in this chapter, but will look at in the next one. This includes topics such as the chart of accounts, items, and relationships; including customers and vendors. I mention these because most folks think of them as transactional, but they really are not. They relate to transactions, but are not themselves transactional in nature. And, like I said, we will cover these in later videos in this course.
So, let’s take a look at how all this works in NetSuite.