3 NetSuite Reporting Features You Can’t Live Without
In this blog, we’ll explore three key reporting features in NetSuite that will help you get complete visibility into your organizational data and performance. The three reporting features are:
- Financial Segmentation
- Slicing and Dicing of Financial Reports
- Financial Report Customization
What are Financial Segments? The Financial Segments are divisions or subsets of business operations. In order to be considered segments, these divisions must have a direct financial impact on the company. Each segment’s expenses and revenues may be accounted for separately. Furthermore, segments facilitate financial reporting and permit slicing and dicing of financial information.
A. Introduction to NetSuite Segments
In NetSuite, all segment lists can be found under Setup > Company > Classifications Section.
- The segments can be imported via CSV.
- The segments support parent and child relationships, which means that you can have departments and sub-departments or Classes and Sub-Classes.
- Segments are available on almost all records and transactions, they are an integral part of NetSuite's reporting capabilities.
- Segments can be selected on the body of the transaction / a record.
- Segments can also be selected on the line-level of any transaction in NetSuite which allows for granular reporting down to the item level.
B. Difference between Departments and Classes
- Generally Departments represent cost centers in NetSuite.
- Cost centers are organizational departments or functions that do not produce direct profit and add to the cost of running a company.
- In contrast, classes are usually represented as Profit centers / Revenue Streams in NetSuite.
- Examples of classes in NetSuite are:
- Various lines of business for which an organization wishes to track income or profit.
- In eCommerce environments, Classes can be used as product categories.
C. Interaction with Chart of Accounts
In order to reduce the number of accounts used in the Chart of Accounts (COA) and the associated clutter and complexity caused by numerous accounts, NetSuite leverages Departments, Classes, Locations and Subsidiaries to create dynamic and flexible financial reports.
- When a transaction is processed, the income is recorded in the GL account specified on the item record. This GL impact with the associated department / class tag will show in a relevant report. (i.e.: Income Statement Report).
1. Detailed Income Statement:
2. Income Statement Summary:
- By studying the images above you will notice that whatever posts to the income accounts is automatically visible on the NetSuite reports upon creation of the Invoice transaction.
2. Slicing and Dicing of NetSuite Financial Reports
- Financial reports are highly flexible and can be easily customized to see specific types of GL accounts, transaction fields or even custom field values as they are recorded on transactions.
- When we look at a typical NetSuite out-of-the box Balance Sheet report for example, all accounts we have posted to will show balances. In addition, the accounts will be listed according to their account types:
Path in NetSuite: Reports > Financial > Balance Sheet
We can manipulate the data shown by controlling the filters provided right on the report. This requires no customization.
At the footer level we can access the following filters / dimensions:
… and many more that we can add when we click on the [Customize] button and access the Filters section of the report.
- When a filter (i.e. class) is selected and we click on the [Refresh] button on the report, we will see only the amounts posted to specific accounts that were tagged with a specific class (e.g. .: Retail Store Business).This is especially useful when we want to see a complete financial snapshot for a department or a line of business (class) for a given period.
Date and Period Filters
- Enable you to make comparisons and view information per month, quarter and year.
- You can disable reporting per period which will enable you to filter reports by dates.
- Allow you to view different date options by clicking on the More arrows.
The options you can define when you customize the report are found under: ([Customize] button > More Options Section). You can also change them directly on the report by clicking on the options button.
- Here, you can specify different types of expansion levels available in NetSuite reports.
Expand level: 1-3 will show like this:
- Note, titles are not Customizable in NetSuite reports.
C. Collapse & Expand Buttons
They do exactly what they are supposed to, expand / collapse the report.
D. Graph Button
Throws a graph on your report; it is a nice feature if you require a graphic representation of your numbers.
- In the top bar of the report you can adjust:
- What type of graph you wish to show
- What columns you will be comparing
- How many items on the report you wish to compare.
E. Print, Email, Schedule and Export Buttons
- As print, email and export buttons are fairly self-explanatory I will focus my attention on the scheduling component of the reports.
- Similar to Saved Searches, we can schedule when to send snapshots of our reports to NetSuite users, customers and contacts.
- We will write our message in the Message tab and setup the schedule in the body of the 'schedule report section'.
F. Consolidated Financial Reports (NetSuite One World Only)
In OneWorld accounts NetSuite allows us to create consolidated financial reports for all the active subsidiaries in the system.
- Notice that the footer in the Income Statement report is slightly different; we have another dimension, the Subsidiary Context, that we can report on.
- The Subsidiary Context field will list all the subsidiaries setup in our instance. Currently, the consolidated view is selected.
- In order to better see the breakup of profit and loss across different subsidiaries, it would be more helpful to show different subsidiaries as columns in this report.
- At the footer level of your Income Statement, you can select 'Subsidiary' in the Column field, then click on the [Refresh] button (bottom left corner).
- Notice a much more comprehensive view of your P&L statement.
- If we select 'subsidiary (hierarchy)' and click on the [Refresh] button, we can see the structure of the company and its entities in the header section of the report.
- In the subsidiary context, we have the ability to show the financials in the consolidated / individual subsidiary view.
- If, for example, I pick 'Americas (Consolidated)' in the ‘Subsidiary Context filter’, I will see the financials for Americas Subsidiary and its children.
- In contrast, if I pick 'Americas' I will only see the financials booked against that company, and not a consolidated view.
3. Customization of Financial Reports
Financial reports in NetSuite are highly customizable. No P&L report in the world looks the same, therefore NetSuite allows us to custom arrange our account groupings on the Income Statement.
In this exercise we will want to separate or highlight our income from the sales of goods given to us in consignment.
We will create a header which will hold our financial section. The header will be a simple placeholder that will display a summary line, while the financial section will hold the accounts we want to display on the report.
A. Adding a Header
1. Navigate to your report: Reports > Saved Reports > All Saved Reports: Click Edit on your Income statement line.
2. You should see something like this:
This is our Report Builder screen.
The top horizontal bar represents different section of the builder
Note: This section is only available on some financial reports, it is not available on Sales Reports for example.
4. More Options
The left pane of the Layout screen will allow us to:
- Add headers
- Re-arrange and add financial sections
The right pane on the same screen will allow us to:
- Customize what we want to see within the financial section or the header
Creating a header:
- Exit the financial report builder by clicking on the [Back] button in your browser.
- Your screen should look like this:
The header row appears above its set of child rows and usually contains descriptive text.
The summary row appears below the set of rows and summarizes the row amounts.
In the example above, ‘The Ordinary Income / Expense’ would be a header and ‘Net Ordinary Income’ a summary label.
Now, let us modify the layout of this report.
In order to modify the layout we need to click on the [Edit Layout] button:
After clicking the [Edit Layout] button NetSuite will give us the options to:
- Duplicate the layout or
- Apply changes to the selected layout
I usually apply changes to the selected layout, since I do not want to have several versions of the same layout. It is important to keep things clean in NetSuite.
- Click the [OK] Now you will be able to edit the left pane of the report builder.
- Let's add a Header / Summary row. In NetSuite financial statements, header rows and their linked summary rows are used to aggregate related rows of data.
You should see the following:
- Next you will add Header Information to your layout as follows:
B. Adding a Financial Section
The header without the financial section does not do much for us. The financial section is the grouping of relevant accounts whose total values we want to display on our income statement.
Here is how we can setup the financial section for Consignment Goods (Income Account used as an example):
- In the top left of the report builder in the layout field select 'Add Financial section'.
- The following dialog box will pop-up:
- Select the 'Create New Section' box and click [OK]
- Now, in the right pane, please setup the section details as follows:
C. Configuring the Header's Summary Row
- Click on the 'Income from Consignment' row that you created in step A.
- In the left plane, configure the summary row calculation. This will determine what will be computed and displayed in the summary row.
- [Save] your report
- That’s it, you are done!
- You should now see something like this:
Please note: It is very important to manage layouts properly. You can monitor your financial layouts and their assignment here: Reports > Financial > Financial Row Layouts
- When you click on the 'View Assignments' link, you will see the reports this layout is assigned to.
D. Customizing Columns
Another important component of every report is the organization of its columns.
- Using the same report we worked on previously, click on [Return To Customization] button.
- Then click on the 'Edit Columns' section.
- In the left pane of the screen we can select the fields that will automatically be added as columns in our table in the right pane.
- Notice at the top of the right pane you select the 'View Columns By' option. I selected the class so that I can show classes as columns, you can select other criteria.
- To preview your modifications, click on the 'Preview' button.
- When you are ready to apply your changes to the columns, you can click on [Save] button.
E. Use of Formula Fields
Reporting functionality allows you to add formula fields. These formulas provide arithmetic functionality.
- In order to add a formula field to your layout, click on the [Add Formula Field] button in the right pane of your report builder:
Notice In the above example:
- The Formula Type is: Difference X-Y
- In the X field: I will select 'Amount' Column
- In the Y field: I will select 'Budgeted Amount' (I added this field from the left pane of my screen - Budget directory, Amount Field)
- I checked 'Apply Formula to Grand Total' so that the totals are calculated on my report automatically.
- I checked 'Negatives in Red'
- I also renamed the column Label so that my column name is more descriptive.
That’s it, you are done. Save and view your customized report.
I hope this blog provided insight into how you can utilize the reporting functionality in NetSuite to get more visibility into your organizational data and make better-informed data-driven decisions.
Please do not hesitate to contact us by filling the form below should you have additional questions, or need assistance with NetSuite.