How to Import Credit Card Transactions with CSV Import in NetSuite 2016.2

The release of NetSuite 2016.2 unveiled a host of streamlined processes and exciting new features. One of the most eagerly anticipated updates includes the ability to import the credit card transactions via the standard CSV Import Tool.

By leveraging this new functionality, your business will shave hours off its monthly close process and avoid data entry errors from the manual rekeying of transaction details.

Why You Need NetSuite

A common question we often get from our clients is:

“Our credit card bill is like any other bill that we pay each month –  why would I want to create a special account and reconcile it through NetSuite?”

Here are some compelling reasons to take advantage of NetSuite’s credit card reconciliation functionality, if you aren’t already:

  1. Fraud Prevention / Internal Control
    Treating the credit card statement like a bank statement ensures that each charge will receive at least a moment’s scrutiny as the statement is reconciled. Accounting will be more likely to identify and investigate suspicious charges during the entry or reconciliation process.
  2. Accurate Classification of Expenditures
    If the credit card statement is treated like a standard vendor bill, accounting is likely to consolidate similar charges to expedite the entry process. This could cause some purchases to be misclassified or make it difficult to locate a specific payment at a later date.
  3. Vendor History Preservation
    In credit card statements that are treated like standard vendor bills, the actual vendor responsible for each charge cannot be associated with the transaction. This is because it will all appear under the credit card vendor’s record. For vendors that are only occasionally paid via credit card, this can create a misleading or confusing view of the vendor history in the system.
  4. Credits and Payments
    Scrutiny of the statement during the reconciliation process will help ensure that any anticipated refunds or account credits have been issued and any payments toward the card’s balance have been received and applied.

In the previous version of NetSuite, credit card statements could be imported using the same process used to import bank statements: from the Classic center: Transactions > Bank > Import Online Banking Data.

Whether a company has 10 transactions or 1000 transactions, the expense side of credit card charges must either be matched to existing bill payments or entered in summary “on the fly.” NetSuite will attempt to match transactions but depending on how the payments are entered in Accounts Payables (AP), the system may not find a match.

More frequently, credit card charges relate to transactions that are unlikely to appear in AP – for example, a newspaper subscription. After all, a business dinner or an office supply purchase is unlikely to be booked in advance.

netsuite-2016-2-find-matching-transaction, Credit Card Transactions, Netsuite, Netsuite 2016.2

An honest evaluation of the previous entry and matching process would characterize it in a range from inconvenient to impossible, depending on the number of transactions.

Going Forward

In 2016.2, both credit card charges and credit card refunds can be imported through the standard CSV import functionality accessed via Setup > Import/Export > Import CSV Records.

Not only can users associate charges with a vendor and book amounts directly to an expense account, but there is also the added functionalities to link to NetSuite Item records, relate a purchase to a fixed asset, or even associate a serial number, tax authority or landed cost with a transaction.

Furthermore, a charge can be split many ways. This means that if a company pays its monthly utility bill via credit card, individual lines can be entered to allocate an amount by Department or other types of classifications.

Fields that are required for the import will be denoted in the import Field Mapping by a (req) following the field description. The required fields will vary depending on the features enabled in your company’s environment but, in general, will be the same as those required to enter a standard vendor bill.

netsuite-2016-2-required-fields-credit-card, Credit Card Transactions, Netsuite, Netsuite 2016.2

All imports will require a Primary File, containing the basic charge information (i.e. Vendor, Date, Subsidiary) and then either an Expense and/or Item file for the charge details (i.e. amount, GL account, item, description). You can also choose to add Bin/Serial/Lot information in an Inventory Detail file and/or Landed Cost information in a Landed Cost file.

Once the transactions are successfully imported, users can complete the reconciliation through the standard Reconcile Credit Card Statement process. Each charge will be available for edit or review by drilling into the individual detail lines shown in the statement reconciliation screen.

netsuite-2016-2-reconcile-credit-card-statement, Credit Card Transactions, Netsuite, Netsuite 2016.2

Including a moderate level of detail in your import files will ensure that the maximum benefit is gained from this new functionality. This is especially true if the company card is used for purchases related to operating activities.

Creating the import template may require several hours of effort up front, but overall, will create countless efficiencies down the road when accounting no longer needs to enter hundreds of charges by hand each month and additional detail is available in reporting.

Feel free to contact FMT using the form below if you are interested in learning more about this new functionality or if you need assistance creating a template to import your company’s credit card transactions.

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