One of the most challenging tasks in any ERP platform (enterprise resource planning) is effectively pulling your data into the system. Importing data is a common activity in NetSuite. This is especially the case when you are adding a module, migrating from legacy ERP, or cleaning up existing data.
It’s a great tool for growing an established business. However, just like any web-based solution, you can run into issues getting data in and out. Some of the main pain points include:
- Exporting data to analyze
- Creating or editing a large number of records at one time
- Updating multi-line transactions
- Applying formulas to calculate field values
- Developing automatic integrations with 3rd party platforms
Although there are required fields, NetSuite users can perform a data import in a variety of ways:
- Comma-separated value file (CSV file)
- Microsoft Excel file
- Integrations using application program interfaces (APIs)
Each of these import options will create different record types (with an internal ID), but the data remains the same. Here are a few tips and tricks to get the most mileage out of your user interface and NetSuite import transactions today:
NetSuite implementation shouldn’t be a process. Like most things in life, your first step is to get organized. Import mapping is not always easy. If you miss one detail, all of the files could be corrupted. Here are a few steps to staying on top of things:
- Determine the import type you need. Are you updating existing files or adding new records? Although it’s a simple question, you can run into huge issues if done incorrectly. Always know your import data first!
- What specific records are you editing? If you need to create new items in the system, you must import CSV records for each type. In manufacturing, this may be something like lot number assembly, serialized assembly, or just plain assembly. The amount varies by professional services and products offered.
- Understand what information NetSuite needs to perform the action and any customizations you have in place.
- Create the record in the user interface first. Then, walk through each step to reproduce it in the CSV import.
- Get your field mapping in order. In addition to mandatory fields, you will need to determine how data exists in NetSuite. For example, the format could be a list, multi-select, text box, checkbox, etc.
- Create a saved search (or searches) to track the data as it is imported and then run validations on the outcome.
- Establish any scripts or workflows that could trigger with your import. In SuiteScript, go through each workflow to ensure you understand the flow and ramifications of your NetSuite CSV import. These imports can be set up to not trigger a workflow, however, that decision should only be made after you understand the expected outcome desired. This can also help you create a CSV template moving forward.
- Know your role permissions and restrictions. Always test what you are trying to import in the user interface first. If you cannot update the value, higher permission may be needed.
Importing CSV Transaction Data in NetSuite
To import scrubbed CSV transaction data in NetSuite, follow these menu steps using Import Assistant. Setup>Import/Export>Import CSV Files. Indicate whether the import will add new records or update existing records. Then map the CSV fields to NetSuite fields. Save import jobs to run later and reuse for mapping purposes. Validate the imported data.
Many businesses and accounts payable departments keep their important data in CSV and Excel files. These are then converted into custom forms in NetSuite. The CSV file is the most commonly used method for transferring small to medium-sized sets of data into NetSuite.
The CSV import process helps to prevent errors and saves time. Data can be added or updated to all records simultaneously, rather than entering them manually.
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Importing Bank Data
The system does not have a direct connection to your bank. If you’re wondering how to import credit card transactions into NetSuite (or any other type of financial data) it can be done manually or through automation. Any type of bank statement, vendor bill, or journal entry import can be downloaded to Excel and saved in a CSV file. Here are a few NetSuite tips to ensure your financial data is transferred properly:
Test it Out
It’s important to create a test run before all records are imported. Choose a small sample (1-2 records), import, and save changes. If everything is mapped correctly, you can move on to the entire database.
Think of it this way, if you have thousands of records, it can be a nightmare to back out of an import and remap. NetSuite is picky about mapping, so this step is critical to saving time and reducing errors.
Validate the Data
This is especially important when it’s a NetSuite journal entry import. In order the ensure the information is correct, follow these quick steps:
- Use your saved search to determine any abnormalities. These searches can be created based on system notes.
- Load any sample records you created earlier. Go through each field to make sure the actual result matches the expected one.
- Did anything happen on the sample import that you didn’t expect? Always work to determine the root cause of an issue and why the system behaved the way it did.
Once your data is validated, it’s safe to start your upload. When the record is created in the system, it is tagged with an external ID for easy identification.
Mapping is one of the hardest tasks in automation because there is zero room for error. Understanding the import process and what the system requires is the first step to curing the headache of manual data entry. Once you get the hang of things, importing transactions not only saves on cost, it gives you back valuable time to focus on building the business and driving success!