Month end closing tasks are a fundamental component for any business and a gap in NetSuite. Currently, the functionality that exists in NetSuite for closing a month is the period close checklist. This list is where the user can lock modules like AR & AP, resolve date period mismatches, and eliminate inter-company transactions. The checklist will vary based on what modules or account the user has, but the list reflects the basic requirements of NetSuite to close a period. The list does not reflect the policies and procedures most users of the system perform to close a given period. For example, “locking AP” in NetSuite is simply marking the task complete and locking AP. What constitutes locking AP for many users is accounting for accruals, ensuring bills received are entered in correct periods, performing check runs, etc. The checklist does not require these tasks to be performed in order to lock AP, but these are tasks the business would want performed before a close. The purpose of this blog post is to provide a solution to getting these month end close tasks into NetSuite, and to get visibility on the close progress for management.
Setting up a month end task
First, we will create a custom form called Month End Tasks. The fields we will create will be displayed on this task form only.
The second thing that will need to be done is to create a custom list to reflect the period the tasks will need to be performed in. You can use the Accounting Period List for the custom field, but the results is a hierarchical name (FY 2018 : Q3 2018 : Aug 2018) that is not as clean as a new list. In excel, create a new list to be used as the list for the custom field. Then create the custom list and use the CSV tool to ‘update’ the list with the excel values (Jan 2018).
The third item will be to create a functional team drop down list. The list will be for the various functional teams like Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, General Ledger staff etc. The process is the same as creating the accounting period custom list from the first step.
Now that we have the period for the task, and the functional team performing the task, we can add a flag on the task for ‘Month End Task’ to be used later on for a search. Customize the task forms to only display those fields on the Month End Task form and add the ‘Month End Task’ checkbox field by using the New Field ability from the customized form screen. Once that is complete, you can begin to compile the excel file to import the month end tasks.
Compiling the import from Excel
The excel file will need values for Assigned To, Subject, Functional team, Period of Task, and Start & End Date. You can copy and paste the values, while changing the period of the tasks, and the start & end dates. These tasks will be the recurring tasks and act as the baseline for tasks to be completed in a given period. You can add unique tasks or quarterly tasks in the excel file, based on requirements.
The Import Type will be to ‘Activities’ and Record Type is ‘Tasks’.
The Import Options will be ‘Add’ and the Advanced Options will need to be expanded to select the Month End Task Form as the Custom Form.
Once the tasks are imported, the last step is to create a saved search to use in the task portlet. The search will be a ‘Task’ search with the only criteria being that ‘Month End Task (Custom)’ = True. Then modify the results to show the relevant information. Next step is to add your filters with the primary required filter being the ‘Period of Task’. This filter will allow an easy way to get visibility on current month tasks or tasks that may still be open from a previous period. Once the search is made public and saved, the user can select it from the Task portlet. This is the final step, now the various users with month end close tasks can have this added to their dashboard allowing for visibility across the teams to the status of current open tasks.
By: Matthew Balas