Constrast NetSuite Time Approver Workflows between Employees and Vendors

By activating the NetSuite Advanced Projects module, your company can track time for employees and contractors alike.  But many do not know that NetSuite allows an unlimited number of vendors to access you company account.  This is great value for companies, such as staffing companies, that use 1099 contractors to track and bill time to clients. 

There are some important considerations related to approval management.  This article will outline the time approver functionality differences that may matter in you business workflow.

NetSuite Employee Approver Workflow

By default, approver workflows for timesheets submited by employees is as follows:

  1. The employee who is marked as¬†a “Project Manager” resource on a specific project can approve time submitted to that project.¬† The project manager will approve time via the Employee Center under their own login.
  2. The Supervisor defined on the employee record has ability to approve all time for that employee.  The supervisor can access the Approve Time menu item in various ways.  For example, in the Classic Workcenter, the path way is Transactions, Employees, Approve Time.
  3. The Time Approver defined on the employee record, if defined, behaves the same way as the Supervisor noted in the previous item.
  4. Any non-employee center (full service) employee role that has “Transactions –> Time Track” permission can see and approve all unapproved time entries .

The page to approve time is located at

Vendor 1099 Contractor Time Approval

The only way to approve Vendor submitted timesheet is with an employee role that has the “Transactions¬†–> Time Track” permission.¬†

For some business environments, this can be cumbersome.  Project Managers will like the ability to only see time for projects they are managing.  However, if they have a contractor on a project, they will need to go to a page that show all project based employees and vendors (even ones that are projects they are not managing) and hand pick the vendors that are working on their projects.

Possible Time Approver Innovation?

I have contemplated building a NetSuite SuiteLet that will allow a project manager see and approve all the unapproved time on a project in one place independent of resource type.¬† This could be hooked up right on the Project page.¬† Going further, why not show all the projects that the manager is caring for and present unapproved time in one place? Indeed, this would become a replacement for the built-in NetSuite employee time approver page — not my idea of fun for creating functionality that arguably should be out-0f-the-box.¬† Perhaps this is the price to pay for no-cost vendor access.

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Marty Zigman

Holding all three official certifications, Marty is Southern California's NetSuite expert and leads a team of senior professionals at Prolecto Resources, Inc. He is a former Deloitte & Touche CPA and has held CTO roles. For over 25 years, Marty has produced leadership in ERP, CRM and eCommerce business systems. Contact Marty to set up a conversation.

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