Tricky NetSuite Timesheet Options

This article is relevant if you are using NetSuite Timesheets features especially if you use NetSuite SRP (aslo known as Advanced Projects).

Background

Our NetSuite Systems Integration Practice has been using NetSuite Services Resources Planning (SRP) since 2008. Over time, we have witnessed NetSuite enhance the timesheet system in numerous ways.

When we started using NetSuite in 2008 when SRP was called NetSuite Advanced Projects, the timesheet system was basic in that there were only single-record time entries (NetSuite calls this single-day time records) that could be recorded against customers and projects. In our usage model, we would record time only against projects and not, what we call, the “top” customer.  We refer to the “top” due to how projects are displayed subordinate to the customer record.

While NetSuite offered a weekly timesheet entry form, there really was no weekly timesheet database record backing it. For a long while, NetSuite did not offer a concept of a weekly timesheet record.

In 2012, we took matters into our own hands and used the platform to create what we call the “Enterprise Timesheet Manager” or ETM. One of the key features of this utility was to allow the batch submittal of single-day records to a respective manager for review and approval. Besides the ability for project managers to easily (and in bulk) modify time entries to modify the reference customer, project, task or resources, the system would automatically take a timesheet and turn it into a Vendor Bill for any timekeeper that was not an internal employee.

NetSuite has made a couple of attempts to bring a Weekly Timesheet capacity into the platform. I am not going to speak about this because we have invested heavily in ETM to smooth out our on-going internal practices to run our services organization. Thus, we still fundamentally use single-day records from NetSuite’s perspective for the following.

Some Valuable NetSuite Timesheet Concepts

Along the way, we have learned some lessons that may be valuable to others in the community.

Time Tracking for CRM and Case Records

NetSuite appears to have an option (under Setup, Company, Enable Features) for Time Tracking for Cases, Tasks and Events from CRM Records. However, even if you turn Off that option, and you use NetSuite SRP for Project tracking, if you assign a Case record to a Project, that Case will actually still show up as a record you can record time against. This is not good.

We started to use NetSuite Case records to back our Suitelet driven Prolecto Task Manager (for a future article) and had to ensure that all Cases were recorded at the Customer level, not the Project level to avoid that undesirable behavior. Thus, in conjunction with the switch to only record Time at the Project level, we were able to hide those Case records from timesheet entry view.

Don’t Lose Timesheet Memo Information

Here is one that frequently confused our team. NetSuite’s general approach to source (default) field information from other related fields is to perform that function only when creating new records and when the value in the target field is null.  This makes sense because if the user has provided data, you want to be careful not to overwrite it.

However, this behavior had not been the case with Timesheet Entries.  Instead, information would be sourced aggressively from the service item description.  We always would have to be very careful and often would end up losing valuable Memo information (especially important in our Practice as we use the memos to communicate what work we performed in our client invoices).  Finally, in version 2018.1, under Setup, Accounting, Accounting Preferences, Time & Expenses, NetSuite offered a “Copy Service Item Description To Time Memo” option which could be turned Off. This then preserved the timesheet memos.  Be careful, as this option, at least for legacy accounts, was On by default.

Get More NetSuite Timesheet Capacities

While NetSuite has continued to offer better timesheeting capacities, we still give our clients, free of charge, the Enterprise Timesheet Manager, as a mechanism to drive timesheets “your way”.   If you would like to get more out of your NetSuite SRP / Advanced Projects investment, let’s have a conversation.

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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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