Tips for Managing Records and Data in NetSuite

Hey there, NetSuite newbies! It’s Salora ERP again with another NetSuite Tips and Tricks breakdown! Today, we’re diving into a topic that might seem mundane but is absolutely critical for any business: data accuracy.

You might be thinking, “Data accuracy? Really? What’s next, a tutorial on how to use a computer mouse?” But bear with me.

Imagine running a business where every decision you make, from expanding into new markets to optimizing your supply chain, relies on the data you have. Would you want that data to be 100% reliable or riddled with errors? Even the likes of Warren Buffett and Jeff Bezos insist on precise data to steer their companies in the right direction. Accurate data isn’t just about being neat and tidy; it’s about making informed, impactful business decisions that can propel your company forward or save it from potential pitfalls.

So, put down your pitchforks and torches, and let’s explore some best practices for maintaining pristine records in NetSuite , ensuring your data is not only clean but also a powerful asset in your business arsenal.

1. We need Rules for Data | Standardize Data Entry Procedures

2. Some Rules need to be Validated | Utilize Validation Rules

3. Audit Audit Audit! | Regularly Audit Your Data

4. Duplicate Detected Above! | Leverage NetSuite’s Duplicate Detection

We need Rules for Data

Consistency is Key

Inconsistent data entry can lead to a host of issues, from duplicate records to inaccurate reporting. To combat this, it’s essential to establish and enforce standardized data entry procedures across your organization. This includes defining specific formats for key fields such as dates, addresses, and phone numbers. For example, decide on a standard date format (MM/DD/YYYY) and ensure everyone adheres to it.

Best Practices for Standardizing Data Entry Procedures:

  1. Create a Data Entry Handbook: Develop a comprehensive data entry handbook that outlines the standards and formats for all types of data. This handbook should be easily accessible to all employees involved in data entry.
  2. Use Drop-Down Menus and Predefined Lists: Wherever possible, use drop-down menus and predefined lists to limit the options for data entry. This reduces the likelihood of errors and ensures consistency.
  3. Implement Mandatory Fields: Make certain critical fields mandatory to ensure that all necessary information is collected. NetSuite allows you to mark fields as required, preventing users from saving records without completing them.
  4. Use Templates for Common Entries: Develop templates for common types of data entries to ensure consistency. This is particularly useful for entries that follow a predictable format, such as invoices or purchase orders.
  5. Regular Training and Refresher Courses: Conduct regular training sessions and refresher courses for employees to reinforce the importance of standardized data entry and to keep everyone updated on any changes to the procedures.
  6. Monitor and Enforce Compliance: Regularly monitor data entries to ensure compliance with the established standards. Provide feedback and corrective actions when deviations are found.

Use Case: Consider a global sales team entering customer information. Without standardization, one team member might enter a phone number as (123) 456-7890, while another enters it as 123-456-7890. This inconsistency can lead to difficulties in contacting customers and analyzing data. By setting a standardized format, you ensure consistency and improve data reliability.

Try this out:

Set a company-wide format for entering phone numbers (e.g., (123) 456-7890) to avoid discrepancies that could hinder communication and data analysis.

Some Rules need to be Validated

Enforce Data Quality

Validation rules are powerful tools that enforce data integrity at the point of entry. These rules can be configured to restrict users from entering invalid or incomplete data, ensuring that only accurate information is saved in your system. By implementing validation rules, you can prevent common data entry errors and maintain high data quality standards.

Best Practices for Utilizing Validation Rules:

  1. Define Clear Validation Criteria: Establish specific criteria for each field that requires validation. This includes setting rules for formats, ranges, and required values. Clearly defined criteria help users understand what is expected and reduce the likelihood of errors.
  2. Use Regular Expressions for Complex Validations: Regular expressions (regex) can be used to create complex validation rules that check for specific patterns in the data. This is particularly useful for fields like email addresses, phone numbers, and postal codes.
  3. Set Mandatory Fields: Make critical fields mandatory to ensure that essential information is always captured. NetSuite allows you to mark fields as required, preventing records from being saved without completing these fields.
  4. Create Conditional Validations: Implement conditional validation rules that apply only under certain circumstances. This helps maintain flexibility while ensuring data accuracy in specific contexts.
  5. Provide Clear Error Messages: When validation rules are triggered, provide clear and informative error messages that guide users on how to correct their entries. Avoid technical jargon and make the messages user-friendly.
  6. Test Validation Rules Thoroughly: Before implementing validation rules, test them thoroughly to ensure they work as intended and do not cause unintended issues. Involve end-users in the testing process to get feedback and make necessary adjustments.

Try this out:

Create a validation rule that prevents the creation of customer records without a valid email address. This ensures that all customer contacts are reachable and reliable for future communications.

Example Validation Rules in NetSuite:

  • Email Validation:

Field: Customer Email Rule: Must contain “@” and a valid domain Error Message: “Please enter a valid email address in the format [email protected].”

  • Mandatory Field for State:

Field: State (Conditional) Rule: Required if Country is “United States” Error Message: “Please select a state for addresses within the United States.”

Regularly Audit Your Data

Routine Checks

Data audits involve systematically reviewing and cleaning your data to ensure accuracy and relevance. This process should be conducted regularly, focusing on critical data sets like customer information, financial records, and inventory levels. By identifying and correcting errors, you maintain data integrity and trustworthiness.

Best Practices for Conducting Data Audits:

  1. Establish a Regular Audit Schedule: Create a consistent schedule for conducting data audits. Depending on the volume and criticality of your data, this could be monthly, quarterly, or annually. Regular audits help catch errors early and maintain data accuracy over time.
  2. Define Clear Audit Objectives: Set specific goals for your data audits, such as identifying duplicate records, verifying data completeness, or checking for outdated information. Clear objectives help focus the audit process and ensure comprehensive coverage.
  3. Use Automated Tools: Leverage NetSuite’s built-in tools and third-party applications to automate parts of the audit process. Automated tools can quickly scan large data sets, identify discrepancies, and generate audit reports, saving time and reducing human error.
  4. Involve Key Stakeholders: Engage relevant departments and key stakeholders in the audit process. This ensures that the audit covers all critical data and that stakeholders understand and support the need for data accuracy.
  5. Document and Report Findings: Maintain detailed records of audit findings, including identified issues, corrective actions taken, and outcomes. Regularly report these findings to management to highlight data quality trends and areas for improvement.
  6. Implement Corrective Actions: Develop a plan to address the issues identified during the audit. This may include correcting inaccurate data, refining data entry procedures, or providing additional training to staff. Implementing corrective actions promptly helps prevent future errors.

Use Case: A company could schedule quarterly audits of their vendor database to ensure that all contact information is up-to-date and that inactive vendors are archived. This helps maintain a clean and efficient database, facilitating better vendor management and communication.

Try this out:

Monthly audits of your inventory records can help you spot discrepancies between physical stock and recorded quantities, enabling timely adjustments and avoiding stockouts or overstock situations.

Example Data Audit Procedures in NetSuite:

  • Financial Data Audit:

Objective: Verify the accuracy of financial transactions and reconciliations.

Steps:Review the general ledger for any unusual entries.Reconcile bank statements with recorded transactions.Identify and correct discrepancies.Document all findings and corrections.

  • Inventory Data Audit:

Objective: Ensure inventory records match physical stock.

Steps: Conduct a physical count of inventory items. Compare physical counts with NetSuite records. Identify and investigate discrepancies.Update NetSuite records to reflect accurate quantities.

Leverage NetSuite’s Duplicate Detection

Eliminate Redundancies

Duplicate records can lead to confusion, inefficiencies, and inaccurate reporting. NetSuite’s duplicate detection and merging features help you identify and eliminate redundant records. Regularly using these tools ensures that each record is unique and accurate.

Best Practices for Leveraging NetSuite’s Duplicate Detection:

  1. Configure Duplicate Detection Settings: Start by setting up NetSuite’s duplicate detection rules to fit your business needs. This includes defining what constitutes a duplicate record based on specific fields like email addresses, phone numbers, or names.
  2. Run Regular Duplicate Detection Reports: Schedule regular checks for duplicate records using NetSuite’s duplicate detection features. These checks should be part of your routine data maintenance schedule to catch duplicates as they occur.
  3. Review and Merge Duplicates Carefully: When duplicates are detected, review them carefully before merging. Ensure that you are combining the correct records and that no important information is lost during the merge process.
  4. Use NetSuite’s Merge Feature: Utilize NetSuite’s built-in merge feature to combine duplicate records seamlessly. This feature helps preserve related records, such as transactions and communications, ensuring continuity and data integrity.
  5. Train Employees on Duplicate Prevention: Educate your team on best practices for avoiding duplicate entries. This includes checking for existing records before creating new ones and following standardized data entry procedures.
  6. Automate Duplicate Detection Alerts: Set up automated alerts to notify you when potential duplicates are created. This real-time notification allows for immediate review and action, keeping your database clean.

Use Case: A marketing department might run a duplicate detection process before launching an email campaign. This ensures that each customer receives only one email, avoiding redundancy and enhancing the campaign’s effectiveness.

Try this out:

Run a duplicate detection report for customer records and merge any duplicates. This ensures that all customer interactions are recorded under a single, accurate profile, improving customer relationship management.

Example Duplicate Detection Procedures in NetSuite:

  • Vendor Records:

Objective: Maintain a clean and efficient vendor database.

Steps: Set up duplicate detection rules based on vendor names and tax identification numbers.Conduct quarterly duplicate detection checks.Merge duplicates, ensuring all associated purchase orders and invoices are preserved.Notify the procurement team of the updated records.

  • Product Records:

Objective: Ensure each product is listed uniquely in the inventory.

Steps: Establish rules for detecting duplicates based on product SKUs and names.Schedule bi-monthly duplicate detection scans.Carefully review and merge duplicate product entries.Verify that merged records reflect accurate inventory levels and details.


Implement Role-Based Access Controls

Congrats! You got the Role!

  1. Define Roles and Permissions: Assign permissions based on job responsibilities.
  2. Limit Access to Sensitive Data: Only allow specific roles to access sensitive data.
  3. Regularly Review Access Levels: Update permissions as job roles change.
  4. Monitor Access Logs: Track data access to detect unauthorized activity.

Example: Only warehouse managers can enter inventory data.

Utilize Saved Searches and Reports

You’ve Saved the Search!

  1. Create Custom Searches: Highlight incomplete or erroneous records.
  2. Schedule Regular Reports: Automate reports to keep stakeholders informed.
  3. Use Filters and Criteria: Focus searches on specific data sets.
  4. Share Search Results: Collaborate across departments to ensure data accuracy.

Example: Identify and update customer records missing phone numbers.

Maintaining accurate data in NetSuite is critical for your business’s success, from making informed decisions to streamlining operations. By standardizing data entry procedures, utilizing validation rules, regularly auditing your data, leveraging duplicate detection, implementing role-based access controls, and using saved searches and reports, you can ensure your data remains clean, reliable, and actionable.

Remember, clean data isn’t just about avoiding errors—it’s about empowering your team with the information they need to drive growth and efficiency. As we’ve seen, even industry giants rely on accurate data to make strategic decisions. So, take these best practices to heart and transform your data management processes in NetSuite.

Have any other NetSuite secrets up your sleeve? We’d love to hear from you! Share them in the comments below and help our community thrive with collective wisdom.

Need help with anything NetSuite or accounting related? Whether you’re looking to optimize your financial reporting, streamline your operations, or just have some questions, we’re here to help! Reach out to Salora ERP for expert guidance and solutions tailored to your business needs. Let’s make your NetSuite experience seamless and powerful!

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