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Using Classes and Departments for Reporting.

Using Classes and Departments for Reporting.

Classes and Departments are two very powerful inbuilt ways to report on business activity with-in NetSuite. Over the years I have seen some very poor implementations of these, so thought it would be beneficial to go over soem of the set-up steps, and how it all hangs together.  In the example below I’ll go through the set-up stages using classes as an example.

First of all what functions do classes and departments serve in Netsuite? From a Financial viewpoint, they are used to allocate costs and revenue to theme, whilst not exploding the chart of accounts to have a large number of accounts. A typical set of accounts from MYOB or Quick Books would have something like the following:

  • 4000 Sales
    • 4010 – Corporate Sales
      • 4011 – New Business
      • 4012 – Repeat Business
    • 4020 – Retail Sales
      • 4021 – New Business
      • 4022 – Repeat Business

And then there would be the related Costs of Sales Accounts to get the Gross Profit amount per group. In NetSuite’s case these can be represented by Classes.

When you set-up an Item in Netsuite, it can only have one Income or CoGS account. To allow the same product to have it’s cost or revenue in a different GL account is not possible in Netsuite. However, using Classes (or Departments) allows for this.

When the Sales transaction is entered, the correct Class for that transaction is entered onto the transaction, or you could have it automatically populating based on some rules via SuiteScript. If you run the standard Income Statement, it does not display by default. Netsuite has added the column Drop Down box at the bottom of the report, however, a lot of customers still want to present the report to their accountants in the format above.

Income Statement with Class Column


Making this customisation is straight forward, and can also used, for other groupings, such as Parent Items (for Product Categories). Clicking on the Customise button in the report builder, and then the Edit Columns, and then expanding the Budget and Financial Tab, allows us to choose the Class Name (Grouped)  to provide the Class field, and then moving it to the left and Group with Previous Column ticked, gives us the result required:

Income Statement Customisation

Modified P&L

This is a really useful way to customise the Income Statement, because using the same process, you can product reports that segment up the data by Parent Item or by a particular category on the customers as well.