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NetSuite Approval Workflow Workaround for Credit Memos

By Citrin Cooperman Digital Services Practice .

There are situations in implementations where a software’s abilities are limited. Every business operates uniquely, so the out-of-the-box functionality might not entirely meet their requirements. NetSuite allows for the application of approval logic and workflows on document and reports, including expense reports, purchase orders, vendor bills, vendor payments, resource allocations, time bills, invoices, return authorizations, and journal entries to name a few. Unfortunately, NetSuite does not have an approval workflow for everything, including credit memos, but a solution to this obstacle does not always need to involve custom code.

Steps in NetSuite’s order to cash process

Opportunity -> Quote -> Sales Order -> Fulfillment -> Invoice -> Payment

If there is a credit memo involved, this is generally done from the invoice level. Although NetSuite does not have an approval process for credit memos, it does allow a user to create a return authorization. Return authorizations have an approval process and can sit between the invoice and credit. If this feature is enabled in the environment, it can act as a “pending credit,” which would look like the following:

Invoice -> Return Authorization -> Credit Memo

Assuming the organization does not need to process inventory returns, this is a viable solution to fill the gap. Businesses can implement this fix with the following steps:

The return authorization can be renamed to “pending credit” through Setup -> Company -> Rename Records/Transactions


The default status of return authorizations should be set to pending approval through Setup -> Accounting -> Order Management -> Returns


An example of how this operates is:

A company bills a customer for SERVICES (this is the item). Due to a clerical error the customer would like several hours back. From the invoice, click authorize return (this button can be renamed to “create pending credit” if preferred).


Once the “pending credit” is in the edit mode, both the status and new transaction title are visible. The ability to edit the status can be changed through workflow.


Now, a user can save the document, and it will appear in the return authorization approval portlet.


Additionally, it is suggested that the credit memo should only be created after the final credits value is determined.

This completes the steps to achieve a code free solution for the gap in NetSuite’s approval workflow for credit memos.

NetSuite approval workflow support

Citrin Cooperman’s Digital Services Practice is skilled at troubleshooting and building custom workarounds for NetSuite approval workflow situations that users may encounter. To learn more about our NetSuite support and optimization services and how they can help your business achieve its strategic objectives, reach out to your Citrin Cooperman advisor or

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