In our previous blog, we explored NetSuite’s Accounts Receivable process. Now, it’s time to jump into Accounts Payable in NetSuite. What are the key features of Accounts Payable (A/P) in NetSuite? We’ll walk through the main transactions and records involved in NetSuite’s A/P, paying special attention to the connections between these transactions. Having a grasp on NetSuite’s A/P process will help you feel comfortable with navigating the various aspects of A/P, ultimately driving your financial efficiency. So let’s get started!

Setting Up Accounts Payable in NetSuite

Before we look at the transactions of A/P, let’s first get an idea of setting this up in your NetSuite account. Assuming you’re in the middle of a NetSuite implementation, you will need to go about this process from the beginning. In order to use Accounts Payable in NetSuite, you’ll need to enable the A/P feature, which you can find under the Basic Features section of the Accounting tab in Enable Features. While you’re on this page, you’ll need to make sure the Accounting feature has also been turned on in order for all the financial accounts connected with A/P to be set up.

Next, you’ll need to get your Vendor records set up. Vendor records are key because they contain all the essential information you need to track regarding your vendors—including things like their contact information, financial information, and any open transactions you have with them. You can set up vendor records manually by navigating to Lists > Relationships > Vendors > New. This could be, understandably, a tedious process. Alternatively, you can do a CSV import to import lists of vendors from a legacy system into NetSuite.

Accounts Payable Transactions in NetSuite

Once your account is set up with the Accounting and A/P features and once you have your vendor records in order, you’re ready to start the A/P transaction process.

Purchase Orders: Anchoring the Process

We’ll start with Purchase Orders. Purchase Orders (POs) initiate NetSuite’s A/P workflow. These documents detail procurement requirements, quantifying the need for goods or services. Essentially, the PO is where you outline exactly what you need and which vendor you will be purchasing from. This foundational step sets the framework for the A/P cycle.

Vendor Bills: Formalizing the Liability

After you send your vendor the PO and they deliver the goods (which is where an Item Receipt record would come into play), your vendor will then provide you with their bill. Vendor Bills formalize your financial liability in NetSuite’s A/P cycle. A Vendor Bill (or just Bill) will outline the accrued charges for rendered goods or services. Because of the connection between the A/P transactions in NetSuite, you would be able to generate a Bill directly from the PO simply by selecting the Bill button.

Bill Payments: Fulfilling Commitments

Next, once you’ve actually paid your vendor you’ll need to record that payment in NetSuite. This brings us into the settlement phase of the A/P process. To enter a payment, you would navigate to the Bill Payments page (Transactions > Payables > Pay Bills). Through this interface, you can record payments and associate them with their respective vendor bills. Bill payments are also connected to previous A/P transactions. What this means, then, is that you could also record a vendor payment by selecting the Make Payment button on a Bill.


And that’s Accounts Payable in NetSuite. From purchase orders and vendor bills to bill payments, NetSuite helps you through the entire A/P workflow.

We hope this guide has provided you with a helpful overview of how A/P works in NetSuite! To stay updated on more NetSuite content, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter. This is the best way to keep up with all our weekly NetSuite posts and prioritize your pursuit of mastering NetSuite. See you there!