Are you interested in the NetSuite Dunning Letters SuiteApp? If you want to implement a smooth and automated dunning process in your NetSuite account, this SuiteApp is likely the best solution for you. But if you aren’t familiar with how it works (and you don’t have time to comb through 20+ NetSuite help articles to learn more about it), it may seem a bit overwhelming.
Let’s change that. In the rest of this blog, we’ll explain what dunning is and how dunning works in NetSuite, from installing the bundle to going live. We’ll focus especially on the dunning method that NetSuite recommends: customer-level dunning.

What is Dunning? (And Why Does It Matter?)

First, let’s get a quick overview of dunning in general. What is dunning, and why does it matter? Dunning is the business term that refers to the communication an accounts receivable team would send to customers who are overdue on their payments. A dunning letter (or dunning email, as the case may be) serves as a reminder for your customers to make their payments. Many companies will implement several levels of dunning, starting with friendly nudges and escalating in intensity the longer payments are overdue.
So why does dunning matter? Obviously, getting paid is a necessity for the survival of your business! In our experience, as companies grow they may find that a staggering amount of potential income becomes tied up in accounts receivable. And unfortunately, some of that potential income is never realized. Any company that wants to get serious about addressing this problem should definitely consider setting up an automated dunning process. This is where the NetSuite Dunning Letters SuiteApp comes in. As I mentioned earlier, the setup can seem overwhelming. But after everything is in place, dunning runs smoothly in the background based on the rules and templates you have put in place. With the right dunning process, you’ll find that more of your customers are making their payments.

Installing the Dunning Letters SuiteApp

Once you decide the Dunning Letters SuiteApp is what your company needs, how do you get it? To begin with, you’ll need to set up your account with the SuiteApp.

Enable Necessary Features

Prior to installing the SuiteApp, make sure the following features have been enabled:
  • Enable Features > SuiteCloud Subtab: Custom Records, Advanced PDF/HTML Templates, Client SuiteScript, Server SuiteScript, SuiteFlow
  • Enable Features > Company Subtab: Multiple Currencies, Multi-Language

Install the SuiteApp

Once the necessary features have been enabled, navigate to Customization > SuiteBundler > Search and Install Bundles. On this page, search for the bundle with this ID: 392827. Note that if you do not have access to this bundle, you will need to ask your NetSuite administrator to purchase it.
NetSuite Search and Install Dunning Letters Bundle

Dunning Letters SuiteApp Overview

You have the SuiteApp installed in your NetSuite account. Now what? What has the SuiteApp added to your NetSuite account, and what do you need to do with it? Let’s learn more about the dunning roles, templates, records, fields, scripts, searches, and workflows that have been added to your account.

Dunning Roles

The Dunning Letters SuiteApp adds two new roles to your account: the Dunning Manager role and the Dunning Director role. Anyone who has the Dunning Manager role will have access to day-to-day dunning operations and information. The Dunning Director role, on the other hand, has complete access to all dunning features, both for day-to-day operations and for setup and configuration.
In addition to the two dunning-specific roles, you can also access dunning features using the Administrator, Accountant, and A/R Clerk roles. And of course, you can set up custom roles with the necessary dunning permissions as well.

Dunning Templates

Three email templates are added to your account with this SuiteApp: Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. The three template levels are merely suggestive; as we’ll see later in the blog, you can have as many dunning levels as you want. But these templates give you a starting point to build out your company’s own dunning emails. These are the emails that will be sent out to your customers who are overdue on their payments.

Dunning Records

In addition to the new roles and templates, several dunning records are also in your account now. If you’re logged in as the Administrator, you’ll be able to view these records by navigating to Setup > Dunning. Here, you’ll see things like dunning templates, dunning level rules, dunning procedures, and dunning pause reasons, to name some of the main dunning records. These are the records you will use to set up dunning, but they will not be used on a day-to-day basis when you are managing dunning.

Dunning Fields and Subtabs

With the SuiteApp comes some changes to a few common records. On both customer records and invoices, you will notice the addition of a Dunning subtab. In that subtab, you’ll be able to assign dunning recipients, set up the dunning procedure you want to be applied to that customer or invoice, and view details like when the last dunning communication was sent out and the current escalation level of the customer or invoice.

Dunning Scripts

We won’t spend a lot of time here listing off scripts, but suffice it to say that several dunning scripts are included in the Dunning Letters SuiteApp bundle. These scripts are already connected to everything the way they need to be, so they will quietly run in the background to manage your dunning operations. The main reason why you might need to locate these scripts would be if you are giving dunning permissions to a custom role. In that case, those roles would need to be given access to specific scripts in order for all the dunning fields and records to operate correctly for them.

Dunning Searches

The SuiteApp also adds several dunning searches. Some of these searches allow you to gather stats on your dunning process, like the Number of Customers with Dunning Procedure search and the Number of Dunning Letters Emailed of the Previous Month search. Others, like the Base Dunning Customer search that the customer dunning workflow uses, are used directly in dunning operations.

Dunning Workflows

The final major addition to your account are the dunning workflows. If you navigate to your list of workflows (Customization > Workflow > Workflows) and do a quick search for “dunning,” you’ll see that a number of dunning workflows have been added. But you won’t need to do anything about most of these. Most companies using dunning will use customer-level dunning, so the only workflow you will need to be concerned with is the Customer Dunning WF Scheduler. This workflow allows you to set up your dunning schedule and will automate the dunning process for you.

Types of Dunning

There are two main types of dunning: invoice-level dunning and customer-level dunning. Let’s take a quick look at these.

Invoice-Level Dunning in NetSuite

With invoice-level dunning, dunning emails are sent out and tracked on an invoice-by-invoice basis. That means that any customers who have multiple open invoices at once will receive separate dunning emails for each of them. Each individual invoice works its way through the escalation levels until it is paid in full.

Customer-Level Dunning in NetSuite

Customer-level dunning, on the other, operates on a customer-by-customer basis. A customer advances through the various levels of dunning that you have set up in your account based on their oldest invoice. Each time the oldest invoice advances to the next dunning level, customers will receive a dunning email that contains a list of all the open invoices in their account, not just the one that triggered the email.
NetSuite recommends customer-level dunning, and in our experience this works best for companies. So for the rest of the blog, we will focus on how to set up and use customer-level dunning rather than invoice-level dunning. However, you can always learn more about invoice-level dunning using the NetSuite documentation.

How to Set Up Dunning

What are the steps to setting up dunning? Let’s walk through them.

Schedule the Dunning Evaluation Workflow

First, you will need to schedule the dunning evaluation workflow. This workflow automates how frequently the system checks for customers who are eligible to move to the next dunning level. Typically, you would set this workflow to run daily during non-working hours. To set this up, navigate to Customization > Workflow > Workflows and select the Customer Dunning WF Scheduler. On this workflow, hover over More and select Make a Copy.
Create the NetSuite Dunning Workflow
Name the copied workflow to distinguish it from the system-generated workflow, and then go into Edit on that workflow. Select the pencil icon to the far right to access the workflow and scheduling options. Then, set the following fields to these values:
  • Release Status: Testing
  • Initiation: Scheduled
  • Repeat: Check
  • Frequency: Daily
  • Execution Time: This can be set to whatever time you prefer, ideally outside of working hours.
  • Daily Schedule: Repeat every (1) days.
Then, save the workflow. When everything is set up for dunning and you have successfully tested it, you’ll need to return to this workflow and change the Release Status field to Released.
Set Up NetSuite Dunning Workflow

Create Dunning Level Rules

Next, you’ll need to create your dunning level rules. Essentially, your dunning levels will set the pace for how frequently your customers receive dunning emails. To create a new dunning level, navigate to Setup > Dunning > Dunning Level Rules > New.
Set Up Dunning Level Rules

On this page, you’ll name the dunning level rule and select how many days overdue that rule represents. Generally, it’s best if the name reflects how many days overdue the rule is. For example, you might name the rule “7 Days Overdue.” Then, you would insert a 7 into the Days Overdue field.

You can also set up levels that act as reminders by using a negative number in the Days Overdue field. For example, if you want your customers to receive a reminder that they have an invoice coming due in a week, you might name the rule “7 Day Reminder” and insert a -7 into the Days Overdue field.

The last thing you will need to do when creating a dunning level rule is to select the currency this rule applies to. Then, save the record. You will create as many of these dunning levels as you need.

Create the Dunning Email Templates

You can access and customize the dunning email templates by navigating to Documents > Files > File Cabinet. In the File Cabinet, go to SuiteBundles > Bundle 329827 > .com.netsuite.dunningletter > Templates > Consolidated. There are three system templates, which cannot be edited.
NetSuite Dunning System Email Templates

You will need to copy the HTML from these templates and paste it into an email template (Documents > Templates > Email Templates > New). Getting the template right is likely to be where you spend the most time with setting up dunning. The HTML from the templates may not be what you need or want, so you will need to do some customization.

If you plan to have unique wording for every dunning level your customers reach, you will need to create a template for each level. If, on the other hand, you plan to use the same wording for all or most of your levels, then you only need to create a template for each variation on wording.

Set Up the Dunning Templates

After you create your email templates, you will need to attach them to the Dunning Template record. To do that, navigate to Setup > Dunning > Dunning Templates > New.
Set Up NetSuite Dunning Templates

On this page, you will name the template. Technically, you do not need to have a dunning template set up for every dunning level, but in my experience doing it that way simplifies things. So if I have seven dunning levels (say, 7 Days Overdue, 14 Days Overdue, 30 Days Overdue, 45 Days Overdue, 60 Days Overdue, 90 Days Overdue, and 120 Days Overdue), then I would make a dunning template that corresponds to each level. Remember that these dunning templates are not your dunning email templates, though you will attach your dunning email templates here. So, if you want to use the same wording for all of your dunning emails, you can still have one dunning email template. You would just need to attach the same email template to all seven of your dunning templates. (It’s confusing, I know.)

We now get to one of the strange quirks of dunning. In addition to attaching an email template, the system may also require you to attach a PDF template. The PDF template would be useful if you ever plan to print out and send physical dunning letters. In that case, you would need to customize the sample PDF templates provided by the Dunning Letters SuiteApp. We will not go into detail about doing that, however, since most companies today use emails instead of physical mail. But even if you have no plans to use physical dunning letters, you may still be required to attach a PDF on the Dunning Template record in order to save the record. When that happens, I recommend just attaching a filler PDF rather than taking the time to customize a PDF you will never use. (You can always go back later and customize dunning PDFs if your processes change.)

Create Your Dunning Procedure

The next step is to create your dunning procedure. Your dunning procedure basically sets your parameters for dunning. It also takes what you’ve created so far—the dunning templates and the dunning level rules—and tells NetSuite how they are connected. To create a new dunning procedure, navigate to Setup > Dunning > Dunning Procedures > New.
Set Up NetSuite Dunning Procedure

On this page, name the procedure something like Primary Dunning Procedure. In the Applies To dropdown, select Customer. For the Sending Schedule, select Automatic. The Minimum Dunning Interval field allows you to set a boundary for how frequently your customers receive dunning emails from you. For example, if the interval is set to 1, then one full day must pass between dunning emails to a single customer. This field is more relevant in invoice-level dunning, however, than customer-level dunning.

Then, in the Selection Criteria field group, select the subsidiaries, departments, or locations that you want this procedure to apply to. Any customers who are connected to the classifications you select here will be eligible to receive this dunning procedure. You will also have the option of using a saved search as the selection criteria, but typically you will only want to select specific subsidiaries.

The checkbox Assign Automatically to New Records allows you to ensure that, once you have set up all your existing customers with this dunning procedure, new customers will automatically be assigned to this procedure. This is just one of the ways that you can fully automate the dunning process and let it run in the background without needing much upkeep.

Then, under the Levels subtab, you’ll attach each dunning level rule to its corresponding dunning template. And for clarity, you’ll want to do this in order, starting with the first (lowest) dunning level. Then, save the record. (And as a side note, don’t worry too much about the dropdown Determine Dunning Level By field; this field is required, so you will need to make a selection. But unless you plan to add a lot of complexity to your dunning procedure, just keep the Minimum Transaction Amount and Total Overdue Balance numbers low and choose either of the two dropdown options.)

Set Up NetSuite Dunning Procedure Levels

Configuring Customer Records for Dunning

The finish line is in sight. You’ve set up all the necessary dunning records, and now you just need to make sure everything is all set to go on your customer records

Assign the Dunning Procedure to Customers

First, you will need to assign the dunning procedure you just created to your customers. You can do that on a customer-by-customer basis using the Assign Dunning button on the customer record, but the quicker way is to use Dunning Bulk Assignment, which you can access under Setup > Dunning > Dunning Bulk Assignment.
NetSuite Dunning Bulk Assignment
On this page, you’ll select Customer in the Applies To field and the dunning procedure you just created in the Dunning Procedure field. You’ll see a list of all the customers that are eligible for this dunning procedure. You can use the Mark All button at the top of the list or the individual Assign checkboxes to make your selections. Then, save the page.

Bulk Update Customer Records for Dunning

Before dunning will work on customers (even after customers have been assigned the dunning procedure), certain checkbox fields on each customer record must be selected. Instead of editing every customer record individually, you can use the Bulk Update Customer Records for Dunning Page. To access this page, navigate to Setup > Dunning > Bulk Update Customer Records.
Bulk Update Customer Records for Dunning
On this page, select the correct subsidiary in the Criteria section. Then, set your preferences for the three fields in the Bulk Update Fields section. The one preference that you must mark as checked is the Allow Letters to Be Emailed checkbox (otherwise, the system doesn’t have permission to email dunning letters to your customers, which sort of defeats the whole purpose). If you don’t plan to send physical dunning letters, set the value of Allow Letters to Be Printed to Unchecked. If you want the dunning emails to go only to the dunning recipients you specify and not to the email address listed on the main line of the customer record, change the value of Do Not Send Letters to Customer Email to Checked.

Setting Dunning Recipients

Speaking of dunning recipients, you will need to set these on the customer record as well. Using the Dunning Recipient subtab on the Dunning tab, you can select any contacts for each customer that you wish to receive the dunning emails. You can also specify at which dunning level each contact begins receiving the emails.
Dunning Tab Customer Record
If no dunning recipient is selected here, then only the customer’s primary email address will receive the dunning emails.

Testing and Release

Once everything is set, all that’s left to do is test that everything works properly and then go live! Of course, testing can introduce its own set of issues. But as long as your customer and contact data is accurate and your dunning records are all populated the way they need to be, testing should be smooth. To test, you will need to go to your customized Customer Dunning WF Scheduler workflow and hit the Execute Now button at the top. Keep in mind, however, that the system will still follow the rules you have in place, so once a test email has been sent for a customer, you may not be able to get another dunning email sent to that customer until their oldest invoice advances to the next level. Keep in mind also that workflows in the Testing status run on a percentage of all the eligible records, rather than running on every record. So don’t be surprised if while you’re testing, you come across customers that you expected to receive a test dunning email but didn’t.
After testing, you will go live with dunning simply by releasing the workflow. To do that, access the workflow and change the Release Status field from Testing to Released. Then, save the workflow. Don’t expect anything to happen right away, though! Remember that you set a specific time for this workflow to run. At your specified time, the workflow will run a check for eligible customers and send the necessary dunning emails.


And that’s what you need to know about the NetSuite Dunning Letters SuiteApp in order to get started. While you can definitely make things more complicated, what we’ve covered here gets you through the basics. If you enjoyed this blog, be sure to subscribe to our mailing list below to receive each week’s latest NetSuite blog post directly in your inbox. And if you’re interested in partnering with us to set up your dunning process in NetSuite, schedule a call with us below!