Mastering NetSuite Purchase Order Imports: A Comprehensive Guide

It’s a crucial part of running any business, but for larger or fast paced organizations entering Purchase Orders can be time-consuming and error-prone. For many companies the Purchase Order is an externally facing document so reducing the risk of error should be a high priority. There are several measures that can be put in place to avoid errors on the Purchase Order ranging from the use of Purchase Requisitions to adding an approval workflow.

When there are Purchase Orders with multiple lines or a series of Purchase Orders to be input on a regular basis you will want to look at importing that data. Using the CSV Import feature in NetSuite you can collate and prepare your data in the safety of Excel before importing the final, verified version in to your NetSuite environment. In this guide, we’ll take a close look into the ins and outs of NetSuite purchase order imports – how to prepare your CSV and how to run the Purchase Order import smoothly.

Preparing a CSV file for a Purchase Order import in NetSuite

CSV import templates can be as detailed as you need them to be. The only fields you need to import will be the mandatory fields and these will vary from account to account. In the example I will run through I have mapped only the mandatory fields in my own NetSuite environment. These may or may not be the same as your own instance but you will more than likely need to check your Purchase Order form to ensure you have picked everything up. This walkthrough will however give you the guidelines to work from once you have that information.

Your CSV file will be made up of two sections as per the image below.

The two parts to a Purchase Order import in NetSuite
  1. Header Data (Left) – This relates to the header of the Purchase Order record. We will define such fields as Vendor, Subsidiary and Memo. This information will be the same for every line that relates to the same Purchase Order
  2. Line Date (Right) – These are the fields that can be found in the item sublist of the Purchase Order record. Each row of your CSV will be for a different line item.

If you are importing multiple Purchase Orders in to NetSuite on the same file then the External ID column is crucial. This is what will tell the system where one Purchase Order ends and the next one begins. Ensure you have the same value for External ID on every line of the same Purchase Order.

Below I have populated my CSV with the data for three Purchase Orders. The first has three lines and the last two have only one line each. Our article CSV Import Tips and Best Practices will give you more detailed information on how to avoid errors with the preparation of the data in these columns.

An example Purchase Order import file in NetSuite

Importing Purchase Orders via CSV file in NetSuite

So now you have your CSV file saved to your computer you will need to follow these steps –

  • Using a role with the Import CSV File permission navigate to Setup > Import/Export > Import CSV Records.
  • Select Transactions from the Import Type drop down and Purchase Order from the Record Type drop down.
NetSuite CSV Import Assistant for a Purchase Order import
  • Upload your CSV file and click Next
  • On the Import Options page select the Add radio button and click Next.
  • On the Field Mapping page map the CSV column (left hand side of the central table) to the corresponding NetSuite field (right hand side of the central table). Using column headers that match the field names in NetSuite should result in many of these columns auto mapping. Once all columns are mapped click Next.
Field Mapping for the NetSuite Purchase Order Import
  • Enter a name for your Import if you are going to save it for future use, then click Save and Run. If you do not need to save it then hover over the arrow to the right of Save and Run and select Run.

Your import will now begin to load. Navigate to Setup > Import/Export > View CSV Import Status to view it’s progress. You may click the Refresh button at the top left of the page until the status bar shows 100%. Your import will then be complete and you will want to find and check a sample of your Purchase Orders.

When your NetSuite Purchase Order Import Fails

If some or all of your import fails you will be provided a CSV file containing an error description. The file will be linked in the right hand column of the CSV Import Status page. You will need to edit your file in response to this error and try the import again. This article outlines some of the more common errors and some unintuitive resolutions.


Want to save time generating new Sales Orders? Learn how to import Sales Orders via CSV Import too –

Step-by-Step Guide to Importing Sales Orders in NetSuite

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