NetSuite Custom Segments will Skyrocket your Financial Reporting

It’s a big day for you – your financial reporting is about to take off to new heights! No matter what your industry or business size, having a comprehensive understanding of your financial data is crucial for making informed decisions and driving growth.

NetSuite custom segments provide a facility to organize, track, and analyze your financial information at the click of a button.

With the NetSuite custom segments feature you can create dynamic classifications, unique to your business, to tag transactions with. You can then easily segment your reporting for those classification values.

This feature is a powerful framework that allows you to tailor your financial reporting to match the unique needs and structure of your organization. You can define custom segments that align with your business’s specific dimensions, such as cost centers, revenue classes, product lines, or any other relevant categories. These segments act as virtual containers, providing a structured way to capture and classify financial data based on your specific business requirements.

But what sets NetSuite custom segments apart is their flexibility and adaptability. You can filter segments by other segments or by standard classifications. You can build hierarchies within the values and even define a custom order for them to appear in lists.

In this guide, I will take you through the world of NetSuite Custom Segments. I’ll explain what they are, how they work, and most importantly, how to harness their potential to enhance your financial reporting.

What is the NetSuite Custom Segments Feature

The NetSuite custom segments feature allows users to create custom classifications similar to the standard departments, locations and classes.

The benefits of NetSuite custom segments

How to Enable and Configure NetSuite Custom Segments

Custom segments is a standard feature in NetSuite and it can be activated via the Enable Features page.

  • Navigate to Setup > Company > Enable Features.
  • Click the SuiteCloud tab.
  • Check the box for Custom Segments
  • Click Save
Enabling the NetSuite custom segments feature.

Once enabled you will find a setup page under Customization > Lists, Records & Fields > Custom Segments > New.

Your next step is to actually create a segment.

Creating a Custom Segment

On the New Custom Segment page you will need to populate the following fields

  • Label – Give a name to your segment.
  • Type – Select a field type. A custom segment is a list of values but do you want that to be a List/Record field or a Multiple Select? Learn about the differences in these field types here.
  • Filtered By – If you want to filter your values by a different classification selection you need to select that classification here. You define the filter for each value in the list of values below.
  • GL Impact – Check this box to make the segment values visible on the GL Impact page of transactions. It is important to get this selection right as it cannot be changed after creation of the segment.

Once you have populated the header fields above, you will need to list your values in the Value column of the Values tab (trust me, I did try to write that in a way that wouldn’t repeat the word value three times. It can’t be done).

To create a hierarchical structure you can select the parent of a particular value in the parent column.

Example of how to use parent and child values in NetSuite custom segments

To filter your list values use the filtering column. Select the associated value from the Filtered By classification list.

Be aware that if you have set a Filtered By classification, you must set a filtering value for every one of your custom segment values. If you don’t set a filtering value then that particular custom segment value cannot be selected.

Applying NetSuite Custom Segments to Records and Transactions

Before you can start benefiting from the reporting enhancements afforded by custom segments you need to apply them to records and transactions.

When creating your NetSuite custom segments, navigate to the Application & Sourcing tab. There you will see a number of subtabs that list groups of record types or transactions.

Application and Sourcing on the NetSuite Custom Segment setup.

From each of the lists, check the boxes that relate to the record or transaction types on which you want you new custom segment to appear.

Notice that there are two transaction lists – Transactions and Transaction Columns. Your selections here will dictate whether you find the custom segment list in your transaction header or as a column in your sublist. The placement of the custom segment field will affect which GL line it is associated with.

Setting Permissions for NetSuite Custom Segments

Permissions to View, Edit or Create segments are set directly on each custom segment record. After enabling the NetSuite custom segments feature you will need to create the relevant segments before granting permissions to them.

When setting up the custom segment, navigate to the Permissions tab. There are two types of default permission that can be set.

  • Record Access Level – This sets the permission level to set a value for the segment.
  • Search/Reporting Access – This sets the permission level to use the segment as a search field or column.

Once you have defined the default permissions you can then grant those defaults to various roles or set individual permissions for each.

There is also a column for Value Management Access level. There is no default for this permission so you must manually set each role. The Value Management Access level refers to the ability to create, set and delete a segments values.

Using NetSuite Custom Segments

Once you have created your values and configured the Application & Sourcing tab you will see the custom segment field available on the desired records and transactions.

Assign values in the same way that you would assign any other marker such as Department, Location and Class. If you checked the GL Impact box upon creation of the segment, you will then see the chosen value listed in a column on the GL Impact page or tab.

The custom segment value showing on the GL Impact.

View any of your standard financial reports and you will notice a Column field in the filters region at the bottom of the page. Open up the drop down and you will notice your custom segment is now also visible here.

The NetSuite custom segment is availbale as a column on your standard financial reports.

Selecting the segment here will allow to split your report in to separate columns for each segment value.

You can also add a custom filter so that you can simply narrow down your report values by a specific custom segment selection.

Using segments as a column on your Income statement is really great for detailed revenue reporting. Set up a segment as a revenue type or product line and have it tagged on all associated transactions. You can then drill down in to your profit streams to understand better which product lines are performing best and in which areas.

You can, of course, also use the new custom segment on searches as you can any other field on the target record. NetSuite custom segments can be found on the criteria and results tab of an eligible saved search provided the user has the relevant permissions.


Learn more about NetSuite’s standard financial reporting capability here.

Another way to improve your financial reporting is to streamline and cleanse your chart of accounts. In this article I will walk you through NetSuite chart of accounts best practices that will help in achieving smarter, more useful financial reports.

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