NetSuite Employee Center License : The Limited Access Gateway to NetSuite

Not all NetSuite users need full access to the system. If a user is only ever going to log in once a week to submit a timesheet, for example, businesses may feel uneasy about allocating a full access license.

The NetSuite Employee Center license meets this need by providing a heavily restricted but more affordable access option.

There are pro’s and con’s to this license type and this needs to be considered when deciding whether a user should be allocated this or a full access license.

Below I will introduce you to the key features of an Employee Center type role so you can make the informed decision of whether this is suitable for your users’ needs going forward.

Two work men. One with only a hammer and another with hundreds of tools strapped to him. The quote 'Equip your users with the right number of tools for their role' relates to the recognition of the pro's and con's of the NetSuite Employee Center license.

What is the NetSuite Employee Center

The NetSuite Employee Center is a limited access role type for NetSuite. It allows you to grant access to NetSuite for users that only need to carry out simple and infrequent tasks such as making an expense claim or raising a purchase request.

Employee Center roles would be the access granted to users that do not have any daily tasks to carry out in NetSuite or need any visibility of financials or reporting.

Every NetSuite system will come with a standard Employee Center role, simply named Employee Center.

This can be customized and renamed if needed. The Employee Center roles are dictated by the Center they use not the name or permissions they have. The Center, as shown below, is Employee Center.

The list of roles in NetSuite showing the center type related to the NetSuite Employee Center License

These roles can be set up with Single Sign On if needed and are also easily accessible through the NetSuite Mobile App.

NetSuite Employee Center Permissions

Permissions for the Employee Center roles are very limited. You can view all available permissions directly on the Permissions tab of the role.

Navigate to Setup > Users/Roles > Manage Roles. From there you will notice, no additional permissions can be added. Only Levels can be changed.

The following processes can be carried out using the standard Employee Center role type.

  • Enter, view and approve time entries.
  • Enter, view and approve expense reports.*
  • Enter, view and approve purchase requests or requisitions.*
  • View and approve Vendor Bills.*
  • Enter and view activities such as tasks and phone calls.
  • Access the calendar
  • Access document and relationship records where permission is granted.

*Ability to approve is dependent on how approval flows have been set up.

There are also additional features available if you are based in the US and/or have purchased the SuitePeople module.

These additional features are as follows.

  • View paycheck history, employee profile, and W-4
  • Request time off and view the available balance.
  • Approve time-off requests for direct reports.
  • Use the Kudos feature to recognize achievements.
  • View the Org Chart and search the Employee Directory.

Some custom records can be viewed in the Employee Center roles. This can sometimes be used as a workaround to provide access to other records and transactions.

For example, if you need your NetSuite Employee Center roles to view item records, you could create a custom record that copies data from the item. You can then grant access to that custom record.

A complete downloadable list of NetSuite permissions can be found here.

Limitations of the NetSuite Employee Center

Where to begin! The NetSuite Employee Center role serves a specific purpose. It is there so that users that only ever need to raise the odd expense or purchase order don’t take up a full access license.

The role is limited to serving this purpose and it can be quite difficult to bend in to any other shape.

The key limitations of the Employee Center are as follows.


The Employee Center cannot be navigated in the same way as other roles.

The most notable difference is that there is no quick access bar or global search.

Showing how the NetSuite Employee Center license roles have no quick access bar or global search bar.

All navigation in the Employee Center role is carried out via the dashboard links.


Permissions in Employee Center roles are heavily restricted. All the available permissions are visible under the permissions tab whether permission is granted or not.

The permissions tab of the employee center type roles in NetSuite

The only transactions that are visible through the NetSuite Employee Center are Purchase Orders, Vendor Bills and Expense Reports.

It is a role mainly designed for expense claims, limited approvals, purchase requests and time management.


The NetSuite Employee Center features a dashboard like all other NetSuite roles. The number and type of portlets available, however, is greatly reduced.

The Personalize bar used for personalizing dashboards used by the NetSuite Employee Center License.

Without purchasing SuitePeople (NetSuite’s Human Resource Management solution), dashboards cannot be published to Employee Center roles.

Users need to configure their own dashboards individually or use custom records with Home Links to force them to appear on dashboards.

Regardless, the Employee Center dashboard is not a flexible feature.

Employee Center License Pricing

NetSuite Employee Center Licenses come in bundles of 5. A pack of 5 costs the same price as a single Full Access User license.

At the time of writing a Full Access User license is priced at $99 before any customer discount. This means a single Employee Center license would cost the equivalent of $20 per month.

Allocation of available licenses is managed by the system. If a user has only an Employee Center role, the license will be taken from your Employee Center pool. If you grant that user access to another role that is not Employee Center, their license will then be taken from your Full Access User availability.

These licenses are affordable but also very limited. There are functions within the business that really don’t need anything more than the Employee Center but I wouldn’t see it as an opportunity to cut costs.

If you are leaning towards implementing NetSuite and need to consider a ball park budget guide, take a look at our overview of NetSuite implementation pricing here.

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