Yes, you heard me correctly! There is a NetSuite mobile app. It’s pretty limited, It’s not perfect, but it exists. It’s a free download for both iOS and Android so download it now, log in using your regular credentials, and below I’ll teach you everything there is to know.
Despite it’s limited functionality, the NetSuite mobile app does actually serve a great purpose. Time can be tracked on the go, expenses can be claimed and data can be analyzed. This all saves time, increases productivity, and improves access to key data. The app provides a level of flexibility and convenience that allows users to stay on top of their work even when they are away from the office.
Suppose you are a consultant who works on multiple projects at different client sites. You may need to track your time spent on each project to ensure that you bill your clients accurately. With the NetSuite mobile app, you can track your time on the go, even when you are not in the office. If you are travelling to a client site, you can update your timesheets in transit, even if you are not connected. The app will still log the data and submit it once you have internet access.
A salesperson who frequently travels to meet with clients may incur various expenses such as meals, travel, and accommodation. With the NetSuite mobile app, they can easily take photos of their receipts and submit them for reimbursement on the go. This eliminates the need to keep track of paper receipts and manually enter expense information later, saving time and reducing the risk of errors.
A business owner who wants to monitor the company’s financial performance whilst travelling can use the mobile app to access saved searches summarizing the key metrics.
Let’s take a more detailed look at the application itself and how all these needs can be achieved
Downloading and Accessing the NetSuite Mobile App
The firs thing to do is to download the app from your app store. Log on to the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and search for NetSuite.
You need the app titled NetSuite published by Oracle America Inc as per the screenshot above (from Android). Although the app name shows NetSuite it is affectionately known as NetSuite for Mobile. That is the name you will see on much of NetSuite’s help documentation.
Open the app and you will be taken to a log in screen.
Enter your credentials and click Log In. The first time you log in via the app you will then be asked what account and role you want to use. Select this and you are then logged in.
NetSuite for Mobile Role Restrictions
Most roles will allow you to log in and will show you a mobile friendly version with adjusted permissions. The following roles however cannot be accessed via the app.
- Customer Center
- Partner Center
- Vendor Center
Custom roles will need to be given the permission Mobile Device Access. All standard roles already have this permission.
You can also add the Mobile Device Access permission to a user as a Global Permission although this is not advised. To do this, edit the user and click the Access tab and Global Permissions subtab. Add the Mobile Device Access permission and click Save.
How to Use the NetSuite Mobile App?
NetSuite for Mobile has limited functionality and does not give you full access to the role you are using. The main tasks that can be completed in the app are as follows.
- View searches and dashboard portlets
- Manage your calendar
- Track Time
- Claim Expenses
- Track calls (iOS only)
- Approve Transactions
Rather than the typical navigation bar holding center tabs that we are used to in the browser based NetSuite, the mobile app has a single menu list accessed via the top left of the screen.
You are also able to set up and view multiple dashboards related to the center tab dashboards in the browser view. Click the three dots at the top right of the interface and click Select Dashboards. From there you can select which dashboard you want to view.
Next we will look at how to carry out each of the tasks in the above list using the NetSuite app.
View Searches and Dashboard portlets in the NetSuite Mobile App
Data can be viewed from the app as saved searches but can also be presented on dashboards.
If you have the relevant permissions you can view saved searches via the menu by clicking Saved Searches. You will then be presented with a list of all the searches you have access to in the given role.
Viewing saved searches on mobile is not great especially when there are multiple columns that need to be scrolled through horizontally. If there is a key metric that needs to be monitored on the go, you might be best creating a search specifically for the app using as few a columns as possible.
Data can also be displayed on one of your many dashboards. The dashboards are a simplified version of their associated browser view. The following table shows which portlets are available and how they differ to the browser view.
|Displays the first three reminders from your browser dashboard
|Displays the first three KPIs from your browser dashboard
|Shows the KPI scorecard as configured on your browser dashboard
|Displays the first KPI meter from your browser dashboard
|Displays the first report snapshot portlet from your browser dashboard
|Displays the first three custom search portlets from your browser dashboard
|Displays the first trend graph from your browser dashboard
Many of the portlets, including custom searches and report snapshots, can be drilled in to by clicking on them. If the source cannot be viewed in the app for whatever reason you will be prompted to open a browser session.
Dashboards are a much better way to present headline data in the mobile app than direct saved searches. I would advise optimizing all dashboards in mobile accessible roles to ensure the right portlets can be viewed in the simplified view.
Manage Your Calendar in the NetSuite Mobile App
From the menu, select Calendar and you will be presented with a surprisingly tasteful view of the week. The calendar looks and feels much nicer than the browser equivalent to me and, possibly with the help of SSO, it shouldn’t be hard to get on-the-go sales people to start using it.
To add an item, click on the relevant day and you will be prompted to choose an Event, Task or Phone Call. After making your selection you will need to complete the form then select the tick at the top right to save the record (in iOS this says Save). As an example, the event form is shown below.
The familiar stars indicate mandatory fields and the right hand arrows open up value selections.
When viewing your calendar, items can be seen listed beneath the date they relate to. The are accompanied by an icon to indicate whether they have been Accepted (Events) or Completed (Tasks and Phone Calls). The full list of calendar icons can be found in the NetSuite Help Center here.
Track Time in the NetSuite Mobile App
If you are timesheeting in NetSuite then your users can track time through the mobile app fairly seamlessly.
Eligible roles with the relevant permissions will have a My Time portlet on their primary dashboard. From the My Time portlet you can create new time entries, view and edit past time records and convert timer logs.
To create a new time entry click the Report Time link on the My Time portlet. Populate the relevant fields then click the tick at the top right right of the screen (or click Save in iOS).
What is a Timer Log and How do I Use It?
NetSuite for mobile has a great feature that allows users to time a certain task then convert it in to a time entry at a later date. The timer can be accessed from the My Time portlet or the log in screen of the app.
Press the Play icon to begin the timer and leave it running until the task is complete. A description can be added to the log by clicking Edit Memo.
When the task is complete click Stop & Save to end the timed session and save the log. It can then be converted in to a time record.
To convert timer logs you will need to log in to the app and select To Report on the My Time portlet. Locate and hold the relevant timer log until the Create Time Entry option displays. Create the time entry record as normal then click the tick icon when done (or Save in iOS).
Claim Expenses in the NetSuite Mobile App
One of the most popular uses of the NetSuite app is for claiming expenses whilst travelling. Making expense claims in this way is quicker, easier and significantly more convenient than scanning receipts and logging in to a browser session.
If the role in use has the relevant permissions you should see the My Expenses portlet on your main dashboard. From there you can select Add Expense to create a new Expense item. You can also select the Expenses option from the menu.
Expenses created in this way are stored in the app until they are submitted as part of an expense report.
From the expense form you can photograph your receipt directly and it will be attached, or you can upload a file from your phone. You also need to add the date, amount and expense category. Finally, select the tick at the top right of the screen (or Save on iOS).
Multiple expenses can be saved whilst out and about without having to put together and submit an expense report.
Once you are ready to submit your expenses on the expense report form you can do that via the same My Expenses portlet by clicking Report Expense.
The expense report form has several tabs that can be accessed via the menu link at the top right of the screen. First populate everything on the main screen (the default starting screen) remembering that stars indicate mandatory fields and the right hand arrows open up value selections.
Next, navigate to the expenses tab via the menu. On the expenses tab you will be able to select from previously entered expenses, create new ones or even upload a file. Make your selections then verify the totals via the totals tab (navigate via the menu link).
Once you are happy with your expense report you can save it by clicking the tick at the top right of the screen then clicking Submit.
If you are not finished editing your expense report you can save it and come back to it later. To do this, click the tick at the top right of the screen then select Complete Later.
Track Calls in the NetSuite Mobile App
Phone call logging is a feature that allows you to keep a record of all calls initiated from the NetSuite mobile app. At present the feature is only available for the iOS version of the app.
Phone call logging will need to be enabled in the app. Click the menu link then select Account. Under Phone Call Logging ensure Track Outbound Calls and Prompt to Log Call are both enabled.
Once you have enabled the above features a Recent Calls portlet will appear on your main dashboard.
To log a call select the contact you want to call from the app. After you end the call a popup will display reminding you to log the call. You can select OK to log the call immediately or Not Now to complete the task later. If you choose to complete the logging later you can find the call again on your Recent Calls portlet.
To log your call, tap on the call in the Recent Calls portlet or click OK on the prompt. In the Log New Phone screen you will be able to enter the details of the call including a description and status.
Once complete, click Save, the call will be logged against the customer record and it will be removed from the Recent Calls portlet.
Approve Transactions in the NetSuite Mobile App
If you have transactions in your name to be approved you are able action this via NetSuite for mobile. You should be aware, though, that this feature is designed for standard Approval Routing. If, like me, you tend to generate all your transaction approvals via custom workflows, this feature will not help you.
If you are using Approval Routing, your approvers will see a My Approvals portlet available on their main dashboard of the app. The portlet will display a list of the eligible approval types. Click one of the approval types to view the outstanding approvals for that type.
Select the more icon (the three dots) to the right of each individual entry and select Approve or Reject. To action multiple lines at once you can select the multiple selection icon at the top right of the screen and then tick the lines you want to action. Once the relevant items are marked you can click the standard tick icon at the top right of the screen which will trigger a prompt for you to confirm you choice.
Once an item is approved or rejected it will be removed from the users list of approvals.
Should I be using the NetSuite Mobile App?
I don’t know when the app first launched (I think around 2014 or so) but when I first used it about 6 years ago I do remember being a little underwhelmed by it. Today, however, I am a big supporter. It has become a valuable tool for anyone who needs to stay connected to NetSuite while on the go.
We’ve seen above how easy it is to track time, claim expenses, and analyze data remotely. Salespeople, consultants, or anyone who travels a lot or incurs expenses can save time, increase productivity, and improve accuracy with this feature.
My advice is to give it a try. If you are a business based administrator, set it up and start promoting it to your remote workers. There’s potential to improve engagement and time in the system which are both positive things. The rest will be a bonus.
Let me know how you go.
Is your browser view of NetSuite lagging and causing people to stay out the system? Learn how to analyze NetSuite’s performance data here.
If you need to monitor access to the system check out this article introducing the login audit trail.