Inventory Count Approval Routing in NetSuite

By - January 12, 2018

Inventory Adjustments are GL posting transactions that can have a significant impact to financials. There is currently no approval ability for Inventory Adjustments, they are handled through role permissions. This is an issue for some clients looking for a way to use approval routing. There is a solution to push inventory adjustments through approval routing using Inventory Counts. Inventory Counts is part of an advanced module in NetSuite, so this solution would only work for accounts with this feature.

Inventory Counts supports improved tracking of inventory and tighter control over assets. Inventory Counts have ‘can be approved’ or ‘rejected’, but do not offer any kind of routing. Through a series of saved searches and workflows, a proper approval routing can be used.

For the most streamlined process, start by creating the saved searches. The example we will be reviewing is a two-tier approval routing based on the value of the adjustment created from an inventory count. The challenge here is that the amount of an inventory item count is not a calculated field in NetSuite. This will be resolved using a saved search formula. The search will use a standard and summary criteria. The standard criteria uses the below information:

This criteria ensures we are getting unapproved inventory counts and their lines. The transaction line type criteria is important to ensure there are no unnecessary lines from header information. The summary criteria is how we will calculate the value of the adjustment. The formula ensures that the positive or negative adjustments for the defined amount are returned. If a single line or the entire count meets the criteria amount, the count will be returned. We will be using the results in the approval workflow discussed in later steps. Below is the summary criteria example for counts under $250:

The above example is of a tier 1 approval for counts under a designated amount. Next is an example of a formula to be used for adjustments between two amounts. The standard criteria would be the same. The summary is shown below:

Now that the saved searches are made, the next step is the workflow. The workflow will be a Transaction: Inventory Count workflow that runs on create.

Below is an example of a three-tier approval for different amount thresholds. The transition will be the saved searches created earlier.

The “Start” state will not have any actions. The transition to each state will be After Record Submit and will use the Save Search criteria.

The final step is creating the Action “Remove Button” at each end state, and use the condition to set the approval routing criteria. There is no approval status field to be able to use other buttons and send the transaction to different states. The removal of the button is the way to use approval routing for a transaction that does not natively have that functionality.

Good luck, and feel free to email any questions to

By: Matthew Balas – Virginia NetSuite Solution Provider


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