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Five Highlights of NetSuite Release 2021.1

Posted by Sarah Emery, Senior Consultant on Mar 24, 2021 2:42:21 PM
Sarah Emery, Senior Consultant
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NetSuite releases two system upgrades per year to all accounts, often providing new functionality within existing features in addition to launching brand new capabilities. Prior to being upgraded to the new release, all accounts are given access to a release preview environment that allows users to preview the changes in a sandbox-like setting. Detailed documentation describing all changes that are included as part of the new release are also provided at this time and can be accessed from the New Release portlet and in SuiteAnswers. In this post, I’m going to share the five changes that are being made as part of 2021.1 that I am most excited about.
  1. Expanded Invoice Groups Functionality

The ability to group multiple invoices together for consolidated billing was added in release 2020.2, but it was limited to only those invoices associated with a sales order. In release 2021.1, NetSuite is expanding the invoice groups functionality to also allow invoices not associated with sales orders to be included in groups. This means that organizations who issue invoices for projects or subscriptions as well as those that import stand-alone invoices will now be able to group them together to align with customer billing requirements. This is especially great news for companies who do business with government agencies or large corporations, since they often have very specific requirements for how invoices are issued and grouped that don’t necessarily align with how billing processes are actually performed.

  1. Centralized Purchasing and Billing

Of all the new features coming in 2021.1, this update is the one that I am most excited about. If you operate a multi-subsidiary, multi-location operation that purchases physical goods, you’ve probably had at least one occasion when you wanted to issue a consolidated purchase order that represented the needs of more than one entity. NetSuite hasn’t historically offered native support for this use case, which has led to cumbersome workarounds. In the upcoming release, NetSuite is introducing the ability to centralize purchasing, receiving, and billing processes to better support the needs of OneWorld users. Purchase orders can be entered with distinct subsidiaries and locations at the line level, which will then be used to segment receipts and bills into distinct transactions per subsidiary.

  1. Default Vendor Payment Account

As of release 2021.1, organizations will be able to set the default vendor payment account at three different levels – company, subsidiary, and vendor. If an account is selected at the vendor level, this account will be selected as the default account when any vendor prepayments or bill payments are entered for that vendor. If no account is selected at the vendor level, then the account selected at the subsidiary level will be selected by default when any vendor prepayments or bill payments are entered within that subsidiary. Finally, if no account is selected at either the vendor or subsidiary level, the account selected at the company level will be used by default on all vendor bills and bill payments entered. By introducing three levels of defaults, companies are now able to have much greater control over the accounts that are selected by default on accounts payable transactions.

  1. Print Templates for Vendor Bills and Bill Credits

While this change isn’t on everyone’s top priority list, I’ve had many users ask me about being able to print PDFs of vendor bills and vendor credits over the years. NetSuite hasn’t had any native support for printed PDFs of these two transaction types, but is introducing advanced PDF/HTML capabilities for both in release 2021.1. This means that companies will not only be able to print these transactions, but will also have complete control over their appearance and content.

  1. Electronic Bank Transfer Support for Vendor Prepayments

Release 2021.1 introduces support for processing vendor prepayments from the Instant Bank File (IBF) page and generating Positive Pay files for vendor prepayment checks. I’ve been following the expansion of the vendor prepayment functionality since it was introduced a few releases ago and am thrilled to see this included in the latest update. With this functionality added, the vendor prepayment feature is now robust enough to meet the needs of a much wider audience. If you issue advance payments to vendors but aren’t yet using the vendor prepayment transaction in NetSuite, I highly recommend looking into it. It takes only moments to set up and replaces complicated workarounds with native transactions.

NetSuite release 2021.1 is introducing some very robust new capabilities as well as highly-requested updates to existing features. In addition to those that I’ve mentioned in this article, there are many, many other upgrades being made – including a plethora of tax and localization changes to support the needs of organizations operating outside of the United States. If you haven’t yet reviewed the release notes, you can download them here.

Want to learn more about NetSuite release 2021.1? Contact Concentrus today to discuss the new release and learn more about the changes that will impact your business.


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Tags: Project Management, NetSuite How To's