Learn how to easily book adjustments and get the accounting right for online payment providers

Amazon Pay transactions

Amazon Pay is a popular payment capture service (a.k.a “payment gateway”) that collects funds from customers, deducts fees, and transfers a net balance to businesses that use its service. Booking the fees and transfers seamlessly is a common challenge for businesses using NetSuite. This article will demonstrate good accounting practices for booking the transactions, and also how a custom import tool created by Prolecto Resources can get the transactions in NetSuite automatically. Be sure to see the video posted at the end of the article to get the full sense of what is possible.

Accounting: Use a Clearing Account

Using a Clearing Account for the currency flows is a good practice for booking the transactions that come through payment gateways like Amazon Pay. This account can be looked at as a pseudo-bank account – a GL Account that is set up with an account type of “Bank” in NetSuite, but that is not a true bank account in the traditional sense. Then, create a Payment Method in NetSuite that should be associated with this account. When setting up an integration for Customer Deposits that come through the website using the Amazon Pay gateway, have the Customer Deposits use this new Payment Method, so that the customer payments at “gross” (prior to the fee adjustments) do not land directly in the true bank account GL, rather, they accumulate in the Clearing account. Use the same clearing account to book the fees and adjustments. It may be desirable to use custom transaction types for the fees, so that they are clearly distinguishable from other transactions. A Bank Transfer can be used to move the net amounts from the clearing account into the GL Account that represents the real bank account that Amazon transfers the funds into. The below screenshot illustrates the transaction flows. In this model, we use a custom transaction type.

Custom Importing Tool

The Amazon Pay gateway (similar to many other gateways) provides a CSV download of all the transactions, fees, and transfers with unique keys. Marty Zigman and the team at Prolecto have developed a “Record Import / Export Manager” tool, or RIEM for short, which allows us to create custom mapping and automate more than one transaction type all from the same file. All the user needs to do is upload a file to a designated folder in the NetSuite File Cabinet, and the tool does the rest! Several Map/Reduce scripts run in background to parse the data based on pre-defined mapping and the transactions are entered into NetSuite effortlessly. Please see the video below for an overview of how this appears from a user’s perspective:

Extend the reach of the import tool

You may notice that in this instance, we uploaded the file to the NetSuite File Cabinet. It is worth mentioning that we can also implement a system to avoid that step entirely using other means to bring the files in from various other sources. For example, we often implement the RIEM tool together with our sFTP file transfer tool, allowing an unrelated system or business (e.g. a Bank, Customer, or Vendor) to upload the file in a secured location in the cloud and allowing our sFTP folder to pick it up automatically and bring it into NetSuite. Another option is to use a built-in email plug in which allows NetSuite to consume files sent to a designated email address.

Conclusion

Getting the transaction entry right for credit card payments and processing fees is a common problem. It’s always gratifying to see how we can combine elements from our extensive library of custom solutions to produce real value and time-savings for our clients. If you would like to learn how we might be able to help you solve business problems in NetSuite using a tool like “Record Import Export Manager”, we’d be happy to hear from you!

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