How to handle commissions in NetSuite (Part 1)

An alternative to the Commissions module 

One would think that sales commission tracking in NetSuite without the ‘Commissions / Incentive Management’ module can be challenging; consequently, many companies resort to managing commissions calculations in Excel. At AlphaBOLD, we try to do everything that we can to keep your reporting and commission tracking in the system while avoiding the need for Excel. 


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This short article is the first in a two-part series. It is intended for NetSuite Administrators and Sales Managers who: 

  1. are looking for an alternative to NetSuite’s ‘Commissions’ module 
  2. are managing complex formulas in Excel sheets to calculate sales commissions 
  3. do not have real-time visibility around their sales performance directly in NetSuite 

In the first part, we will show you how to create commission schedules by using NetSuite’s custom records. The schedules, along with the sales data (actuals), can then be transferred to any BI tool which will manage complex calculations and presentations. 

commission schedules

In our example, we are using a simple schedule with basic fields that will allow you to:  

  1. Set sales amount ranges (From > To) 
  2. Tie the schedule to a sales rep (Employee) 
  3. Apply the ‘rate % ‘to the sales amount that is within the defined range (From > To) 
  4. Define the ‘supervisor’ on the schedule who will also be earning commissions based on their direct report’s performance 
  5. Specify the commission rate % that the supervisor will earn based on their direct report’s performance 

We created our ‘custom record type’ by following this navigation path: 

  • Customization > Lists, Records and Fields > Record Types > New 

Below is what the finished product will look like: 

custom record type

Once we import the schedule data, this is what it will look like for each of our employees: 

import the schedule data

We attached the schedule to the employee record so that the Sales Manager or the Administrator can easily adjust them. 

Sales Manager

Now that this is completed let us create a simple Analytics dataset, ‘schedule’ data that we can use in future calculations.  

  • Click on the [Analytics] tab and create a new dataset using the custom record we just built together. 


learn about analytics

  • Locate the record we created earlier and start exposing the needful fields/columns. 

new dataset

  • Once done exposing all the columns you need, save your dataset for future use. 


Sales Actuals 

Now that we have a ‘Commissions Schedule’ dataset, we need to create a dataset/report for our actual sales. This is a simple task with SuiteAnalytics Workbooks.  

To create a new dataset, just like above: 

  • Click on the [Analytics] tab and create a new dataset using the custom record we just built together. 


learn about analytics

  • This time select a transaction record type. 


  • In this dataset, it is important to: 
  1. Filter the correct transaction type (Invoice) and select the appropriate status for your transaction type (Paid in Full) 
  2. Expose the essential columns: 
  • Document number 
  • Transaction Date 
  • Sales Rep 
  • Transaction Amount 

correct transaction

  • Save the dataset when done. 

Please note, we will tie actuals to our sales rep commission schedules through our Sales Rep / Employee fields. Our next task is to join the datasets that we built together into a single report and perform appropriate commission calculations. Read more about how we can accomplish this in our second part of the ‘How to handle commissions in NetSuite’ article. 

Thanks for your time, and feel free to provide feedback and questions in the comments section below.