NetSuite Multi-book Accounting – The Multiple Reasons it May be Useful to Your Business

How many finance people have spent countless hours using excel spreadsheets to adjust NetSuite Reporting to conform to a secondary Accounting Standard including Tax Adjustments, IFRS reporting, ASC 606 Retrospective Reporting, or Industry specific reporting? If any of these situations sound familiar to you, you would most likely benefit by utilizing NetSuite’s Multi-book module.

Multi-book is an add on module, available only to NetSuite environments where One-World has been implemented, which allows a company to maintain multiple groups of financial records which are created off one set of financial transactions. This allows a finance department to readily run financial statements based on their different industry, country, state, or currency requirements out of the same environment with just a simple selection of a different accounting book.

How it Works

Once Multi-book has been provisioned, it is enabled in NetSuite as a feature via the Enable Features menu under the Accounting tab. Once enabled, a company’s original subsidiary structure and setup becomes their primary book. In addition to the primary book, up to four active secondary books (five books all together) can be maintained.

Multi-book allows a mainstream user to transact with an effect on both books at one time (book generic transactions) or a user with appropriate rights to create a transaction that is specific to a single book (book specific transactions). Book generic transactions will post with the same results to the Primary and Secondary books while accounting for any currency exchange rates when the same Subsidiary in the secondary book is held in a different currency.

In addition to setting up Book-specific transactions, a company using Multi-book can set up Book specific items, charts of accounts, and processes such as revenue recognition, expense amortization, monthly closing, and intercompany eliminating journal entries.

Users with the appropriate rights are able to view the GL effect on each book for entries that are made to both books at once (book generic entries). Differences between books can include currency, account, revenue recognition rule, and/or depreciation rule.


Ultimately, you may ask yourself, what are the real benefits to those companies that implement Multi-book? The major benefits can include:

  1. Allows a company to produce financial statements to accommodate different legal or statutory requirements. For example, the Primary Book may allow for US GAAP financial statements and the entries made in the Secondary Book will allow for reporting to meet IFRS requirements or for use with Tax requirements.
  2. Allows a company to report in different currencies across the different books. For example, for in house purposes you may want to report in all US dollars. However, for reporting externally or to meet International Tax requirements, you may need reporting for some of your Subsidiaries in a base foreign currency. You can have Subsidiaries in your Primary Book specified with a base currency of USD, while your Secondary Book may have some of those same companies specified with base currencies of CAD, EUR, GBP, etc.
  3. Allows a company to implement differing revenue recognition rules and expense amortization rules for the different books. This will assist with the requirement for ASC 606 and retrospective reporting. Reports can be run to show the results from each Accounting Book side by side.
  4. Allows for consolidation in both the Primary Book and any Secondary Book as well as allowing for different eliminating entries between the Books where necessary. This will mean that manual adjustments will not need to be made outside of the system in order to get accurate financials for different books. All financials can be run right out of NetSuite.
  5. Allows for visibility, for the appropriate users, to differences in Book postings at the detailed transaction level while still allowing for security to prevent unauthorized users from making entries to a secondary book and/or from seeing the results of postings to a secondary book.

Multi-book to Meet Your Needs

This is a high-level discussion of some of the needs Multi-book can meet for your company. Should you feel that Multi-book may be beneficial to your company in any of the ways discussed or possibly a scenario that wasn’t discussed above, please contact us at any time! You can also learn about more great tips for NetSuite on our YouTube playlist or our other blog posts.

This publication contains general information only and Sikich is not, by means of this publication, rendering accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or any other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should you use it as a basis for any decision, action or omission that may affect you or your business. Before making any decision, taking any action or omitting an action that may affect you or your business, you should consult a qualified professional advisor. In addition, this publication may contain certain content generated by an artificial intelligence (AI) language model. You acknowledge that Sikich shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by you or any person who relies on this publication.

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