Resolve duplicate check numbers in NetSuite

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Audience: Accounting Manager

Summary: Reviews how to resolve and prevent a sync error caused by the creation of duplicate check numbers in MineralTree and Netsuite. 

This article reviews the following:

How check numbers work in MineralTree and NetSuite

MineralTree maintains a check sequence number for each payment account in the system. You can find this under Settings > Company Profile > Manage Accounts, which is initially set during the implementation process.  When a check payment is synced to NetSuite, the next number in this sequence is passed back to the accounting system. 

NetSuite maintains its own "Next Check Number" for each bank account, found within the account details (navigate to Lists > Accounting > Accounts).  By default, this number is equal to the highest check # plus 1.  

Why duplicate check numbers occur

When "duplicate number warnings" are enabled in Netsuite (Setup > Accounting > Preferences > Accounting Preferences > Items/Transactions) and MineralTree attempts to sync back a check number that is already used, NetSuite will override the check number from MineralTree with its own "Next Check Number."  This will cause a mismatch between the check number in MineralTree and NetSuite.  Within the same sync cycle, MineralTree will identify the problem, and stop syncing any subsequent payments until the issue is resolved.  We actively monitor our logs for this error, and will reach out via a support ticket if this problem occurs.

See this example for clarification:

  1. The next check number in both MineralTree and NetSuite is 100.
  2. A check is cut in house and recorded in NetSuite. It is assigned # 100.  
  3. The next MineralTree check payment will also be assigned # 100.
  4. This syncs to NetSuite.
  5. NetSuite overrides this number and assigns it #101.
  6. MineralTree will stop syncing payments to prevent further mismatches, but we have a case where the same payment is labeled as check # 100 in MineralTree and #101 in NetSuite. 

How to fix duplicate check number issues

Once this issue occurs, the next steps are to reconcile your check numbers and reenable the sync.

  1. Run a bill payment report in NetSuite. This lists every check # by bank account used (via the reports tab or directly from the bill payments list).  This can be used to identify any discrepancies between the MT and NS check numbers.  
  2. Make the NS check number reflect the number that was printed on the check.  Users can either temporarily disable duplicate number warnings and update the NS check numbers to match those of MineralTree or add a unique identifier to the check number in NS (e.g. 1013-1 vs 1013).  
  3. Clear the path for any payments awaiting sync from MineralTree.  (e.g.  MT check # 200 is awaiting sync but #200 is already used in NS). Do this by either temporarily disabling duplicate number warnings or updating the necessary check numbers in NS.  MT support will provide a list of any such payments.

How to prevent duplicate check numbers

To prevent duplicate check numbers, we strongly recommend that users set their check sequence in NetSuite to be several orders of magnitude above the check sequence in MineralTree, leaving a large gap between the two.  For example, if the highest check number in the system today is 20,000.  Set the NetSuite check sequence to 300,000 and the MT sequence to 21,000.  Subsequent payments made in NetSuite will use the 300,000+ sequence, and MineralTree will fill in underneath using the 21,000+ sequence, thus eliminating any chance of further check number collisions.  

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