Invoices

Stripe Subscriptions, and standalone Stripe invoices, are tightly integrated with NetSuite.


Here's how the NetSuite Stripe Subscription integration works:

  • Stripe Subscriptions are represented as NetSuite invoices with one or more line items. Each period (1 month, 1 year, etc), a new invoice is created in Stripe, which triggers the creation of a invoice in NetSuite to represent the subscription.
  • If the Stripe invoice is paid, a NetSuite CustomerPayment is created and applied against the NetSuite invoice.
  • If there is a refund, a CreditMemo and CustomerRefund is created.
  • If a subscription is changed (different plan or quantity/seats purchased), that plan change is not represented on the current subscription's invoice. Prorations and plan changes are included in the next subscription cycle's invoice. This functionality can be customized (more information on this below).
  • If an invoice remains unpaid (if a customer's card fails and they do not update it, for example) the invoice in NetSuite can either be automatically closed or remain open.

Here's what a Stripe invoice looks like in NetSuite:

Example NetSuite Invoice

Here are some technical details to keep in mind:

  • Subscription invoices are not "finalized" until one hour after they are created. During this period the invoice is not created in NetSuite. Once a invoice is finalized (after that one hour period) it is sent over to NetSuite.
  • Zero dollar line items are not removed from the invoice. They are included just like any other line item.
  • Non-plan line items (i.e. additional InvoiceItems) are supported. There's some extra work to ensure they are mapped to the right item in NetSuite.

Manual Invoice Payments

Invoices that are paid "manually" (cash, check, wire, etc) are also supported. In this case, if an invoice is marked to be paid manually it is brought over to NetSuite as an unpaid invoice with the due date specified in Stripe.

When the invoice is marked as paid in NetSuite the invoice in Stripe is marked as paid and the transaction ID of the NetSuite payment is added to the Stripe invoice metadata.

This enables you to use Stripe subscriptions to manage subscription status in—regardless of the payment method—but manage collections on those invoices from a single source in NetSuite.

Plan changes

If a customer is switching from a higher cost plan to a lower cost plan a customer balance is created. No refund is given to the customer and this balance is applied to any future invoices.

Here's all of the nitty-gritty details on how plan changes are represented in NetSuite.

If don't want customers to carry a credit/balance, or if you want to refund a customer for unused time, check out this example code.

Coupons

Stripe Coupons are supported in the integration. They are represented as NetSuite discount items.

In Stripe, coupons are represented as a separate line item on the invoice, which is how they are pulled into NetSuite.

Coupons do not have period data associated with them. If you are using revenue recognition with your integration, you may want to use non-posting discount items. This causes the discount amount to be subtracted from the total revenue recognized for the item representing the subscription.

If you choose to use posting discount items the revenue account that discounts use can be customized.

Trial Invoices

Stripe trial periods create $0 invoices in Stripe. The integration allows you to pull these trial period invoices into NetSuite, or ignore them.

Customers with lower cost plans usually opt to prevent trial invoices from being pulled into NetSuite.

Invoices for Standalone Charges

Standalone charges are payments in Stripe created without an invoice. If Stripe Subscriptions isn't being used or if you are using a 3rd party system that connects to Stripe (like Tito, Invoiced, Recurly, etc) standalone (i.e. one-time) payments are being created. In this case, Stripe only has information about the cash collected but does not have any details about the line items or revenue components of the Stripe charge.

If it's important to track multiple line items (for instance, if you have revenue and taxes to record for each payment), you'll need to create an invoice in NetSuite to pair with the Stripe payment. You can do this using a CSV import or directly via the API.

However, if revenue reporting requirements are simple, the integration can create an invoice using the information on the charge. Here's how:

  1. For each standalone charge in Stripe, a NetSuite invoice is created. The description of the charge is added to the memo of the invoice. Data from Stripe metadata fields can also be added to the invoice.
  2. A single line item is used on the invoice to represent the entire Stripe charge. The same NetSuite item is used for all payments on the Stripe account. If you have multiple Stripe accounts, you can use a different NetSuite item for each account, which enables you to separate out these revenue streams in NetSuite reports.
  3. A payment is created and applied against the invoice. The payment is automatically reconciled to a bank deposit, fees are recorded, etc.
  4. Refunds and disputes are automatically represented with a credit memo and refund.
  5. Taxes, discounts, multiple lines items, etc are not supported when using this feature. Take a read through the other invoice documentation for more information on how to handle those more complex cases.

Here's an example of where this feature is helpful:

  1. You are using a tool like Tito (event management) or some other Stripe plugin and want to accurately record revenue and cash in NetSuite without any engineering work.
  2. You are just getting started with NetSuite and need to pull revenue and cash entries into NetSuite from Stripe. Your developers don't have time to build a custom integration and you want to avoid importing CSVs.

Standalone Invoice Items

Stripe's Invoice Items can be used to add one-time charges to a customer's subscription. This is helpful for implementing usage based billing, overage charges, bonus pack purchases, etc.

They are also used to add line items for a standalone invoice.

Here's an example of how to add one using the Stripe dashboard:

Invoice items in Stripe

Each invoice item you create in Stripe has a unique ID, even if the line item represents a consistent type of charge that you add to a customer's bill. In most cases, you'll want to map an invoice item you add to a customer to an existing NetSuite item.

The integration provides two main ways to do this:

  1. When you add the line item to the customer you can map it to an existing NetSuite item using metadata. Here's a full list of the mappings available.
  2. A NetSuite item can be matched using the description of the Stripe line item. The Stripe line item description is used to search for a NetSuite item whose "Display Name" matches the Stripe description. If a match is not found a fallback item is used. The match is not case sensitive.

Customer Balance or Credit

A Stripe customer's account balance is fully supported in the integration. Learn more about how this works.

Unpaid and closed, or forgiven invoices

Here's how forgiven and closed invoices work in Stripe:

  • Forgiving a Stripe invoice instructs Stripe to treat the users subscription as if they had paid the invoice. Stripe will stop attempting to collect payment, but the user's subscription will continue to function normally
  • Closing an invoice instructs Stripe to stop attempting to charge the user's card, but the user's subscription status will remain past_due.
  • If your Stripe subscription payment retry strategy cancels a subscription, the invoice is closed.

By default, invoices that are closed and unpaid, or invoices that are forgiven, remain open in NetSuite. This enables you to create processes around handling "bad debt" invoices in a way that works for your business.

There's a feature available that creates a credit memo against any closed or forgiven invoices that are not paid. This closes the invoice in NetSuite and reverses the entries to A/R and income accounts. On the credit memo, you can either use the original item on the invoice, or override the default item with a unique item to represent all "bad debt" that is closed out. Using this "bad debt" item allows you to customize the account that this bad debt posts to.

If you aren't automatically cancelling subscriptions when the last payment attempt fails, you'll need to manually manage closing out open Stripe invoices for a customer when you are sure you won't be attempting collection on those invoices. Here's an example of how to manually close Stripe invoices for a customer.

If you are automatically cancelling subscriptions when you visit this Stripe settings page you should see something similar to:

Invoice items in Stripe

Since Stripe does not record when the invoice was closed or forgiven, the date when the integration is notified that a invoice is closed or forgiven is used as the transaction date. In most cases, this is the same day that the invoice is closed. However, if you are backfilling previous data or if there is a delivery delay, it is possible for the transaction date of the credit memo representing the closed or forgiven invoice to drift from the date it was closed.

When a customer's invoice fails to be paid for the last time, it's possible to enable a credit hold on the customer. This is an optional feature that can be enabled on your account.

Can CashSales be used instead of Invoices?

Each billing period of a Stripe subscription (i.e. a Stripe invoice) can only be represented by a NetSuite invoice.

CashSales represent an order and collected cash. Since Stripe invoices (created at the beginning of each billing cycle) are not always paid (in the case of a failed card payment) representing a Stripe invoice as a CashSale would incorrectly indicate that cash has been collected from the customer.