Five key steps to improving efficiency in finance and accounting with NetSuite
If you are a NetSuite customer you will already benefit from automated processes that save time, boosting productivity to support growth. But if your team is still managing processes outside of NetSuite, there will be improvements that can be made to make your team efforts more efficient.
In this article, we uncover five key steps to show how you can utilise NetSuite systems to help analyse performance, manage international trade, simplify revenue recognition and improve budgeting to support business strategy and growth without adding headcount.
1. How to eliminate manual asset and lease tracking
Historically, most finance departments use spreadsheets to track fixed assets, lease agreements and prepaid expenses, making amortization and depreciation schedules relatively easy. This, however, is a needless extra step, as the data will require a manual upload to NetSuite, which takes time and risks error.
Using Fixed Assets Management within NetSuite enables you to manage the entire asset lifecycle, from acquisition to retirement without spreadsheets and time-consuming, error-prone manual processes. This automates fixed asset depreciation and lease accounting, in a system where you can develop a comprehensive list of existing assets, including data like acquisition cost, in-service date, estimated useful life and more. It can also track lease agreement details like contract value, duration and interest rates.
The above provides a clear way to manage assets and lease tracking on a company-wide scale, but if your priority is automating amortization schedules, you’d be best to use NetSuite Advanced Financials (NAF). With NAF you can save even more time by simplifying the processes behind prepaid expenses, defining a delayed offset for expense recognition, whilst also linking schedules to amortize expenses in proportion to a job’s percentage of completion.
2. Improve planning and budgeting
During budgeting season many people rely on the tried-and-tested method of static (often locally saved) spreadsheets for planning. But whilst these are great for personal use, they don’t offer a secure collaborative platform and ultimately risk error when data is manually uploaded into NetSuite.
NetSuite Planning and Budgeting provides a secure platform to build secure shared plans and budgets in real-time. This scale-able system works on a company-wide and department level, with modeling capabilities, approval workflows and reporting in one safe place. It can also link long-term and near-term financial plans to sales and operationally-driven targets.
3. Automate recurring billing
With the rapid rise of subscription services, comes a complexity in terms of automated billing. Complex pricing structures, frequent billing cycles and promotional discounts, for example, add unique challenges that are very difficult to manage using the traditional tried-and-true manual billing processes with recurring revenue services.
This is where NetSuite Billing can help – it can be used to streamline the most complex of recurring billing operations, providing real-time visibility across areas like monthly recurring revenue, total contract value and customer churn, helping you project and manage business growth targets.
It’s a malleable option for managing subscription set-up and maintenance, with flexible rating models to capture set-up fees, license accounts and variable consumption all in one step, helping you to significantly increase billing process efficiency.
4. Standardize and simplify revenue recognition
Revenue recognition schedules are a headache for most CFOS, slowed down by time consuming manual-based tasks, frequently reliant on spreadsheets. NetSuite’s Revenue Management system completely overhauls this process, dealing with service agreements, multi-item contracts and tiered or bundled pricing controlled by specific recognition rules for each product and or service linking them to specific line items in NetSuite.
This means revenue is recognised automatically, improving compliance by ensuring revenue recognition principles outlined in ASC 606/IFRS 15 are applied consistently. Undoubtedly, this frees us the accounting teams’ time, because management is integrated within NetSuite Financials ensuing the monthly close process run more smoothly.
5. Simplify international accounting
If you have international subsidiaries, compliance will no doubt be one of your biggest challenges, and managing the accounting standards of each country means there is often a need to record a single transaction in multiple ways. Not only is this incredibly time consuming, it also leaves your business open to making errors or failing to comply with new legislation.
NetSuite OneWorld Multi-book, can alleviate these problems by allowing you to create multiple sets of books with different rules to meet each country’s accounting standards. In this system currency translation is automatic, with transactions entered at subsidiary level, posted simultaneously to headquarters (using the appropriate currency and current exchange rate). This not only saves a huge amount of time, most importantly, it keeps you compliant whilst eliminating reporting errors.
OneWorld also simplifies the consolidation process, with results from each subsidiary available in real time, with currency gains or losses recorded automatically to ensure accuracy of monthly income statements, once again supporting the monthly close process.
NetSuite is a bespoke platform that will flex and adapt to suit your business needs. By design it supports business growth, providing data and insight to help shape decision making to increase your bottom line.
If you are moving into a new territory or need support with specific processes, it’s worth checking how NetSuite can help.