Posted by Tony Kontzer, Guest Blogger

One of the most essential — and static — business resources is getting the NetSuite treatment.

During his keynote address at SuiteWorld 2014 Wednesday, NetSuite Founder, Chairman and CTO Evan Goldberg announced that the company is bringing unprecedented flexibility to cloud-based general ledgers with SuiteGL, an offering that brings new custom capabilities to the historically one-size-fits-all GL.

"We're going to take the rigid and static GL and make it flexible for your business," Goldberg told thousands of SuiteWorld attendees packed into the keynote hall at the San Jose Convention Center.

The idea behind SuiteGL is to give finance departments more flexibility in their ERP accounting software as they contend with the expanding array of operational and financial requirements resulting from globalization and the need to comply with regulations like the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, as well as industry- and company-specific policies and requirements.

Three new capabilities make up the core of SuiteGL are: custom GL lines, which will be available later this year; custom transaction types, which are coming in early 2015; and custom GL segments, due in the second half of 2015.

Goldberg said he was especially excited by the custom transaction types, which will enable users to design transaction types specific to their companies or industries, along with corresponding capabilities such as transaction numbering, roles and permissions, custom forms, and financial custom reports, all tied to the specific transaction type.

"We can only imagine the uses of this," Goldberg said. "When you look at reports, you're not going to see a mass of journal entries. You're going to see what those transactions actually are."

Custom GL lines, meanwhile, eliminate the need for manual journal entries by letting users apply a configurable SuiteScript plug-in to add custom GL impact lines to transactions such as invoices or vendor bills. These capabilities should prove especially helpful for companies doing business in nations where the GL impact of a transaction often differs from what's expected in other countries.

Finally, the ability of finance teams to define unlimited custom GL segments will improve GL accuracy and save time by ensuring that GL financial impact follows double-entry accounting principles and balances across all segment combinations. What's more, users will be able to tag the GL impact of transactions, establish relationships between segments, and generate more effective and flexible reporting and analytics.

In addition to the added capabilities, SuiteGL customizations will carry over during NetSuite's twice-a-year updates, enabling companies to avoid the "version lock" they face with on-premise applications.
It all adds up to GL as it's never been before.

"This isn't your father's general ledger," Goldberg said in a statement announcing the new product. "It's a next-generation GL that empowers businesses to be more dynamic, tailor financials to the way they do business and get better business insight."