For POWERHOME SOLAR, strong demand for renewable energy in the Southeast and Midwest U.S. helped to drive the growth of its business, but also taught it the limits of its entry-level accounting system.
Headquartered in Mooresville, N.C., POWERHOME SOLAR helps its customers achieve energy independence by selling renewable energy at prices below standard utility rates. It has been growing at a rapid clip since it began generating revenue in 2016. The company’s 2021 revenue is on track to hit $670 million — up from just $35 million in 2017. It expects to post about $1 billion in revenue for 2022 and is operating in 15 states with an eye towards new market opportunities.
Moving Off of QuickBooks
Not long after opening its doors, POWERHOME SOLAR began using QuickBooks Enterprise Edition to manage its financials. When the company started growing quickly, QuickBooks couldn’t keep up. For example, payroll processing could only be managed by one person at a time.
It wanted to switch from QuickBooks to an enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform that would integrate with its Salesforce.com customer relationship management (CRM) system and automate as many processes as possible. With its cloud-based delivery approach, flexible integrations with other applications and the ability to scale up as the growing company expanded, leadership decided to go with NetSuite.
“NetSuite isn’t a static software program that can’t be changed once it’s in place,” said James Carroll, Controller. “We can customize it the way we see fit and the way we want it to work for our business. That was the biggest driver behind our decision.”
Supporting Corporate Growth
It took just three months for NetSuite Alliance Partner Bring IT to get POWERHOME SOLAR live on the ERP platform. Connected to the implementation partner through its NetSuite sales representative, POWERHOME leaned on Bring IT to plan and orchestrate the implementation, develop customizations and connect its existing Dell Boomi cloud integration platform to NetSuite.
The benefits have been substantial:
Reduced time to close. With NetSuite as its ERP system, POWERHOME SOLAR has reduced its month-end close time to five days from a previous 28 days and fully automated its order-to-cash process on the receivables side. Transactions are created as Salesforce.com entries and delivered directly into NetSuite, which creates the invoice, generates a sales order and manages the revenue recognition.
Grow without additional accounting headcount. The increased automation has helped POWERHOME SOLAR scale while maintaining the same six-person accounting team it had in 2017. “All we have to do at the end of the month is reconcile what we're showing in NetSuite with our CRM sync ups and make sure everything is posting properly,” Carroll said. “This has been the biggest strength and contribution we’ve received from NetSuite.”
A system that scales up quickly when asked. As POWERHOME SOLAR continues its growth trajectory, NetSuite will scale up right along with it. The company plans to use more of NetSuite’s inventory management reporting functionality and some of the system’s other untapped capabilities. “I'm pleased with the way everything has gone to this day,” said Carroll. “The system is providing everything that I could have asked for.”