Sneak Peek for Software Companies: NetSuite 2021 Release 1 Injects Automation and Intelligence Needed to Support Evolving Business Models

Neil McLachlan, Senior Director, Product Management

February 5, 2021

Even before 2020, the software industry had undergone a seismic shift from the perpetual licenses and maintenance fees that characterize on-premises software to the subscription and usage-based nature of cloud-based software. As companies have come to understand the value of remote employees — and the perils — this shift has accelerated.

Today, usage-based billing scenarios are fast becoming the prevalent model for the software industry. This trend has brought accompanying challenges for software companies attempting to automate their close processes and financial reporting.

To help address these challenges, NetSuite 2021 Release 1 delivers new features and capabilities designed to help software companies manage their modern business models and inject more automation and intelligence into their financial processes. There is also new functionality to streamline projects and boost employee engagement.

Read on for more specifics on what software companies can expect from NetSuite 2021 Release 1.

Managing Modern Business Models

  • The new delta charges feature in SuiteBilling global invoicing lets software companies create delta charges for changes to invoiced service periods. This ensures that invoices precisely reflect changes to original invoice amounts, rendering credit memos unnecessary, reducing changes and simplifying customer invoices.

  • SuiteBilling voiding usage functionality automatically credits voided usage against a previously billed charge, reversing the revenue and eliminating the need for manual corrections.

Smart Financials and Operational Automation

  • With the latest global bank feeds feature, software companies can now use the Bank Feeds SuiteApp to automate the importing of financial data from banks in Asia, Australia and New Zealand, increasing efficiency and simplifying tedious reconciliation tasks.
  • Software companies can consolidate purchases across multi-subsidiary organizations and generate vendor payments from a single location with the new centralized purchasing and billing feature, resulting in simplified purchasing. By reducing purchase order volume and automating corresponding cross-charges, purchasing can be far more efficient, resulting in better spend management and increased productivity.
  • Configurable transaction numbering provides flexibility in defining automated numbering of transactions, with dynamic rules that reset each fiscal year. Numbering is automated at the start of each fiscal year, and each subsidiary or location gains control over document numbering.
  • The new expense report policies functionality provides the control and notifications needed to ensure alignment with company policies and client contracts within a project. It can be expanded to set limits for each expense line, and additional filters allow tweaking of policies based on billable line items.
  • Staff can review, approve or reject transactions on the go with SuiteApprovals email approval. These actions can be taken with a simple click in an email, leading to more flexible and quicker transaction approvals, and the accompanying email approval log allows for review and auditing of those actions before any system updates.

Optimizing the Project Lifecycle

  • Software project managers can initiate purchases directly from projects with the project purchases automation and visibility feature, which provides project-centric views of purchase transactions and enables routing of approvals. This leads to better collaboration between purchasing and project management, and the simplified user experience enables project managers to see how purchases are affecting projects.
  • Employees can easily correct weekly timesheets before they’re approved by clicking the new “retract” button, a time-saver for employees, approvers and administrators alike.

Continuous Employee Engagement

  • SuitePeople Performance Management* benefits from an assortment of enhancements designed to support the pursuit and assessment of goals. New features include a portlet for the employee center, visualizations for individuals and teams, goal format and performance metric descriptions, and the ability to search and review current and historical goals. Performance analysis can be managed in SuiteAnalytics Workbooks, and NetSuite lets employees engage with their goals data from anywhere.
  • The enhanced onboarding experience in SuitePeople HR* supports customized and personalized welcome messages and gives new employees access to a new onboarding portlet. This enables them to better understand their onboarding plan and update their completion status. They can visually track their tasks and receive alerts of tasks that require attention, resulting in a simplified, intuitive and engaging onboarding experience.
  • HR can auto-approve time-off requests by employee or type of time-off with SuitePeople HR’s new time-off auto-approval function. Supervisors are alerted when direct reports file for auto-approved requests for absences such as jury duty, parental leave or bereavement.

Learn More About NetSuite 2021 Release 1

Any customer that has gone through previous NetSuite refreshes knows that no blog post can do justice to all of the new functions and capabilities in NetSuite 2021 Release 1.

For a more complete picture of what the new features are in this release, be sure to read the release notes(opens in new tab). And if you’re new to the release process, learn more in SuiteAnswers(opens in new tab).

Most importantly, don’t forget to request access to your Release Preview(opens in new tab) test account. Nothing substitutes for getting to test how all the new features will work with your data, workflows and customizations.

Connect with your NetSuite Account Manager.(opens in new tab)

*Available in North America only.

The preceding is intended to outline our general product direction. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release, timing, and pricing of any features or functionality described for Oracle’s products may change and remains at the sole discretion of Oracle Corporation.

NetSuite has packaged the experience gained from tens of thousands of worldwide deployments over two decades into a set of leading practices that pave a clear path to success and are proven to deliver rapid business value. With NetSuite, you go live in a predictable timeframe — smart, stepped implementations begin with sales and span the entire customer lifecycle, so there's continuity from sales to services to support.