Software Companies: Capitalize on Evolving Business Models with NetSuite 2020 Release 1 Enhancements

Carrie Augustine, CPA, NetSuite Software Industry Principal

January 28, 2020

The demands of the Office of the CFO are exponentially increasing. Since the turn of the century, it hasn’t been enough to close the book and produce financials. The Office of the CFO is expected to partner with the leaders in the organization – e.g. Sales, Marketing, Product - to enable them to make timelier and well-informed business decisions. The needs of Sales can be quite distinct when compared the needs of an IT department; thus, company-wide partnership can require extensive effort and attention.

Automation is imperative in order to provide the expected level of service / partnership from Accounting. High performing teams are constantly assessing activities that should be automated or eliminated, in order to spend time on more value-added activities.

In this release, we are enabling Accounting teams to be more efficient through automation. With a long list of new and enhanced features, NetSuite provides software companies with expanded capabilities for supporting subscription revenue recognition, monitoring project health and streamlining processes, such as bank reconciliations:

  • On the global financial front, the combination of seamless banking integration via the Bank Feeds SuiteApp and a new banking plug-in featuring open banking APIs enables automated import of banking data into NetSuite from financial institutions around the world and delivers increased financial insight.

  • An intelligent rules engine powers automated bank data reconciliation, resulting in improved matching and reduced clutter; automated balancing journals make it possible to generate reports balanced by segments; and custom transactions extend the NetSuite transactional model, enabling easy builds of purchase and sale transactions.

  • Enhancements to NetSuite bring greater visibility into contract revenue, improving insight into revenue allocation and increasing understanding of whether offerings have been fully billed or not.
  • Firms with global billing operations and multi-subsidiary customers will enjoy streamlined billing with a single customer record and a clearer view of customer relationships.
  • Better revenue trace-through and an enhanced audit trail means improved visibility into how changes to subscriptions impact revenue streams, as well as more precise revenue recognition.

  • Changes to subscriptions can now be managed in bulk, saving time and improving invoice accuracy. Usage activities that shouldn't be invoiced can now be removed easily, and the ability to update subscriptions results in more accurate and complete invoices.
  • An improved set of tools and smarter analytics simplifies management of project budgets. Organizations can now easily see how costs are impacted when adding and editing activities. Automated cost calculations help to increase accuracy, and miscoded time or expenses can now be quickly identified. What's more, NetSuite now offers system suggestions for updating time estimates when unexpected costs arise.
  • New time modification enhancements provide better control of billable time. Time entries can now be easily modified, and an audit trail makes it possible to correct entries entered against the wrong project. Plus, NetSuite Analytics now supports time modification requests and entries, improving visibility into changes.
  • Enhancements bring automation and flexibility to measuring the health of projects. Automated calculation of key financial data raises the accuracy of project, budget and work breakdown structure records. In NetSuite project profitability reports, tracked and actual time are better categorized as either actual or committed costs, and forecast and actual charges are now easily included.

Learn More About NetSuite 2020 Release 1

These are just the highlights; there's much more for software companies in NetSuite 2020 Release 1 than can be covered in a single blog post. For more specifics on the complete list of new features, be sure to read the Release Notes(opens in new tab).

New to the release process? Learn more about it here(opens in new tab).

Finally, be sure to request access to your Release Preview(opens in new tab) account. There, you can test to see how the new features will work with your own data and get a jumpstart on maximizing the impact of NetSuite 2020 Release 1.

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.