Professional Services Firms Sneak Peek: NetSuite 2021 Release 2 Pushes Productivity and Profitability

Adam Mayo, Vertical Product Manager

July 21, 2021

Having survived a year that saw little to no growth, professional service providers have good reason for optimism. Over the next few years, the global professional services market is expected to experience annual growth of 7%,(opens in new tab) boosting industry-wide revenue from $5.4 trillion to $7.1 trillion by 2025, according to The Business Research Company.

Making the most of this opportunity will require firms to stay on top of trends such as delivering services remotely and keeping up with fast-changing client demands.

NetSuite 2021 Release 2 includes new features and enhancements designed to meet these challenges by helping to make people more productive and projects more profitable. From global project delivery and improved project tracking to innovative new people planning tools and more efficient billing, the latest release will help professional services companies take full advantage of an expanding market.

Optimizing the Project Lifecycle

  • Project managers get a more intuitive user interface for managing both tasks and overall projects. The interface improves usability and offers a better visualization of project status throughout its life.

  • Users can now add project managers as an approver type in SuiteApprovals, allowing project managers to review, approve and reject project-based transactions including expense reports, purchase orders and vendor bills. This gives managers more control over project budgets and adds flexibility to the approval process.

Smart Financials and Operational Automation

  • Boost accounts receivable efficiency and shorten payment cycles by adding a payment link to invoices. Send email or mobile invoices to customers with a payment link that takes them to a secure online payment portal offering multiple payment methods and options based on your business’s rules.
  • A new requisitions and procurement feature makes it possible to consolidate purchase requisitions across subsidiaries in addition to purchasing and billing, simplifying the management of multi-subsidiary businesses. Purchased items are always received at the target subsidiary, and cross-subsidiary transactions are automatically cross-charged to balance intercompany accounts.
  • A new automated cash application matches imported bank payments with open invoices, automatically creates GL payments in NetSuite and applies these payments to matched open invoices. This centralizes payment processing, reduces manual tasks, leads to better insight into cash flow and reduces days sales outstanding (DSO).
  • The new expense commitment feature prevents overspending by validating purchase requests, orders and vendor bills against allocated budgets. This allows managers to set up budgets natively in NetSuite and ensures they’re followed.

Continuous Employee Engagement

  • Rules-based formulas are used to calculate employer match amounts for 401(k) plans with the new automated 401(k) calculations feature. Employer matches are automatically updated when employee contributions change.
  • New enhancements include age-matching calculations for employees over 50 and automatic calculations of catch-up amounts if eligible. This ensures compliance with IRS retirement plan contribution limits and prevents employees from over-contributing.

Additional Resources

Any customer who's 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 2.

For a more complete picture of how professional services firms can benefit from the new features, read the release notes(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 hands-on access to see how all the new features will work with your data, workflows and customizations.

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.