Sneak Peek for Services Firms: NetSuite 2021 Release 1 Delivers Additional Automation and Insights

Adam Mayo, Vertical Product Manager

February 5, 2021

If there's one thing that all project-based businesses, such as advertising agencies and IT services firms have in common, it's a marketplace that’s quickly evolving for both clients and employees alike.

Both groups are craving new forms of engagement through remote capabilities and will likely want to see more for the foreseeable future.

Efficiency and productivity through added automation and business process insight will be at a premium. The NetSuite 2021 Release 1 continues to deliver these capabilities, providing the agility and resilience services firms need.

Optimizing the Project Lifecycle

  • NetSuite 2021 Release 1 brings the debut of SuiteProjects, a professional services automation solution built natively on NetSuite. SuiteProjects combines capabilities in project management, resource management, project budgeting and project accounting, providing complete visibility into, and control over projects and billable resources. When combined with NetSuite CRM, financials and SuitePeople, SuiteProjects becomes the finishing touch on a comprehensive single platform for running a services business.

  • With project purchase automation and visibility, project managers can initiate purchases from projects, access project views of purchase transactions and route purchase approvals. This fuels collaboration between purchasing and project management, and project managers can use the simplified user experience to easily view the impact of purchases on projects.
  • Employees can easily correct weekly timesheets before they’re approved by clicking on the new "retract" button, preserving precious minutes for employees, approvers and administrators alike.
  • Enhancements to expense report policies make it possible to set limits for each project expense line, as well as filter control of policies based on billable lines. The controls and notifications ensure alignment with company policies and client contracts.
  • The customizable mobile dashboard, which supports all NetSuite dashboard tabs, makes it easy to add, remove and reorder portlets. The redesigned mobile user interface includes expense and time tracking, as well as a KPI scorecard. Services companies can track and manage NetSuite data more easily than ever from a mobile device, with responsiveness in either tablet or landscape mode.

Smart Financials and Operational Automation

  • With centralized purchasing and billing, purchases can be consolidated across multi-subsidiary organizations and generate vendor payments from a single location. This simplifies purchasing, reduces order volume and automates corresponding cross-charges, resulting in better spend management and increased productivity.
  • The configurable transaction numbering feature enables flexibility, with dynamic rules that reset each fiscal year. Each year begins with automated numbering and subsidiaries steadily gain control over document numbering.
  • Expanded support now allows Services companies to use the Bank Feeds SuiteApp to automatically import financial data from banks in Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
  • SuiteApprovals now includes email approval so staff can review, approve or reject transactions with a simple click in an email, bringing flexibility and agility to transaction approvals. Those actions can be reviewed and audited in the accompanying email approval log before any system updates.

Managing Modern Business Models

  • The new delta charges feature in SuiteBilling global invoicing lets users create delta charges when invoiced service periods are changed. With invoices precisely reflecting changes to original invoice amounts and credit memos rendered unnecessary, it reduces changes and simplifies customer invoices.
  • Revenue can be reversed and manual corrections become a thing of the past with SuiteBilling ‘voiding usage’ functionality, which automatically credits voided usage against a previously billed charge.

Continuous Employee Engagement

  • Enhancements to SuitePeople Performance Management* support the pursuit and assessment of goals. New wrinkles include an employee center portlet, individual and team visualizations, goal formats and performance metric descriptions, and the ability to search and review current and historical goals.
  • With customized welcome messages and a new portlet, the enhanced onboarding experience in SuitePeople HR* helps employees better understand their onboarding plan and update their completion status. The ability to visually track tasks and receive alerts for those that require attention creates a simplified, intuitive and engaging onboarding experience.
  • The SuitePeople HR time-off auto-approval function lets HR categorize auto-approvals by employee or type of time off, and it alerts supervisors when direct reports request auto-approvals 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 new features can deliver 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.