NetSuite is one of the prime software vendors for finance and account management solutions. NetSuite has been awarded as Worldwide Leader in Cloud Finance and Accounting Applications in 2017 by the IDC, which is regarded as one of the best technology assessment events in the world. The IDC selects the best software solution from among the top software vendors in the world. One feature that makes NetSuite so beneficial for companies is that it provides a variety of tools to prepare various financial reports for analysis and tracking purposes.
Key features and tools that can be used to prepare important financial documents are as follows :
NetSuite provides over 70 pre-packaged reports that can be easily customized by end-users as per their requirements. Most organizations produce certain reports regularly, such as monthly profit and loss reports and quarterly balance sheets. These regular reports can be set up with standard criteria to run automatically and be made available to relevant staff or other board members through printing or email in various formats such as .csv, .xls etc. Some of these reports include:
- Budget: The budget preparation tool helps in preparing estimates of income and expenses for a specified period of time, which can be segmented on an account-to-account basis. With basic NetSuite, the types of accounts for which a budget can be set include income or expense accounts, balance sheet accounts, etc. Budgets can be created or imported in .csv format for multiple components such as specific customers, items, projects, or any combination of these criteria. Budgets can be based upon a previous budget or on a previous year’s financials.
- Pre-packaged reports: The pre-packaged financial reports include all statements required by national and international accounting standards such as balance sheets, income statements, cash flow statements, sales, banking/budgeting, customer/receivables, revenue, vendors/payables, cost accounting and forecast, etc. New reports can be generated by customizations such as the addition of new columns related to specific properties and can be made available to other users with the necessary access control.
- Searches: One other important tool provided by NetSuite to search and report data is the search functionality. The search functionality helps in searching for a single record using keywords or by returning a set of records that match defined filters. The results can be saved for future analysis, exported to other applications, emailed to other users, or searched definitions can be saved for reuse.
The search functionality has one limitation in it i.e the user who is searching information should have the authority to ‘see’ the fields in question.
The following methods can quickly find specific records:
A. Global search and quick find links: You can enter keywords in the search field, located at the top of every NetSuite page, to search your entire account for matching records. The quick find link icon in the header can be used to search individual records to quickly find a record of the same type.
B. Quick Search Portlet: Here you can add a portlet to your dashboard, where you can enter keywords to return records with matching IDs or names.
C. Advanced Search: You can shift to advanced search mode by checking the “Use Advanced Search” box on a search page. On this page, you can filter records by using formulas that contain SQL syntax expressions, and you can sort results and group them into summary calculations.
Your results can be stored or exported in various formats such as .csv, .xls, or .pdf files, and can be sent to others using emails or other platforms.
KPI: Key Performance Indicators reports in NetSuite ERP (KPIs) synthesize raw data into critical business metrics which helps to understand the latest information on key areas of the business – which may be to do with costs, revenues, or cash flows.
NetSuite includes over 70 pre-packaged KPIs (can be customized as per requirement), which provide reports on various stats such as summaries of a business case forecast, pipeline, orders, financial data, etc.
The following types of dashboard portlets are offered to display KPIs:
- KPIs portlet: This portlet displays a simple summary line of each selected KPI, with clickable links that drill down into each KPI’s underlying data source.
- KPI meter portlet: This portlet displays a visual representation of KPI data, which highlights comparison, date range, and threshold values at a glance.
- Trend Graph portlet: This portlet displays a line graph of KPI data values over selected time intervals. Popup trend graphs are also available within the clickable icons in the KPI portlet and the KPI Scorecard portlet.
KPIs are role-based and feature-based, meaning the KPIs that you wish to display or check depend on the level of authority you have access to and the features that are enabled within your NetSuite account.
Tools within NetSuite OneWorld account: For customers who have an international presence and have multiple subsidiaries globally, there are some differences in financial reporting and analysis. One of these differences is the subtle variations in standard reporting. There is one feature that is only available with NetSuite OneWorld, which is the multi-book accounting feature. The Multi-Book Accounting tool provides a feature that maintains multiple sets of the accounting records of a company’s different branches, which are present in different countries based on a single set of real-time financial transactions. This enables businesses to prepare financial statements that support different managerial and regulatory compliance needs across multi-national organizations globally.
Tools for extracting data for detailed analysis: There are options for extracting data to import into Excel or other spreadsheets or any other applications for further analysis. Results of searches can be extracted via CSV to spreadsheets for further analysis.
SuiteAnalytics Connect: This additional module is used by many SuiteApp developers including Adaptive Insights.
The SuiteAnalytics Connect feature gives technical users the power to access the organization’s NetSuite data by leveraging the familiarity and flexibility of SQL. This feature allows the cocktailing of NetSuite data with external data and the analysis of data using data warehousing and BI tools. To support a broader set of tools for NetSuite data access, NetSuite provides 3 different drivers which are JDBC driver ADO.NET driver, and ODBC drivers, which enable access to NetSuite using any mainstream database connectivity standard.
Statistical accounting: The Statistical Accounts tool, part of the Advanced Financial module, enables the tracking of non-monetary data which can then be used on reports and income statements. This tool helps in analyzing the relationship of non-monetary data with the financial activities occurring across the board.
This tool is useful for maintaining accounting activities, period close activities, journal entries, cost and revenue allocation, and financial reporting using ratios such as EPS (Earnings per Share).
Users can assign any statistical account to an allocation schedule if the dynamic allocation feature is enabled. Also, users can use an absolute value in their dynamic allocation schedules.
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