NetSuite's first release of 2017 is about to be rolled out to customers, with a wide range of new features and upgraded functionality. In this article David Kennett reviews the 2017.1 release and highlights the most exciting areas for NetSuite customers and prospects.
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True to the commitments expressed in the recent NetSuite conferences and Oracle public statements, the accounting capabilities of NetSuite have been upgraded to introduce further improvements for businesses operating internationally, and NetSuite's GRC (governance, risk and compliance) functionality has been improved.
Automated Intercompany Management allows for multiple receiving subsidiaries when processing intercompany journal entries, and an auto balancing feature will automatically add elimination lines to balance transactions. A new Processed Records page lists the eliminated intercompany transactions for a specific accounting period, with links to all source transactions to help with managing the intercompany process.
Support for Custom GL Lines has been extended to Expense Reports, and Cost Updates are also now supported in Custom GL Lines.
The Advanced Revenue Management module in NetSuite which manages revenue recognition sees further enhancements, with more choices of how to manage the process of revenue recognition with the revenue arrangements and revenue plans.
Support for the Subscription Billing module is introduced with a new set of default revenue recognition rules and new options for creating revenue plans.
You can now also create Custom Revenue Recognition Events which will trigger the creation of revenue recognition plans, adding more flexibility for businesses to use NetSuite's revenue recognition capabilities in ways which suit their way of doing business.
Tweaks have been made to the automatic bank reconciliation process in NetSuite - now, Auto Match prioritises matching rules in the following order:
- Match on Document Number
- Match on Numeric Value of Check Number
- Match on Date and Amount
There are also new filters to allow you to view different transaction types on the Reconciliation pages.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
With this release, NetSuite are introducing a number of enhancements to the CRM module.
Support managers and representatives can now setup automatic, custom alerts related to support cases, to anyone that is assigned to the case.
An example of how this could be used is to warn in advance of any potential SLA infringements.
Support Case Performance Metrics
Support managers and representatives now have access to a comprehensive set of metrics
for analyzing and tracking support performance, especially those relating to SLAs (service level agreements). Metrics for individual cases can be found on a dedicated Metrics sub-tab, accessible from the case record.
A new Timeline portlet is available on the Customer Dashboard. The portlet provides users with a complete view of recent customer activity against any time-based record. Filters can be used to include or exclude different transaction types, and multiple portlets can be placed on the Customer Dashboard so that different views can be used to provide pertinent information to users.
Employee Centre Enhancements
A number of small enhancements have been made to the user experience for employee centre users, which I have briefly summarised below:
- New dashboard portlets for Expense Reports, Purchases, Reminders and Payroll
- Time Rejection Notes can be sent to employees when Time Entries are rejected
- Ability to restrict Expense Categories by Subsidiary
- Time Threshold Enhancements including mandatory time entry on working days and limit checks on approval
- Time Entry Exception Report enhancements
NetSuite are investing a lot of resources in improving NetSuite's order management capabilities across the board. This release sees the first functionality from NetSuite's SuiteBilling project become available to all customers - Subscription Billing.
Subscription billing lets you create, manage, and bill customers for subscriptions. With subscription billing you have the ability to create subscriptions, subscription plans, price plans, and price books. Subscription billing also provides access to billing accounts, charge records, billing operations, and Advanced Revenue Management integration. Multiple new features and records have been created to support subscription billing.
Subscriptions require a billing account. A billing account shows all billing information for a customer or subcustomer. A billing account lets you consolidate or split charges associated with subscriptions, giving you the ability to provide a single, consolidated invoice for multiple subscriptions. A billing account includes billing schedule information, payment terms, bill-to address, and currency. A customer can have more than one billing account.
Subscription management includes creating subscriptions and subscription plans. Subscriptions can be standalone or created from opportunities, estimates, and sales orders.
A subscription plan is a collection of items, along with their associated pricing and subscription-specific attributes, for example, subscription term.
Subscriptions can also be setup to renew automatically, in a number of different ways.
Rating and Price Plans
Rating is the process of creating charges based on subscription activity. As you create or modify a subscription during its lifecycle, rating automatically manages the generation of charges.
Usage is a type of subscription line. Examples of usage include time, cellular data, support calls, and more. Usage lines can have associated price plans that offer a user-defined included quantity. For example, if you sell mobile phones and mobile phone plans, your price plan may offer an included quantity for any minutes included in your customer’s plan.
You can also multiply included quantity. If you sell a mobile family plan that includes 100 minutes for each phone, then you need to multiply usage by the number of phones in the plan.
Subscription Billing Reports
There are a total of five new reports created for subscription billing included in release 2017.1:
■ Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)
■ Total Contract Value (TCV)
■ Billings to Date
■ Churn by Customer
■ Churn by Revenue
In this release, NetSuite have released a new promotions engine that offers a range of new features, in addition to faster processing performance.
Allows for multiple promotions to be applied to a single order or transaction. Any combination of item promotions, order promotions, and shipping promotions can be added to an order.
This feature allows eligible promotions to be automatically applied to transactions.
When multiple promotions can be added automatically to a transaction, including exclusive promotions, you need to apply the correct combination of promotions. SuitePromotions always applies the promotion or promotions that give your customers the best offer available. If you have many promotions running at the same time, Best Offer in combination with the Auto-Apply Promotions feature saves you valuable time and ensures customer satisfaction.
Other enhancements to Order Management
There are a number of other enhancements to Order Management in this NetSuite release, which I have summarised below:
- Enhancements to Automatic Location Assignment Rules
- Store Pickup
- Fulfillment Request Exceptions - Picking/Picking Up
- Automation for Pickup orders
- Business Hours on Location Record
- Buffer Stock for Store Pickup
NetSuite's 2017.1 release includes a number of enhancements to administration and security capabilities. Of particular note are the following:
New options for Two-factor authentication
Users can now leverage authenticator applications that support the OATH TOTP standard, including the Google Authenticator and the Microsoft Authenticator.
SAML Single Sign-on Enhancements
Minor improvements have been made to how NetSuite handles single sign-on by users in a SAML role.
Expanded list of Trusted Certificate Authorities
NetSuite now allows for SSL certificates to be purchased from any Owner and Certificate Issuer Organization displayed in the Mozilla Included CA Certificate List.