About ten years ago, I reviewed NetSuite for the first time. At the time, Oracle Small Business Suite, NetCRM, and Advanced Accounting were all integrated into a single suite. NetSuite was gaining capabilities even in those early years that would eventually enable it to compete with the midrange’s lower end. At the point, I gave NetSuite five out of five stars. Since then, NetSuite has expanded rapidly and intelligently. In contrast, although I reviewed the best-of-breed solutions, none of them scored five stars in my most recent reviews.
NetSuite today offers a number of integrated, cloud-based applications, each with its own focus. As part of our assessment, we looked at NetSuite ERP, which has an emphasis on financial management, but offers far more power and flexibility than a piece of entry-level accounting software. In addition to a full general ledger, accounts receivable and payable, inventory management, fixed assets, and a variety of other less comprehensive capabilities, its basic solution (which costs on average $129 per user per month) also includes other less comprehensive features.
In addition to providing CRM capabilities, NetSuite ERP also includes features like sales force automation, marketing automation, and order management. You can manage your online sales with NetSuite Ecommerce, which is easy to integrate with your main banking system.
ERP is Louder than Ever
When discussing the type of financial management that midrange solutions like NetSuite provide (ERP), the term “accounting software” is replaced by “Enterprise Resource Planning systems”. ERP systems like NetSuite are a good example. They automate and combine important back-office tasks in ways that are both deeper and more comprehensive than QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions and Sage 50 Quantum Accounting.
ERP software, such as NetSuite, has the same basic financial management functions as QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions and Sage Quantum 50 Accounting, but it can do much more. As a result, accounting staff are provided with more comprehensive record formats and transaction forms than those offered by Intacct or Microsoft Dynamics GP. This is an important point of differentiation.
Because you know how many widgets you have in stock and can coordinate your shipping, you can provide products in a timely and accurate manner. Paperwork can be organized, time and expenses can be tracked, reports can be generated, and you can keep detailed records of interactions with others. Unlike Microsoft Dynamics GP, payroll is not a built-in feature. You must register with a fully integrated partner.
On the other hand, NetSuite goes far beyond bookkeeping. It can adhere to foreign accounting regulations, for example, and is more than just multi-currency. This solution takes care of the entire life cycle of your fixed assets rather than just keeping track of revenues and costs. It allows for advanced revenue recognition management rather than keeping track of only revenues and costs.
NetSuite manages more than just inventory; it also manages the entire supply chain. Rules-based repetitive operations can be automated whenever possible.
NetSuite is significantly more versatile than Sage 50 Quantum Accounting and QuickBooks Enterprise Solution. The possibilities for its database are endless, and it offers more than just job and project management; it also performs full-fledged project accounting. A NetSuite advantage is its ability to go beyond spreadsheets and allow firms to ask unique, system-wide questions based on any criterion (Intacct provides similar functionality). NetSuite is a powerful financial planning tool because it provides real-time access to almost any data in the system via customized templates and custom reports and allows users to build unlimited what-if scenarios.
User Interface That Is Outstanding
NetSuite and Intacct do a great job of making the working environment less like obsessing over tax returns all day. In NetSuite, the site is divided into sections (Setup, Transactions, Reports, and so on), which are all accessible from a top-left toolbar. You can scroll through the activities and data available for each one by hovering over it (for example, Reports’ Overview/Saved Reports/Purchasing/Time & Billables). There are also three more buttons in this toolbar that show recent records, shortcuts, and return you to home, dashboard, and preferences.
In many screens, a horizontal bar below the toolbar contains a row of additional links. This bar is visible across the site and contains a variety of icons and links to frequently used tasks (create new event/customer/invoice/project, for instance). Other tabs appear under this bar, such as Documents/Search.
Because of the complexity of the site, the screens must include a large number of command links, fields, drop-down lists, radio buttons, and other items. The NetSuite developers have achieved this without making you feel cramped, as some Microsoft Dynamics GP panels do. Forms like those used to create new Opportunities, which require a fair amount of data input, are well designed, with the core information in the top half and tabbed data fields for items, activities, and contacts or partners in the bottom half. Additionally, NetSuite makes better use of screen space than Intacct or Dynamics GP, which improves comprehension and usability.
Making the incomprehensible understandable
NetSuite appeals to non-accountants for more than just the interface and navigation system. The interface is clear, friendly, and familiar, with few jargon-filled terms and phrases. The least understandable of the three is Great Plains Dynamics. Intacct also performs admirably in this regard, with a few exceptions.
Despite its ease of use, intermediate accounting is a highly complex procedure carried out by teams of employees. In addition to extensive online tutorials, a complete setup menu, and a searchable knowledge base, NetSuite provides a wealth of online and physical resources to assist those individuals in becoming successful. NetSuite Solutions Providers can provide additional assistance with setup, implementation, and/or extending the site’s current capabilities.