Typically focused on long-term, complex projects, professional services firms have faced significant challenges in recent years from greater competition and changing client needs.
As professional services companies seek to reduce operational costs and increase their bottom line, they need to eliminate error-prone manual data entry processes, disconnected project management systems and get control over budget and spend. By providing high levels of visibility into the optimized work lifecycle, NetSuite 2020 Release 2 helps professional services firms properly assess impact to projects and prepare for business model evolution and other changes.
With the new release, professional services companies can more successfully manage and optimize long-term projects, create hybrid work-from-home business models and achieve financial and operational excellence.
Optimizing the Project Lifecycle
You can now calculate revenue budgets based on quantity and rates pulled in from rate cards, items and billing classes to achieve more accurate budgeting. The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) now allows users to save a template to more easily create future WBS budgets for similar projects. This is a real time-saver for companies that manage similar projects for numerous clients.
A host of new project manager notifications allow project managers to take action and resolve issues quickly. The new notifications include missing actual time, time to approve and expenses to approve. The system “speaks” to the project manager about activities, project status and potential issues on a project. Indicators are built into the system and you can make exceptions based on the condition of these indicators. There’s also a recommended action that hints on how to resolve project issues.
A pre-built integration to Oracle Content and Experience (OCE) provides a fully-featured content platform directly accessible from NetSuite for robust document management and collaboration. Users can upload all project-related files directly on the project in NetSuite using the system-generated OCE folders. This allows users to search, collaborate and share project documents, images, video, code and other digital assets via a single, secure project file.
Continuous Employee Engagement
Expense report credit card integration lets users populate NetSuite expense module expense lines directly from American Express corporate credit card accounts, streamlining the process, increasing user adoption and reducing data entry errors.
Automated controls and notifications on expense reports ensure compliance on company policies and contracts. This results in fewer unapproved overages and limits excess expenses.
The new SuitePeople Performance Management module provides HR leaders a central place to easily administer the performance review process that not only enables greater performance management efficiencies, but also helps employees stay engaged with goal creation, monitoring, measuring and recognition for achievements. Employees and managers continuously stay aligned on top priorities to maximize performance. (Available in North America only)
Adopting a self-service model for managers not only reduces the burden on HR staff but also increases the efficiency of processing employee change requests. Managers now have three new templates for common change requests in SuitePeople: promotions, transfers and base pay changes. (Available in North America only.)
Financial and Operational Excellence
Invoice grouping lets you consolidate multiple invoices into a single invoice that’s delivered to the customer, and it also allows payments accepted at the group level to be applied to individual invoices. This reduces manual grouping, ensures accurate invoices and improves cash flows by decreasing days sales outstanding.
You can more easily net intercompany receivables and payables. This new feature enables users to offset mutual intercompany open balances and auto-generate intercompany netting settlements.
Professional services firms’ accounting departments usually spend several days out of the month posting, matching and reconciling intercompany transactions. With cross-charge automation, they can post transactions for cross-subsidiary fulfillments and have them matched and reconciled by default—a feature that reduces the time needed to verify intercompany financial statements.
Intelligent Cash Management
With the Sequential Liability SuiteApp, professional services firms gain a unified AR, AP and Cash in Bank report that supports the monitoring and paying off of vendor liabilities after receiving payment from customers for related project transactions. This helps controllers manage cash and maintain good vendor relationships, while also collaborating in real-time with project managers on AR and AP balances related to client work.
Bank reconciliations are streamlined with the added ability to automatically create and post transactions directly from imported bank data, thus greatly reducing the manual time to process and match your bank data to your books in NetSuite.