NetSuite module spotlight: revenue recognition

To help you get more out of your NetSuite investment, from time to time we will be sharing some of our clients most in-demand modules. This time around it’s the ever-popular revenue recognition. 

What is NetSuite revenue recognition management solution? 

It’s designed to help you comply with accounting standards and report financial results in a timely manner by helping you schedule, calculate and present revenue on your financial statements accurately.   

Who is this best suited for? 

If you conduct sales transactions that consist of products or services, or both. It also works whether these transactions occur at a single point in time or across different milestones. 

What does it include? 

  • Recurring revenue management 
  • Flexible revenue recognition scheduling 
  • Percentage-of-completion accounting 
  • Revenue arrangements with multiple deliverables 
  • Software and service contracts 

Want to learn more? 

Download the revenue recognition data sheet below. Or call your Account Manager to see if it is a good fit for your organisation. 

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Behind the apps: Meet the people behind Annexa’s SCA themes

As Australia’s first NetSuite Commerce Partner, Annexa develops highly functional and integrated SuiteCommerce Advanced (SCA) websites that drive more sales for Annexa’s B2B and B2C clients. 

Heading up the commerce team is Harley Crispin, a long time Annexa team member and passionate commerce specialist.  

Here is a peek behind the scenes at some of the innovations coming out of the Annexa commerce team, in particular the SCA themes that not only look beautiful but are developed based on modern sales principles. 

Before we dive in, let’s start with a little background on NetSuite’s commerce capabilities. 

What is SuiteCommerce Advanced? 

SCA is a selling platform that allows  businesses to create beautiful, functional online stores. Like many of NetSuite’s products,  it unifies ecommerce with core operational business systems – inventory and order management, customer support and financials – so you get that much-needed single view of customer, orders, inventory and other critical business data.  

What is a SuiteCommerce Advanced theme? 

SCA website themes let you change the lookfeel and functionality of your websitesOne of the greatest strengths of SuiteCommerce Advanced is the code leveflexibility. Developers are able to make site-wide changes to their site with SuiteScriptJavaScript and moreThat said, not every organisation is able to devote time, energy or resources to creating a site from scratch. And so, SCA themes are a great alternative.  

When did SuiteCommerce Advanced themes become available? 

Developing website themes isn’t new – there is an entire industry devoted to creating WordPress themes, for example, and within the SCA platform they have been available for some time – but because SCA’s architecture only recently updated to allow a more flexible core functionality that better supported theme makers, it has opened up far more possibilities for the SCA platform.  

This is where Harley and his team come in. 

Having access to commerce-ready themes had been on the minds of Annexa’s commerce team for a while, so when NetSuite announced the ability to create SCA themes they jumped at the chance to develop a set of theme options for Annexa clients.  

Three themes and counting 

Annexa’s commerce team have developed three SCA themes, each with a different emphasis in their design – bold and feature-packed Eiger, Image focussed Olympus and the clean minimalist look of Atlantic – with more themes planned for release in the future.  

The value for clients 

Since Annexa began offering themes, the value for clients has become very clear. For a start, SCA themes were not only going to allow clients to start with a strong base for their website look and feel, using professional SCA themes also brings significant cost and time savings to a client’s projects. For clients using the themes they have experienced reductions in the cost for commerce integrations plus customers are able to get quickly realise the value of their commerce investment. 

“We have a lot of wholesale clients, who for them having a strong design hasn’t traditionally been a huge part of their operating model”, explains Harley.  

At some point early on in the conversation we would ask them how they would like their website to look and they would just scratch their heads. Now that we’re offering themes, they can see a baseline visual upfront and it makes that decision making process a whole lot easier. Of course, from there we can customise and shape the website around their brand and products”. 

While many B2B clients see the immediate benefit, the SCA themes are just as suitable for B2C businesses that have strong brand guidelines and larger marketing teams to help manage that all-important design process. They are not static themesthey were built to be adaptable so they work just as well for brand heavy organisations.  

The challenges of theme creation 

Harley says that one of the biggest challenges of theme building comes with knowing how to build something that doesn’t reduce the flexibility of the platform – balancing design and functionality. 

“For example, we have options in SCA that we don’t commonly use but it’s still available, such as the currency or language selector in the header. The theme must incorporate a place for those features to be visible, but invisible if not in use.” 

You also need to create spaces for the customer to be able to input their own content – a banner, for exampleWe have to design those in a way that allows for a variety of text but it still won’t overflow – this is particularly important for responsive designsGetting it right means thinking beyond the filler content being placed in to show how the theme works. 

The value of in-house commerce and themes 

Harley agrees that it is less common to have a NetSuite Partner who also develops themes – this is usually managed by a third party developer. But for Annexa’s customers there’s enormous value in the cohesion and integration possibilities that come with having the same team who deploy NetSuite also develop your SCA theme. 

What’s next for Annexa commerce team? 

The changes to the SCA architecture have also opened up new areas for innovation including the possibility of creating extensions for the SCA platform. Here, the commerce team are looking at creating integration pieces and accounting and custom extensions to further drive value from the SCA products. Keep an eye on this space. 

Want to engage Australia’s only NetSuite commerce partner? 

Reach out to our team in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane to discuss how Annexa can help your B2B or B2C business thrive with SuiteCommerce Advanced and Annexa. Contact us here. 

Tips and tricks for NetSuite users – part 2

Whether you are a new, intermediate or advanced NetSuite user, there’s always room to learn a little more about the platform you will likely use to complete many of your tasks. And NetSuite certainly makes them easier. In this article, we cover some common work-related activities as we introduce a few of our favourite shortcuts that help shave time off your daily tasks. 

Summary:

NetSuite for beginners

  1. Global search: prefixes
  2. Global search: wildcards
  3. Personal preferences: signatures
  4.  Recent records

NetSuite for intermediates

  1. Personal preferences: internal IDs
  2. Saved searches
  3. Employee records and permissions

NetSuite for beginners 

If you’re a new user and need a hand finding your way around NetSuite or need a little refresher as you become accustomed to the platform, here’s a few little tips to get you started. 

1. Global search prefixes  

NetSuite’s Global Search is arguably one of the most valuable tools within the business platform so you’ll want to understand this one early on. When you log on to your NetSuite portal, this field will be one of the first you encounter thanks to its placement in the middle top of your screen. Think of it like your own NetSuite portal search engine. 

By using global search prefixesyou can quickly locate specific records while saving on keyboard strokes by typing in just the first three. Here’s the most common prefixes: 

  • Contact = con: Sue Green 
  • Customer = cus: or cust: Acme Customer 
  • Employee = emp: mar 
  • Estimate = est: 
  • Expense Report = exp: 
  • Invoice = inv: 
  • Item = ite: 
  • Opportunity = opp: 
  • Sales Order = sal: 12345 

2. Global Search – Wildcards 

If you you’re a little hazy on what youre looking for, wildcards can help you narrow your search by adding specific symbols to the beginning and end of a string. 

Percentage % 
  • If you enter cu:495 only customer with customer number 495 is returned. 
  • If you enter cu:495%, all customers with numbers starting with 495 are returned e.g. 495789 
  • %495% : to show any record with 495 are returned e.g. 123495789 
Exact match 
  • “ “ to find exact matches 
Underscore 
  • _ (underscore): If you enter cu:4_5 all three digit customer numbers starting with 4 and ending with 5 are returned e.g.: 415, 425, 435, etc. 

 

3. Personal Preferences – Signatures 

You’ll want to include your signature on emails you send out of NetSuite so make sure it’s up-to-date and on-brand. Here’s how. 

Go to Home > Set Preferences. The General subtab is displayed by default. 

  • In the User Profile section, in the Signature field enter your email Signature. <br /> = Carriage Return 
  • Note: You can use HTML (e.g. <br/>) to format your email signature 

Susan Green <br /> 

Senior Consultant <br /> 

Oracle | NetSuite <br /> 

email: susan.green@netsuite.com <br /> www.netsuite.com <br/> 

phone: 781.439.4407 <br /> 

4. Recent records 

Once you’ve visited a record, there’s no need to re-search and find your way back there all over again. Using recent records, you can take a swift shortcut. There are two ways to view a list of records you recently accessed: 

  • Hover over the Recent Records icon to see a list of records you recently viewed or edited. From here you can click a link to open a record in view mode, or move your cursor over the link and click Edit to open the record in Edit mode. 
  • You can also click All Recent Records to view a complete list of recent records. This list includes the record type and the date the record was last accessed. 

netsuite-recent-records

NetSuite for intermediates

1. Personal Preferences – Internal Ids 

Enabling the Show Internal IDs  preference will allow you to distinguish custom fields and standard fields on pages in NetSuite Here’s how to set this up: 

  • NetSuite numbers all entries with unique Internal IDs. The Internal ID is a unique integer number that is typically called the Table’s Primary Key. That integer never changes for the life of the record. 
  • To display internal IDs: 
  • Go to Home > Set Preferences. The General subtab is displayed by default. 
  • In the Defaults section, click Show Internal IDs. 

Use internal IDs for:  

  • Reveal field ID for NetSuite field 
  • For updating records via a CSV or API import 
  • For Sorting records in a list to show recently created records 
  • Internal IDs can also be used for creating formulas in various parts of NetSuite e.g. saved searches  

 netsuite-internal-id

2. Saved searches  

With so much information stored in NetSuitefiltering that info to find exactly what you are looking for is critical. This is why saved searches are really helpful, yet unfortunatelyunder-utilised. A saved search is a request for information but it’s a little more advanced than that – it’s a reusable search definition that may include many advanced filters and display options for the results.  You can set up a saved search to specify criteria and results information in NetSuite, helping you pinpoint the exact results. 

NetSuite Saved Searches are used for: 

  • Lists 
  • Dashboard Elements 
  • E-mail alerts under specific conditions 
  • Marketing Groups 
  • Used in Scripts 
  • Exporting Data 
  • Etc. 

You can create a saved search by going to reports > saved searches > all saved searches > new or ‘new saved search’ in the global search > page: new saved search.  

3. Employee records and permissions 

Employee records allow you to keep information about employees in NetSuite such as contact information, payroll, and HR information and access permissions. 

When Advanced Employee Permissions is enabled, based on the employee permissions assigned to the role, users will see different results when viewing the same employee saved search. Some columns in the search results are also hidden, depending on what the role has access to. When the filter criteria of a saved search uses a field not available to the employee permissions assigned to the role, the filter is not applied. Ensuring the right level of permission are set up is important.  

Get more out of your NetSuite data with Monocle

Getting more out of critical business data is a key strategy being employed by our clients as they look to extract better information from the mountains of data flowing through their organisation. 

To support the better use of data, we created Monocle – an app that helps you visualise key NetSuite metrics on a big screen. Since opening up Monocle to our customers, the app has attracted plenty of interest for its ability to convert raw NetSuite data into easy to interpret metrics that can be shared with internal teams.  

How can Monocle help your business? 

Making data pervasive and useable across your business gives you the ability to map performance against business goals and KPIs, empowers your employees to make informed decisions and enhances team cohesion, engagement and overall productivity. 

Our client Gateway Packaging recently deployed Monocle and it has significantly contributed to company cohesion, engagement and overall productivity. Read the full study here.  

What data can I display on Monocle? 

Most commonly Monocle is used to display key sales or support KPIs. However, if the data is in NetSuite it can be fed into Monocle. In short, you can pick the data that matters to you, and we can help you define those metrics and use Monocle to visualise it. For example, consider: 

  • Sales revenue/growth/opportunities 
  • Productivity ratios 
  • Size of gross margin 
  • Monthly profit and loss 
  • Overhead costs 
  • Variable cost percentage 
  • Inventory size 
  • Sales target 
  • Sales per sales representative 

What does Monocle look like in action? 

You can read a little more about the dashboard in Apps by Annexa, along with an example dashboard.   

How can I get my hands on Monocle? 

Reach out to us online or call us on 1300 994 550 to discuss how we can help you deploy Monocle with your NetSuite platform.  You can also use the chat feature in the bottom right of this website. 

eBook: Metrics for mission impact in Not for Profits

All Not for Profits strive for sustainability, but numerous Not for Profit organisations have a cloudy picture of the revenue and expense drivers needed to deliver their programs.

Leadership teams may not know if they are pursuing work that is creating a structural deficit, meaning there is a gap between what amount of funds are raised for a program and what it costs to perform the work. A structural deficit, if not identified, can drain resources from an organisation and ultimately collapse the Not for Profit. 

ANot for Profits walk a tightrope to justify overhead expenditures as an integral component of mission fulfillment, they are increasingly needing to fund wats to truthfully report the revenue-to-program delivery chain.  

But what kind of metrics does your organisation need to track to ensure that your organisation is financially healthy, spending dollars wisely, delivering successful programs and creating mission impact in an efficient manner? Using advice from sector thought leaders, and examples from NetSuite Not for Profit customers, this eBook describes the principles and mechanics of building metrics for mission impact. 

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Connecting dollars to outcomes for your Not for Profit

When a 7.0 earthquake flattened Haiti in 2010, millions of donors rushed to help, funnelling money to a large global humanitarian organisation. Contributions climbed to half a billion dollars in one of the most successful online fundraising campaigns ever. But five years later, only six homes had been rebuilt. 

Not for Profits, including the American Red Cross, have learned plenty since 2010. Although the organisation continued to defend its disaster relief efforts, it didn’t provide a public summary of how its donations had been spent. Nor would it ever. Investigative reports showed that the Not for Profit had outsourced Haitian projects to local affiliates and lacked the accounting mechanisms to connect the dollars it raised to outcomes achieved. While it’s possible that the organisation had indeed rebuilt entire Haitian villages, it couldn’t prove it, leaving its public reputation in shambles for a few years. 

Stories likes these make donors distrust Not for Profitand Not for Profit executives squirm. Charity leaders know how hard it is to convey a mission’s impact to supporters. Doing so is made more difficult by confusing Not for Profit accounting regulations and a philanthropic culture that hamstrings them from fully delivering, much less evaluating their programs.  

In this report, Connecting Dollars To OutcomesNetSuite surveyed 353 Not for Profit executives in order to better understand the challenges of effectively measuring outcomes. The result is a deep dive into the challenges along with five solutions to bolster the infrastructure needs of Not for Profits. 

 

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Whitepaper: Accounting for your mission

Not for Profits operate in a world of significant complexity, limited resources and business systems that detract from efficient processes.

Whether it is the continuous friction between the fundraising and accounting departments around actual revenue and delivering a superior donor experience or trying to link outcomes with the true cost of programs, Not for Profits have traditionally struggled to find business application solutions that can meet their needs in an affordable manner. 

Here’s where NetSuite’s strengths really come into play by breaking down silos, boosting resources and fuelling a Not for Profit’s mission.  

Download this paper to learn: 

  • The benefits of a true Not for Profit accounting solution 
  • How Not for Profits can take advantage of modern technologies without overloading the organisation with cost and complexity 
  • Who Not for Profits can trust to provide both a solid accounting foundation and a platform for future growth that extends beyond the back-office 

 

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Whitepaper: The new norm of client transparency in the services economy

Delivering transparency is becoming increasingly important across different industries. The food industry has to meet legal requirements to record where ingredients in food are sourced. Compliance requirements also means that food purveyors have to show exactly what is in food on the packaging. For some, it has become a competitive differentiator. In professional services, clients are also increasingly calling for transparency.  

This is because, when done correctly, transparency can build trust – both between individuals and the organisation, and between different organisations. Trust is a key factor in business relationships. The more trust between organisations, the more likely that contracts are agreed to and renew. 

So how can a firm become digitally transparent?  

It all starts with having a single solution that allows all internal departments to see the relevant information about customers and their projects reduces overhead. Conversations about customers become informed, moving the conversation from no longer having to ask for information to agree on actions that benefit the firm and customer alike 

This whitepaper shares the step process for delivering digital transparency to your clients in 2020 and beyond. 

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Whitepaper: How multiple revenue streams deliver the competitive edge

Few would argue the value of income diversification. Whether it’s a company, a career or an investment portfolio, having multiple revenue streams is a smart approach.

For a services business, diversifying can be as obvious as identifying gaps between what customers want or need and what you’re actually giving them. Or it can be as complex as figuring out what your clients should be doing – and what they’re actually doing on a day-to-day basis – and helping them achieve their higher goals. 

Multiple revenue streams sound straightforward enough but not all companies are willing to put time, effort and money into identifying them when business is booming, clients are plentiful and bottom lines are healthy. Instead, they opt to rely on a fixed income stream and let potential opportunities fall by the wayside, never to be explored. 

To complicate the issue, adding new services, finding new customers, hiring new employees and scaling technological systems to accommodate the diversification can all place new pressures on already constrained resources.  

This whitepaper explores the concept of multiple revenue streams for services businesses, explains the challenges of scaling up and demonstrates how a core technology platform can make the difference between success and failure. 

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Whitepaper: 7 strategies to performance and profitability for solution providers

Challenges abound in the traditional solution provider business with declining product margins, increasing competition, faster technology obsolescence and more complex client requirements.

These pressures are forcing solution providers to add new lines of business and more comprehensive solutions built on a broader set of services and recurring revenue models. Fundamental business model shifts require constant vigilance to stay ahead of the curve. 

Grow, get big or die has become the rallying cry of solution providers as their key vendor suppliers seek to reduce the numbers of channel providers they work with. At the same time vendors and clients alike are pushing for higher value and more complex services from their channel providers to broaden their reach while reducing their own risk. Yet the benefits of scale and higher margins are not easily achieved without improved automation. 

Solution providers often struggle with standalone legacy business applications that impact the profitability of projects and product sales, and limit insight into accurate and timely financial data. At the same time, they compete in a fast-paced industry in which their clients expect seamlessness, precision and an up-to-date and accurate view of their projects and orders. To answer these challenges, solution providers must simultaneously manage multiple revenue streams—services, products, managed services and support contracts; each requiring different financial and business models. 

This paper explores the value of NetSuite for solution providers, revealing how the platform unifies financials, sales, project and product management, ordering, invoicing and revenue recognition, to deliver a comprehensive cloud-based solution that supports all aspects of a solution provider’s business. 

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