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NetSuite Release 2015.1 Planned functionality enhancements

NetSuite has announced to its users a number of enhancements to the functionality of its modules. I have highlighted in here the main areas of these enhancements. There are also a number of additions and improvements made to the development platforms offered by NetSuite including the facilities to enable websites to be built and integrated with other NetSuite modules. These changes are not included in this analysis.

Sales and Invoicing

Location Based Eligibility Criteria for Promotions

To help target promotions, the Location field on sales orders can be now be used to apply promotions based on location.

EU Digital Services Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS)

NetSuite now supports the Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS) taxation scheme for the supply of digital services in the European Union (EU), which takes effect on January 1, 2015.

Payment Enhancements on Web Store

Two new payment enhancements have been made to web store: alternative payment methods without authorization and support for CyberSource Tokens.

Alternative Payment Methods Without Authorization

Prior to Version 2015 Release 1, NetSuite did not support alternative payment methods that did not support authorization on your web store. This prevented accepting online bank transfers, debit card payments, and other alternative payment methods like EFT or iDeal.
Now alternative payment methods can be accepted that do not request authorization on sales orders. This enables web store shoppers to use a wide variety of non-credit card payment methods, and collect money prior to order fulfilment.
This new capability is available for use with third-party applications created by payment service providers. Most of these solutions are available as SuiteApps.

Support for CyberSource Tokens

Now, CyberSource credit card processing profiles support tokens. This change provides increased security by providing an encrypted token instead of the primary account number (PAN) and other information. Using CyberSource tokens also enables the use of the CyberSource Account Updater.
This enhancement enables the use of tokens generated by third-party web service applications in a NetSuite account.

Recurring Billing Enhancements

Version 2015 Release 1 includes a number of enhancements to the Recurring Billing module.

Backdated Subscription Change Orders

This feature enables the specification of a past date as the effective date when subscription change orders are created.

Enhancements to the Recurring Billing Multi-Queue Feature

Recurring Billing version 15.1 includes enhancements to the Recurring Billing Multi-Queue feature. This enhancement provides a solution that maximizes the utilization of each scheduled script deployment queue for jobs to process.

Subscription Billing Opportunities and Estimates

Recurring Billing version 15.1 supports entering subscription configuration data at the opportunity and estimate stage. Opportunities can be converted to an estimate or a sales order. Estimates can also be converted to a sales order.

Plan Migration Change Order Enhancements

Starting with Recurring Billing version 15.1, the custom pricing feature is supported in the Migrate Subscription Plan change order.
When a subscription item is migrated to a new subscription plan, custom pricing adjustments can be applied. A new rate, discount, or quantity can be entered for the items in the new subscription plan.

Renew Subscription Item Change Order

The Renew Subscription Item change order enables a subscription item to be renewed without having to wait for the subscription renewal date or defined offset. This change order action is applicable to items in Open or Pending Renewal state.

Invoice Approval Workflow

With Version 2015 Release 1, the Invoice Approval Workflow is added to the NetSuite Approvals Workflow. This workflow validates an invoice to determine the need for approval by a supervisor, before it is issued to a customer.
The following validations are available:
• Identification of a customer’s first invoice
• Customers with a credit hold on the account
• Validation of payment terms on the invoice against the customer record
• Validation of tax amount on the invoice
• Identification of flagged customers
The Invoice Approval Workflow can be customised by adding more components, reordering the sequence of actions or only running the validations that fit into your business process.

Vendor Management and Purchasing

Vendor Record Shared with Multiple Subsidiaries

A primary subsidiary and an unlimited number of secondary subsidiaries can now be assigned to a vendor record. This is useful when multiple subsidiaries use the same vendor.
Also different credit limits can be assigned for the primary subsidiary and each of the secondary subsidiaries on the vendor record. Additionally vendors and multiple subsidiaries can be associated with items, assigning a specific item price for each subsidiary purchasing from the vendor.
Subsidiaries can be assigned to shared vendors in numerous other transactions including writing cheques and making deposits, reconciling bank and credit card statements, making general, statistical, book specific, intercompany journal entries, general and intercompany allocation schedules.

Request for Quote

A Request for Quote (RFQ) can be used to make procurement processes more streamlined and efficient by enabling vendors to be asked to provide pricing, terms and conditions for purchased items. Request a quote from several vendors to compare pricing and terms for each and decide which quote best matches your needs.
Pricing quotes can be tiered to define specific prices for a quantity range. Typically, as larger quantities of an item are purchased, the price goes down. Pricing quotes can also define a minimum total amount that must be spent across all items from that vendor within a specific time frame in order to receive a discount across all items.
After all vendors submit a quote the buyer can analyze all options to determine the best deal and the buyer awards contracts to the best vendor for each item.
When a vendor is selected NetSuite creates purchase contracts from the RFQ.
One or more purchase contracts can be created from a single RFQ either for future purchases or to place purchase orders. These contracts can create purchase orders referencing the originating RFQ contract.

Payment Holds for Vendor Bills

Now, NetSuite allows the application of a payment hold to stop payments being processed on approved vendor bills and prevent funds from inadvertently leaving the company.

Blanket Purchase Order Approval Workflow

The Blanket Purchase Order Approval Workflow is an added feature to the NetSuite Approvals Workflow. It enables validation and automatic routing of blanket purchase orders for approval. Based on approval limits set by users, the workflow determines the need for approval and identifies the appropriate approver. It sends separate email notifications to the creator and approver of the blanket purchase order. Alternate approvers can be set in case the regular approver is not available and the content of the email notifications changed.

Grid Purchase Order

With the introduction of the Grid Purchase Order feature a purchase order can be entered for multiple products in a grid, instead of adding items per transaction line. The grid templates set up for purchase orders can also be applied to sales orders.

Purchase Contract Approval Workflow

The Purchase Contract Approval Workflow is now included in the Advanced Procurement Approvals. It provides an efficient way of handling the approval process for purchase contracts. Approval limits are set that are used to validate a purchase contract amount and records that exceed the limit will require approval by a supervisor.

Manufacturing

Component Per Operation

Components can now be associated with specific operations rather than at the assembly level. This is particularly useful if some operations take a long time to be completed or if some are not required when the work order starts.
By associating components with specific operations for a routing components are issued on the actual day the corresponding operation begins.

Matrix Assemblies

The new Matrix Assemblies feature assists in configuring assembly items for product- based business. Matrix assembly items can be created and updated in various ways.

Accounting and Fixed Assets

Budgets for Statistical Accounts

From version 2014 version 1 NetSuite supported a new type of account, a statistical account, that can track non-monetary amounts such as headcount, volume sold, floor space (i.e., square footage) and shares.
In Version 2015 Release 1 support for budgets for these statistical accounts is added. Budgets can be created for departments, classes, locations, items, customers, and projects. For example, a budget for the headcount statistical account can specify the number of new employee requisitions for the Sales Department in the upcoming financial year. The budgeted amount can be compared with the number of new employees by customizing the Budget vs. Actual report.

Fixed Assets Management Enhancements

Version 2015 Release 1 includes three enhancements to the Fixed Assets Management module.

Performance Optimization

Several enhancements have been made to Fixed Assets Management to improve the overall performance and to optimize the depreciation process.

Support for 4-4-5 Accounting Period

Customers using the 4-4-5 calendar will now be able to compute the depreciation amount more accurately because the depreciation will be based on the number of days on a given period.

Book Specific Asset Revaluation, Split, Disposal, and Reports

Multi-book accounting for Fixed Assets Management include the following updates:
• Asset Revaluation – Support for the IFRS accounting standard will enable users to select an accounting book that they want to revalue.
• Asset Split – Users can create one split transaction per asset and record GL postings to different books.
• Asset Disposal – When disposing an asset, a journal entry will be generated for the primary book. Tax methods associated to an accounting book will also generate journal entries.
• Generating Reports – Generate reports that are relevant to only an accounting book. Users can select an accounting book in the FAM Reports page to generate an asset register, asset summary, and depreciation schedule report for the selected book.

Purchase Accruals for Service, Charge, and Non-inventory Items

NetSuite makes your month-end close less cumbersome to estimate and record accrued expenses by automatically generating purchase accruals. At the end of the month when many transactions consist of service items, other charges, or non-inventory items such as special orders, the accountant no longer must waste time tracking down employees to confirm receipts to post a journal entry to accrued expenses. After the bill is received, accruals are automatically reversed and posted to the accounts payable account. Accruals can be posted for non-inventory items, service items or other charges that are received but not yet billed.

Projects

Version 2015 Release 1 includes a number of enhancements to the Projects module.

Bulk Project Task Reassignment

With the Resource Allocations feature, a new preference is available on the Project Resource Role record that allows project resources to reassign task records in bulk.

Resource Allocations Now Integrate with the NetSuite Calendar

Project resources can now choose to see their allocated time right on their NetSuite Calendar. Employees marked as project resources that have been allocated to a project now have a new preference in the calendar portlet called Show Resource Allocations.
Resource allocations now appear as the project name at the top of each allocated day in the calendar portlet. Clicking the project name opens the corresponding resource allocation record.

Project Charges Forecast Report

The Project Charges Forecast report is now available for charge-based projects. This report details the monthly forecasted charges per project based on the established charge rules for each project.

Project Charges Forecast with Resource Allocations

Time-based project charges can now be forecast using allocated time. Previously, for charge-based billing projects, time-based charges were forecasted only using planned time.

Project Profitability Reports Using Revenue Commitments

NetSuite now offers two Project Profitability reports: Project Profitability and Project Profitability by Month. The previously available Project Profitability report is now the Project Profitability by Month report. These reports have also been expanded to include revenue commitments, journal entries, and deferred revenue. This information is displayed in the Project Profitability by Month report for each project by month. The new Project Profitability report displays the total profitability of each project.

Resource Allocation Grid

The Resource Allocation Chart now includes a new grid view for updating and organizing resource allocations. Managing multiple resources within a single grid offers the ability to efficiently balance workloads and resource allocations. The Resource Allocation Grid works much like a standard spreadsheet application.

Project Task Manager Enhancements

The Project Task Manager has been updated to include the ability to set several preferences that control how the module displays information.
In addition to controlling these preferences, the Project Task Manager can be printed or exported. This enables the fast sharing of information about project tasks.