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Streamlining Accounts Payable with NetSuite: 6 Essential Tips

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accounts payable with netsuite

Oracle NetSuite offers a robust, cloud-based, unified approach to business management software, making it a powerful tool for transforming the accounts payable process. However, ERP implementation alone cannot guarantee success for accounts payable services. It is crucial to follow NetSuite’s best practices to fully realize its potential for driving efficiency, strengthening supplier relationships, and improving cash flow. 

NetSuite’s ERP system offers several features essential to modernizing AP operations. This includes a 360-degree view of business performance, streamlined processes, and real-time insights essential to modernizing Accounts Payable operations. 

Approximately 84% of companies listed on the Forbes Cloud 100 and 85% of tech IPOs since 2011 have benefited from NetSuite’s flexibility, scalability, and ease of use. These qualities help manage an organization’s primary business processes effectively. Today, the NetSuite ERP system is a market leader, as reaffirmed by several rankings worldwide.  

However, despite the promise of ERP software, nearly half of all implementations fail across all ERP solutions. Most organizations struggle to maximize the capabilities of their ERP, too. For instance, 99% of businesses say they cannot access data effectively in their system. Therefore, adopting NetSuite best practices for the AP process can deliver maximum rewards but involves minimal effort. Here are some simple tips that help you derive the most significant benefit from the NetSuite ERP. 

1. Explore the features and capabilities of your new ERP system:

Understanding the capabilities of your new ERP system is essential for optimizing accounts payable processes. Proper configuration and setting of tolerance ranges are necessary to minimize exceptions and bottlenecks. Leveraging features such as Optical Character Recognition (OCR) for invoice capture and vendor portals for communication and visibility enhances efficiency.

Integrating Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) facilitates seamless data sharing with large vendors. These enhancements align with the top digital investment priorities for CEOs and CFOs, optimizing back-office processes for improved performance.

2. Partner with a knowledgeable NetSuite expert to avoid over-customization:

A deep understanding of NetSuite helps prevent unnecessary development and maintenance costs. While NetSuite offers open-architecture tools for powerful customizations, it also comes preconfigured with industry best practices.

Many third-party tools seamlessly integrate with NetSuite to provide enhanced functionality. An experienced NetSuite partner helps identify when customization is genuinely needed, ensuring it’s reserved for requirements outside the norm.

3. Integrate your payment and procurement systems to streamline operations:

Traditionally operating in silos, procurement and accounts payable (AP) can be seamlessly linked using NetSuite. This integration reduces risk, improves working capital, enhances supplier relationships, and controls costs. Assessing procurement activities during ERP implementation maximizes benefits for both departments.

For example, inventory integrations can optimize inventory levels, reduce stockouts, and enhance order accuracy. Utilizing NetSuite features instead of third-party procurement tools is often considered a best practice. For instance, generating purchase requests and purchase orders (POs) within NetSuite ensures smooth integration with accounts payable workflows and data fields.

4. Enhance cash flow through reporting and analytics:

Improving cash flow was a top priority for finance executives in 2023 amid recession fears and rising costs. Using NetSuite’s saved search feature, reporting and analytics features helps organizations dive deep into accounts payable payment processing. This helps manage cash flow, improve operations, avoid late payments, and save costs through early payment discounts.

NetSuite’s best practices include customizing the dashboard to display critical information, using saved searches for faster data analysis, and monitoring reports to track aging invoices, departmental spending, duplicate or fraudulent bills, invoice volumes, and more. NetSuite offers hundreds of standard reports that can be tailored to meet specific needs and country-specific requirements.

5. Utilize training opportunities to optimize ERP performance:

NetSuite provides various training options post-implementation, including online courses, webinars, and in-person sessions. Additionally, the twice-yearly software updates offer opportunities for continuous improvement in accounts payable transactions by incorporating the latest features and functionality.

6. Enhance internal controls:

According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, accounting fraud poses a significant risk, with average losses exceeding $1.5 million. Nearly 60% of Accounts Payable departments encounter scams, according to the 2022 AFP Payment Fraud and Control Survey. Inefficient processes increase the likelihood of honest mistakes, such as errors, lost invoices, and duplicate payments. NetSuite offers best practices and capabilities by automating processes such as bill-matching, approval workflows, and reconciling vendor statements against NetSuite records.

Closing Thoughts

Outsourcing AP operations to a trusted NetSuite BPO Partner for accounts payable services ensures access to knowledge, talent, and support, optimizing your system’s capabilities. These partners bring a track record of successful NetSuite implementation for finance operations, ensuring scalability and agility. They identify and address challenges in the AP lifecycle, streamlining processes and mitigating risk.

They keep you up-to-date with new features and best practices to ensure you benefit from the latest enhancements. NetSuite’s BPO partnership offers an attractive licensing model, increasing cost-effectiveness. Partnering with the right team ensures quick setup in NetSuite, providing world-class functionality, improved visibility for better decisions, and rapid time to value. Contact us to know more!

About KMK

In the outsourced domain, KMK is a beacon of precision and reliability. With a robust team of over 475+ seasoned professionals, KMK ensures meticulousness and adherence to global standards in every task. This commitment to excellence allows CPA firms to navigate intricate landscapes with ease. KMK empowers firms to focus on their core functions by managing complex facets, ensuring optimal growth and efficiency. Their unwavering dedication to quality, timeliness, and accuracy positions them as a preferred partner for CPA firms, underscoring KMK’s significant presence and expertise in the industry.