NetSuite by Oracle Review

Christian Rigg

In a Nutshell

NetSuite is a highly customizable, extensible suite of financial tools, including ERM, CRM, HR & Payroll, and more. The level of flexibility, paired with powerful integrations and the ability to create and run custom scripts, makes for robust, but somewhat complex accounting software. Once learned, however, the possibilities are virtually endless, and enterprises and global companies will surely see the benefits in both the short and long term.

pros

  • Highly customizable
  • Powerful budgeting, forecasting and reporting
  • All-in-one solution (HR, project management, inventory, etc.)

cons

  • Complex to set-up and operate
  • Can be very costly
  • No on-prem or hybrid solutions

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Netsuite at a Glance

Best for: Enterprises and global companies
Price range: $999+
Key features: Finance and accounting; billing; revenue recognition; financial planning & reporting; global accounting & consolidation; compliance
Apps: Web, iOS, Android
Integrations: Extensive

NetSuite Ease of Setup and Use

NetSuite is an extremely powerful financial management solution that’s highly customizable. Enterprise clients will likely need to invest in either hiring a NetSuite developer, or investing in training for their existing IT departments. Similarly, the learning curve for financial staff is likely to be quite steep, depending on the size of the company. 

That being said, the workflows are well thought-out, features and functions are rarely hidden and, while not the most intuitive software we’ve tried, it manages to pack a huge amount of information into a surprisingly readable interface. One key feature to help speed up navigation is the SuiteFlow Workflow Manager, a drag-and-drop workflow builder to facilitate a huge number of tasks, like entering data or generating reports. 

It may take some time to set up and get used to, but once you do, there are actually very few hurdles, and an array of solutions for streamlining your workflow. 

NetSuite by Oracle Pricing and Plans

Due to its modular nature, pricing is not listed on the NetSuite website. Instead, you’ll have to contact a representative to get a quote for your specific business needs. However, all subscriptions start at $999 and go up from there, with $99/mo for each user.

While this is more expensive than some competitors, like Intacct or QuickBooks Enterprise, NetSuite includes financial management, inventory and warehouse management, project management, and HR & Payroll, which means you won’t need to pay for additional software, bringing your total operational costs down.

NetSuite Features

As mentioned, NetSuite includes a wide array of software for managing finances, with individual applications for enterprise resource planning (ERP), business management, customer relationship management (CRM), human capital, professional services automation (PSA), email marketing, analytics, and more.

Businesses looking for deep integration between operations, management, finances, human resources, marketing, and more, are likely to find what they need with NetSuite. 

General Ledger and Expense Tracking

NetSuite allows for great customization of the General Ledger. A ledger can be broken down into any number of custom segments, like profit center and product line, with an unlimited number of subsidiaries, departments, and locations. Manual entry can be greatly reduced thanks to the custom plug-ins and multi-book capabilities with a rule-driven engine to map transactions between primary and secondary charts of accounts. 

Expenses and accounts payable also benefit from plenty of automation: calculating discounts, processing exceptions from mismatched invoices and orders, bill payment, and more. Each vendor and individual transaction can be enriched with bills, item receipts, vendor contracts, and more. Plus, the SuiteApps marketplace makes it easy to find ready-made third-party add-ons for a variety of use cases. 

Inventory Management

Inventory management is equally robust. The platform’s Reminders section is especially useful here, as it makes it easy to see actionable items like orders to receive, active purchase contracts, requisitions needing approval, vendor return authorizations, and more. The system is built for managing supply chains and inventory across continents and time zones, so that physical distance between goods doesn’t blur your overall view of operations. 

The inventory management module itself has a number of powerful features to help maintain inventory at appropriate levels across any number of locations. Replenishment tasks like checking stock levels and re-ordering stock can be automated for multiple locations. Traceability functions exist at all levels, so you can track shipments, orders, lots, and even individual serial or product numbers. The same granular view exists for warehouses: you can organize locations into a hierarchy, and create sub-locations and bins for management at the product level. 

Billing and Invoicing

It should come as no surprise that billing and invoicing is equally powerful with NetSuite. A unified framework supports transactions, subscriptions, usage-based and other models, with support for recurring billing. Everything can be set up to comply with any existing or foreseeable legislation, and integrates, of course, with revenue management and other NetSuite modules. 

Payments can be accepted through electronic funds transfer, credit and debit cards, PayPal, online bill payments, and just about every payment method on the planet, thanks to the ability to implement custom scripts and make use of 3rd-party and custom integrations and add-ons. Payment file formats are supported for US, UK, Canada, France, Germany—there are 20+ formats supported out of the box, and you can create any number of custom formats. 

NetSuite takes global billing and invoicing to a whole new level, and while the payments system is complex (the payments and payment processing manual is 326 pages long), there’s really nothing it can’t handle. 

NetSuite Integrations

NetSuite is so popular and so powerful in terms of integrations that it supports an entire ecosystem of companies and developers that design, build, and market add-ons and custom solutions.

NetSuite is built for extensibility; if an integration doesn’t exist, you can create one. The system runs on Java, a language familiar to most IT departments if a bespoke solution is needed—but it’s likely one already exists in the NetSuite marketplace or from a third-party vendor. 

NetSuite Mobile Apps

NetSuite has mobile apps for iOS and Android, although the balance between usability and functionality is a bit off here. The iOS app has a rating of 2.5 on the App Store, and most complaints are centered around the complexity of the interface, a steady stream of bugs, and missing key features. The company is quick to respond in each case to negative reviews, and promises UI and performance updates, but has thus far been slow to deliver.

If mobile support is essential to your daily financial operations, you may want to check out the competition. 

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Netsuite Customer Support

NetSuite provides basic customer support for every user, and additional support for larger companies (with bigger budgets). Support is broken down into Basic and Premium. Basic members only get phone support for Level 1 (Critical) problems, like if your whole system goes down. Otherwise, it’s an online ticket-based system. Premium subscribers get 24/7 phone access for Critical and Significant problems, and 8/5 access for Less Significant and Minor problems. 

There is also a comprehensive and extensive knowledge base, with a huge number of support articles, help topics, and training videos. As we’ve already mentioned, full module manuals can be a bit intimidating, regularly exceeding 300 pages, and unfortunately, the natural language search in the support center isn’t great. As a result, you may be left sifting through manuals and online help topics to find just what you need. 

Bottom Line

NetSuite is powerful, customizable, extensible, but also highly complex. Support is somewhat limited for basic members, subscriptions can be costly, and the mobile apps are in serious need of an upgrade. Nonetheless, enterprises looking to consolidate costs and manage global operations with deep, data-driven insights, global compliance, complex supply chains and warehousing, plus in-depth ledger, invoicing, billing, and payments, will find NetSuite of great use.

Christian Rigg is a freelance writer who’s spilled ink on everything from finance and technology to data science and Ancient Roman pottery. Born and raised in Canada, he currently lives in the south of France.

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