Optimising PTP processes in NetSuite

In the first post in our Getting the Most out of NetSuite series, we will look at your PTP process using NetSuite and what you can do to make it more efficient and cost-effective.

In this blog post, we will examine some elements of the Purchase-to-Pay process and pick examples of where standard NetSuite functionality may be lacking and how it can be improved.

Purchase to Pay processes will vary across organisations depending largely on the size of the organisation and the complexity and amount of spend. A mature retail organisation for example will require a far more complete PTP process than a tech startup. Whilst some PTP processes may start with requisitioning goods others may not kick in till an invoice is received. However, the following activities should be common across most organisations:

 

Activity Overview NetSuite Functionality          Weakness Improvement
PO Creation A PO formalises the transaction, specifying the terms, quantities, and agreed-upon prices. NetSuite has PO functionality allowing the business to raise POs in NetSuite. The NetSuite PO module works well. The only issue some businesses have is that all business users will require NetSuite licenses to raise POs resulting in additional costs. However, there are more advanced products on the market that can integrate with NetSuite. Zeno, WebExpenses, Tipalti
Invoice Processing The invoice is issued by the supplier. It is reviewed and posted by accounts payable. Invoices can be processed in NetSuite. NetSuite has rolled out OCR functionality in the US market however this is still not available in other markets.

 

OCR is not available in NetSuite out of the US. Also, it has only recently been introduced in the US. Zone Capture is an OCR recognition software that is native to NetSuite so it works seamlessly and for a good price
Approval Workflow Invoice Approval to get the invoice ready for payment Approval hierarchies should come with your standard Suitesuccess license in NetSuite and can be configured quite easily. The NetSuite approval hierarchies work well and businesses like having the process in the same system. All approvers will need licenses to view info in NetSuite. Some tailored purchasing tools that integrate with NetSuite provide purchasing software with all bells and whistles. Tipalti is a good example.
Payment Execution Payments are made to the supplier, often through electronic funds transfer (EFT), checks, or other agreed-upon methods. Payment runs can be set up in NetSuite by selecting vendor invoices. These can be extracted for loading to your bank. Remittances can be easily sent to vendors once payment runs are executed. Payment files must be extracted from NetSuite and imported to your bank account for payment creating a risk of error or fraud. NetSuite can be integrated with bank accounts to transfer payment files using connectors like Celigo or Cobase.
Reconciliation After payment, accounts payable reconcile the transaction to ensure it matches with the financial records. Bank account reconciliations are conducted between payment files and bank statements in NetSuite. Bank statement loads can be automated via feeds. Matching payments to bank statements in NetSuite is a manual process. NetSuite partner apps that can help to automate bank reconciliations include FloQast and Zone Reconcile

 

Zone Capture

As this is the first in our series of how to get the most out of NetSuite we will start with the first partner software that we recommend which is Zone Capture from Zone & Co. Previously Fast Four, Zone and Co have developed a suite of apps that help to improve NetSuite processes.

ZoneCapture is a native solution to NetSuite meaning you don’t need to log into any other platforms. It integrates seamlessly as if were part of NetSuite. ZoneCapture is a software that allows you to send vendor invoices directly into NetSuite via email. The OCR software then reads the vendor invoice and allocates it to a vendor, or a subsidiary, posts the amount, invoice number, and other details for posting to the purchase ledger. All your AP team should need to do is review the vendor bill and post it.

The OCR software uses the vendor name and address for attaching the invoice to a vendor record. It can work on vendor name alone but it is advisable to make sure vendor addresses are loaded to NetSuite to maximise its capability. It is auto-learning software meaning if it misses any matching or coding on the first attempts, it should start to recognise them as you train it by showing it the desired matches.

Billing is charged by invoice quantity so will vary depending on your business size. It is a no-brainer if you want to get rid of having to manually process invoices and the implicit ROI is pretty obvious so we recommend a demo at least.

 

Zone Approvals

Whilst we are talking about how Zone and Co can improve your P2P processes it is worth mentioning ZoneApprovals. ZoneApprovals is an additional software developed by Zone & Co that is designed to make approving purchase invoices easier. Native to NetSuite it works completely in sync with the platform and does not require any additional login. It allows users to create and manage approval workflows and is easy to use without having to be a NetSuite expert.

Approval workflows in NetSuite allocate transactions to the appropriate staff for approval. Transactions that feed through workflows include purchase orders, vendor bills, expense reports, payments, and journal entries. Once you identify who will be responsible for approving spend be it by department or finance, you can begin to customise the approval workflows.

ZoneApproval makes it easy to customise these workflows based on department, amount, or type of spend. Approval workflows can be built from scratch or taken from the templates provided by Zone & Co. Once the approval matrix has been agreed and activated it should take away the headaches from your finance team chasing for invoice approvals and pass the responsibility for spend onto budget owners. Approvals can be delegated if people are out of office.

 

Thanks for reading. Get in touch if you would like to learn any more about ZoneCapture and ZoneApprovals or any other ways to make efficiencies with your PTP processes to see the benefits of NetSuite. Sign up for our mailing list and look out for our future posts about other 3rd party apps that can make your NetSuite processes more efficient.

 

 

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