Summary: NetSuite 2022.1 version has just been released with several key enhancements for professional service providers. Here we are going to explain them in detail.
The services industry, particularly the digital and IT services market, has continuously expanded over the years. Though the pandemic created a sharp dip in the overall growth of professional services, the market is now giving a strong signal to rediscover its previous growth. According to the IDC forecast for 2022 the professional services market is likely to enjoy a yearly market growth of 4% per year.
Among the professional services that are playing a major role in shaping this growth story, technology and IT consulting continues to have the highest share as per the professional services market share statistics between 2016 and 2020. The business process automation suites and ERP software platforms like NetSuite are playing an important role in pushing the growth story of IT consulting, managed IT and subscription-based services, etc.
While the opportunities corresponding to the professional services are creating a win-win situation for the businesses, IT automation and development companies and employees, the future depends largely upon the continuous value additions and evolution of the ERP software systems. NetSuite for professional services stays well ahead of other leading ERP systems simply because of its customisable modular architecture, a comprehensive set of tools and frequent value additions.
The latest NetSuite 2022.1 release brought several key value additions and enhancements for every industry including the professional services sector. As a professional service provider, it is always important for you to stay updated and versed with the latest offerings for NetSuite professional services automation and the particular benefits the new NetSuite update provides to the businesses.
It is always advisable to get a complete overview of these new features and offerings from an experienced NetSuite implementation consultant. Here through the length of this post, we are going to explain the key benefits and value additions offered by the latest NetSuite 2022.1 release.
Comprehensive One Window Project Control
The new NetSuite release comes with key value addition to help IT services companies enjoy fuller and more comprehensive control. The new Project 360 dashboard provides services firms with a comprehensive and highly customisable control panel for suitably managing different projects. The most important thing about this control panel is the ease of pulling data from diverse sources and by using them offering a tailor-fitted project management experience for the IT and professional services firms.
This unified single-window control panel with a great scope of project-centric customisation of this new dashboard ensures offering a 360-degree view of all projects within the portfolio of a company. The dashboard will provide project details such as actuals contra budget, revenue earned by the project, billing and invoices, team specification in a project, the role of consultant, project schedules, the contact details of the client and several other aspects.
Thanks to this dashboard now the project managers can just access a Project 360 focus page where in-depth KPIs concerning the project will be presented with engaging and intuitive visual graphics. This will help project managers to go deep into every KPI and take decisive steps to address the issues right from the dashboard.
For example, you can find particular job roles in the project that are drawing costs well beyond the expectations and accordingly sensitise the team members responsible for taking more time in completing tasks resulting in higher costs. The dashboard by offering a detailed view of the underlying issues will help project managers to solve problems faster with less dependence on other tools.
There are multiple integrated indicators added by the new NetSuite version to deliver a quick at-a-glance view of the details project managers need to find out. When in a job certain tasks are running well behind the schedule, the project managers can quickly find out the areas and particular team members who are lagging behind the team. Apart from finding fault lines and corresponding reasons the dashboard will also facilitate easier collaboration among the employees, team members and contractors and will ensure smooth sharing and utilisation of all the resources.
Thanks to this new dashboard the project managers no longer need to deal with the coherence of information between the third-party tools and spreadsheets. The dashboard also helps employees to remain free from incomplete and backdated data. It helps keep everyone in a project on the same page with a comprehensive and unified view and a simple intuitive interface.
Billing, Invoicing, Expense Allocation and Cost Estimation Getting Easier
For professional service provider companies, the new NetSuite release also brought a time-saving feature for billing. It is common for many customers to prefer custom billing and invoice formats. This time you need to hire NetSuite specialist developers to create custom billing formats. The new release provides billing templates that can be customised as per the preferences of the customers.
There is a range of templates that allows tweaking the format of line items based upon specific needs. The templates can now accommodate sheets of each consultant, costs for each subcontractor and several other attributes. This will help the professional service providers accommodate more detailed information resulting in enhanced accuracy and consequent ease in approving and disbursing payments.
The new NetSuite release will also make the allocation of labour expenses easier for all NetSuite customers. The new format will automatically take into account the labour time and accordingly will allocate accurate payroll costs. Since for many professional services labour costs happen to be the single most important expenditure for many service providers, the new feature will be immensely helpful in precise calculation of labour costs resulting in better assessment of profitability and revenue earning.
In the new NetSuite release, professional service providers also have a useful feature called Project Intercompany Cross Charge Request. This feature will solve the problem of cross-charging revenues between company subsidiaries by facilitating a journal entry within the company. This results in enhanced efficiency and the least exposure to errors for sharing revenues.
Improved Cash Flow and Precise Forecasting of Cash Positions
The new NetSuite release comes with a feature called Cash 360 dashboard which will give professional service providers more control and visibility of their cash flow and forecast of cash position. The dashboard will provide a consolidated view of the cash position for the present and six consecutive months in the future.
The best thing about this dashboard is that it can also accommodate unpredictable scenarios affecting the cash flow and can adjust its forecasts every week based upon the current information. The new dashboard will also allow managers to accommodate financial events and evaluate the resulting impact accurately. The Cash 360 dashboard will always keep a service provider company informed about the present state of affairs and the future corresponding to the cash position and the underlying factors.
Flexible Control Over Budget
Since professional services companies often need to deal with unpredictable fluctuations with labour cost and cost of materials when making a long term projection for their clients, they need more in-depth visibility of all financial factors and components. The new NetSuite release now offers an estimate at complete (EAC) feature to address this. Thanks to EAC, the service provider companies can make adjustable cost projections continuously leaving no scope for sudden surprises. The new feature will allow making budget adjustments more frequently and flexibly.
By using this feature the company can create a baseline budget and then accommodate fluctuations and adjustments through the EAC budget. Thus the budgeting mechanism will always remain in sync with the continuous changes and dynamic shifts in the project. Finally, the feature will provide very detailed reports with several new sub-tabs to get a comprehensive view of the budget changes that the project underwent. With such a detailed budget history view companies can make comparisons among the baseline budget vs EAC budget vs actual spending on the project.
Improved Productivity Management and HR Controls
With the NetSuite 2022.1 release managing goals became much easier because of several key enhancements corresponding to goal-setting, productivity tracking and monitoring progress. Now business leaders and managers can have a more comprehensive view of the sequence of changes to different project goals just in one place. The employees are also capable of removing the unapproved goals or accidental mistakes in setting goals.
The new goal-setting mechanism also comes with advanced capabilities in scheduling tasks for enhanced flexibility of reviewing the timelines, employee check-ins, intervals and productivity and output within a given time frame.
There is a new feature called manager digest with the NetSuite SuitePeople. This feature will be more useful in keeping the leaders well-informed regarding the achievements of the team members, progress in the path to fulfilling goals and particular areas needing special focus. The feature will provide a comprehensive view of the performance of all employees and team members in a service provider company.
There is also a small but significant enhancement to NetSuite SuitePeople Payroll management. The professional service provider companies can now save a lot of time and employee hours just because payroll data with all meticulous details is now accessible to all other NetSuite modules in real-time and payroll processing staff no longer need to process and send them to other departments and processes.
Seamless Linking of Company Data
There is another important enhancement with SuiteAnalytics Workbooks that can be helpful for professional service provider firms. It helps easily link multiple datasets through a new and improved user interface and there is no longer any need to write code with the SuiteScript API for linking data.
The improved data linking through this interface accommodates practically all types of data for linking. Different data including the custom business records can be presented through visualisations. Several different datasets with appropriate visualisations can be created such as budgets contra actuals, planned contra actuals, forecast contra actuals, etc. Thanks to this, companies can remain more well informed regarding their position, achievements and new growth opportunities.
NetSuite 2022.1 came with several key value additions and feature enhancements for all industries. But the new release has particularly offered some promising improvements for the professional service sector. Since custom controls on business data and the productivity of employees play a crucial role for the services industry, these improvements will bring great relief to them.
VNMT is a leading NetSuite partner in Australia with a global footprint and hundreds of custom NetSuite implementation and development projects upon its sleeve. If you require more detailed information about the NetSuite 2022.1 release and how it can help your professional service company, let us clarify everything in the context of your business. You can reach us just by dropping an email.