NetSuite Planning and budgeting
CREATED ON : 23 May 2024

A Comprehensive Guide to NetSuite Planning and Budgeting


May,23,2024· read

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NetSuite Planning and Budgeting addresses common challenges businesses face in their financial processes. Automating and aligning these critical tasks eliminates the inefficiencies and errors associated with manual processes.

Its ability to quickly compare budgeted figures with actual results helps businesses to make informed decisions swiftly for better financial performance. In this article, we’ll explore how NetSuite can improve your organization’s approach to financial management.

What Is NetSuite Planning and Budgeting?

It improves and automates the financial planning and budgeting processes for businesses. It offers a solution that helps finance teams to produce budgets efficiently, forecasts, and financial reports while modeling various what-if scenarios. This is achieved through a platform that facilitates coordination and communication among different stakeholders.

The software helps to automate tasks such as data consolidation, troubleshooting, and report generation. This efficiency allows finance staff to focus more on analysis and decision-making for a better financial position for the company. It Provides a scalable solution that adapts to the growing needs of businesses.

Key Features of Oracle NetSuite Planning and Budgeting

This module offers a set of features that help businesses improve their financial planning and budgeting processes. Below are some of its key features:

Workforce Planning

This NetSuite module simplifies workforce planning by aligning the needs and priorities of your organization with those of the workforce, ensuring that organizational objectives are met. It aids in planning for headcount, salary, and compensation, making it easier to manage your workforce efficiently.

Demand Forecasting

This feature allows you to plan at various levels such as customer level, location level, and within the item hierarchy like SKU, items, and product lines. The data is automatically available in NetSuite and can be used to create a demand plan and generate purchase orders. Demand forecasting helps your organization make smarter buying and stocking decisions.

Read More: 4 Forecasting Methods In NetSuite Demand Planning For Better

Scenario Modeling

This Module helps in scenario modelling and multidimensional planning across various dimensions, including location, product, customer, expense, and more. It allows for modeling complex calculations such as projected revenue, capital expenditures, headcount costs, and cash flow without the risk of formula errors.

Revenue Planning

With this feature, you can align revenue forecasts and sales plans with corporate objectives. It allows for the creation of driver-based revenue and sales forecasts in collaboration with finance, sales, and service teams. You can continuously monitor actual performance against objectives and track the impact on cash flows and balance sheets.

OpEx Planning

It helps in flexible driver-based planning to connect your operational assumptions to financial outcomes. It supports a hierarchical planning process that includes both corporate finance and lines of business.

Predictive Planning

Using embedded artificial intelligence (AI), Intelligent Performance Management (IPM) automates data analysis to improve and accelerate decision-making. Prediction algorithms continually monitor and analyze plans, forecasts, and variances to uncover trends, anomalies, biases, and hidden correlations that allow for quick analysis of large amounts of data.

Prebuilt Data Integration

Prebuilt data synchronization with NetSuite ERP ensures data accuracy and accessibility. Up-to-date financial and operational data, account structures, and dimensions are automatically reflected in your plans, budgets, and forecasts.

Microsoft Office Integration

Smart View allows the integration with Microsoft Office tools, such as Outlook, Excel, Word, and PowerPoint. Users can add what-if analyses in Excel for customers, items, or expense categories on the fly and create data grids incorporating Excel formulas and formats.

Benefits Of NetSuite Planning and Budgeting Over Traditional Spreadsheet-Based Planning

It offers several benefits over traditional spreadsheet-based planning, making it a more efficient and effective solution for businesses. Here are eight key benefits:

  • Reduced Planning Cycle Times: With templates and flows, Oracle NetSuite makes the process of gathering inputs and assumptions better. This efficiency allows businesses to respond more quickly to changing market conditions and make timely decisions.
  • Accurate Information: The pre-built synchronization with NetSuite ERP ensures that financial and operational data used in the planning process is real-time and accurate. This eliminates the risk of errors associated with manual data entry and ensures that decisions are based on reliable information.
  • Alignment Across the Organization: It connects all stakeholders in a single environment without the need for disjointed emails and spreadsheets. This ensures that everyone is working from the same set of data and assumptions, promoting alignment and collaboration across the organization.
  • Increased Transparency: The platform helps that the data is entered consistently and processes are standardized, making it easy to track all changes. This increased transparency helps build trust among stakeholders and provides a clear audit trail for decision-making.
  • Improved Forecast Accuracy: Regular comparisons and analyses of actual versus projected results enable businesses to refine their forecasts continuously. This leads to more accurate predictions, better resource allocation, and improved financial performance.
  • Streamlined Collaboration: This facilitates seamless collaboration among different departments and teams by providing a centralized platform for planning and budgeting.
  • Enhanced Scenario Modeling: The tool allows for advanced scenario modeling to evaluate the potential impacts of different strategies and decisions. This capability supports more informed risk management and strategic planning.
  • Reduced Reliance on IT: With an intuitive interface and user-friendly features, it minimises the dependence on IT support for financial planning and budgeting tasks. This helps finance teams take control of their processes and make updates as needed without waiting for technical assistance.

Reporting And Analytics

This offers reporting and analytics capabilities designed for better financial visibility and decision-making. The platform integrates real-time data from various business operations, enabling comprehensive and dynamic financial reporting. Users can easily generate detailed reports such as income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements, as well as conduct variance analysis to compare actual performance against budgets and forecasts.

The analytics feature of NetSuite Planning and Budgeting goes beyond standard reporting by allowing users to perform trend analyses and what-if scenarios. These tools help organizations anticipate future conditions and adjust their strategies accordingly. Additionally, the system’s dashboard provides visual insights through charts and graphs, making complex data more accessible and actionable. This enables finance teams to quickly grasp performance metrics, identify trends, and make data-driven decisions that align with the company’s strategic goals.

Is Your Business Suitable For NetSuite Planning and Budgeting

This Module is a versatile solution suitable for businesses of all sizes and across various industries.

For small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), it offers a scalable platform that can grow with the business, providing good financial planning and analysis capabilities without the complexity of larger enterprise systems. SMEs can benefit from streamlined budgeting processes, improved financial visibility, and better decision-making support.

Mid-sized businesses can use this to handle more complex planning needs, such as multi-entity consolidation and advanced scenario modeling. It provides the flexibility and depth required to manage the increased complexity of their financial operations while maintaining efficiency and accuracy.

Large enterprises can utilize the solution to unify their global financial planning processes, ensuring consistency and compliance across different regions and business units. The platform’s advanced features support detailed forecasting, strategic planning, and performance monitoring at scale.

Industries that can benefit from this module include retail, manufacturing, technology, healthcare, professional services, and non-profit organizations. Each of these sectors can use the tool’s capabilities to optimize their financial planning, align their operations with strategic goals, and adapt to market changes more effectively.

How Much Does NetSuite Planning and Budgeting Cost?

The cost will varies depending on the specific needs of your business. The NetSuite pricing structure is based on an annual subscription model, which includes three main components:

  • Core Platform: This is the base fee for accessing the NetSuite platform, which includes the core functionalities required for running your business.
  • Optional Modules: NetSuite offers a range of additional modules that can be added to the core platform to meet the specific needs of your business.
  • Number of Users: The cost also depends on the number of users who will need access to the system. As your business grows, you can easily add more users to your subscription.

In addition to the annual subscription fee, there is a one-time implementation fee for the initial setup. This fee covers the cost of configuring the system to your business’s specific requirements.

Standard vs Premium

NetSuite Planning and Budgeting is available in two distinct editions as part of their SuiteSuccess solution, designed to cater to different stages of organizational growth and needs.

Standard Edition

The Standard Edition offers a straightforward, out-of-the-box solution that is cost-effective, making it ideal for emerging businesses seeking to adopt basic planning and budgeting tools without significantly increasing operational costs. This edition equips smaller organizations with essential features to enhance financial management and performance analysis.

Features Include:

  • Financial Reporting: Allows for financial statements and performance tracking.
  • Variance Analysis & Reporting: Helps in identifying and analyzing deviations from budgeted to actual figures.
  • Trended Revenue/COGS Planning: Enables forecasting and planning based on historical data.
  • Trended OpEx Planning: Assists in managing and predicting operational expenses over time.
  • Balance Sheet and Cash Flow: Supports effective cash management and financial positioning.

Premium Edition

Designed for more established organizations that need advanced capabilities, the Premium Edition offers everything in the Standard Edition but adds deeper customization and more sophisticated tools to support scalability and complex financial management needs.

Features Include – all Standard Edition features plus:

  • Price x Volume Revenue/COGS Planning: Facilitates detailed revenue and cost of goods sold planning based on pricing and volume metrics.
  • Driver-based OpEx Planning: Enhances operational expense planning with model-driven approaches.
  • Detailed Workforce Planning: Provides tools for meticulous workforce management, budgeting for salaries, benefits, and more.
  • OpEx Modules (T&E, CapEx, Others): Offers additional modules for planning and managing travel & expenses, capital expenditures, and other operational costs.

Each edition is tailored to help businesses streamline their financial processes, enhance accuracy, and promote better decision-making across various stages of growth.

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How Can Businesses Get Started With NetSuite?

This is a comprehensive solution that allows better financial planning and budgeting processes, offering businesses of all sizes and industries a scalable and efficient tool for managing their finances. Its features help with better decision-making, increased transparency, and improved collaboration across the organization.

If you’re looking to improve your capabilities, consider NetSuite Planning and Budgeting as your solution. For expert guidance and implementation support, contact VNMT Solutions, your trusted NetSuite Consultant. Our team of experienced professionals is ready to help you unlock the full potential of NetSuite and drive your business toward greater success.


Yes, It can integrate with various software systems, such as CRM and HR systems, through APIs and connectors.

Absolutely, it is designed to support global businesses with features like multi-currency management, multi-language support, and compliance with international accounting standards.

Yes, It is flexible enough to accommodate various budgeting methodologies, including zero-based budgets, where every expense must be justified, and rolling budgets, which continuously update throughout the year.

Yes, it provides mobile access through a responsive interface or mobile app, allowing users to review, update, and approve financial plans and forecasts from anywhere, enhancing decision-making agility.

Yes, it facilitates multi-entity consolidation, aligning financial management for complex organizations with multiple subsidiaries or business units. This feature simplifies the consolidation process and provides a consolidated view of financial performance.

Absolutely, it's highly customizable to cater to the unique requirements of various industries, such as retail, manufacturing, healthcare, and more. Customization options include industry-specific templates, KPIs, and reporting formats.

It offers tools for cash flow and liquidity planning, aiding in maintaining financial stability. Features like cash flow forecasting and what-if scenario analysis help businesses anticipate and manage liquidity needs effectively.