In this article, we interview Massimo Avellino, Chief Officer Consultancy Services at Smart Technologies Limited, about the features of Oracle’s NetSuite Financial Management solution. We have also sought the opinion of a first-hand user of this product suite, Smart Technologies Limited’s Chief Financial Officer, Joeane Gauci, on the benefits of utilising NetSuite’s financial management platform.

What is NetSuite Financial Management?

MA: NetSuite Financial Management has achieved a reputation as the number one cloud financial management solution, namely due its potential to expedite daily financial transactions, reduce budgeting and forecasting cycle times, ensure compliance, and accelerate the financial close. This cloud-based platform delivers real-time visibility into the financial performance of any business, from a consolidated level down to individual transactions. Moreover, NetSuite Financial Management seamlessly integrates with additional business applications, including those relating to order management, inventory, CRM and commerce. This means that one can run an entire business with a single solution.

What are the key areas where NetSuite’s financial management platform can prove to be an important asset for finance and accounting professionals?

MA: In my opinion, NetSuite Financial Management addresses three key areas of interest to finance managers and accounting professionals; first of all, it lets you manage your financial processes efficiently. NetSuite helps you automate a range of complex financial processes, from bank reconciliation and assets management, to receivables, payables, revenue management and more.

From a management point of view, the adoption of NetSuite’s financial management solutions allows you to drive business strategy and growth – the platform’s financial, headcount and operational data lets you quickly and easily produce budgets and forecasts, model what-if scenarios, and generate reports.

From an operational standpoint, NetSuite Financial Management allows the finance and accounting professional to close with confidence, accelerating the financial close while maintaining compliance with accounting standards. It also enables reporting with accuracy, facilitating the drilling down into underlying details, and allowing a better understanding of the impact to your business. Finally, it gives one access to real-time information, with real-time metrics and role-based dashboards designed to improve performance.

Can you give us an overview of how NetSuite has packaged its solutions?

MA: NetSuite has packaged its comprehensive offer to finance and accounting professionals along seven product lines: NetSuite Cloud Accounting Software, NetSuite Billing, NetSuite Planning and Budgeting, NetSuite Revenue Recognition, NetSuite Financial Reporting, NetSuite Financial Consolidation, and finally, NetSuite Governance, Risk and Compliance. The underlying objective of these various modules of NetSuite’s financial management platform is to facilitate the automation of core finance and accounting processes, provide detailed insights into the performance of the business, and reduce the risk of reporting errors, allowing greater control over the firm’s financial assets.

How did your department’s adoption of NetSuite’s Financial Management platform come about and how has this benefited Smart Technologies Limited (STL)?

JG: The decision to adopt NetSuite’s financial management solutions at STL was taken some time after Massimo Avellino conducted an inhouse workshop at the firm, where he explained to us the features and benefits of this platform. At the time, I remember thinking that NetSuite Financial Management ticked all the right boxes as regards the expectations that I, as a finance and accounting professional, had from such a platform. Since its adoption at STL, NetSuite

Financial Management has definitely helped us become more agile, operate more efficiently, and collaborate more effectively internally in order to improve performance across the organisation. I believe that NetSuite Financial Management has particularly proved its worth in the past couple of years, as it has allowed us to face the changes and challenges experienced in our market environment with greater confidence.

More specifically, NetSuite’s financial management, budgeting and planning solutions have given us the tools and insights we need to balance our short-term priorities and long-term objectives, helping us make more informed decisions about how we use our financial resources.

How has NetSuite Financial Management affected the way you and your team work, as well as your performance?

JG: The extraordinary degree of automation and intelligence offered by the platform has dramatically reduced the need for our staff to perform mundane and repetitive tasks. It has also led to increased data accuracy, allowing me and the rest of the management team to spend more time on data analysis, planning future growth and making long-term strategic decisions. In general, the combination of automation, intelligence and a unified technology platform has improved my department’s operations by enabling the finance and accounting team to focus on managing exceptions, instead of performing time-consuming manual tasks.

Moreover, while many accounting professionals dread the words ‘month-end close’, NetSuite has helped us eliminate many of the headaches, much of the overtime, and the intensive effort required to close the books. More recently, our implementation of a dedicated NetSuite Financial Management budgeting solution has also enhanced our capabilities for revenue and expense projections to help us automate the company’s budgeting process, eliminate manual data collection, and reduce budgeting cycle times.

What do you regard as the most significant contribution of the NetSuite Financial Management platform to Smart Technologies Limited’s business success?

JG: There is no doubt that the intelligent automation which is the hallmark of NetSuite Financial Management has helped us increase our accounting efficiency and accuracy, while NetSuite’s solid governance, risk and compliance features, have given us greater confidence in our business results. These capabilities, combined with a unified platform that spans the entire organisation, have contributed to provide us with an even more solid foundation for building a successful business.

For more information about NetSuite Financial Management contact Massimo Avellino at Smart Technologies Limited at .

This article appeared in the The Accountant magazine, June 2022 edition.