NetSuite Billing Options : Billing Schedules, SuiteBilling, SuiteApps And More

Something almost all businesses have in common is the need to generate invoices. Most revenue generating activity will attract an invoice and businesses need revenue.

It is important, therefore, to ensure that your companies primary business and accounting system can fulfill this need.

So, is NetSuite billing a satisfactory solution? That depends on the exact requirement but fortunately there are various options. These include standard native solutions, more advanced native solutions, third party products and integrations.

In this article I will breakdown some of the most commonly used NetSuite billing products. With this information you will be better prepared to make a decision for your business to ensure you can bill your customers correctly and efficiently.

Is NetSuite a Billing System?

There are bespoke billing systems on the market that are designed solely to generate invoices. NetSuite is not one of them. You wouldn’t purchase NetSuite if that was your only need.

NetSuite is a far more complex product which you can learn more about here and all over this site.

As an ERP and strong accounting system, however, it has the ability to generate invoices and deliver them to your customers. As well as many other things, NetSuite can be a billing system.

A screenshot of the Invoice Sales Orders page in NetSuite.

If you already have NetSuite and are looking at improving your billing operations then this article will help you.

If you do not have NetSuite but are planning an implementation then this article may help you.

If you do not have NetSuite and simply need a billing solution, I would suggest NetSuite is probably not the answer. You might want to look further at your current ERP solution or a bespoke billing system to integrate with.

Terminology: Be aware that although we are referring to the process of sending customer invoices as billing, Bills in NetSuite are the documents received from vendors.
Invoices – Sent to customers
Bills – Received from vendors

Standard NetSuite Billing

Using the standard Order to Cash cycle in NetSuite, customer invoices can be generated from a Sales Order or created manually.

The most basic billing solution allows invoices to be generated based off a Sales Order status, and then sent to the customer via an email through NetSuite.

Invoice records post all the relevant accounting entries automatically as well as update the customers’ subledger.

Demonstrating NetSuite billing from an accounting perspective - a screenshot of the GL Impact of an invoice generated through NetSuite.

Key features of the basic NetSuite billing solution include the following.

  • Generate Invoices manually or from Sales Orders
  • Custom PDF Invoice templates
  • Payment Terms tracking
  • AR Aging and customer level reporting
  • Automated Invoice delivery
Take a look at the NetSuite Customer Deposits feature if you are receiving advanced payments from your customers prior to billing.

Advanced NetSuite Billing

The Advanced Billing feature enables the ability to create and use Billing Schedules.

Billing Schedules are used to invoice a customer for a product or service over a range of time or a contract term.

Billing Schedules manage the dates and amounts customers should be invoiced. This feature can be used to manage subscription billing. If a customer needs an invoice generated every month of a contract term, Billing Schedules can manage this.

If you are using NetSuite for Project Management, the Advanced Billing feature also enables Project Billing capabilities.

Showing where to enable Advanced NetSuite Billing on the Enable Features menu in NetSuite.

SuiteBilling

SuiteBilling is an add-on module that groups a number of advanced billing and subscription management features.

This is a solution best suited to organizations with some degree of complexity to their recurring billing operations. Using SuiteBilling, recurring billing requirements can be managed via subscription records. Renewals can be automated, pricing changes can be rolled out seamlessly and contracts can be terminated easily.

Key features of SuiteBilling include the following.

  • Advanced subscription billing functionality and subscription management
  • Subscriptions with multiple charge components
  • Customer specific pricing plans
  • Automated rate changes

Third Party NetSuite Billing Solutions

If none of the NetSuite products mentioned above meet the billing needs for your organization, there are fortunately plenty of third party options.

SuiteBilling is the most robust Oracle NetSuite billing solution but it’s not an industry leader. There is a fairly sizable price tag attached, plus the additional features tend to have limited flexibility. Large scale (a vague term I know!) businesses may find a more appropriate billing system through a third party.

Plenty of NetSuite partners offer both native and integrated billing products. I haven’t used them all so won’t comment on anything I’m not qualified to.

ZoneBilling is a product that I have used and would recommend. It is a native SuiteApp meaning it sits directly in your NetSuite interface. It solves many of the issues that SuiteBilling is aimed at but offers more functionality and greater programmability. Contact Zone and Co to find out more.

I also have some experience with a business called SuiteCorner who offer an advanced subscription billing solution with more flexibility than the NetSuite billing offering. Speak to SuiteCorner to learn more.

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