There are so many great features and modules to NetSuite that it is easy to forget that all that amazing functionality is built upon a really high end finance system.
One of the things that makes NetSuite so great as a business wide tool is that teams such as supply chain, commercial and sales can go about their own business whilst NetSuite ensures the correct accounting treatment of all their actions.
NetSuite Financial Reporting provides your standard statutory statements, more bespoke insights in to the books as well the ability to customize and create any conceivable output of financial data.
These reports can be viewed within the system, on dashboard portlets or scheduled on to email alerts for non NetSuite users such as senior management or other stakeholders.
Financial and statistical accounts can be reported together to provide more advanced insights not available with just financial information.
Budget vs actual reports can show variances per period, account and subsidiary.
Operational reporting can lead to cost savings through detailed analysis of trends and strategic metrics.
This is just a small flavor of what can be offered beyond the standard NetSuite financial reporting offering. In this article I will introduce the core financial reports that all businesses need. From there you can go on to customize them and build your own reports. The opportunities are vast.
Standard NetSuite Financial Reporting Pack
There are a few financial reports that are absolutely necessary for any accounting system to be able to produce. These tend to be Balance Sheet, Profit and Loss (or Income Statement) and Trial Balance.
The standard NetSuite versions can be found under Reports > Financial along with all the other standard reports from the NetSuite Financial Reporting package.
There is also a customizable Cash Flow Statement and comparative versions of the Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss. The comparative reports will show current actuals against actuals of a prior period.
Remember, this is just the basic financial reporting pack and there is an almost endless array of other reports in NetSuite with the additional ability to define your own.
NetSuite’s Standard Balance Sheet
NetSuite’s standard Balance Sheet looks basic but meets needs and more. It allows collapsible and expandable sub accounts and shows subtotals and section totals – all to be expected.
Columns can be split out by Class, Department, Location or even custom segments. This all at the click of a button giving a highly responsive, dynamic experience.
A detail report is linked so account balances can be drilled in to and individual transactions can similarly be clicked through to from the detailed report.
Period and Subsidiary filters are displayed as standard but like all NetSuite reports the format, criteria and filters can all be customized.
NetSuite’s Standard Profit and Loss
The aesthetic and functionality of NetSuite’s Profit and Loss is much the same as the above.
The period(s) in question can be selected from the filters at the bottom of the screen.
In the column options you also have the ability to split the figures out by accounting period allowing you to show the whole financial year as it’s periodic values.
Sections can be collapsed and expanded in bulk using toggles at the bottom right of the report and of course all reports are exportable in a variety of different formats.
All these reports gather the data every time you refresh or access them so an impactful change will immediately show.
|Consolidated, group reporting in NetSuite is instantaneous and truly robust. This can be managed from the filters at the bottom of a report. Select the level of consolidation and hit Refresh.
NetSuite’s Standard Trial Balance
A Trial Balance isn’t the most complex of statements, so it’s no surprise that NetSuite doesn’t make any mistakes in this area.
Accounts are all ordered by type and are grouped in to collapsible sections. The start of each section is labeled on the scroll bar for easy access.
Standard viewing options allow you to move between a single column or split out debits and credits.
The trial balance drills down in to specific account detail by clicking on the values and both the trial balance and detail can be fully customized.
Reporting in NetSuite is aesthetically very flexible but it is not the answer to all the data needs of a company. Saved searches provide more scope from a data sourcing perspective which is even further enhanced by the ability to use SQL to query the database in ways a report will never be able to.
The financial reports above, as well as others such as the Cash Flow Statement, Budgeted Profit and Loss and Budget vs Actual report, do a great job, however, of presenting the data in an engaging and malleable way.
Columns can be changed with the click of a button, they can be widened or narrowed directly on the face of the report and sections can be expanded in seconds.
Customizing Financial Reports in NetSuite
When customizing a report, or even building one from scratch you are directed to the report builder. This page is really very intuitive and easy to use. Unfortunately I would say it is not, however, the most advanced with regards to its functionality and versatility.
In time I hope NetSuite will bring some of the saved search functionality in to the report builder such as the ability to use advanced formulas.
That said, for most businesses the standard reporting will be more than sufficient.
Reports keep their format when exported to PDF or even in to Excel where they can be further analyzed and manipulated.
You can export this manually or you can schedule this to be emailed out to one or more people on a weekly or monthly basis. You might choose to schedule a financial reporting pack to go to a number of stakeholders at the same time each quarter for example.
For real time reporting you can set up dashboard portlets for management or finance roles. Optimizing the dashboard will mean every time the user logs in they are presented with the important metrics within their remit.
This can be done for standard or customized reports and can even be set up to show comparable figures with variances from period to period (see KPI Scorecards).
Overall NetSuite’s financial reporting is thorough, nicely presented and full of functionality that enhances it’s use beyond just a static list of values.
For more curious administrators and finance teams there are plenty of options to change up the reports that come straight out of the box and for advanced users, recreating sections as saved searches may give even deeper insights where more targeted results can be pulled out.
Speak to your NetSuite partner if you need a demonstration on the financial reporting capability and check out this video from NetSuite themselves –
If you are interested in building saved searches to replicate some of these financial reports, take a look at some of the ways you can customize them beyond the standard offering. There are numerous articles on NetFreak to help with this but you could start here by learning some basic saved search formulas.