NetSuite Fixed Assets and How To Escape Excel

Are your fixed assets starting to put your Excel spreadsheet to the test? Don’t pretend your fixed assets aren’t being managed in Excel!

Well, it’s time you took a look at NetSuite Fixed Assets Management. It might not be the most advanced or bespoke asset management software on the market but as a fully integrated NetSuite SuiteApp it sits alongside your other day to day accounting modules and streamlines your asset management processes.

Most businesses that I have migrated to NetSuite Fixed Assets have come from a spreadsheet. Those spreadsheets quickly get out of control and tracing historical balances can be onerous and often inaccurate. Explaining the benefits of moving this data in to NetSuite is not normally a difficult task.

An example of Fixed Assets register in Excel.

The Fixed Assets module in NetSuite provides a centralized and automated solution. Depreciation and movements are calculated automatically by the system, eliminating errors. Postings are made directly to the books, that are fully integrated, so there is no manual entry.

Additionally, using NetSuite Fixed Assets improves compliance and reporting capabilities. With comprehensive audit trails and built-in compliance features, businesses can maintain a clear and easily accessible fixed asset history.

In this article, we’ll take a thorough look at the NetSuite Fixed Assets module, exploring its key functionalities, benefits, and limitations. I’ll help you understand if this the next addition you need for your NetSuite system.

Some key features of NetSuite Fixed Assets Management

What is NetSuite Fixed Assets Management?

The NetSuite Fixed Assets Management module is a fully integrated, centralized asset management solution. NetSuite Fixed Asset Management simplifies and streamlines all aspects of asset management from asset creation, depreciation, write down and sale.

Fixed Assets Management is an additional SuiteApp that you need purchase . There is a cost to it – we will get to that a bit further down.

Once installed in your system, setup is actually fairly straight forward and you will find most of what you need on SuiteAnswers. The bulk of your time during implementation will be spent on preparing your data to import.

But what does Fixed Assets Management actually do for you?

The module will create a unique asset record for every fixed asset you import. The asset record will store all the meta data about the asset including such values as purchase date, depreciation information, warranty details and much more.

Depreciation can be run for your entire catalog at the click of a button at month end. Depreciation calculations are made automatically and recorded as unique history records that tie back to your ledger postings.

Fixed Assets Management also streamlines the generation of new assets, write down, write off and sale of end of life assets.

Below we will explore, in more detail, some of the key features.

Key Features of NetSuite Fixed Assets Management

The purpose of this article is not to explain all the details and intricacies of Fixed Assets Management in NetSuite. Once your interest is piqued you need to speak to your NetSuite partner or NetSuite Account Manager to organize a bespoke demo.

What you do need to know at this stage, however, is some of the key features of the module and how you might use it to meet your fixed assets needs.

Asset Creation and Proposal

New assets can be created manually or through a system where by the module recognizes any new purchases posted to a fixed asset account.

The Manage Asset Proposals page of the NetSuite Fixed Assets module

Asset types are associated with a particular asset account so fixed assets management will even prepopulate with the relevant asset type associated data.

Users can generate Asset Proposals based off these assumptions. This gives them the opportunity to make edits and add additional information before the asset record is generated. Alternatively assets can just be created automatically without the proposal step.

Automated Depreciation

Depreciation is calculated automatically by the NetSuite Fixed Assets module. When the time comes you can select the relevant asset type and subsidiary and run the depreciation engine.

How to run depreciation in the NetSuite Fixed Assets module

You can alternatively run depreciation for all assets at the same time once you have faith in the data entered in to the system.

Depreciation journal entries can be grouped by asset type and other classifications if needed. Journals are then linked to depreciation history records to facilitate easy historical reporting and validation of total depreciation amounts.

Historical Reporting

Your Excel spreadsheet does a horrendous job of being able to report off historical posting values. It’s not linked to NetSuite and cells can be edited – a recipe for disaster.

Reporting on historical asset values in NetSuite Fixed Assets is easy. Since all depreciation entries are stored as unique depreciation history records, you don’t need to sift through journal entries and supporting documentation.

The Depreciation history of an asset in NetSuite

Searches can be written to calculate the net book value and accumulated depreciation at any given date. There is also a host of predefined reports for breakdowns of the asset register, asset type summaries and periodic reporting.

If you are interested in expanding the reporting capabilities of NetSuite generally, take a look at NetSuite Analytics Warehouse which presents an entire new platform with new ways of slicing your business data.

Alternate Depreciation

As standard, the fixed assets module allows a non posting alternative depreciation to be calculated and recorded alongside your standard schedule. This is most commonly used for calculation of tax depreciation.

This feature allows for the tax depreciation to be calculated automatically on a periodic basis. It also provides a clear and traceable year end breakdown of the final depreciation values.

If the Multi-Book Accounting feature is also in use, multiple depreciation schedules can be run for an asset. This allows for different depreciation method to be used across accounting books.

If you are a NetSuite user and these are the kinds of topics you deal with in your day to day, why not take a look at the NetSuite Financial User certification?

Compound Assets

The compound assets feature of NetSuite Fixed Assets Management means individually purchased components can be viewed as a single asset in your register. When additional ‘parts’ are purchased they can be added to the compound asset.

This is a great feature for building projects for which the value and depreciation is viewed as a total or for projects that are recognized over a period time.

Compound assets inherit their asset cost from the total of their components so it is always an accurate representation.

Limitations of NetSuite Fixed Assets Management

The NetSuite Fixed Assets Management module is a massive step up from a manual Excel based system but it is far from perfect. Businesses that have complex requirements for their fixed assets solution will struggle with the rigidity of this SuiteApp.

Fixed Assets Management offers lease management capabilities but it does not compare to bespoke lease accounting software. If your business model involves offering leased assets or a large portion of your own fixed assets are under lease you will probably want to consider a third party integration such as LeaseQuery or NetLessor.

Some of the predefined reports for the module are also a little underwhelming. That’s not to say the data isn’t available for you to source with your own searches and reports but it would be nice if NetSuite put a bit more effort in to that standard reporting pack.

The standard report generation page for NetSuite Fixed Assets

Many of the standard reports are too rigid in their configuration. Some reports aren’t even available as an Excel/CSV export rendering them almost useless to most accountants.

There are also lots of technical reasons Fixed Assets Management won’t work for your business but the best advice I can give is to get a thorough demo from NetSuite or your NetSuite partner. You need to see it in action and ask questions specific to your business.

Take in to consideration your asset volumes, accounting methods and any nuances to fixed asset management in your business or industry.

NetSuite Fixed Assets Cost and Licensing

NetSuite Fixed Asset Management is a SuiteApp that normally needs to be purchased on top of your basic license.

Some NetSuite SKU’s, however, do include Fixed Assets Management so check under the Billing Information tab in your production environment if you suspect you might already have it. Navigate to Setup > Company > View Billing Information.

If it is already installed you will see it listed in your Installed Bundles under Customization >SuiteBundler > Search & Install Bundles > List.

Viewing NetSuite Fixed Assets in the Installed Bundles page of an environment

If you don’t already have it then you will need to speak to your NetSuite Account Manager in order to get a quote.

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