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Professional Services Companies: NetSuite 2020 Release 1 Helps Firms Thrive in a Time of Change

Posted by Adam Mayo, Master Industry Principal, Services

From globalization and automation to the way services are billed, professional services firms are forced to adapt to a fast-evolving marketplace. And with an expected compound annual growth rate of more than 10% over the next decade, it's in their best interest to go along for the ride.

"We're experiencing unprecedented disruption in how (services) businesses operate, driven largely by changes in customer expectations and behavior," Frank Della Rosa, a research director at IDC, said last year.

Among those expectations: More pricing transparency and value-based services. Meanwhile, professional services firms face increased competition from globalization and pressure to keep up with emerging technologies such as AI. In such a volatile environment, it's critical that firms closely monitor the health and finances of projects, and position themselves to capitalize on additional potential revenue streams.

With NetSuite 2020 Release 1, professional services firms can make themselves smarter, faster and more adaptable with an expanded array of capabilities that deliver visibility, automation and global financial integration:

 An improved set of tools and smarter analytics simplifies management of project budgets. Organizations can now easily see how costs are impacted when adding and editing those project budgets. Automated cost calculations help to increase accuracy, and miscoded time or expenses can now be quickly identified. What's more, NetSuite now offers system suggestions for updating time estimates when unexpected costs arise.

  • New time modification enhancements provide better control of billable time. Time entries can now be easily modified, and an audit trail makes it possible to correct entries entered against the wrong project. Plus, NetSuite Analytics now supports time modification requests and entries, improving visibility into changes.
  • Enhancements bring automation and flexibility to measuring the health of projects. Automated calculation of key financial data raises the accuracy of project, budget and work breakdown structure records.


In NetSuite project profitability reports, tracked and actual time are better categorized as either committed or actual costs, and forecast and actual charges are now easily included for better insight into project billing.


  • On the global financial front, the combination of seamless banking integration via the Bank Feeds SuiteApp and a new banking plug-in featuring open banking APIs enables automated import of banking data into NetSuite from financial institutions around the world and delivers increased financial insight. An intelligent rules engine powers automated bank data reconciliation, resulting in improved matching and reduced clutter. 
  • Tracking and payout of bonuses now benefit from a single source for employee and financial data. HR now has the flexibility to support numerous bonus types, such as spot, referral, merit or custom, enabling it to better track incentive pay, while employees have visibility into current bonus potential, providing motivation. And all of this bonus data flows seamlessly into SuitePeople Payroll.
  • NetSuite now enables managers to make employee change requests, while employees can approve vendor bills, all of which speeds processes, improves accuracy and frees up HR resources.
  • Vendor bills can now be approved by employees, who are looped into the process, resulting in improved accuracy and efficiency. Vendor prepayments also can be streamlined and auto-applied to bills.

Learn More About NetSuite 2020 Release 1

These are just the highlights; there's much more for services companies in NetSuite 2020 Release 1 than can’t be covered in a single blog post. For more specifics on the complete list and details of all the new features in the release, be sure to read the Release Notes.

New to the release process? Learn more about it here.

Finally, be sure to request access to your Release Preview account. There, you can test to see how the new features will work with your own data and get a jumpstart on maximizing the impact of NetSuite 2020 Release 1.