Breakthrough Capabilities Enable Organizations to Tailor the General Ledger to Specific Needs, Improving Business Agility, Control and Visibility
NetSuite Inc. (NYSE: N), the industry’s leading provider of cloud-based financials / ERP and omnichannel commerce software suites unveiled SuiteGL, a new product release packed with breakthrough capabilities for the general ledger component of NetSuite cloud ERP that can enable businesses to tailor general ledger processes to their unique business needs. The first and only cloud ERP solution to make general ledger-related customizations readily accessible to the business, NetSuite has combined the power of the SuiteCloud Development Platform with the world’s leading cloud business management software suite to give finance professionals new flexibility and visibility, richer reporting functionality, enhanced audit trails and new support for multinational financial management. With SuiteGL, NetSuite customers and NetSuite Solution Provider partners can now transform the general ledger from a static subsystem into a dynamic business asset that is more adaptable to specific business requirements and changing conditions that automatically carries forward with every upgrade.
NetSuite’s new GL customizability addresses the needs of finance teams, from small and mid-sized companies to Fortune 500 multinational organizations, to more flexibly accommodate a growing diversity of operational and financial requirements. These can include adapting accounting practices to the complex and widely varied standards of different nations, strengthening compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley and other regulations and satisfying industry- and company-specific requirements. Traditional ERP systems provide a hard-coded set of transaction types such as vendor bills, customer invoices and inbound/outbound payments that are rigidly reflected in the general ledger, limiting the business’s ability to see and understand their GL impact. With traditional on-premise ERP systems such as Microsoft Dynamics GP or Sage, customizations related to the GL typically requires a costly third-party IT consulting team to edit the core code of the application, introducing business risk, maintenance issues and re-engineering upon an ERP upgrade because customizations won’t carry over to the next version.
NetSuite’s innovations transform the GL from a “one-size-fits-all” subsystem to one tailored to a business’s specific needs. The greater visibility and control offered in NetSuite empower businesses to improve their agility, decision-making capabilities and effectiveness in adopting new business models or entering new markets. Unlike on-premise ERP, any GL-related customizations made in NetSuite carry over seamlessly during NetSuite’s twice-yearly updates, eliminating the prospect of “version lock” that organizations face with in-house applications.
“This isn’t your father’s general ledger—it’s a next-generation GL that empowers businesses to be more dynamic, tailor financials to the way they do business and get better business insight,” said Evan Goldberg, NetSuite Founder, Chief Technology Officer and Chairman of the Board. “It paves the way for businesses to transform more of their business processes, improve efficiency and enrich reporting by applying the pioneering customization flexibility of the SuiteCloud platform to their core general ledger subsystem.”
Unveiled by Mr. Goldberg today during a keynote address at SuiteWorld 2014, the new SuiteGL capabilities known as custom GL lines, custom transaction types and custom GL segments are scheduled to be rolled out beginning later this year. These three new capabilities, in conjunction with NetSuite’s enterprise-class business management suite and SuiteCloud platform, ensure that NetSuite is ready to support the business processes of any type of business in any geography.
Custom GL lines. Using a configurable SuiteScript plug-in, users can add custom GL impact lines to standard transactions, such as invoices or vendor bills, across single or multiple accounting books, eliminating the need for manual journal entries. These new capabilities are particularly valuable for global enterprises doing business in such nations as Brazil where the required GL impact of a transaction can differ from that expected in the U.S. or U.K. Custom GL lines enable NetSuite to be tailored to meet those specific needs and ensure the business complies with strict governmental reporting requirements on transactions while maintaining consistency of operations across the business. Custom GL lines are scheduled for release in NetSuite Version 2014.2 in the second half of 2014.
Custom transaction types. With this capability, users can easily design custom transaction types unique to a company or industry, with corresponding GL capabilities such as type-specific transaction numbering, roles and permissions, reporting and more. Built on NetSuite’s scalable and robust core ERP capabilities and, in conjunction with SuiteFlow and other aspects of the SuiteCloud platform, custom transaction types enable the business to define entirely new GL-impacting business processes with their own approval process and routing, discrete audit trail and permission controls and type-specific transaction numbering, reducing the time and effort required for account reconciliation and audit processes. As an example, a user could define their own business process for calculating, approving and posting accruals for vendor bills that are pending with accounts payable (applying filters such as vendor, currency and subsidiary) that would be reversed upon approval of the bill. This business process would utilize a custom transaction type named “Vendor Bill Accrual” which is accessible only to users in the finance department. This custom transaction type has a discrete approval process as part of the month end close period, has its own numbering sequence and is easily identifiable and differentiated from other transactions in the corresponding GL accounts.
With many traditional ERP systems, if feasible at all, such capabilities would only be possible through modification to the core application code, creating maintenance and upgrade problems. In fact, many companies simply re-use general journal transaction types to reflect the GL impact of a wide variety of different business processes, which severely limits their ability to define, control and audit these activities after the fact. Custom transactions are further available via SuiteTalk to support the integration and representation of the GL impact of business processes occurring in external applications. Custom transaction types is scheduled for release in NetSuite Version 2015.1 in the first half of 2015.
Custom GL segments. Finance teams gain more robust and flexible reporting with the new ability to define unlimited custom GL segments such as profit center, fund, program, product line and more, in addition to the subsidiary, class, department and location segments standard in NetSuite. As an extension to NetSuite’s built-in transaction integrity management, custom GL segments improves accuracy and saves time for the finance department by ensuring that financial impact follows double-entry accounting principles and balances across all segment combinations. These capabilities enable users to “tag” the GL impact of transactions, create sophisticated relationships between segments and improve flexibility and results from reporting and analytics. Custom GL segments is scheduled for release in NetSuite Version 2015.2 in the second half of 2015.
Today, more than 20,000 companies and subsidiaries depend on NetSuite to run complex, mission-critical business processes globally in the cloud. Since its inception in 1998, NetSuite has established itself as the leading provider of enterprise-class cloud financials/ERP suites for divisions of large enterprises and mid-sized organizations seeking to upgrade their antiquated client/server ERP systems. NetSuite excels at streamlining business operations as demonstrated in a recent Gartner study naming NetSuite as the fastest growing financial management software vendor on a global basis. NetSuite continues its success in delivering the best cloud ERP/financials suites to businesses around the world, enabling them to lower IT costs significantly while increasing productivity, as the global adoption of the cloud is accelerating.
UK might need negative rates if recovery disappoints – BoE’s Vlieghe
By David Milliken and William Schomberg
LONDON (Reuters) – The Bank of England might need to cut interest rates below zero later this year or in 2022 if a recovery in the economy disappoints, especially if there is persistent unemployment, policymaker Gertjan Vlieghe said on Friday.
Vlieghe said he thought the likeliest scenario was that the economy would recover strongly as forecast by the central bank earlier this month, meaning a further loosening of monetary policy would not be needed.
Data published on Friday suggested the economy had stabilised after a new COVID-19 lockdown hit retailers last month, while businesses and consumers are hopeful a fast vaccination campaign will spur a recovery.
Vlieghe said in a speech published by the BoE that there was a risk of lasting job market weakness hurting wages and prices.
“In such a scenario, I judge more monetary stimulus would be appropriate, and I would favour a negative Bank Rate as the tool to implement the stimulus,” he said.
“The time to implement it would be whenever the data, or the balance of risks around it, suggest that the recovery is falling short of fully eliminating economic slack, which might be later this year or into next year,” he added.
Vlieghe’s comments are similar to those of fellow policymaker Michael Saunders, who said on Thursday negative rates could be the BoE’s best tool in future.
Earlier this month the BoE gave British financial institutions six months to get ready for the possible introduction of negative interest rates, though it stressed that no decision had been taken on whether to implement them.
Investors saw the move as reducing the likelihood of the BoE following other central banks and adopting negative rates.
Some senior BoE policymakers, such as Deputy Governor Dave Ramsden, believe that adding to the central bank’s 875 billion pounds ($1.22 trillion) of government bond purchases remains the best way of boosting the economy if needed.
Vlieghe underscored the scale of the hit to Britain’s economy and said it was clear the country was not experiencing a V-shaped recovery, adding it was more like “something between a swoosh-shaped recovery and a W-shaped recovery.”
“I want to emphasise how far we still have to travel in this recovery,” he said, adding that it was “highly uncertain” how much of the pent-up savings amassed by households during the lockdowns would be spent.
By contrast, last week the BoE’s chief economist, Andy Haldane, likened the economy to a “coiled spring.”
Vlieghe also warned against raising interest rates if the economy appeared to be outperforming expectations.
“It is perfectly possible that we have a short period of pent up demand, after which demand eases back again,” he said.
Higher interest rates were unlikely to be appropriate until 2023 or 2024, he said.
($1 = 0.7146 pounds)
(Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by William Schomberg)
UK economy shows signs of stabilisation after new lockdown hit
By William Schomberg and David Milliken
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s economy has stabilised after a new COVID-19 lockdown last month hit retailers, and business and consumers are hopeful the vaccination campaign will spur a recovery, data showed on Friday.
The IHS Markit/CIPS flash composite Purchasing Managers’ Index, a survey of businesses, suggested the economy was barely shrinking in the first half of February as companies adjusted to the latest restrictions.
A separate survey of households showed consumers at their most confident since the pandemic began.
Britain’s economy had its biggest slump in 300 years in 2020, when it contracted by 10%, and will shrink by 4% in the first three months of 2021, the Bank of England predicts.
The central bank expects a strong subsequent recovery because of the COVID-19 vaccination programme – though policymaker Gertjan Vlieghe said in a speech on Friday that the BoE could need to cut interest rates below zero later this year if unemployment stayed high.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due on Monday to announce the next steps in England’s lockdown but has said any easing of restrictions will be gradual.
Official data for January underscored the impact of the latest lockdown on retailers.
Retail sales volumes slumped by 8.2% from December, a much bigger fall than the 2.5% decrease forecast in a Reuters poll of economists, and the second largest on record.
“The only good thing about the current lockdown is that it’s no way near as bad for the economy as the first one,” Paul Dales, an economist at Capital Economics, said.
The smaller fall in retail sales than last April’s 18% plunge reflected growth in online shopping.
BORROWING SURGE SLOWED IN JANUARY
There was some better news for finance minister Rishi Sunak as he prepares to announce Britain’s next annual budget on March 3.
Though public sector borrowing of 8.8 billion pounds ($12.3 billion) was the first January deficit in a decade, it was much less than the 24.5 billion pounds forecast in a Reuters poll.
That took borrowing since the start of the financial year in April to 270.6 billion pounds, reflecting a surge in spending and tax cuts ordered by Sunak.
The figure does not count losses on government-backed loans which could add 30 billion pounds to the shortfall this year, but the deficit is likely to be smaller than official forecasts, the Institute for Fiscal Studies think tank said.
Sunak is expected to extend a costly wage subsidy programme, at least for the hardest-hit sectors, but he said the time for a reckoning would come.
“It’s right that once our economy begins to recover, we should look to return the public finances to a more sustainable footing and I’ll always be honest with the British people about how we will do this,” he said.
Some economists expect higher taxes sooner rather than later.
“Big tax rises eventually will have to be announced, with 2022 likely to be the worst year, so that they will be far from voters’ minds by the time of the next general election in May 2024,” Samuel Tombs, at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said.
Public debt rose to 2.115 trillion pounds, or 97.9% of gross domestic product – a percentage not seen since the early 1960s.
The PMI survey and a separate measure of manufacturing from the Confederation of British Industry, showing factory orders suffering the smallest hit in a year, gave Sunak some cause for optimism.
IHS Markit’s chief business economist, Chris Williamson, said the improvement in business expectations suggested the economy was “poised for recovery.”
However the PMI survey showed factory output in February grew at its slowest rate in nine months. Many firms reported extra costs and disruption to supply chains from new post-Brexit barriers to trade with the European Union since Jan. 1.
Vlieghe warned against over-interpreting any early signs of growth. “It is perfectly possible that we have a short period of pent up demand, after which demand eases back again,” he said.
“We are experiencing something between a swoosh-shaped recovery and a W-shaped recovery. We are clearly not experiencing a V-shaped recovery.”
($1 = 0.7160 pounds)
(Editing by Angus MacSwan and Timothy Heritage)
Oil extends losses as Texas prepares to ramp up output
By Devika Krishna Kumar
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil prices fell for a second day on Friday, retreating further from recent highs as Texas energy companies began preparations to restart oil and gas fields shuttered by freezing weather.
Brent crude futures were down 33 cents, or 0.5%, at $63.60 a barrel by 11:06 a.m. (1606 GMT) U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 60 cents, or 1%, to $59.92.
This week, both benchmarks had climbed to the highest in more than a year.
“Price pullback thus far appears corrective and is slight within the context of this month’s major upside price acceleration,” said Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates.
Unusually cold weather in Texas and the Plains states curtailed up to 4 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude production and 21 billion cubic feet of natural gas, analysts estimated.
Texas refiners halted about a fifth of the nation’s oil processing amid power outages and severe cold.
Companies were expected to prepare for production restarts on Friday as electric power and water services slowly resume, sources said.
“While much of the selling relates to a gradual resumption of power in the Gulf coast region ahead of a significant temperature warmup, the magnitude of this week’s loss of supply may require further discounting given much uncertainty regarding the extent and possible duration of lost output,” Ritterbusch said.
Oil fell despite a surprise drop in U.S. crude stockpiles in the week to Feb. 12, before the big freeze. Inventories fell by 7.3 million barrels to 461.8 million barrels, their lowest since March, the Energy Information Administration reported on Thursday. [EIA/S]
The United States on Thursday said it was ready to talk to Iran about returning to a 2015 agreement that aimed to prevent Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Still, analysts did not expect near-term reversal of sanctions on Iran that were imposed by the previous U.S. administration.
“This breakthrough increases the probability that we may see Iran returning to the oil market soon, although there is much to be discussed and a new deal will not be a carbon-copy of the 2015 nuclear deal,” said StoneX analyst Kevin Solomon.
(Additional reporting by Ahmad Ghaddar in London and Roslan Khasawneh in Singapore and Sonali Paul in Melbourne; Editing by Jason Neely, David Goodman and David Gregorio)
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