A key focus of SuiteWorld 2018 centered on their aggressive expansion of NetSuite into global markets. Not only is Oracle focusing on increasing functionality to manage multiple subsidiaries, but there is a strong focus on localization of features tailored for specific countries.
This blog provides an overview of some of the features designed to accommodate global markets:
The ability to reuse the same customer across multiple subsidiaries has been a long awaited feature included in the latest release. Previously, OneWorld users had to create copies of the same customer record for each subsidiary they transact with. This required significant time and effort for extra data entry, as well as managing and reporting for customers’ transaction history. For example, a customer record transacting with three NetSuite subsidiaries would have to be setup like this:
- Company (USA)
- Company (CAD)
- Company (EU)
Now, once the “Multi Subsidiary Customer” feature is enabled, a primary subsidiary is still required for the customer, but a new “Subsidiaries” sublist will appear and allow the other subsidiaries to be added. Once setup correctly, all other customer information, such as email, terms, sales rep, and addresses can be shared across each of your subsidiaries using a single customer record.
Unfortunately, despite being a very useful feature, there are limitations that can prevent it from being enabled. Currently, multi-subsidiary customers cannot be enabled if the following features are used by your organization:
- Consolidated Payments
- Intercompany Time and Expenses
There are additional limitations and unsupported features that should be considered before turning this feature on. These consist of but are not limited to credit limit per subsidiary, Customer Center data access (primary subsidiary only) and various other tax limitations.
We are confident that NetSuite will address these limitations and add support for them in future releases. However, if these features are currently preventing multi-subsidiary from being enabled, contact us at Techfino for guidance on how to proceed.
Another way to streamline sales transactions across subsidiaries is the introduction of Intercompany Cross-Subsidiary Fulfillments. With this feature, sales orders across multiple subsidiaries can now be fulfilled out of a centralized fulfillment location. Additionally, a single sales order can now be fulfilled across multiple subsidiaries and locations, as each line item on an order can have a different location to fulfill from.
Furthermore, NetSuite will allow users to establish Global Inventory Relationships and Trade Agreements to define fulfillment policies that will automatically select the locations that each item should be fulfilled out of. For example, USA customer orders can be set to fulfill out of its West Coast warehouse by default, but if there isn’t enough available inventory, fulfill out of the Canadian subsidiary/location instead.
One of the biggest challenges with intercompany transactions is managing the accounting impact. Fortunately, NetSuite has also introduced cross-charge transactions to handle the intercompany accounting required for cross-subsidiary fulfillments. As part of the accounting period close process, cross-charges will be automatically generated for all multi-subsidiary transactions.
FX Currency Variance Mapping
When multiple currencies are used across bank accounts and subsidiaries, the fluctuation of foreign exchange rates will cause balances to change on their own. Though NetSuite is already able to post foreign exchange variances automatically, this feature has been enhanced significantly in the latest release.
Now, multiple accounts can be used to post FX variances and rules can be defined to control when each accounts should be used to post realized and unrealized gains. For example, separate accounts can be used for gains and losses within a specific subsidiary. Additionally, if the standard criteria available is not sufficient in defining these posting rules, custom fields can be incorporated to allow even more complex logic in determining which GL account to post variances to.
For countries that have strict accounting/reporting requirements for FX variances, this feature is able to handle them seamlessly.
Period End Journal Entries
Current financial reporting in NetSuite will automatically calculate Retained Earnings, Net Income, and Cumulative Translation Adjustment at report runtime. While the financial statements will correctly display these amounts, there will be no posting transaction to record these amounts on the general ledger. This presents issues for subsidiaries with specific audit requirements that require journal entries to explicitly post these amounts at period end.
Fortunately, NetSuite will soon offer the ability to post Period End Journal Entries to satisfy this requirement for companies. It will be a new transaction type that will have its own Period Close task to automatically generate these entries. This feature can be enabled by subsidiary, and will utilize a new set of Period End Financial Statement reports to display this information.
At period end, subsidiaries will now be able to generate Period End Journals to:
- Consolidate to parent subsidiary
- Close P&L balances to Retained Earnings at year end
- Balance sheet carry-forward
- Income Summary (2 step closing)
These are just a few of the newest features recently released or soon to be released that enable companies to manage their multi-subsidiary processes much more seamlessly. NetSuite will also be releasing a new tax engine called SuiteTax to satisfy the specific requirements for countries all over the world, which will be discussed in a future blog post. Lastly, NetSuite is planning to significantly ramp up their localization efforts to satisfy the requirements of specific countries such as China, France, Germany, and Brazil.
We are very excited to see what the future holds for NetSuite’s global initiatives!