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Why NetSuite is the best choice of accounting software

Updated: Apr 15

As a company grows and becomes more successful, the accounting demands on the business become more complex and your entry-level accounting solution can start to become limiting. Handling the accounting needs of a growing business using spreadsheets and a range of disparate software packages becomes inadequate, which is why companies often feel the need to upgrade from applications such as Sage, Xero and Quickbooks to NetSuite.

If you’re interested in upgrading your accounting solution, you need to understand how these traditional dedicated accounting packages and NetSuite meet your business requirements. If you want to lower operational costs, automate key business processes, and boost productivity, both now and in the future, you should consider which features and functionality will both increase efficiency and scale with your business.

Both NetSuite and dedicated accounting software is designed to help businesses manage their accounting processes, but there is a significant gap in the depth of features. NetSuite is a suite of business you don’t need to manage multiple systems or applications as they do with Sage, Xero or QuickBooks. Setting aside the additional feature set, how does NetSuite compare with the dedicated accounting software when you focus primarily on accounting functionality?

NetSuite vs. Sage, Xero & QuickBooks

Dedicated accounting software such as Sage, Xero and QuickBooks suits some small businesses because they accommodate bookkeeping very well: managing invoices, paying bills and basic cash flow tracking. When bookkeeping is all that is needed and accounting demands are minimal, generating month and year-end reports and helping with annual business taxes is enough.

Whilst Sage, Xero and QuickBooks may check off many boxes when it comes to standard bookkeeping, NetSuite offers a complete financial management solution that increases efficiency and reduces the need to add to headcount as the business’ financial needs become more varied and complex. More than just a collection of accounting information, NetSuite comes with preconfigured KPIs, workflows, reminders and customisable dashboards that show exactly how operations and accounting processes align and what needs to get done.

NetSuite combines core finance and accounting functions with strong compliance management. With real-time access to financial data, you can drill into details to quickly generate statements and disclosures that comply with multiple financial regulatory requirements.

How NetSuite compares to Sage, Xero and QuickBooks

While platforms such as Sage, Xero and QuickBooks serve similar purposes and check off some of the same boxes as NetSuite, a deeper dive into their functionality shows that there are as many differences as similarities, especially when it comes to the robustness and completeness of the feature sets.

For growing companies, depth of functionality has a direct effect on the time and resources required to complete finance tasks. Here are a few examples of how some of NetSuite’s easy-to-use key features compare.

Revenue recognition

Whether a sales transaction consists of a single action, a series of actions across a period or different types of deliverables in a bundle, NetSuite enables accounting teams to comply with revenue recognition requirements and schedule revenue to be recognised automatically. Financial statements and forecasts are accurate and updated in real-time.


NetSuite helps companies gain real-time visibility into billing and financial activity. This adds more transparency through consolidated invoicing, automated rating processes and support of multiple pricing models to capture setup fees, license counts and variable consumption in one step.

NetSuite’s billing capabilities truly shine when it comes to subscription billing. Automated renewals help retain revenue and reduce the need for manual oversight. Businesses can also schedule subscription changes, removing the need to manually monitor and track them, and set customer-specific pricing and discounting.

General ledger

NetSuite’s general ledger provides accounting data from a consolidated level down to individual transactions, allowing you to customise your general ledger to meet your business needs. Users can add custom general ledger impact lines to transactions, such as invoices or vendor bills, across single or multiple accounting books, reducing the time and effort required for account reconciliation, period close and audit processes. A simple chart of accounts makes transactions easier to categorise and report on at the transaction level, removing the need to go through hundreds of lines to see what transactions should be coded to. With prebuilt mapping capabilities between your primary and secondary chart of accounts, as well as book-specific functional currencies, the NetSuite Multi-Book engine can record all book-specific activity based on a single business transaction from the general ledger, revenue recognition, expense amortisation, depreciation, P&L allocations and more.

Multidimensional reporting eliminates the need for a complex chart of accounts, letting you add tracking details at the transaction level.

Accounts payable

NetSuite’s approval workflow engine reduces risk by ensuring that purchasing and accounting controls and policies are followed. This makes approvals easier in a time when people aren’t sitting next to one another—whether it’s because of multiple offices or a work-from-home environment. Users can automate discount calculation and exception processing when invoices do not match purchase orders, limiting manual data entry errors and decreasing the time it takes to process bills from vendors. NetSuite helps enforce segregation of duties by controlling the data and functionality users have access to via role- and user-based permissions.

Accounts receivable

NetSuite’s accounts receivable features allow you to manage your customer list, track your receivables and receive payment, all without needing to enter detailed debits and credits. Configurable dashboards, reports and KPIs provide a real-time view into accounts receivable data such as customer aging, invoice analyses, recurring invoices, deferred revenue, and exception reports that flag account anomalies.

You can also offer customers self-service access to real-time insights on purchase orders, inventory levels and payment information. This simplifies the payment process with invoices by email with several payment options. NetSuite Advanced Revenue Management makes it easy to forecast and record revenue from contracts with milestone billing and a contract renewal feature. Forecasted revenue automatically converts to recognised revenue as performance commitments are completed.

Fixed asset and lease management

You can manage an asset’s complete lifecycle and easily report on all fixed assets, tracking depreciating or nondepreciating company assets from creation to depreciation, revaluation, and disposal. This makes it easier to document and maintain an accurate record of all capital assets, including acquisition costs and asset status.

Inventory management

NetSuite inventory management gives companies clear visibility of their inventory. It minimises manual processes by automating real-time tracking of inventory levels, orders and sales throughout the inventory lifecycle, and provides insights needed to make data driven decisions, maximise sales and gain greater control of the business. Warehouse management features like inventory counts, pick, pack and ship, integrated barcoding and multi-order picking are also available.


Whilst dedicated accounting software such as Sage, Xero and QuickBooks have standard accounting reports, such as P&L and cash flow, NetSuite’s expansive library includes real-time reports, from revenue forecasting to consolidated parent and subsidiary reports. And NetSuite’s multicurrency feature, lets you report using the local currency of the countries where subsidiaries are located.

NetSuite allows detailed drill-down and drill-across reporting for any record in the system with simplicity. NetSuite reports do away with static reporting, giving flexible views for reports from department, location, product line or any number of operational perspectives.

NetSuite is much more than just accounting software

As your company grows, the number of customers increase, you employ more staff, process more data and require greater automation. You need an accounting software solution that increases efficiency and serves as the foundation for your increasingly complex business. NetSuite’s financial management solution supports businesses at every stage of growth with a cloud-based, unified platform that provides real-time data with customisable fields and role-based dashboards.

In addition, NetSuite offers an entire suite of business solutions beyond accounting to serve companies looking to increase operational efficiency throughout the business: CRM, e-commerce, HR management software, professional services automation and more. And because it is built for the cloud, NetSuite provides business data in real-time and requires no added IT infrastructure.

Whilst NetSuite works as an end-to-end accounting solution, enabling cash flow and revenue management, automatic quote-to-order fulfilment and integrated planning and budgeting, it also goes way beyond and includes functionality designed to run your entire business.

Isn’t it time you upgraded your accounting solution?

As the new financial year begins, it could be time to re-evaluate your accounting software. NetSuite offers much more than accounting, but it’s a great place to start your NetSuite journey. We can work with you to ascertain your needs and customise NetSuite’s KPIs, workflows, reminders and dashboards to work for your business.

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