Consolidated Invoicing with NetSuite
In today’s business climate is it critical that companies have the ability to create transactions or provide information based on industry-specific practices, contractual obligations and/or customer specific needs. As billing models and promises to/requests from customers change it is important to facilitate this flow through additional automation in your receivables process. This article aims to focus on two key automations.
The Difference Between Consolidation and Post-Pro-Forma
It is important to understand the difference between consolidation and post-pro-forma. A true consolidated flow decreases your number of transactions. A post-pro-forma flow creates an additional record to combine record types, in this case, Invoices.
True Consolidation Model
NXTurn has developed an Invoice Consolidation tool that is initiated from Sales Order transactions. Multi scripts have been developed to run through a Suitelet which gives the user the ability to set criteria for which particular Sales Orders they wish to see consolidated into a single Invoice. These can be custom or standard fields. The Suitelet is modified to meet specific customer requirements. When the Suitelet is submitted, a single invoice is generated and the line items on the corresponding Sales Orders are closed. There would be a single invoice displaying in AR. Having a single AR record is critical for ease of use. This allows for native NetSuite customer statements to be generated without the need for post-pro-forma based customization. Depending upon configuration you would see item quantities rolled up on to the consolidated invoice or you may opt for a line-by-line approach.
Post-Pro-Forma Approach to Consolidation
NetSuite has developed a SuiteSolution, called Consolidated Invoicing. It’s a bundle for purchase that can be added to your NetSuite Account. In the NetSuite CI model, invoices are generated using your current processes. You may then decide to run consolidation against a set of invoices already generated for a particular customer. There are limitations to how criteria are set, such as a user may only be able to tag 3 custom fields to be used as filters during the consolidation process. When NetSuite CI is run it is creating a new record type called Consolidated Invoice. You can set the configuration to run in summary, detail or sub-customer to distinguish how you want the transaction lines to be built in the PDF documents. During payment acceptance and additional filter and column are added to the record to show the consolidated invoice records, making it simple to apply for payment against associated invoices.
The bundle also comes with a robust and interesting dunning system that can schedule collection calls, send out email notifications and function as an alerting tool to your AR department.
Benefits for your Business
Invoice Consolidation helps to solve major challenges faced by accounts receivable staff. Fewer Invoices mean less labor cost, reduced errors in billing due to less volume, improved customer communications and better handling of extended or late payments.
You may have a customer that places several orders/invoices with your company over the course of a week or month. Using consolidation your company would be able to present to them a single record listing out detail across all of those orders/invoices. It’s ideal for companies whose customers use blanket POs. Not only is your company being helped; but you are also helping your customer manage less AP. Another example of a valid use case would be generating a consolidated invoice for all invoices that had been billed to date against a particular project. Your company would be able to bill in order to recognize revenue as milestones are met but your customer may only want to receive an invoice upon completion of the project; consolidated invoicing provides you with that flexibility.
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