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NetSuite Budgets, Forecasting and Variance Reports in Excel

Welcome to the final entry of this mini blog series focused on NetSuite Reporting in Excel. In the first article, we laid the foundations of NetSuite Reporting and some of the most common challenges experienced by finance teams, before discussing Solution 7’s Excel Integration and supported reports in article two. Now, let’s look at other common reports, including budgets, forecasting and variance, as well as OneWorld and other consolidated reports.

NetSuite Budgets, Forecasting and Variance Reports

The very nature of budgets and forecasts is that (regardless of how scientifically they are calculated) they are made up. As such, they require flexibility to include a number of variables, versions and amendments.

NetSuite provides the ability to manage your annual budget as standard. Adding the Advanced Financials module to your subscriptions increases the functionality to include more budgets. The design of the software was to facilitate multi-year budgeting (e.g. 5-year planning), however as it essentially provides blank budget tables it is commonly re-purposed to do different versions of the same budget, or re-forecasts part way through the year.

As always, this functionality is incredibly strong and useful for finance teams to manage their key information centrally in NetSuite. However, budgeting, forecasting, and monitoring variances against actuals is often carried out by a number of people across the business, not necessarily financial-minded, or NetSuite users. This can mean that the challenges discussed in the first article of this series regarding the ease-of-access, and ability to analyse data outside of NetSuite can rear their head.

By building your report structure in Excel and pulling your actuals live from NetSuite you get the best of both worlds. Users can access up-to-date information directly from the core finance system in an interface which they can easily interact with, query, and even amend without impacting actuals. Importantly, they can also do this without a NetSuite license, and there are no limitations on the number or depth of budgets and re-forecasts you can produce.

With a few clicks, even novices in Excel could take the information available to them and create alternative scenario planning, or ‘what if’, budgeting reports based on the data and structure available to them without impacting anything in the core system.

OneWorld & Consolidated Reports

NetSuite’s OneWorld Module is undeniably a game-changer for businesses operating across multiple subsidiaries and regions. Without needing to integrate multiple databases and interfaces, the ability to drill down into complex scenarios such as the ‘GL impact’ of an individual transaction, in a subsidiary, which is in a different base currency from the HQ, within six clicks is frankly tremendous.

Managing more than one subsidiary presents a number of challenges (both practically and from an operations and reporting perspective). For example, Intercompany transactions and journals, multiple bank accounts, and if you are international – foreign currency revaluation.

It can be challenging enough to derive clear information from the data available for one company. So, when you introduce multiple companies which you still need to report on individually, as well as in the context of a wider group, the need to share and analyse information increases, but so does the complexity of accessing and querying that data. More people, in more places, with more perspectives and resultantly, more questions.

Solution 7 takes this amazing functionality provided by OneWorld and gives the finance team the power to easily extend and customise reports to suit their specific needs in Excel, without having to build custom reports in NetSuite. So, whether you want to simply add a chart to your consolidated month-end report or play about with FX rates to understand potential gains or losses across the group, you can build a report to suit your needs based on whatever data you need from NetSuite combined with any other factor you choose to include.

If you'd like to arrange a demo of our tool, or find out more information, please get in touch with us.




About Solution7

Solution 7’s award-winning SuiteApp provides finance professionals with all the power and capability of NetSuite’s reporting within the familiar and flexible interface of Microsoft Excel. Recognised by NetSuite as ‘SuiteApp of the Year’ in 2018, Solution 7 is one of the most, and highest, rated apps on SuiteApp.com, with an average rating of 4.8/5 from almost 100 reviews. To view our SuiteApp listing and see what our customers say about Solution 7, head over to SuiteApp.com now.