How to optimize NetSuite with integrated payments and AR automation

Aug 10, 2021 by Mark Fisher

ERP systems have revolutionized how accounting departments track payments, but these digital systems aren’t without their challenges. These systems often fall short when it comes to user experience and analytics, and that’s where integrations come in.

As one of the most popular ERPs, NetSuite offers an array of integrations to improve billing and payments. But automated invoicing is only one piece of the puzzle. In 2017 alone, American-based businesses suffered significantly as 48.8% of B2B invoices remained unpaid – on top of that, a whopping 11% of invoices are unreceived.

When it comes to AR, settling for manual invoicing or even generic email invoices just isn’t enough. To truly reduce your DSO and eliminate payment bottlenecks, you need to combine various payment methods with a high-user experience – all while keeping your ERP dashboard simple.

For NetSuite users, deciding on the best AR NetSuite integration can feel overwhelming: it can be hard to find time for other work between analyzing the options, scheduling demos, and reporting back to the team.

That’s why we made a list of everything you need to know to choose the right NetSuite integration for your team to make things easier.

The new shifts in payments you need for NetSuite

Payments have been changing for well over a decade. Robotic process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence (AI) have offered solutions to speed up AR and AP processes alike. But, the needs of AR departments have continued to evolve alongside the solutions.

Today more than ever, accounting departments need a faster way to process AR while reducing touchpoints. While some departments have already deviated from checks, credit cards can still take too long, and you can get slammed with a hefty payment processing fee.

When you are looking for an automated billing solution to integrate into your NetSuite workflow, multiple payment options are critical. Your suppliers will want to pay in the most convenient way for them, and in the world of Venmo, ACH, and bank transfers, you have so many more options. But you also want to be able to offer incentives for the payment methods you prefer.

Picking your perfect payment app for NetSuite: a checklist

The integration you choose for NetSuite is likely to be a long-term commitment, so it’s critical to get it right. Some of the key features to look for are integrations that do the following:

  • Provide a direct NetSuite integration so you never have to leave your ERP dashboard
  • Process all major credit and debit cards, ACH, and eCheck, while still offering zero-fee bank-to-bank payment options
  • Access lower transaction fees with wholesale credit card processing rates
  • Take keyed-in payments securely
  • Offer built-in fee management controls
  • Manage payments, collections, refunds, and disputes
  • Request payments from customers
  • Schedule one-time or recurring payments
  • Send custom invoices, billing reminders, and sales orders
  • Automate cash application, revenue recognition, reporting, and payment reconciliation
  • Accept partial payments
  • Allow customers to pay multiple invoices
  • Send branded checkout interfaces with a payment option toggle
  • Create custom collection plans and add notes
  • Use sandbox mode to test customizations, plugins, and workflows
  • Add subsidiaries and multiple entities
  • Enable invoices on ecommerce stores
  • Support multi-currency invoicing
  • Provide PCI-DSS Level 1 compliance for data security
  • Requires minimal maintenance
  • Includes fail-safes in case the payer has an insufficient balance in their bank account
  • Presents knowledgeable and accessible troubleshooting support and customer service
  • Setup discounts for preferred payment methods
  • Stores customer payment data securely, preferably with tokenization

Making the most of your demo

We recommend reducing your top NetSuite integrations choices to three and then scheduling demos. It’s a good idea to keep in mind that NetSuite integrations may require significant back-end updates and coding for your customized solution, so your demos are likely to be more general.

Here’s our top ten questions to ask:

  1. How can I access your AR features directly from NetSuite?
  2. What is the integration process like, and how long will it take?
  3. What does the customer see?
  4. How does your system work with audits and payment compliance?
  5. How often will your data sync with NetSuite?
  6. What happens if there is an error in receiving payments?
  7. What happens if my customer doesn’t have enough money in their bank account for a transfer?
  8. Does your integration have role permissions controls?
  9. Are there any incompatibilities with other NetSuite integrations?
  10. How is customer data kept secure?

Ultimately, you will have to imagine how your team will work with the software. In addition to the above questions, you should look for software that is easy to use for your team, is simple for your customers, and provides seamless automation.

Make sure to see your integration from the customer side

While we can’t speak for every other payment app, we can let you in on how our customer-facing system works. It only takes three steps:

  1. You send an invoice to your customer from your NetSuite system embedded with Paystand’s “pay now” button.
  2. When payers click on the “pay now” button, they are directed to your own privately labeled portal to choose their payment method. For example, you could offer credit card payments, but tack on a 3% convenience fee. You can also provide the option to pay through our zero-fee bank-to-bank network, ACH, or another method.
  3. If your customers use the bank-to-bank method, you bypass credit card fees, postal time, lockboxes, and manual entries because their payment portal is integrated into your NetSuite system. Deposits are made, posted, and reconciled automatically.

Once the customer has paid and synced with your account, you can pull it up at any time or use the data in your NetSuite reports.

What is zero-fee?

A zero-fee is an incentive to promote your preferred payment options. Zero-fee or feeless payments are free for your customer and are usually used for ACH and bank-to-bank payments. While the company absorbs these fees, they tend to be significantly less than credit card processing fees.

When it comes to offsetting fees, there are really two options here:

  • A credit card convenience fee: Here, you will be shifting the cost of the processing fee to the customer to offset costs or discourage the use of this payment option. It’s not “zero-fee” for your customer, but it is for you.
  • True “zero-fee” options: There is no fee for the end consumer when discussing zero-fee. Usually, this is through promoting ACH and bank transfer options. With this method, you cut costs of processing fees while encouraging your vendors to pay directly to your bank. While this is not free for the company, you do not pay a hefty processing percentage fee, but usually a smaller fee.
Both options are automated, but the latter is more preferable in the long term. Psychologically, we all prefer “free” options. For customers, they feel the process is more convenient. And, with automation, they can save their preferred payment option, meaning they only have to go through the process of inputting information once.

At the same time, zero-fee options allow you to drastically save on processing fees, and the overall automation saves you both time and money.

Getting started with automating AR in NetSuite

When it comes to preparing your NetSuite ERP for today’s AR needs, it’s critical to ensure that you can accept various payments and that your user experience is easy to follow. Platforms that offer the least amount of friction for your customer are more likely to reduce DSO and improve your cash flow.

It’s clear that payment automation is the future for AR departments, and that streamlining these essential processes allows you to free up more resources for strategic tasks.

Want to know if our NetSuite integration is right for your team? Book a 15-minute demo with our payment experts today.