The complete guide to NetSuite invoicing

Aug 26, 2021 by Mark Fisher

For most businesses, their primary reasons for investing in an ERP system like NetSuite are cost savings, performance metrics, and improving efficiencies in accounting.

When it comes to invoicing, NetSuite and other ERPs like Sage Intacct provide an excellent foundation for digital transformation. But if you’re reading this, you’ve likely realized that the out-of-the-box approach to invoicing isn’t enough.

If you’re looking to take your cost savings and control over your AR process to the next level, you can use invoice automation to dramatically change your operations for the better.

The status quo: basic NetSuite invoicing

When you send an invoice out from NetSuite, your customer normally receives an HTML or PDF invoice. But, you have little control over incentives or even offering immediate payments.  Even if your customer accepts that invoice via email, payments can come in various ways depending on your setup, and you have little to no visibility into the payments’ progress.

Here is the general procedure for invoicing via NetSuite without any integration:

  1. You create a sales order
  2. The sales order is approved
  3. You invoice your customer
  4. The invoice is electronically delivered
  5. The customer pays you
  6. You record the payment and apply it to the correct invoice

You can also record advances as a deposit or create credit memos. And, as powerful as this billing tool is, there is one problem: it’s highly manual, which is the root of many, many AR problems.

Problems with manual B2B invoicing

Here are just a few major issues that stem from manual AR processes:

  • Outdated invoicing systems create errors: Even with the adoption of digital technology, most invoices are still paper-based. This means that organizations manually enter everything or scan papers to be entered into a company’s electronic system. To make matters worse, a Procurify report states that the human error rate in processing manual invoices is between 12% and 15%. This means your accounting system could be leaking money.
  • Matching invoices takes too much time: One of the major difficulties in B2B invoicing is that every organization has its own accounting system. This variety makes matching invoices extremely difficult and time-consuming. Partial orders, price changes, new discount negotiations, or cancellations only make matters worse, and your accounting team ends up wasting time searching through heaps of invoices instead of strategizing.
  • There’s no end-to-end visibility: Many legacy technologies simply won’t work well together, and this inadvertently leads to sabotaged team communication and siloed information. Accounting teams often have to bend over backwards to figure out what invoices have been received, approved, or paid. The lack of visibility can create lengthy resolutions, sour vendor relationships, and foster expensive redundancies.
  • Payment options are unclear for both parties: Paper invoices and even PDFs force payees to organize their own payment options, making it easy for payments to get bottlenecked on the client side while your team is forced to follow up regularly.****

If you really want to take your accounting department to the next level, you can use integrations to automate everything after you send your invoice. In other words, once you send an invoice, you don’t have to worry about anything else.

NetSuite invoicing automation

When you integrate applications like Paystand into NetSuite invoicing, you have significantly more options for the format and functionality of your invoice.

Depending on your chosen program, you may be able to immediately receive payments by credit card, bank-to-bank transfers, ACH, another method, or all of them. In addition, your payment application should record all transactions automatically and sync with your NetSuite dashboard in real-time so you can literally watch your money roll in.

We can’t speak for every single potential integration, but, we can let you know how our specific solution works:

  1. With our automated invoice application, there is no login or software download required. Your customers simply receive an email with their invoice details and a button that says “pay now.”
  2. Once they click that button, they’re directed to a customized payment page.
  3. Your customers can select their payment method, input their details, save their details for future payments, and immediately fulfill their invoices.

Furthermore, you can add incentives if you want customers to pay with a specific method. For example, instead of processing the payment fee with credit cards, you can pass that expense onto your customer as a convenience fee. At the same time, you can enable zero-fee payments for direct, bank-to-bank transactions. When you do this, you encourage free B2B payments that save you significantly when compared to credit card transactions.

At the same time, your customers can choose to fulfill multiple invoices at once, save their preferred payment details, or make partial payments. And every decision is recorded automatically.

Why improving NetSuite integrations for invoicing can save time and money

A solid NetSuite integration can save you hours – if not days – of time and help you get paid faster than ever. When you know how it works, it’s easy to see all the ways your team will save both time and money:

  • Collect payments faster: You make it easy for customers to pay immediately when you automate payments and cash flow collection. Conventional invoicing takes 30 to 60 days. But with a “pay now” functionality, you can get paid now.
  • Stop tracking down unpaid invoices: Customers often unintentionally forget paper or PDF invoices. This means your team is wasting time following up with vendors. With digitized invoices, you can often track who has opened invoices or even set automatic follow-up alerts. In addition, the ease of use for payments makes it simple for your customers to pay you without a hassle.
  • Get time back: There is no reason for your finance and accounting team to be dealing with the inconveniences of paper or manual invoicing. Online invoicing and payment applications can free up hours or days so your team can focus on high-value tasks.
  • A customer-centric process: Many customers will appreciate the efficiency of your system, especially because they can track bank transfers and credit card charges for their own recordkeeping. You can also add user-friendly options like subscription services with automatic payments, which further streamlines the process.

Finding the best NetSuite integration

When it comes to invoicing, you are dealing with sensitive data. That means that your NetSuite solution should be compliant and meet all existing data regulations. The last thing you want is a potential leak.

For that reason, you’ll want an invoicing integration that meets PCI-DSS Level 1 compliance requirements. But you’ll also want to ask about the technology your potential integrations use to keep customer data safe.

Because it uses the blockchain to assure payments, Paystand is able to use tokenization. Tokenization switches sensitive data out with a random token, which is essentially meaningless to anyone from the outside. This token stores important information – such as user payment data – without the risk of exposing credit card numbers, bank details, or other personal information to anyone inside or outside the company.

You’ll also want an invoicing solution that can do the following:

  • Create custom collection plans and add notes to receivables for improved AR management
  • Accept partial payments and allow customers to pay multiple invoices at a time
  • Support multi-currency invoicing and presentment
  • Enable invoices on e-commerce stores with SuiteCommerce Advanced
  • Take keyed-in payments securely by phone using our virtual terminal

Want to take a look?

Ready to take your NetSuite dashboard to the next level? See how it works and ask our representatives anything when you schedule a free demo.