How Accounting Teams Can Close Books Faster With Smartsheet and NetSuite

by Brian Hintz

Accounting teams seeking a competitive edge are always looking for ways to be more efficient. Any time saved by automating a manual process, can be used to generate business insights, better serve customers, and find other ways to work more effectively. 

A cloud business management platform like NetSuite helps accounting teams improve their processes and scale operations. After Smartsheet bought and implemented NetSuite, we discovered a number of ways the two products can be integrated (leveraging the NetSuite SuiteCloud Platform) to dramatically improve several processes that many accounting teams struggle with on a regular basis.

Simplify General Ledger Reconciliation  

Most companies strive to close their books at the end of each month, a process that is often complicated and time-consuming, involving multiple systems used by team members in various functions. Keeping track of who is responsible for which pieces of the process and following up as needed can become a full-time job.

The Smartsheet and NetSuite integration can simplify the process. At month end, the accounting team can “publish” the General Ledger (GL) into a Smartsheet and then reconcile items while in the sheet. Any information or documentation needed to support closing out the month is added to the sheet, such as if an invoice came in early or there was a partial payment on an account.

This sheet can also be used in conjunction with an end of month/quarter close checklist, so the accounting team can start closing out the books at the end of the quarter and track what still needs to be done, including any dependencies.

Keeping the GL Reconciliation in Smartsheet is also helpful during the audit process. All of the month-end close details, including relevant documentation and notation, are in a single location to hand off to auditors, saving time and money with the auditing firm.  

Streamline Accounts Payable

The accounts payable (AP) process also requires significant time and attention to detail in order to ensure things run smoothly and efficiently. As invoices come in from multiple places, the approver needs to be notified and confirm that the invoice is accurate in order for the invoice to get paid on time.

Smartsheet’s integration with NetSuite can also help streamline the AP process. The AP team can set up a simple Smartsheet form where vendors input key information and submit their invoices. This puts all of their “paperwork” in a central location and automatically notifies the appropriate team member when new submissions come in. The integration is very easy to set up, and vendors love it because it is easy to use and they are more confident they will be paid on time. It also makes life much easier for the AP team and allows them to reduce time spent on the bookkeeping process and focus on ways to reduce costs and drive the business instead.

Optimize Your Billing Cycle

An integration between Smartsheet and NetSuite can also help teams optimize billing cycles by incorporating a customer's’ “health” into the process. NetSuite scans for renewal dates and at the same time checks to see if the customer is doing well. A customer’s health can be based on many factors, including engagement, account status, communications, and revenue trajectory.  If the customer meets the criteria established as “healthy” the system can be set up to automatically send a renewal invoice 90 days in advance. 

If the customer is determined to be “unhealthy”, the accounting team can notify that customer’s  sales rep to reach out well before renewal time to engage the account and prevent attrition. The rep automatically sees what the key issues and concerns are in the system so they can develop an appropriate communication plan. 

How It Works For Us

The Smartsheet and NetSuite partnership has paid big dividends for Smartsheet itself - allowing us to simplify, streamline, and optimize key business processes that are often complicated and time intensive. The improvements to our processes enable us to manage accounting more efficiently and focus more on our customers.