Once a biotech organization has decided to move forward with NetSuite as its enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, there are several questions that you should consider. Here are four critical issues accounting teams should be able to answer when preparing for the implementation:
- How do I want to adjust my chart of accounts? Setting up the general ledger accounts, departments, and programs is not an exact science. Over time, if left unchecked, these can evolve into a mess. A NetSuite implementation is an excellent opportunity to clean up the chart of accounts. In my opinion, the best practice is to set up a chart of accounts that is flexible and can grow with the organization. Also, check out my post on best practices for operating expense account structures for biotech organizations.
- How do I want to import my historical financial data to NetSuite? Implementation teams recommend importing historical activity with a journal entry to record the change in balance over the period. Depending on how much history your company has and the need for historical data to be included in a potential public filing, I would bring over monthly data for the current year, quarterly data for the previous two years, and annual data for anything older. Incorporate changes to the chart of accounts into these journal entries. intheBlk also provides several options for assisting teams in importing historical data into NetSuite, including loading individual transactions.
- What modules to I want to put in? For most biotech organizations, I would recommend using core financials, procurement, and fixed assets. Fixed assets are painful to manage in Excel, and NetSuite’s fixed asset module is an upgrade from Excel. Other modules to consider are project management, OneWorld (if you have multiple entities, such as a Massachusetts Securities Corp), and Advanced Procurement, if you are not using a third-party application, such as Prendio, to manage the purchasing process.
- What implementation partner will I use? The implementation team is essential for a successful experience with NetSuite. For a NetSuite biotech implementation, I would recommend using Sikich. Sikich’s SuiteSuccess for Life Sciences program offers the know-how of numerous life science implementations at a reduced rate. In my experience, this is an excellent offering for a small accounting team in the biotech space. Also, they offer additional functionality for tracking clinical accruals.
ERP implementations are a big undertaking for a small accounting team. If your organization needs assistance planning and managing a NetSuite implementation, send a note to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org. intheBlk consulting also offers options to assist teams in importing historical data into NetSuite. Contact us to find out more.