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Nicky Tozer, EMEA senior vice president, Oracle NetSuite
Nicky Tozer_Oracle NetSuite

Oracle NetSuite accelerates amid disruption

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Oracle NetSuite executives say the need for visibility as organisations respond to changing circumstances is sustaining its growth, even as the economy slows down.

10th Aug 2022
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When it comes to accounting software, says Oracle NetSuite senior vice president for EMEA Nicky Tozer (pictured above), “We’re not in the 1980s anymore. Nobody buys software for fun. They need a business case and driver.”

Responding to recent AccountingWEB insights on rising mid-size accounting software upgrades, Tozer said Oracle NetSuite had seen growth accelerate after the world initially ground to a halt in the second quarter of 2020. 

“We did see some customers stop doing whatever they were doing. But when people realised [Covid] wasn’t going away, they couldn’t run the business as normal, they needed to adapt.”

The UK economy has now stumbled from lockdown into recession, which presents different challenges to businesses, she continued. “Everyone needs to do more with less and manage their costs. You have to understand where to invest to get a good return and where it might be costly to invest. The only way you can do that is with something that gives you visibility across the business.”

That underlying need was fuelling interest in finance automation and system upgrades. “If a company is manually closing books on a spreadsheet every month, that takes a long time. They can’t use that time to analyse the data and lose the ability to adjust to what the data is telling them. Automation allows them to do more with less.”

Upgrade business

Like other developers serving this market such as iplicit and AccountsIQ, Tozer said NetSuite was getting upgrade business from a mixture of small business systems: “We’re seeing customers come in who use Xero, QuickBooks and Exchequer – often driven by the same reasons around not being able to handle international growth or, in Xero’s case, transaction growth.”

The international side of accounting has been one of the quiet drivers of new business for NetSuite, Tozer explained. “If they are going to grow internationally and need more entities, they need to report at subsidiary level in local currency and consolidate up in the company currency to see impacts on the consolidated level. That’s really difficult to do on spreadsheets and lower-level single accounts packages just can’t handle multiple currencies, languages, taxes and compliance. That’s a big catalyst for changing to enterprise resource planning software.”

Thomas Sutter, who works at Oracle NetSuite’s Finance Centre of Excellence in the UK, offered a few perspectives from the frontline. “Finance teams have so many day-to-day tasks: accounts payable invoices coming in, accounts receivables and collections, payments and approvals before you get to them.

“With all this change going on they’re spending so much on day-to-day things that they don’t have time to sit back and do what they came into accounting for, which is to help organisations.”

Until recently, finance has been an “afterthought” for investment and automation. One reason for this neglect has been because “finance people will get the job done. After all this change there are companies that have a good business and will survive because they’ve done those things.”

But senior managers are beginning to wake up to the need for better systems for the long haul. “They can see that the tasks are not getting done within eight-hour days and they don’t want to hire more people to get more done. That’s why we’re now getting automation.”

 

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