(This blog was contributed by Sonduren Fanarrehda, Airbase Director of Product Marketing.)

As the spend management market heats up, more finance professionals realize the advantages of integrating spend management software with a robust ERP like NetSuite, and a growing number of software vendors are making claims with regards to their ERP integrations. However, not all integrations are created equal. Airbase’s deep integration with NetSuite allows for the two-way flow of data in real-time so that the GL is kept current, and many tools available in NetSuite can be pulled into Airbase.

At the core of this integration is the concept of spend management —  a completely new approach to accounts payable. A truly comprehensive spend management system applies customizable workflows and accounting automation to manage all non-payroll spend, whether it happens via card transactions, bill payments, purchase orders, or employee expense reimbursements. An integration between a spend management platform like Airbase and a robust ERP like NetSuite ensures complete, real-time visibility into, and control over, all employee spending.

Here are five key elements in Airbase’s integration with NetSuite that can improve how you manage working capital across a company.

1. An automatic sync with NetSuite’s GL.

Because transactions in Airbase sync automatically to NetSuite, it’s no longer necessary to reconcile, verify, and aggregate a month of accumulated transactions to close the books. A NetSuite GL can be updated weekly or even daily, making it easy to track and adjust budgets as needed and to keep a consistent audit trail.

The process is simple: Once accounting rules are set up, Airbase auto-populates the correct NetSuite GL account for every card transaction, which can then be synced to NetSuite after review. Employee reimbursements are synced to the NetSuite GL after approval. All documentation, including approval records and receipts, is attached to the transaction record. You can even manage whether the transactions should sync at bill creation or approval. The result is up-to-date, audit-ready financials whenever they’re needed. In contrast, many other platforms simply produce data files that have to be manually uploaded into NetSuite.

2. Access to NetSuite’s amortization template library.

Accounting teams can save time and reduce the risk of errors by automating complex amortization schedules, thanks to NetSuite’s library of templated amortization schedules. Airbase pulls these templates from NetSuite, allowing users to select the right schedule and have the entries posted automatically.

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3. Use of NetSuite’s custom fields.

In NetSuite, users can create custom fields to capture unique business needs. These custom fields can be populated into Airbase so that users can apply them to transaction tags for reimbursements, card transactions, and bill payments. This enables consistent reporting between Airbase and the NetSuite GL, and makes life easier for the finance team and employees alike, since they don’t have to make manual adjustments or do detective work to figure out the correct coding.

4. The ability to support subsidiaries and different currencies.

Being able to manage a global workforce and process transactions around the world is increasingly important, particularly with the movement to remote-first companies. As more companies set up subsidiaries, both international and domestic, finance teams must contend with the resulting complex accounting needs. A robust GL becomes even more essential, as do NetSuite’s automated localization functionality and inter-company modules.

The integration between Airbase and NetSuite enables spend activity from all subsidiaries to flow directly into NetSuite. Despite the growing importance of being able to do this, the only two spend management platforms that can handle multiple currencies and multiple subsidiaries are Coupa, for enterprise-sized businesses, and Airbase, for small to midsize businesses.

5. The tools for continuous accounting.

One of the most revolutionary shifts finance departments have experienced in recent years is the movement away from the traditional, time-consuming monthly close toward continuous accounting, in which the books are updated in real-time and current financials are readily available. The benefits of continuous accounting are far-reaching and include significant time savings, increased data accuracy, and more agile decision-making. But none of these benefits can be realized without the right tools.

This accounting revolution requires a well-designed ERP integration that eliminates the need to reconcile, code, and post transactions from multiple systems at month-end. Thanks to the deep integration between Airbase and NetSuite, financial data is always current, so forecasting and product strategy decisions can be based on actual financials, not what happened weeks ago, and the time-to-close can shorten significantly.

Implementing an ERP can feel intimidating, but most companies experience a very positive ROI from investing in an ERP migration. In order to maximize the benefit, it’s important to consider the depth and details of the integration. For an optimum experience, Airbase’s comprehensive spend management system and NetSuite provide the most thorough integration and features.

Schedule a demo with Airbase to find out how its integration with NetSuite can help your company.