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Is NetSuite a good solution for a small start-up? Are there other competitors that are more suitable given budget limitations?

Vanessa Kruze, CPA, is a leading expert in startup taxes and tax compliance. Her team at Kruze Consulting has filed thousands of tax returns for companies that have raised billions in VC funding, and her work has been diligenced by leading VCs, attorneys, and M&A teams at the largest technology companies.
Vanessa Kruze, a highly-experienced CPA, brings valuable tax expertise to startups, drawing from her rich background at Deloitte Tax and as a financial controller for a $20 million startup. As the leader of Kruze Consulting, recognized multiple times in the Inc 5000 list, she specializes in navigating the complex tax landscape for startups. Her firm is known for delivering precise and strategic tax solutions, delivering tax credits utilizing advanced tools to ensure compliance and optimize tax benefits for startups throughout the United States.

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Netsuite is not a good solution for a small startup as the implementation and maintenance costs are huge ($100K+ per year!) Your money is far better spent on attracting and retaining both talent and customers. Start with Quickbooks Online, then move to Netsuite when you’re a 100+ employee company.

Here’s 5 Signs that your Startup is ready for an ERP like Netsuite:

What is Netsuite?

Netsuite is an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) tool. It manages your accounting, reporting, supply chain, procurement, and much more. It’s many times more powerful than QBO (Quickbooks Online).

Who uses Netsuite? Should my startup switch to Netsuite?

Netsuite is used by many Fortune 500 companies as well as private SMBs. Later stage startups like Atlassian, Twilio, and Zendesk are users. You should consider moving your startup to NetSuite if you meet any one of the following criteria:

  1. You expect to have 100+ employees within the next 6 months
  2. You expect to have $10M+ in Annual Recurring Revenue within the next 6 months
  3. You have 6+ domestic subsidiaries
  4. You have 2+ international parent/subsidiary companies
  5. You operate in high volume, high complexity industries such as FinTech, B2C SaaS, or eCommerce AND you meet 50% of one or more of the criteria above. (For example, you should consider moving your startup to Netsuite if you operate in the Fintech industry and will have 50+ employees within the next 6 months)

How much does Netsuite cost for onboarding and monthly recurring cost?

Onboarding costs can be between $25,000 - $100,000. Monthly recurring costs will vary depending on whether you go directly or with a BPO partner like Kruze. If you go directly through a Netsuite sales rep, you’ll be quoted ~$50,000 per year. If you go through the Kruze BPO preferred pricing, we will charge ~$5,000+/year.

When should my startup switch from QBO to Netsuite?

If your startup matches the criteria above, aim for making the switch at a quarter-end completion date (3/31, 6/30, 9/30, 12/31) and give yourself plenty of cushions.

How long does a Netsuite implementation take?

An aggressive timeline is at least 3 months, but a more moderate timeline is 6 months. Under an expedited program that Netsuite offers called “Suite Success,” many industry-specific setups come pre-configured. Even with this expedited configuration, a three months implementation is standard. “’Zero to Cloud’ in 100 days” is the company’s promise.

Where is Netsuite hosted?

In the cloud, on your browser.

What Netsuite competitors should startups consider?

Other ERP solutions that we’ve seen successfully used by startups includeIntacct, and smaller startups can often get by with QuickBooks Online and Salesforce. Netsuite competitors for startups include:

  • Intacct
  • QuickBooks Online
  • Xero
  • Wave
  • Salesforce

We typically recommend QuickBooks as theaccounting software that most startups should start with, and then recommend startups switch to Netsuite when they match the criteria we’ve outlined above. If you are our client, we’ll recommend an ERP solution when the time comes - but until then, we suggest staying with the more affordable, and simpler to maintain, QuickBooks.


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