How Coupa and NetSuite Help Life Sciences Companies Scale for Massive Growth

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Coupa is the premier cloud platform to manage all your organization’s transactions across procurement, payments, and supply chain. Life sciences companies have found that Coupa helps boost their procurement spending value and optimize business spend. When pairing Coupa with NetSuite, life sciences companies have found that it’s greatly beneficial when planning an equity event, or even if they have already gone public.

So what makes Coupa and NetSuite a great team for ushering massive growth for life sciences companies? We have six reasons.

Get Visibility and Control Over Business Spend

We find that many life sciences organizations in the pre-commercialization stage, are operating with lean finance and procurement teams. As the company progresses towards commercialization, through equity events, and clinical trials, finance teams frequently suffer from gaps in financial controls, resulting in limited visibility into business spend – including ordering, approvals, and vendor invoice processing. As life sciences companies typically hyper focus on cash and expenses, this lack of visibility can pose a tremendous problem.

By integrating Coupa and NetSuite, life sciences companies can see every dollar spent, across the organization, before committing to the spend, enabling them to make better, more informed decisions, in real time. Life sciences companies that extend their NetSuite investment with Coupa typically close the books faster, reduce their burn rate, and find new opportunities to save, allowing them to reinvest those savings back into their life-altering research.

Automates AP End-to-End

As many life sciences companies tend to grow rapidly, Accounts Payable (AP) can be especially vulnerable as teams process an onslaught of new transactions, often resulting in a sea of paper. Symptoms of trouble show up in duplicate payments and late fees. Time ticks by waiting for approvals. Getting suppliers to stop sending the paper invoices that are swamping AP and move to electronic invoicing has clear benefits, but it can be extremely difficult to achieve with systems that require pigeon-holing all suppliers into a single way of doing business.

Coupa provides vendors and suppliers with several options for electronic transactions and makes it quick and easy for them to get started. Both of which make a huge difference in supplier adoption. When companies start by embracing supplier needs, AP automation can improve operational efficiency in spend-related processes end to end, from supplier onboarding to invoice payments.

As it becomes increasingly difficult to hire and retain talent, automating your AP processes allows life sciences companies to do more with less. One of our clients can process over 1,000 invoices per month with just two AP managers.

Quick and Easy Implementation

Growing life sciences companies can’t undertake multiyear IT projects to solve their problems, because, coupled with the current labor shortage, they are simply moving too fast. They need platforms that are easy to configure and easy for all users to learn from vendors to scientists and administrative staff. Software must be intuitive, and to avoid information siloes, these applications must integrate with other systems. The platform must be secure, and it must provide robust controls, reporting, and access to data.

Fortunately, Coupa and NetSuite, especially when using Sikich’s pre-configured SuiteSuccess for Life Sciences solution, are easy to implement and seamlessly integrate with one another. Coupa’s user friendly interface accelerates adoption, allowing many users to get up to speed in 15 minutes or less.

Takes Finance to the Next Level

To manage growth, life sciences companies must take their procure-to-pay processes and tools to the next level. When integrated with NetSuite, Coupa strikes that needed balance between solving immediate problems—with strong punch-out and purchasing capabilities, payment automation, and real-time dashboards and reporting—and improving processes for the long term.

Instead of rebuilding current processes inside of the tool, Sikich’s Life Sciences Team delivers a proven set of industry best practices from its nearly 200, and counting, life sciences implementations, giving you a head start on streamlining and optimizing processes to improve efficiency and ensure prudent spending. Every dollar of realized savings funds additional growth, increases the value of the company and gets you closer to commercialization.

Ensures Accuracy in Accruals

Sound financial reporting and cash management depend on having an up-to-date and accurate picture of liabilities. It can be difficult to report accurately on outstanding commitments that suppliers haven’t yet invoiced, especially when managing complex clinical trial contracts. AP needs processes and tools to match invoices against what they requested and what they actually received. Sikich’s SuiteSuccess for Life Sciences’ purpose-built Vendor Management Solution helps finance teams easily manage clinical trials and automatically identify if you’re in a prepaid or accrual position. Coupled with Coupa’s ability to enable 3-way matching, finance teams can easily ensure accuracy in accruals across departments and business operations.

Manages the Demands of Equity Events

As life sciences companies begin to plan for, or embark on an equity event, the pressures of adhering to SEC and SOX compliance regulations can be overwhelming, without the right tools and processes in place.

Investors in the public markets and company auditors have very high expectations for accurate financial reporting and stewardship of company resources. The company must have clearly defined spending management policies and processes and a highly accurate understanding of current liabilities. Company processes around budgeting and approvals must be well developed, well understood, and systematically executed. Questions such as “Who can approve what?”, “Who needs to be notified?”, or “How is this reported?” must be clearly answered and codified into operational tools.

Both Coupa and Sikich’s SuiteSuccess for Life Sciences solution are well equipped to handle the pressures of going public. From pre-built SEC reports, to system audits, data access controls, segregation of duties to fraud detection and prevention, your company will be better able to handle the requirements of SOX compliance and the increasing demands of equity events.

Are you ready to take the next step in enhancing your life sciences’ financial capabilities for massive growth with NetSuite and Coupa? Please contact us at any time!

This publication contains general information only and Sikich is not, by means of this publication, rendering accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or any other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should you use it as a basis for any decision, action or omission that may affect you or your business. Before making any decision, taking any action or omitting an action that may affect you or your business, you should consult a qualified professional advisor. In addition, this publication may contain certain content generated by an artificial intelligence (AI) language model. You acknowledge that Sikich shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by you or any person who relies on this publication.


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