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NetSuite Goes Back to Class at Kelley School of Business
February 22, 2010
By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor
Indiana University's The Kelley School of Business would be a pretty good name to have as a reference for your business software, one would think. Dr. Joyce K. Byrer, a senior lecturer, teaches a senior-level Accounting Information Systems course, but she wasn't about to recommend anybody yet.

When she took over responsibility for the course, she remembers, “We had been using Microsoft (News - Alert) Office Accounting Professional, but it was a little awkward because it couldn’t be installed in the student computer labs due to database constraints. QuickBooks couldn’t be used, for similar reasons.”

But her class needed more hands-on experience for graduating seniors. It's a problem when your on-premise AIS alternatives impose untenable IT requirements on both students and campus IT labs. That's a big problem.

So one of the accounting professors, she said, suggested giving NetSuite’s cloud-based business software a try. Bryer did, and found that 'it proved to be an easy product to incorporate in the classroom.”

Students in the course use the software to establish businesses which sell both products and services, Kelley officials say. The businesses are linked to a fictitious database of vendors and customers provided in the training software.

The two-week practical portion 'then takes students through the business processes associated with the expenditure and revenue cycles,' she says: “The functionality in the software is a good fit for our curriculum. When students sit down and work through these processes, there is surprisingly little confusion or questions.”

So there's a recommendation for having your people use it: 'Hey look, college students can grasp this stuff. How tough can it be?'

Byrer said she's now adding course material 'inspired by Sarbanes-Oxley requirements. We are going to have students address situations such as receiving products never ordered and paying a vendor an amount that exceeds the accounts payable due to the vendor. I believe NetSuite (News - Alert) will help us demonstrate the kinds of controls and compliance issues students must be aware of in the real world.”

But one of the best parts, of course is that because NetSuite is deployed using a software-as-a-service delivery model, 'it imposes no special burden or requirements on students and campus IT resources,' Byrer says. 'All the students have to do is know their logins and passwords. We don’t have to host anything here on site, so students can access it from home or here on campus.”

To download a free case study and learn more about how NetSuite improved operations for Indiana University's Kelley School of Business, click here.

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Patrick Barnard

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